Finding the funny
April in Glenwood
“Where in the world is April?” I’ve been getting that a lot lately.
The answer is not as internationally exotic as the question suggests.
People are curious, which I can understand. Although it stretches for miles, the Roaring Fork Valley has a small feel. Facebook can make it seem even smaller. To answer the question I’ve been especially mobile in the last year, traveling between Indiana and Colorado. Spending time in my Hoosier hometown has played a big part in my grieving process. Healing is different for everyone.
Being home has been my saving grace.
In Indy, there has been much-needed family time after losing both remaining grandparents within five months of each other. Prior to last year’s double loss, I had experienced devastating financial and health issues that were especially difficult to recover from being out in Colorado without family close. I wasn’t sure I could make it through. Seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel seemed impossible at times. It happens in the valley more than many people prefer to discuss. Those Colorado friends who came to my aid will always be like family.
You know who you are.
I’m a big proponent of the idea that laughter is the best medicine for humans. And for animals, because I’m convinced they laugh in their own distinct ways. That’s especially true when administered in heavy doses, several times a day. Whether it’s hearing my grandpa’s old green parrot call me baby or watching “The Bachelorette,” there’s comic relief all around me. I know it’s supposed to be taken seriously — and there are actual couples, and babies, that have come from the show — I can’t help but laugh when they talk about their six-week journey to finding true love. I’m admittedly jaded by all that talk of soul mates and forever. Actually, the chances aren’t so bad when starting with 25 bachelors.
If I weren’t so out of the 20-something age range, I might even try it.
No matter where I am, I’ve made my best efforts to laugh several hours per day, mostly to stay healthy. If I could just figure out a way to laugh while exercising, I could have the body of a 20-something. Maybe a Prancercise regimen is in order. It does look fun.
And a little funny to watch.
In the mountains, laughter has come in the form of being around people who love to have fun. There’s been stand-up comedy at Glenwood Vaudeville, day-long adventures on the river, and spirited cake judging at Mountain Fair. Seeing people in the audience laugh when I tell jokes about dating in the valley or tap dance during quirky performances at burlesque shows has brought me so much joy.
The pictures that followed were even funnier.
Back home, friends new and old have helped me giggle through some of my darker moments. Actually, there has been more than giggling. There has been laughter that causes us to giggle and double over or run for a powder room.
We blame that on being older than 40.
There is just something about going home that is healing. It feels comfortable like a baby blanket. I have visited my old high school football stadium for state tournament games. I’ve walked around the yard and climbed trees at my childhood home. I’ve seen the monkeys at my hometown zoo — my favorite — and visited friends’ houses for backyard barbecues and pool parties with their kids.
I go by Aunt April around these parts.
“Where in the world is April?” is an excellent question, and someday soon I will have the answer. I might not have answers to everyone’s questions on where I’m going or what I’m doing. That happens when life doesn’t go as planned, or it seems to be turned upside down by events that feel as if they’re taking my breath away. And I’m OK with that. I will continue to allow laughter to guide my way, accepting what life hands me with a hearty chuckle. It’s part of it all. It’s how life goes. Maybe I will have an exotic answer. Or maybe I won’t.
Life is funny like that.
April E. Clark loves summer, and like the Cars song, it turns her upside down. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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