Unexpected gifts can be nice words or information

Unexpected gifts.

That’s what fate gives you when you need a hand. Not a hand like applause, but a hand to help you over a bump in your road. And the funny thing is, the people who provide that hand seldom know what they’ve done.

For instance, last Sunday after church, Monna Saboe made me cry. She was nice to me. Sad, isn’t it, that someone being nice can open those tear ducts. I’ve got a theory about that. I’ve got theories about a lot of stuff, but especially about that.

It’s as clear to me as a well-made glass of grape jelly; nice words slither into the spot in your heart that wants everything to be well, but so much emotion already rolls around in there that there’s no place for these new nice words, and to make room, tears rush out.

Nice words can make tears escape when angry words can’t because anger constricts everything in your heart and there’s always room for more anger. Anger breeds anger. Hurt, hurt. You get the idea. But nice words just swell your heart’s longings and desires until tears are the only solution.

That’s why, when you’re having a good time with good friends, hearty laughter can be both breath-taking and tear-making. I’m betting at least once in your life you laughed till you cried. You don’t know how or why you cried, but there you are, crying.

And it’s not a bad thing. Embarrassing, maybe, but not a bad thing. Laughter tears mean your heart is full of love.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

There’s something going around Facebook where you tell 10 things about yourself no one knows. I can’t think of too many things people don’t already know about me because I don’t hide anything. Well, almost nothing. But I like to play, so here goes. And we’ll do it like David Letterman does his stuff.

The No. 10 thing people don’t know about me is I can’t milk cows with my left hand. My right hand works, but my left hand always squeezes from the bottom up. Cows don’t like that.

No. 9: Indecision bothers me. Say yes, say no; just say something.

No. 8: It’s a good thing I got out of college when I did because my grades degraded in proportion to the amount of fun I had.

No. 7: My left foot turns out slightly when I walk.

No. 6: Veronica McGough gave me my middle name, Rae, after my father.

No. 5: I named my daughter when I was 12 years old, walking down a gravel road with my friend, Paulette.

No. 4: I almost missed the skating party that ended the 4-H fair when I was 11 because I saw some nasty man hit my calf with a buzzer and I cried my heart out for hours after.

No. 3: I’m afraid to use a grill.

No. 2: I hate to fold newly washed clothes.

And the No. 1 thing people don’t know about me: I put the “oi” in paranoia.

Now you know.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at