I love change, new experiences, and learning new things. However, when we moved to the middle of the Arizona desert almost 20 years ago, well, that was a lot of change to get used to. I had never wanted to live where it was hot! I loved cold weather and delighted with each changing of the seasons. Yet, I learned that if people keep their ears and eyes open, God can teach them all sorts of wonderful things in what at first appears to be barren, God-forsaken land. Sometimes he puts people in completely unfamiliar environments so that their reliance is on Him instead of what they are used to in the everyday world.

My Granddad Stovall was a judge for many years and was a member of the Oklahoma legislature. Throughout my whole upbringing, I heard him say the same adage countless times: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” He was passionate about learning and was always studying something. That mindset established in me that if something doesn’t work out today, keep trying and it will eventually work out. It also taught me to be a reader and constant observer in all situations.

Not only am I an avid reader, but I’ve learned and applied principles in my life from all sorts of unusual areas including song lyrics, pithy movie dialogue, cartoons. Yes, cartoons. When I was in high school a few years ago (OK, it was in the 1960’s), I saw a cartoon about a simple, straight line that met and fell in love with a bouncy little dot. Alas, the dot would have nothing to do with the line. The dot felt they had nothing in common as it bounced all over the place. The line struggled and struggled until one day it bent in half, then half again, and discovered it could make itself into all sorts of shapes and objects that it never knew possible. The line learned to reach beyond its everyday line shape and had the motivation to be all sorts of things it was created for. As true fairy tales go, the dot and line then fell madly in love and hopped off the screen to live happily ever after.

This cartoon made such an impact on me that I was always telling friends about it. Coincidentally, I had the wonderful experience of attending the Motion Picture Studio’s Academy Awards ceremony that year. Amazingly, that cartoon named The Dot and the Line and produced by Chuck Jones and Les Goldman at MGM studios was one of the nominees for short animated features and won. I’d never been so happy for a dot and line before–eew, I guess that was cheesy. By the way, Sound of Music took many of the awards that night—yes, that does make me old.

A statement from movie dialog is what led me to my husband. I’ll explain that some other time. Jack and I have had an outstanding marriage for 38 years and best friends almost everyday of that 38 years. We love to travel together, sail together, read together, cook together,. . .life’s been fun. We have two, loving, grown, married children ages 29 and 32 and 3 grandchildren that are wonderful to be around. Both our “kids” also have great spouses that we’re proud to have in the family.

Oh, and since Boogs is sprawled here on my desk, I shouldn’t neglect mentioning him. He’s a 3 footed, 20 pound feline with lots of judgmental skills but very little energy to do anything.

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