I always look up. There is a great big Ferris wheel in Atlanta which I’ve always wanted to ride. I don’t notice the long line of people waiting to ride it. I look up and imagine what a fabulous view there must be from the top of that wheel. Wow!

Because I look up, I see the red tail hawk soaring overhead and the Canada geese flying in formation at sunset. I observe rainbows on rainy afternoons. I spot the magnolia blossoms at the top of those magnificent magnolia trees at Berry. I notice the full moon, the stars and the shooting stars at night. There is much that we miss when we fail to look up.

The weather forecast for Saturday, May 4, was awful. The East Rome High School Band Alumni were scheduled to take the Roman Holiday cruise at noon. I looked up and saw the lightning, and the boat captain and I made a mutual decision to cancel the cruise.

There is something very special about returning to Rome to visit with friends from high school. East Rome High School’s classes of 1971-1977 had a picnic Saturday afternoon at Heritage Park from 3 to 7 p.m.

The weather looks up for the high school reunion

People started arriving for the picnic about 3 p.m. Most live in Rome but many others in attendance drove from Atlanta. A friend texted me about 3:15 p.m.

“Hey! We’re on our way. We’re in Acworth and it’s pouring down rain. What is it doing there?”

I texted back, “It is a little cloudy, but not raining!”

Several people earlier last week were exceedingly concerned about the weather. They saw the weather forecasts for hail and wanted to find another place for the picnic, but I wanted to keep with our plans for the Heritage Park pavilion. I promoted the picnic as a rain or shine event. I remained optimistic that the bad weather would hold off until after the picnic. We looked up and saw clouds, with the sun breaking through. Everybody was pleasantly surprised that the weather cooperated with our plans for the picnic. Sixty people attended the picnic and each of the seven classes from 1971 to 1977 were represented. The rain came at 7 p.m. by which time the picnic was over. We had so much fun.

Looking up is being optimistic

A favorite saying of mine, author unknown, is: “Twixt the doughnut and the hole, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut. The pessimist sees the hole.” What a fun way to ponder optimism. A saying like that encourages us to be optimistic.

Mama said, “Look up!”

Sunday is Mother’s Day. I miss Mama. She passed away in 2012. She had a sweet, gentle spirit and always knew exactly what to say. Ever the optimist, she always had an encouraging word for us, and for her second grade students, as well. During a difficult time, Mama would often say, “This too shall pass.” At other times she’d say, “Look up! Things will get better.” I looked up. Things always got better. The difficult times passed away. Mama was right.

Although I frequently think about her, she will be uniquely on my mind on Mother’s Day. I will continue her example of looking up. I will continue living my life with plenty of optimism. I will even be optimistic about the weather, in spite of a gloomy forecast, on the day of a class reunion picnic.

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.