Gary Brown: Little blessings count big on bad days

Gary Brown

I love little blessings that bolster our attitudes, such as when I hurry to get up in the morning because I slept through the alarm, so I stub my toes on a bedpost. “Yeow!” the cartoon bubble would read. Hop. Hop. Hop.

But, that isn’t the blessing. Neither is nicking myself shaving, nor a drain clogging, not even the shower being way too hot when I step in. Yeow! But, I don’t really have to write that again, do I? We’re already pretty familiar with that phrasing.

I wouldn’t call the toaster not toasting a blessing, would you? Or dropping the container of butter onto the floor? Surely, old milk smelling slightly suspicious when I put it on my cereal wasn’t the blessing, unless you consider that at least I didn’t learn of the milk’s age by tasting it.


Days sometimes start with a lot of stuff that comes before a blessing, and we must endure it. Buttons pull off of shirts. Favorite ties hide. Orange juice spills on light-colored slacks. And car keys, well, they could wander off almost anywhere.

The phone might ring as we’re walking out a door. That door might close and lock before we realize that a wallet still is on the other side of it. That wallet may turn out to be empty enough to cause a need to stop at a bank. There is that bill to pay, after all, a bill that is due, oh man, was due ... yesterday. How did I forget that?

Irritating things can begin to happen quickly once they get started. Traffic can slow. The sun can shine too brightly through the windshield. Things may fall out from the glove compartment during a hunt for sunglasses. A car might develop some worrisome sound. Another vehicle could change lanes without warning. Stop! Great, there’s more stuff that slid off the seat.


On my particular day, entertainment from the car radio didn’t provide much solace from the onslaught of things that were distracting at best and discouraging at worst. Frightening crime reports, saddening celebrity news, poor economic forecasts, disappointing sports scores — this is not the news it takes to lighten the heart and brighten the spirit.  

And the day didn’t get much better with the realization that, oh, yeah, I needed gas. With that semi-empty wallet. I wondered if I could just put enough in to get to the bank and coast back?

I saved a bit of my available cash for coffee. Near the back of the store at the station I grabbed a cup. I began to pour.

Pumpkin Spice — the new flavor of the month. What a pleasant surprise.

I love little blessings. They can get the day off to a great start. Apparently, it doesn’t take much.