HUMOR BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
I wonder if Santa Claus ever noticed the ads for Burma-Shave? For thirty-eight years this product was advertised on six small wooden signs in a row. Each was planted on a post in a field along a highway.
While browsing my shelves this week, I found The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave signs and jingles with all 600 of the roadside rhymes. It's a small book written by Frank Rowsome, Jr. (1965). Flipping through it brought back happy memories.
On family vacations all five of us enjoyed reading the unique jingles as our car whizzed by. The last sign always said Burma-Shave. For those who never saw these, here are two examples:
THE BOY WHO GETS/HIS GIRL'S APPLAUSE/MUST ACT/NOT LOOK/LIKE SANTA CLAUS/BURMA-SHAVE
HE SAW/THE TRAIN/AND TRIED TO DUCK IT/KICKED FIRST THE GAS/AND THEN THE BUCKET/BURMA-SHAVE
Life is a Challenging Journey
Perhaps this book caught my eye because my husband is in need of a shave. While he was recuperating from colon surgery in the hospital, his whiskers never gave up. I kidded him about looking like Santa Claus, but he said, "I'm too thin." I said, "OK, then, Santa's brother. But why don't you keep the mustache and chin beard for a while?" He had struggled hard just to shave his cheeks.
Dealing with recovery from any trauma or long-term illness is difficult. When someone is unable to care for themselves, the challenge is not theirs alone. It's also a challenge for the caregiver.
Dismissal from the hospital last week included a referral for home health care. We are grateful. But the bottom line is that my husband and I are left to deal with challenges on our own, twenty-four/seven. Anyone who's been there can understand how daily living routines tend to become overwhelming. That's why we look for good medicine every day.
Good Medicine Helps
I'm talking about the kind mentioned in Proverbs 17:22 (NIV): A cheerful heart is good medicine. I'm also aware of the contrast in that verse: A crushed spirit dries up the bones. I don't want that, but sometimes I realize it feels like I'm there. That's when good medicine is needed.
A cheerful heart is a happy heart . . . a joyful heart . . . a rejoicing heart. None of these come automatically, and what helps one day may not help the next. One good medicine is happy memories. That's why the Burma-Shave book was timely. It reminded me of family fun times on vacations in the western states.
Recovery from any illness or surgery seems to make days long and nights longer. Sleep is helpful, but who wants to sleep night and day? Nutrition is important, but you can't eat your troubles away, so . . . what else? Good medicine!
I find it in happy memories of favorite trips or vacations, people we have known, and churches we have worked in. I find more good medicine in my Bible, books, magazines, favorite DVDs and DVRs.
A Common Challenge
We each have a different life's journey. What we have in common is the challenge to look for humor by the side of the road.