There is one simple thing we can do to make someone smile and that is to smile at them. I was over at the care center the other day visiting my mother. I am always impressed by the senior residents I meet in the hallways and common areas, and seeing how a genuine smile is a good gift to give. It always brings back another in return. I think it’s perhaps a lot to do with the wisdom of the elderly…why not make someone feel better, it makes yourself feel better and can create a brighter day to live.

Some years ago an older gentleman and his wife stopped by the shop to pick up a wooden toboggan. They were French speaking folks from QuebecCanada. I remember he was a Creative Arts Professor who taught at the University in Montreal. It was quite obvious that they were primarily French speakers and there English was quite familiar to me as I have numerous French Canadian relatives living throughout Canada.

This guy wanted a large Freight Toboggan to haul supplies across the St. Lawrence River ice to their home on an island in the St. Lawrence River north of Montreal. Apparently there are lengthy periods in the fall and spring when the barges aren’t operating and the ice is too thin for vehicles heavier than a snowmobile to travel on.

This was in early September and a gorgeous day. They had a small car and the toboggan was a little longer than the car was. We put some foam padding on top of the roof and tied the toboggan down on top of the car. I was a little concerned about this as they had well-over 1000 miles to travel to get home. It quickly became quite the little project helping secure their sled with them speaking in French and then in English and me enjoying the moment.

We got it tied down and secured and we were confident that they should be fine to make the trip. The good thing was they weren’t in a hurry as they were vacationing and enjoying the sights on their way back. If the weather got bad or high winds they could wait it out. I wished them good luck and asked if they would let me know how the trip went when they got home safe and sound with the toboggan. I certainly was smiling when I watched them drive away with that big toboggan on top of their car.

It may have been a month later when I got a card in the mail from the gentleman. He said that they had a wonderful trip back to Quebec and had no problems with the wooden toboggan. He then added: “if you ever want to treat yourself to many smiling faces, tie a toboggan on top of your car and drive across Canada!”…he made me smile again…


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