Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters

Sunshine and Light

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Day 25 and 26, merged.

Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget.

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(and hey, I skipped yesterday, too. This challenge hasn’t turned out like I thought it would, but while I’m not blogging, I’m actually living out a life I wasn’t sure I would have once I landed here…. sounds okay to me : )  )


probably 19 years old here...

probably 19 years old here…

I worked at a Great Harvest bakery in Albuquerque for about seven years. My manager, Ann, was and still IS one of the most inspiratinal people I’ve ever met. She handles herself so stunningly well in any situation. Angry customer? She keeps her cool. Run out of rolls in the middle of the Thanksgiving rush? No problem, what else can we do? Not doing the bake quickly enough? She encourages you to work faster and gives you a gentle push in the right direction.

I mean really, I hope to be like her when I grow up.

I worked there on and off the last few years, helping for holidays, filling in extra shifts, etc. I worked at GH during my most trying times in life. I would show up to work after having cried all night. There were days when customers would get under my skin, but I’d try to smile through it (hardly knowing if I actually was smiling at all). Somewhere along the way, Ann started calling me “sunshine and light,” even on days when I felt anything BUT.

I can still hear her voice saying, “Well, hello sunshine and light!” when I’d walk into work.

To tell you the truth, I think those words saved my life. 

I’m not exactly sure why she called me that. Going into work, especially when I was lucky enough to be there when she was, was always a joy. I liked talking to her. We even have the same favorite book, A Prayer for Owen Meany. I could tell her anything about my life. She always managed to give me the exact advice I needed. (Like talking about dating again and her asking me, “Well, is there a spark?” And sure enough… mulling her question over would lead me to my next decision.)

Like I said, there were days when no one at the bakery had a clue what my home life was turning into. I felt dark, I felt lost, I felt like a shadow. Then I’d hear her say those magic words again, and I would smile, reminding myself that there were people in my life who cared about me and remembered me for my best days, not my worst.

Me, Peggy, Jess T, ANN!, Rebecca

Me, Peggy, Jess T, ANN!, Rebecca

The words are simple enough. Sunshine and light.

Once I thought about it, I remembered a time when nothing could really get me down. (see picture above…rolls in hand!) I was pretty damn optimistic and lighthearted and outgoing. I felt secure. When that part of my identity was lost, getting such a greeting at work was what brought me back to a place where I knew… someday…. she’ll say it again and I’ll believe her. 

You never know what your words can do to people. It doesn’t have to be a silly nickname, it doesn’t have to be compliments, but remembering someone’s best moment and reminding them of it from time to time, well, that can save a life. I am a true example of it.

There are still days (like today….. ) when the sun never breaks through the clouds and I don’t feel warm. I am just like most plants, in that I do my best when it’s sunny. I often catch myself feeling the way the weather goes. I’m susceptible to sad thoughts on a windy and dark day. I practically laugh and smile all day when it’s warm and bright. So, to hear words like, “Hello there, sunshine and light,” on a day when the darkness is creeping in in more ways than one, is quite life changing.

Thanks, Ann. You’re a true friend. I hope I can do for someone what you once did for me (and continue to do!)


You should definitely, definitely listen to these songs.

Hold Me Down

Survivor Blues

Understand that Cory Branan is a sort of a strange artist. He growls and yells as he sings. He laughs sometimes. These are rough versions, but I’m currently obsessed with these two songs. I mean, I listen to them multiple times a day.

Note: Survivor Blues is a story, if you listen to it enough, you’ll catch on. Two lonely wanderers find each other in a bar, she trusts him because of his “true love” tattoo and they don’t necessarily wind up together, but they travel together for a while. They understand each other, which is what I love about the story.

“…you refuse to yield, you’re a useless sword and shield

I woke up in the garden, I woke up in the sun

I woke up like a bullet wakes up from a gun…” – Hold Me Down



Lou  (who’s also using this moment to bring you an important status update: my hair is officially long enough to collect in the shower.{and actually need to wash… ahem} took a while, so it’s kind of exciting)

Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

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