Fortune Cookie Wisdom

I haven't been feeling particularly brilliant the past few days, and I struggled (with no success) to come up with a cool topic for my next blog post.  Rather than do something uninspired, I decided to just wait.

Turns out, it was worth it.

I craved Egg Rolls all day yesterday.  But you see, there is no good place to get Chinese food in my town.  There are a couple of the buffet/fast food type Chinese joints, one of which is actually not bad, but for really good Egg Rolls and the kind of Chinese food that makes me want to dig a hole to China myself, we have nothing like that.

But today at lunch, I could stand it no longer.  If hole-in-the-wall Chinese was my only choice, I'd take it.  So we hauled the family over to the nearest Chinese buffet.  I was, of course, disappointed.  It was nowhere near what I really wanted, and didn't come close to satisfying the craving I'd been having for Egg Rolls.  In fact, the Egg Rolls looked so tough and aged, I didn't even try one.  

But the fortune cookies were another story.  

As always, when the waitress brought the cookies to our table, my kids grabbed first, then my husband I took what was left.  Before we left, I picked up all the papers from inside the cookies, just to take a look.  Surprisingly, each "fortune" resonated with me.  None of those vague, senseless phrases that make you feel cheated and ticked that you even went to the trouble to crack open the cookie.  Each fortune had some sort of meaning that I could apply to my life.

Nothing earth-shattering, like the Power Ball numbers or insider info. on the stock exchange, but small pieces of wisdom that give us perspective and remind us of things that are important.

I thought you might like to share my "fortune" today.  

"Affirm it, visualize it, believe it, and it will actualize itself."

"A smile is your passport into the hearts of others."

"Affection is the broadest base of a good life."

"Absence sharpens love.  Presence strengthens it."

"A new venture will be successful."

Whether it's writing, family, or just life in general, I hope perhaps the little fortunes I happened across today will resonate with you.


  1. I've found some like that myself in fortune cookies...my favorite I taped to the front top corner of my computer screen as a reminder-

    "You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book."

    LOL! Of course, I already knew that (had finished a few mss already) but it was a nice affirmation of what I already knew!

  2. I love fortune cookies, and in the past year, I've gotten 4 telling me 'You have a charming way with words and should write a book'. All from different restaurants, even 1 from a different state. They're taped behind my desk right now. We've had too many correct fortunes for me to ignore these ones, so I continue to write. Now if only they would tell me what agent, or publisher....

  3. Hi Ms Durham,
    I happened to stumbled upon your site when I was researching some material on my blogger site. I found your observations of life somewhat intriguing and your comments on writing interesting. I too have taken pen to paper many times through the years but even though the words flowed freely and a kind of euphoria surged through my soul I could never quite capture the emotions that I felt within. But there is another reason that I wanted to contact you. I got the impression from your site that family values are cherished and very important to you. I’m not certain whether you’re the Durham family that I have been searching for. I’m trying to locate relatives of the Shafmaster family. The mother’s maiden name was Marcia G. Gass; she was the daughter of Mena Gass who was originally from the Gass family of Orano, Maine. There were seven sisters in the family who were the daughters of Barney and Rebecca Gass of Orano, Maine. There was a Mena, Helen, Rachel, Sarah, Lillian, Ester and Anna Gass. Anna “Gass” Bloom had a daughter named Joyce. In September of 1961 Joyce was with child and sent to Florida and stayed with Mena Gass and the baby was put up for adoption at birth in the spring of 1962 in Miami, Florida. The child was unwanted by the Blume Family. The child is my daughter and I wanted her. I’ve been searching for my child since her birth with very little results. The main obstacle of the whole tragedy was that Joyce was from a Jewish family and I was not. I had left high school and enlisted in the Navy to prove capable for supporting my daughter but unfortunately the child was born before I finished boot camp and was put up for adoption without my consent. So as a parent you must have some idea of the unrelenting sorrow that has haunted me all my life by the loss of my daughter. I’m very familiar with the world of adoption. I was raised by a foster mother who passed away when I was eight years old and was returned to my birth mother. So I understood the moment my daughter took her first steps and climbed up on someone else’s knee and called them dad she would be lost to me forever. I had hoped that I could have located her and at least lived in the shadows of her world, but that was never realized. Something dies within you when you lose your child and the world becomes a cold and dreary place. There are a lot of sleepless nights and midnight walks with eyes that burn with the sting of tears. You read the newspaper and watch the television and your mind runs rampant with thoughts of what some people are capable of doing and you’re not there to protect her and keep her safe from any harm. You don’t know who has her and how she’s really being treated and you’re completely helpless and shackled to every unimaginable thought that your mind can conjure up. Those fortunate people who have never had to experience this nightmare may sympathize but it’s a sorrow that strangles the soul and the mind is quite incapable of imagining the depth that this sorrow will take a person to. You live with the thought that perhaps tomorrow you will locate her, but eventually all your tomorrows have come and gone and old age taps you on the shoulder and you know your sunsets are fast running out. The graveyard lingers somewhere in the horizon and you will carry this sorrow with you when this final day comes to an end. I have no intentions of disturbing anyone’s life. I’ve lost so many memories that should have been mine but they belong to the man she called Father. Whether we like it or not we all get caught up in the cobwebs of lady fate and she always has the final say. It’s too late for me; my heart has been scarred too deep with sorrow and I am no longer that naive young man who once greeted life with a smile. All I wish for now is to look upon her face once unbeknown to her or at the very least a picture of her before I go to my grave. Joyce married into her faith to a Paul F. Carley and they now reside in Florida at The Villages. They had two children; a boy named Jason and a girl named Emily who are adults now and have their own families. Even after all these years religion still seems to be the obstacle that has built a wall that forever keeps my eyes blinded to my daughter. As for me, I’m just an average man who has been married for 43 years to a wonderful woman. I’ve worked as a supervisor in a power plant for 35 years and retired. I’ve never been a drinker or had anything to do with drugs or done anything that I’m ashamed of except lose my daughter. I’ve just lately tried to contact anyone that is remotely connected to the Gass family with the hope that perhaps I will find someone who might know or have information on my daughter’s whereabouts and be compassionate enough to help me. If you’re not one of the distant relatives of the Gass family or you choose not to divulge any information pertaining to my daughter I apologize for any inconvenience that I may have caused you. I can be reached at Blancra@aol.com.
    Thank you for your time,
    Roger Blanchard

  4. Wow. I was all prepared to post something about my occasional cravings for crab rangoon, but now I think I'll skip it. I hope that poor man finds his daughter.

  5. I LOVE Crab Rangoon! It's another on of my favorite Chinese goodies!! And yes, I too hope that gentleman finds his daughter. Unfortunately, I'm no help, as my husband's family (the Durhams) have been in Eastern KY for a long time. Mostly in Bell Co. (Middlesboro and Arjay), but more recently in Corbin and London. Maybe he will find someone who can help him!

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss Mr. Blanchard. I hope with all my heart you find your daughter.
    Have you tried posting your story to a My space page. You might find someone who's open to helping you.
    Amy as always a delightful read. You really have a way with words while blogging. It may be your nitch. I can see a series like Irma Brombecks in your future.
    Teresa R.