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You Dream, I Design


Judy Bluhm

Are you tired of reading about bad news?  Perhaps we need a boost of our collective spirits. I’ve decided to devote this column to good news and small miracles. In a world that often feels confusing and menacing, let’s be reminded of daily wonders.

I have a small, deformed sparrow that lives around my house. I have noticed this little fellow, because he has a smashed-in looking face, two normal legs and then a third leg jutting out of his chest. He has an odd flat head, with a double beak. This plucky, tiny bird sits in a tree, nibbling at seed from a finch sock. Surrounded by glorious, golden finches, he stands out like a lame duck. He doesn’t fly far or smoothly and hangs around his special tree. He doesn’t seem to have many bird friends, but I have watched him throw back his head and sing. He may be disabled, but he still has a beautiful song.

I watched as my daughter’s neighbors in Anthem decorated the outside of their house with flags in celebration of Independence Day. Earlier this year, the father died from a long battle with cancer. It was heartwarming to watch his wife and two children hang the American flag and numerous red, white, and blue banners with such joy and determination. They experienced a staggering loss, but they decorated boldly, as if to say “We’re still here to carry on.” Life is for celebration.

A man in New River has a horse that is blind in one eye and has limited sight in the other. This horse became afraid to walk. He preferred standing in the barn and would put his ears back and bite any other horse that came near him. A spunky little goat named Nellie kept approaching him, with loving persistence, until he allowed her to lead him around. Now he will follow her around the pasture, guided by her gentle footsteps or loud bleat. He can also be ridden and has become a very good children’s horse. Friendship is the light that can lead us through darkness.

A widow in her eighties went into a local jewelry store with a well-worn gold wedding ring in a little plastic bag. Struggling financially, she was selling her ring to “make ends meet.” When the jeweler asked if she wouldn’t miss the wedding band, she replied, “Not as much as I miss my husband.” The jeweler offered her $200. Before she could relinquish her ring, a stranger stepped in and handed her the money. “Some things we need to keep,” was all the kind man said. With shock and tears, the lady left the store with her ring back on her finger that she had worn for sixty years, two hundred dollars, and renewed faith in the world. Real gold is found in the unselfish and kind acts of others.

The former winner of a “Top Dog Contest” is a mutt named Truman, who manages to lead a happy life on three legs. Truman was left for dead in a parking lot. His new owner is “constantly amazed” at how much love Truman has to give and how fast he can run. There is another dog, appropriately named “Faith,” who was born with no front legs. She has learned to hop around upright on her hind legs and now visits nursing homes and rehabilitation centers throughout the country. Faith’s message? You can overcome the unthinkable with love, help, and determination. Life’s circumstance may hobble us, but we can still move forward.

We just celebrated Independence Day. It marked the New Beginning for a country founded on the Declaration of Independence, the blessed proclamation that we have unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We may be flawed, but we remain the greatest country in the world. Parades, flags, marching bands, barbecues, and fireworks are not what makes us great – but it is what we do to commemorate the essence of a free nation, Under God, with liberty and justice for all. Fly the flag proudly!

So this week enjoy all the “small stuff” that makes you smile. Look for the wonders in nature and be sure to always be in “pursuit” of happiness.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at