Last night, I went to bed feeling sad. Everything has been happening so quickly and we are being bombarded with so much news and information. It’s overwhelming. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I did what I caution other people not to do in my blog posts about insomnia. I turned on my phone and started reading the news and then I moved over to Twitter and Facebook. An hour later, I said this is ridiculous Diane. You’re just getting more wound up and you’re not getting the rest you need more than ever right now. So I shut off my phone again and fell asleep with my cat Charlotte wrapped around my head.

I slept until 7:45, which astonished me, and as I sipped my cup of coffee — thank you, to my husband Barry — I turned my phone on again. And was greeted by this picture in my Facebook feed. Taken by my son-in-law Keegan on a recent trip to their neighborhood grocery store in Vermont.

It’s finally your time to shine, parsnip. You got this.

That picture and his caption made me laugh. It was just what I needed. One of his friends responded with a recipe for parsnip soup. Another said she loved parsnips. Obviously in a minority. And another added this comment: Cut to the end of the Twilight Zone episode where parsnips were the cure THE WHOLE TIME!!

A few hours later, a box of oranges was delivered to our front door. Barry’s sister Donna and her husband Russ had picked them from a tree in their backyard in Arizona. Oranges filled with vitamin C, a great boost for the immune system. Along with getting a good night’s sleep, eating right, getting regular exercise, and trying not to worry.

The back story about Russ and Donna is that they had planned to fly back to Maine today, but at the urging of their kids and us, too, they decided to stay put. It was a difficult decision to make because their kids and grandkids are here in Maine and there’s another grandchild about to be born. But now that it’s a done deal, look at what they did. Spent some time picking oranges and mailing some back home. Getting that gift filled me with love.


The first day of Spring is early this year. March 19. That’s just five days away! My daughter Katharine went for a walk in Portland today and spotted a clear sign that it’s on its way. I’m so grateful that she sent me a picture, knowing that it would lift my spirits.


I had a little epiphany because of these three pictures/stories. Like many people I have talked to recently, I feel caught between wanting to get as much accurate information about COVID-19 as I possibly can and wanting to tune everything out.

To laugh about parsnips, open a gift of oranges, and marvel at how beautiful those spring flowers are, made me think about how important it is to not only recognize the positives but to also share them. So I’ve decided to start writing a series of posts I’m calling Bright Side. I have no idea what I will come up with and maybe it won’t be every day, but I will certainly be on the lookout. If you want to help with the project by sending me a picture, a quote, a short story, whatever, that would be awesome.

OMG, the Monty Python song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is now playing on an endless loop inside my brain. It wasn’t even the inspiration for the title of the posts, but there it is!