That most wonderful time of the year

From our house to yours, enjoy the wonders of the human spirit throughout this string of holiday seasons that carry us into 2011. May your holiday spirit enjoy broad sprinklings of merriment, family, safe travels, and optimism for what lies ahead.

One-of-a-kind, On-line, Odd-ventures

double genache chocolate cheesecakeIn ongoing ventures as an E-preneur, I've gathered a marketplace for world-class goods that you can't find anywhere else. Please explore with me the worlds into which I've  wandered, studied long and hard the last 3 years, and discovered wonders -- gourmet specialty coffee roasting and blending; gourmet artisan chocolate; gourmet cheesecake; art prints, and artisan crafts by amazing family artists. MORE DETAILS

* * *

Join in themes that support living in good cheer and overcoming anything the world throws at us. Favorite subjects: Family. Grandchildren. Dogs. Friendship. Excellent books. Incredible food. Cameras and photos. Espresso. Movies. Music. College sports. Baseball. Fountain pens. Cooking. Other stuff. Yours?

Talk back: Tell us how you found Be of Good Cheer dotcom.

Thanks for dropping by. Come again, and bring a friend.

History of

It's Pat's fault. Our wonderful friend Pat. Spouse of our wonderful friend, Charles, lead researcher and resident expert in our collaborative book about young people crying out to be heard by us not-young people, especially those labeled parent and teacher. Another story altogether....

Pat asked me for a Wednesday night series workshop entitled "Be of Good Cheer." Part of the adult ed program she ran for the largest, give or take a pewful, United Presbyterian church in the U.S. of A., located in Prairie Village, Kansas, hard-buckled to the southwestern edges of Kansas City. The workshop title honored the pastor, an inimitable sort named Bob, who ended every Sunday service for 30 years, with the imperative charge to his congregations to" of good cheer!"

So, with due diligence, I called Reverend Bob and asked him why he chose that particular phrase.

"Michael, Michael, Michael," he said, much as mom might have when she thought I should know what pluperfect subjunctive meant. (Which reminds me of a joke. A really, really funny joke. Love jokes. Especially puns. Another time, in its place.) "Go get out your Concordance," he said, a not-so-subtle way of revealing that I had a porous theological foundation, and yet another parental tape in my head ("what's this word mean, folks?" "Look it up, son....").

Looked it up - be of good cheer. Take your pick. Matthew 9:2. Matthew 14:27. John 16:33. Since then, and that was around '89 or '90, I've seen the same comment, or discourses on the concept, over and over and over. All my favorite non-fiction authors talk about the importance of good cheer to well-being. Prather. Dyer. Waitley. Tannen. Peters. St. Paul. Townsend. Solomon. Haden-Elgin. Maxwell. Depree. So do my favorite fiction authors. Literature runs deep and rich on the topic. Poets love it (see Dickinson in the home-page blog). 

One of the best lines ever appears on the opening page of the classic "Co-Dependency No More" by Beattie, anonymously-credited: "Happiness is difficult to find within yourself, and impossible to find elsewhere."

Check out this in-depth presentation on be-of-good-cheer by a professor of ancient scripture, citing yet another theological source on the good-cheer precept.

Coming out of difficult personal times, the theme resonated with me. I buried myself in learning everything possible related to the concept, especially managing my anger (a challenge every single day). Be of Good Cheer became my mantra, for telephone messages, for sign-off on letters and emails, for saying ta-ta. But also for meditative centering, for introspection, for creating and supporting relationships.

For learning to love well, laugh well, serve well, be well.

And also, Be of Good Cheer provides a stealthy cornerstone on which to build a personal mission statement: make life better, throughout every gift of another day.

Bought the domain. Years ago. Now, like a fine wine, its day has come. 

Thanks, Pat and Rev. Bob.