Because of that, I returned to Indiana last week in a pair of flip-flops.
Why? Especially in November, why would I drive all the way to Indiana with flip-flops on my purple feet? Well, because that was all I had access to. And because I happen to be tighter than the bark on a tree.
My only pair of closed-toe shoes was in the closet of a friend’s house ... in Indiana.
And so, by the time I crossed the Kentucky state line, my pigs had frostbite.
It was worth the discomfort, though.
In fact, I would have gone barefoot if it was necessary, just so I could walk into The Southsider Voice last Thursday evening and see so many sweet faces. There’s nothing better than a room full of happy women who love to laugh. I was so happy when a few former co-workers stopped by to say hello. I finally got to hug and kiss some wonderful women I’ve only known through Facebook. And more than a few tears dripped off my face. But that’s OK, too.
I left there reminded of the power of laughter. How it not only brings people together but bonds them together, too. In my case, those bonds have lasted for many years. My readers are some of the funniest, most energetic and life-loving people in the world. I’m blessed to do what I love. I’m even more blessed when other people understand my mission and believe in it with me.
Unfortunately, life can be hard sometimes. Other people will take their best shots at your heart and your dreams, too, if you don’t duck fast enough. We all find ourselves in the middle of struggles that scare us to death, losses that break our hearts, challenges that make us question who we are and what we stand for.
But laughter is the salve in all these difficult times. Laughter provides a little vacation from pain. It reminds us that even in the worst moments, the sun will come again. We will get another chance to go after what we want or heal a hurt or repair a mistake. We will always get another chance to laugh it off and begin again. I am more in love with that fact than I could ever tell you.
And so, during the beautiful evening hosted by Kelly, Denise, Scott, Robin and Roger at The Voice, I was reminded that when we stick together, when we laugh together, we always make it through the tough spots.
I headed south earlier than I intended, trying to outrun the bad weather. And this time there was snow on those flip-flops. Dang it.
But my heart was warm.
Thank you, Indiana. I love you all so much!
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups.