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Some People Have a Knack

By Marie Lemond

Ever notice how some people have a knack for cheering you up? Sometimes it is someone you know. A lot of times it is someone you have never met. You don't know what they look like, where they live, how old they are.

But they do something, not big, some little thing that touches you, unexpectedly. This happened to me today. I'm sitting here, feeling low — which is not normal for me. I am usually cheery. Except there's smoke from fires in the air, there's COVID-19 on the loose, there is a lot of sad news east, west, north and south.

Then just when I thought my spirits couldn't go any lower, I got a pick-me-up! It came in the form of a pep talk, printed on a tiny piece of paper — wrapped around a cough drop.

Here's how it happened: As I sat reading a book, I noticed my throat was as crispy as a kitty kibble.

“Wildfire smoke must have got me,” I thought, “That's what I get for taking out the garbage without a mask.”

So, I grabbed a cough drop. After I popped the drop in my mouth, I sat there a moment, fingering the wrapper and rolling the drop around in my mouth. “My throat feels better already. What brand of drops are these?” I checked the wrapper. Along with the brand name, I saw perky phrases printed all over the wrapper!

“Seize the day,” “Hi-five yourself,” “Get back in the game,” "Take charge and mean it,” “Bet on yourself” — it was like having my own private pep rally.

I grabbed a few more drops from the bag. Similar sayings appeared on every wrapper. I sat there smiling, big and wide. “The wrapper designer for these drops just made my day!”

It just goes to show you how one, little, thoughtful act — like printing perky sayings on cough drop wrappers — can lift a person’s spirit.

Imagine you are sick in bed with a cold, or the flu, or something worse. You unwrap a cough drop. As you go to toss the wrapper on the nightstand, you stop. The wrapper has a message on it. "Flex your can-do muscle," it reads. An anonymous somebody, across time and distance, is trying to cheer you up. Hopefully, you feel better. Hopefully, you smile.

I did.

Thanks wrapper designer, I needed that.

— Marie Lemond

Marie Lemond is an essayist living in Washington State. Her work has also appeared in Country Magazine, Women and Golf Magazine, and Inside Golf. Visit Marie at

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