When You’re Smiling
My wife’s band’s theme song is “When You’re Smiling.” If they ever decide to choose a different tune, I might have to fuss, because it is so appropriate. They play music for exactly the right reason- to have fun, and make people smile. They are very good at it.
Marfar is the ringleader, too. When I was a young doc, I was so serious. I thought if I read enough books and studied hard enough, no one in the County would die. Of course that was too ambitious a goal. I am still very serious about doctoring, but I’ve had to temper ambition with reality, and try to keep on smiling. Marfar has always seen to that. One of her few complaints about me was to say, “You aren’t laughing enough!”
One of the things I loved about my wife right from the get-go was her laugh. I’m not a good enough writer to capture it on paper, but right at the end there is a little lilt that makes it impossible for a fellow to be in a bad mood.
If you read “Birds of a Bluegrass Feather,” you know we have two tropical conure birds in our home, and she has them in on the act. The birds talk a little, but as with babies, I have some trouble with translation, though my wife communicates with them with ease.
Two things the birds imitate are clear even to a man. One is the door bell chime- they have it perfected. The other is my wife’s laugh. Birds can only learn what they hear all day, and they can mimic her with uncanny accuracy. (If I were home all day, I guess they’d sound like a mandolin.)
It is all good for a sometimes too serious doctor. It ain’t possible to walk by a bird, have it laugh just like your wife, and hold onto a bad attitude. I think she trained them like that so when she was not home, I’d have to keep things in perspective even in her absence.
My wife is so smart, she’s even got me fond of those dadburn birds. All I can say is she’s got the right theme song- keep on smiling.
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