Life Is Beautiful

Chelsea emerged from the back yard, tail wagging. The crickets chirped and the evening began to grow still. Now and then a bottle rocket would sing its passing song; the leftovers of the day making a final run before the “back to school” ads began tomorrow.

He had reluctantly taken tomorrow off, although it was a weekday, but he wanted just a little more time with the family before going back to the six days on/one day off grind he had been putting in since the new job had offered all this overtime.

The papers were filled with stories of people losing jobs and others struggling to find work, so he did not take his good fortune lightly. He put his arm around his bride of five years and they ambled back to the house, dog in tow.

He locked the doors and filled the dog’s water dish as his wife headed up the stairs. He showered and tiptoed into the bedroom, as he knew she would be out cold and indeed she was. He tried not to disturb her as he covered her with a blanket.

Feeling a bit of a second wind, he shuffled into the den and sat down at the desk. He rifled through the stack of bills and sighed, knowing he could cover them all but there wouldn’t be much left over.

He turned back and looked into his moonlit living room. His whole world was within these four walls.

Right over there, Angela had taken her first steps.

And there was the mantle they had refinished when they first bought the place as newlyweds; must have had five coats of different colored paint that had to come off before that natural wood grain came out.

And the pictures, Angie’s artwork, Chelsea curled up in the corner–simply a conglomeration that could only be called “home.”

He smiled, turned off the desk light and bowed his head. He thanked God for giving him this day and all the others before it. He counted his many blessings and knew deep inside he had even more of those blessings that he himself probably didn’t even realize.

Perhaps this life and its challenges were troubling at times. Maybe others had it better than he, but my goodness, how many had it so much worse.

He thought about the words attributed to former president Abraham Lincoln: “A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be,” and he decided right there and then he was pretty darn happy.

He considered it almost a sense of duty to his family and his country to put on the best face possible moving forward as a proud and positive citizen in the greatest country in the world.

There on the evening of the  Fourth of July, his country’s birthday, he renewed his dedication by vowing not to knock any team he is on. The words now made perfect sense to this average American.

“God bless America.

Land that I love.

Stand beside her

and guide her

through the night with the light from above.”

 Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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2 comments on “Life Is Beautiful

  1. Karen Green on said:

    Excellent! A quiet description of a holiday marked by big things – crowds, food, noise, etc. and yet it is the freedom to silently enjoy our blessings that is captured here so lovingly. Kudos and wishes for “more of the same”… memorable seconds, minutes, hours and days.

  2. Barb Burkholder on said:

    Beautiful tribute to family!

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