Writers’ Group



Sue Donovan

At the end of yoga class, the leader always invites you to “go to your happy place” to envision a place and time where you can let all your tensions, worries and obligations take flight – and just RELAX. Because I am very, very good at relaxing – my husband says it’s my specialty – I have numerous happy places where my mind can wander unencumbered and my breath flows easy and my muscles melt like a Jell-O mold in an Arizona summer.

– A grey and drizzly afternoon with a cup of tea and a good book

– Sitting in the bleachers at my grandson’s baseball game when he’s pitching good and his team is ahead 10 zip

– A sunset pontoon cruise on our lake, Margarita in hand and a pitcher in the cooler

– Almost any time on the golf course in the company of my old cronies who are generous with mulligans and don’t mind using the foot wedge

But these days, I find it harder and harder to find a happy place since the dawn of that ubiquitous and intrusive pest – the cell phone. As a young mother with three active and sassy boys to corral, the golf course afforded me three hours of guaranteed tranquility. Your kid could get kicked off the school bus for throwing spit balls and he would just have to wait where they left him. I’m golfing. Can’t be reached until the 19th hole.

Another favorite escape in my earlier life with kids was giving blood. How peaceful to lie on a comfy table and zone out, with a nurse, hovering like an angel, monitoring your vital signs for you, and ready to supply you with juice and a cookie afterwards! Today, they make little pockets on golf bags to hold your cell phone, and you better keep that non-donating arm free to clutch your device and answer on demand!

Yes, the cell phone is nothing more than a tether to the anxieties and problems of the world around you, literally drowning out all hope of real relaxation. You may suggest I just turn the cell off or leave it in a shoebox when venturing into a potential happy place. Can’t do it. If I ever went 15 minutes without returning a call, my kids would be contacting the Sheriff’s Posse and my sisters would be booking a flight to Phoenix, expecting to find me comatose somewhere.

Although relaxing is much more of a challenge these days, it is one I eagerly choose to accept. I have an app connected to my Fitbit that monitors my pulse, and my cell phone will warn me when I need to chill out.

Dream, Twinkle and Red Bud

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

Last night when I fell asleep I had a beautiful dream that the dew was a twinkle on the Red Bud.

We cannot always plan our dreams. Sometimes they may be the result of how your day began or ended. They may include the trials you have encountered the previous day. Or the last movie you saw, or the song you heard. Your dream may be vivid with bright lights, which twinkles with fast movements. There may be times when your loved ones enter your mind bringing back happiness you had shared with them in the past. I love those.

No one can predict a dream. No matter how difficult it is to plan when you fall asleep for the evening. Lay your head down on the pillow and have beautiful visions of the happy times you encountered during the day or beautiful memories you bring into your mind. As for myself, as many of you can recall, your bad dreams, some woke me up in the middle of the night, sweating, my eyes closed, not knowing if I should open them and look around the room where I sleep. Wow, was it something I had eaten before I went to bed? Was it the movie I watched before my head touched the pillow? Was it the disagreement or disappointment which rallied through my mind? Dreams don’t appear in your mind because of your thoughts of the previous day. Somehow you may believe it to be true.

Whenever I had my dream, good or bad I found myself researching through Dream books, internet, or other sources to find the reason why the visions and what it meant. I do not allow myself to search anymore to try and figure out the reasons. My thoughts in my mind are drawn to the beautiful dreams I encounter. I dream many times of my family, especially my mom who had passed many years ago. When I do have the brief vision of my mom in my dream, it always brings a twinkle in my eye and I feel safe.

My mom loved roses, especially the bright deep, red colored roses. The smell of a rose, even one single rose to me always lifts my spirits, brings sunshine into my life and for a brief moment everything in my world is beautiful.

When I receive a dozen or so of red roses, I search through the bunch for that Red Bud. The Red Bud who will shortly blossom out and come into the world of sunshine.

Tonight when you go to bed, think of the Red Bud especially the one with the dew glistening, I know you will have a beautiful and pleasant dream.