Dear Readers,

There is an old saying: “God looks out for children and fools.” I am not certain that I fit well into either of those categories, so I must add one: “…children, fools, and those who sincerely ask for help.” Just as with all of you, my life gets sprinkled frequently with challenges for which prayer seems the best coping method. In an apparent answer to one, two of my acquainted friends teamed up on a day when I was at work and built a new set of porch steps for me which has allowed me to address a challenge that had been hanging over my head since my old set collapsed some time back. One friend has even been helping me with that additional challenge as well. Thank you, God, for good friends.

For the other answer to prayer, God wisely allowed a huge tree sitting directly at the front of my shared property line to fall into our street on a sunny afternoon when there were no cars — driven or parked — and no pedestrians beneath it. Several neighbors who witnessed or heard the fall tell me that the thunderous sound of it hitting the asphalt was unnerving. For one, the timing of the fall might have had special meaning as she was at that moment on her way — car keys in hand, I am told — to move her car to better allow an anticipated cement truck access to the area where her new sidewalk was to be poured. She would have put her car where the tree would have fallen on it. The way it was described to me, had she left her house 30 seconds sooner, she would likely still have been in the car when the tree toppled onto it.

Employees from the borough worked hard to chop up and clear the tree from the street in just under two hours. A friend’s son later cut across the trunk, thus evening it out and leaving me with free firewood to offer to anyone able to take it away. No one was injured by any of this. Thank you, God.

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that life tends to balance itself between challenges and blessings, but it does. Blessings are there. Some, as with those shared above, will be unmistakable. Others may be flying beneath the radar, but if you look for them, they can be found.

Dear Gayle,

I was speeding today. I was driving 40 mph in the 35 zone. Someone passed me on a double yellow line and barely made it back in before oncoming cars were there. Please remind people that life is precious, and nothing is worth risking so much loss just to gain a few seconds at the other end of a trip. Thank you.

— Slowing Down

Dear Slowing,

People who are in so much of a hurry that they take the kinds of chances that risk many lives even beyond their own might not be people who take time to read this column, but your message is worth sharing. I want to add one more thought. If you are riding in a car with a dangerous driver, insist on being allowed out. You are probably safer walking — facing traffic, remember — than to continue to be a passenger in a car being driven by a dysfunctional driver. Keep in mind that, in severe accidents resulting in at least one death and in which more than one individual was in an involved vehicle, it is more likely to be the driver who survived, not the passenger. Just sayin’…

Dear Readers,

One last item to share is that I will soon be taking on a hurtle of the technology kind: I intend to learn how to post on YouTube. I want to share a video I recorded with my cell phone showing a dust mite walking on my computer screen. The resolution is poor — no detail beyond a traveling dot. (This is with a cell-phone camera, after all, so do not get too excited.) We have been told for years that dust mites cannot be seen with the naked eye. That saying started around long before the invention of the computer screen, however. It seems that dust mites can be detected if your eyesight for close-up visuals is very good, and the little mite is back lit. If you want to look for them on your own computer screen, I recommend watching specks of your tiniest dust with your screen covered with written words or with a grid pattern. I have not yet tried spotting them with a magnifying glass, but you may want to. Keep in mind that they are much smaller than the period at the end of a sentence using the tiniest font available on your computer. If you have recently cleaned your screen, you may not find any mites. Be patient as looking for them as they may be grazing happily in place for some time before deciding to move along to another area on the screen.

[Gayle Wright is a mental health counselor doing area agency and hospital social work. Write to Gayle at: LV MY TAKE ON IT, 435 Broad Street, New Bethlehem, PA 16242, or send email to where your anonymity will be maintained in keeping with all current HIPAA standards.]

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