"Live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years."

Everything is beautiful and telling of mom joy

By on December 28, 2020 in Columnist with 0 Comments
Mike Cassidy

By Mike Cassidy


We’re watching more escapist TV during this pandemic — a whole lot more.

As the camera was panning over the brightly and distinctly painted homes backdropped by the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s in Canada’s Newfoundland province during a detective show located on the island, I blurted out to my wife that, “We ought to go there.”

Next up was a movie partially taking place in New Mexico, with night skies showing a zillion stars, and I suggested, “We ought to become snowbirds.”

Another time, a movie teleported (time-ported?) people to the far distant past, and I ventured, “Wouldn’t it be an interesting challenge to live a million years in the past — like settlers in the unsettled past without all the people around?”

Obviously, the stay-at-home orders have affected my brain.

Maybe I’m not alone.

And that’s why my pent-up wanderlust self was excited to see Dominick Bonny’s story about Dave Toal’s and Valarie Gilmour’s trailer trip — mostly on out-of-the-way back roads — across a broad stretch of the U.S., taken this past fall.

They wore masks when they were called for and a trailer is an easy way to socially distance — plus food preparation was under their control. (They are, after all, owners of Ravenous Catering.)

“The only place we stopped for food was a taco truck mom-and-pop operation in Green River, Utah,” said Val. “Ninety-five percent of our groceries we purchased from local health food stores on our travels. We were always aware of trying to keep it local when we did need groceries or other supplies.”

I can see myself now: Hitched up to a trailer, blue skies outside the windshield, a ribbon of a highway stretching into the distance, my foot on the gas peddle…

As expected, we received fewer entries this year to our “Best Day” of the year contest.

But some people found bright spots in dismal 2020 in the small, personal moments.

We are also publishing perhaps the first full-length poem that has ever seen ink in The Good Life. While he didn’t win the first place prize, I enjoyed Phil Cibicki’s title to his poem of Everything is Beautiful.

That’s the spirit to carry into 2021.

Marlene Farrell writes of an experience that nearly anyone of us could partake in, and that is being a volunteer dog walker at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.

As Marlene says in her story, volunteering at the Humane Society with her daughter, Alice, was — for her — at first unexpected but then became a serendipitous delight.

Marlene added in an email to me, “Thank you for letting me share some ‘mom joy’ through writing this piece.”

If you can’t physically go where you may want, take a trip in our pages, and enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike 

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