Laughter In The Rain

Paul and I were caught in the storm today while out on our lunch and Home Depot date.   We laughed as we ran from the store back to our van when the rain started coming down, and we laughed even more when it was still pouring hard as we pulled into our driveway.   We sat there contemplating whether to dash for the house or to wait till the rain slows down.  We were saying to each other that with our luck, no matter when we decide to dash for it, the rain will stop as soon as we get in the door and we’ll be soaking wet, when all of sudden, there was a marked decrease in the rain pour.  At that instant, both of us grabbed the door handles ready to pounce.  We’d thought the same thing, “Here’s our chance!”  And so we ran, laughing at ourselves all the way into the house.

I observed two things:

1)  I can still run pretty fast when I have to; and

2) After 26 years of being married, there’s still a lot of laughter and love between us.

As we were running toward the house, the song “Laughter In The Rain” came to my mind.  It’s by Neil Sedaka, from 1974.   Paul and I weren’t strolling along and holding hands like the couple in this song, but  there sure was a lot of laughter, and I did feel all happy inside. 🙂

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God Bless the U.S.A.

Today, I have been living in the United States of America for almost 3 times as long as I had lived in Bangkok, Thailand, my birth place.  I immigrated to the U.S. with my family when I was 13, and became a U.S. citizen when I was 19.   I will always be fond of Thailand because I have childhood memories of that place, but the U.S. has been my home now for nearly 36 years.   I feel very blessed to be living here, raising my own family according to my convictions, and encouraging my children to pursue their interests wherever they lead.  Though it seems there are more red tapes now than before (that’s a topic for another day), overall, this country is still the place where, if you can dream it, you can make it happen through hard work,  ingenuity, and a bit of luck.   I have relatives in China and Thailand, as well as friends from other countries that don’t hold up the ideal of equality among men (as well as between men and women), where children are not free to pursue their own interests, so that gives me a perspective of how lucky we are here in America.

Today is 4th of July, Independence Day, where most Americans either have the whole day off or will be getting off work early to celebrate the founding of this country and the freedom we have.  There are many songs that express our patriotism, but my all-time favorite is “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood (1984).  I remember when I first heard it on the radio–I cried as I sang along with the chorus, “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free; and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. . .”   I still tear up almost every time I sing this chorus.

To all the men and women who gave their lives, as well as those who are currently putting their lives on the line, to give me this day to be free, to be sitting here typing this blog, I salute you and thank you with my deepest gratitude.

GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.
By Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.