Posted by: Debra LaValley | May 15, 2011

May 15, 2011

Joseph with his sisters Danielle and Melissa

Yesterday, we had a wonderful family cookout celebrating my nephew’s (Joseph) Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He has been living in Oklahoma for about 6 years and graduated from Oklahoma State. We also enjoyed the company of cousin Kathy from Virginia and her friend Vicki who drove up with her. It was an old fashion cookout with plenty of food and conversation. We were lucky the rain held off – the black flies were not so polite. A great time was had by all – and the happy graduate was basking in the love of his family. Congratulations, Joseph on a job well done!

When, I arrived home, I had a voicemail from an elderly gentleman who left his name and phone number and asked if I was the Debbie La Valley whose photos are in The Insider. I returned his call and had a nice conversation with this gentleman who told me that he saw my photo of the turtle and how he loves turtles too. He went on to tell me about a time he helped a snapping turtle out of the road that turned around and tried to get him. We chatted a little bit about how we liked turtles. He added that he was 88 years old but still active and lived in the “Firehouse Block” but that he didn’t like it much there because it was filled with “old people.” I chuckled. He said he called to “lift my spirits” by telling me he liked my turtle photo in the paper. We wished each other a nice day. After the call – I had a big smile on my face. I hope that me returning his call – also put a smile on his face.

Painted Turtle Basking on a Log

Remember it is the little things in life that are important – like helping a turtle out of the road, talking to someone on the phone and wishing him/her a great day, holding the door open for someone and smiling, or spending time with friends and family! The best things in life really are Free! Have a great day everyone!


  1. I once tried to help a snapping turtle get out of the road. It hissed at me, so I left it and figured it could take care of itself.

  2. Hi Deb,

    Thank you for sharing your blog. I love to read what you post and enjoy the beautiful pictures. I hope to see you sometime.

  3. Congrats to Joseph on earning his Master’s Degree. He should be very proud of himself. So glad you all got to spend the day together with an old fashioned cookout. That was such a nice thing you did to return that call and it was sweet that he called to let you know how much he liked your turtle pic. You are right that a small kindness can bring smiles to everyone involved. We forget how even just a smile can make a difference to someone else. Have a great Sunday, Deb!

  4. Thank you for letting me see my son, Debra!!
    This is a great picture of you Joe!
    and “the sisters” have certainly grown up! You all look GREAT!
    here – here to Structural Engineering Masters! and Civil Engineering Bachelors!! It was a long road, worth taking!
    I am so proud of you!
    love, Mom

  5. Another great blog, Debbie. I really enjoyed reading about your nephew’s success in receiving his Master’s degree and now he is on his way to Saudi Arabia. I wish him a lot of success. Also, I absolutely loved your conversation with the gentleman about the turtle. That is so heartwarming…

    • Thanks, Sue! I am glad that you enjoy the blog! Have a great day!

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