La Joie de la Vie

Carol A. Hand

Funny what people will do
When they care deeply about others.
I finally gave my car a name
Even though it’s nine year’s old
Inspired by the song my granddaughter sang
As we washed it together yesterday
In the intermittent rain.


Photo: Ava in front of the Sunshine Café – July 24, 2015

After Mickey Mouse pancakes
With a chocolate chip smile
At the Sunshine Café
Where we stopped for a while.
An assortment of people
Caught my attention as we
Drew pictures and ate our lunch
Some because of their silent kindness
Others because of their need to be seen.


Photo: Sunshine Café – July 24, 2015

When we left the Café to go home
It was 90 degrees in the blazing sun
But in the few minutes to took us to arrive
The clouds had come and I wondered aloud,
What can we do that’s fun in the rain?
Do you think we should wash the car?
Oh yes, oh yes!,” you said.
So I grabbed a bucket and two new sponges,
Yours orange and mine purple.

Does your car have a name?
I thought quickly of one of your favorite toys – Pink Pony!
And I remembered an Ojibwe friend from long ago
Who teased me about riding to the rescue in my White Pony
When I drove another white car
Through the forests, past lakes and farmlands
To tribal communities and the State Capital
In our work on tribal social justice issues.

So my car was given its predecessor’s name – White Pony.
But this White Pony mostly stays in the driveway now
Even though it once climbed mountain passes
As it brought me, in a round-about way, to my new home.


Photo: Ava hard at work – July 24, 2015

Dear Ava, although I didn’t tell you how the car got this name
I listened to the song you sang.
Oh poor White Pony, I know you’re very sad
Because the other ponies tease you about being so dirty
But you are loved – that’s why we’re washing you.
Now the bullies will leave you alone.”
I didn’t ask where this song came from – but now
I know I need to continue to watch and listen
Even more carefully to make sure you’re safe.

Although I appreciate the memories of days long ago
I’m much more grateful for the chance to be here with you
To hear your songs, dear Ava, and to watch you grow.
I hope you always remember that you are loved, too.


Photo: Ava – ready for the rain – July 24, 2015

In the end, it’s not the things we have that matter.
It’s the time we have together – working, singing, laughing, loving
And enjoying life – whether it’s hot and sunny or even in the intermittent rain …

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

16 thoughts on “La Joie de la Vie

  1. Hi Carol! I am playing catch-up..what a great post to read as I surf and visit some blogger friends:-) You are so right about time with others…my grandson is coming over tomorrow-I may wash the car with him! I love the last picture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so good to hear from you, Robbie. I hope you have a wonderful time with your grandson! (And I do think Ava had a great deal of fun playing with the water, soap bubbles, and working hard 🙂 ). My next treat is a visit your blog to see what I’ve missed …


  2. Absolutely beautiful, Carol. Your love for your granddaughter is so strong, so touching, and, oh, how I can connect with it, that feeling of full life when you’re together with your child’s child. Thank you for sharing this joyful poetry and picture post!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: