What happens when your dreams come true? (you live happily ever after)

I’ve always loved that line from “Willy Wonka.” (The orignal movie with Gene Wilder, not the crazy one with Johnny Depp.)

Hiawatha Advocate Front Page

I wondered how I would feel, what it would be like at this moment.

We learn about dreams when we’re little, listening to the fairy-tales of maidens and princes and happily-ever-afters. As we grow, we find that life isn’t all that was promised to us and we begin the task of unraveling those illusions and putting them back in the order in which we see fit.

I did that.

Life wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be when I found myself a single mother of four. I learned about life through their eyes, putting my life on hold while I tried to mold the minds of my children and teach them values that I thought were important.

When the nest emptied, I found myself thinking about what I wanted to with the rest of my life.

I knew I wanted to do something different, something totally unexpected.

So I started a Bucket List. Some items I had on it included auditioning for a movie (“The Final Season” auditions were that year). Another was getting a tattoo (ouch) and going back to college and actually getting a degree. I also learned to ski how to play the piano. And I traveled. No place fancy, but I wanted to see  the country.

I didn’t really have a dream of owning a newspaper until I was half way through college. My real dream was to become a respected journalist and to be able to use my writing for good.

I’ve done that. I may not be the most accomplished writer, but I know that my heart is in everything I write. (Well, most everything).

And I love what I do. How lucky am I, to be able to do what I love? I probably have said it before, but I’m still amazed that my life turned out the way it did. It has been said that happiness is not a destination. but a form of traveling.

I heard a parable one time about a woman who happened to find favor in Buddha’s eyes. He granted one wish, that was all, and she needed to think wisely about that wish. She took her time, asked people what they thought she should wish for. They told her, “Gold! Wish for Gold!” They also told her to wish for a rich husband and other things that would make her life easier. But when it was time to make her wish, she didn’t know what to wish for. So she asked Buddha what she should wish for. “If I were you, I would wish for contentment, so that no matter what happened to you, you will always be happy.” And that’s what she did. And she lived happily ever after.

And so, that’s the attitude I take. Come what may…I am content.


  1. Nice looking front page (watch headline breaks and use some pull quotes in longer stories). Congrats, it’s finally here–hooray! And I like the high ideals of this post. But of course I will quibble. The Depp movie grows on you if you give it a chance, and it’s much closer to the slightly creepy tone of the original book. I like both movie versions, just think that the 2005 Depp version is often criticized because it’s wilder than the 1971 Wilder version–but Dahl was a wild writer … anyway, we can agree to disagree on taste and still agree that your post makes an important and valid point–happiness comes from within, not without. Hope the “Hiawatha Advocate” is wildly successful and that you continue to live happily ever after as a successful newspaper publisher.


    1. Words escape me right now, Joe. I’m touched by your sentiments 🙂 I immediately saw all the things I failed to do while editing, but it will give me something to improve on next issue….lol

      I think you’re right, though. The Depp version is more eccentric and probably closer to the the book than the mild “Wilder” version. Still, when you’re 8, your ideals tend to be more innocent, and happily-ever-afters seem easier to grasp.


  2. Cindy: Many congratulations on making your dream a reality! I wanted so much to join the party the other night, but this comment will have to do! It is so inspiring to hear about your path, the journey you’ve been on to create a dream and then make it a reality. Thanks for sharing your story – it is so important for others to know! Best wishes for the newspaper!


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