Be happy now; prepare for the future

I have so many wonderful things happen to me! I’ll give you some examples.

Recently I had Josie Christopher come to visit me. She brought me some of her ricotta cheese cookies. They are so good! Everybody wants them. At the same time John Yager was here to do a few things I needed done. He wanted Josie’s St. Joseph bread recipe. I had shared some of mine with him. As a result, when Josie is free she will let us know and she’ll come to my house, bringing everything we’ll need. Isn’t that great? We’re looking forward to that.

Wait a minute. Josie wasn’t through with me. She had noticed my doorbell wasn’t working. A few days later she came back with a doorbell, installed it and wouldn’t take any money! I tell you all this because she is a perfect example of how to be God’s worker – you see something that needs to be done and you do it! That’s the secret. Follow through. It will make you happy and the person you helped will be happy too.

Speaking about happiness, lately I’ve formed the habit of answering the question, “How are you?” with the answer, “Happy.” They look surprised and then I give them this answer: “If I say fine I’m a liar. Besides, you’re no doctor so what good will it do me to tell you my troubles?”

It’s one of those situations where I can’t control the physical, but I can control my state of mind and I stay happy. And it rubs off on people.

I’ll give you an example. I was in Aldi’s. The checkout clerk was going through the ritual of asking “How are you?” with an expressionless face. When I answered “Happy,” she broke out in a big smile and we had a nice conversation. Try it.

Then I had to have help because the girl who was taking the minutes of our meetings had to leave. I mentioned this in the column and I got a beautiful young lady from Forestville. She not only takes minutes, she can add a lot of input from Forestville.

Next I said I needed someone who was a computer expert, because I have no computer and often I need information and the computer is a wonderful source of information. A new member, Mary Jane Starks, accepted the position of co-president along with me.

Rosemary Mancuso of the garden club said now is a good time to plant flowers and clean up yards and trim the bushes. The group is going to come up with a contest concerning flowers. More will be announced at the next meeting.

Speaking of meetings, we changed the meeting date and time to the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Fredonia Village Hall. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 9. Mark your calendars!

Now I want to give you some encouragement about your funeral. I arranged for mine a long time ago. I’ve been around Fredonia all my life and I’ve gone to a lot of wakes (why do they call them wakes when you are not awake?). Anyway, from all those experiences, no one does a better job than Michael Fantauzzi. I have a confession to make. I used to think funerals were barbaric. I didn’t know what I was going to do about mine. But then we lost our son Rusty and nine years later I lost my husband, Russ. Let me tell you, they looked great and all the people who came to the wake and shared their memories of my loved ones were such a comfort to me! I changed my mind completely. I have Michael to thank for that.

I have another confession. I chose Michael to be in charge of my funeral not just because I liked him or because I wanted to give him my money. It was because of selfishness and vanity. I could just picture people going up to my casket and saying “She looks so young!” or “Doesn’t she look great?” Michael, you have a God-given talent. Keep up the good work.

As for checkbooks, we all make mistakes. After I wrote that I laughed, but I’m not going to confess. I’m glad he’s getting help from professional accountants with that. Valmy Enterprises has been in business for 27 years and is still at it, so he’s in good hands.

While I have the chance, I would like to urge you all to make arrangements to recycle your good organs. I hope I’ll have some left to donate!

Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to