Driving Miss Norma: A Journey of Strength, Love and True Happiness

Driving Miss Norma: A Journey of Strength, Love and True Happiness

At 91 years old, Miss Norma decided to take her life into her own hands.
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Recently while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a picture of Miss Norma. Her warm smile and soft eyes caught my attention and drew me in to the story accompanying the photos. At first, I assumed the story to be that of a sad nature. Lately, most of what you see on social media carries a dismal or negative tone. However, this was quite the opposite. Driving Miss Norma is a journey with a story of love, compassion and true happiness.

Just a few days after losing her husband of 67 years, Northern Michigan resident Norma was dealt more devastating news. There was a mass found on her uterus that was very likely to be cancerous. At 90 years old, Miss Norma did what most of us never would have the courage to do. She decided to forgo treatment. Her son Tim and his wife Ramie fully supported Miss Norma’s decision. However, they could not bare the though of leaving Miss Norma to live by herself or in a nursing home. Tim and Ramie have ben full-time travelers since 2006, living RV’s all around North America. They would have dropped everything for Miss Norma if she had decided to go through with treatment or live at home. However, that just wasn’t Miss Norma’s style. She made the decision to join her son, daughter-in-law, and their dog Ringo on the road for the trip of a lifetime.

Since leaving Michigan in the summer of 2015, Miss Norma has been all over the country. At first, the family planned their itinerary around things they wanted to do. Once their story broke, they received offers from people all over the country of places to stay and activities to do. They could not pass these up. Among many other adventures, she visited Disney World for the first time, had her first pedicure, road in a hot air balloon and even visited my hometown to eat her first whole lobster. They have celebrated holidays and birthdays on the road, never once taking a single second for granted. Miss Norma has touched the lives of every single person she has met on her journey. Her courage and kindness leaves a trail wherever she goes.

So what can we learn from Miss Norma? Besides the fact that you can’t help but fall in love with her, I believe this story received so much attention because of Miss Norma’s courage and determination to live a life full of love and happiness amidst tragedy. The loss of her husband was completely heartbreaking and the news of her diagnosis was another devastating blow to her heart. Most people would have called it quits on the spot, knowing that catastrophic news like that is extremely difficult to process and deal with. However, Miss Norma took her life into her own hands. She refuses to succumb to the tragedies in ways that would inhibit the rest of her life. While it is by no means easy, Miss Norma made the decision to live out the rest of her life on her own terms. She lives every day with a grateful heart and an open mind, something we constantly forget to do in today’s world. As a society, we become so engrossed in material items and worry about things that hardly matter in the grand scheme of life. Miss Norma inspires us to challenge this. Her story encourages us to realize what really matters in life and to appreciate the people we have while they are still here. She causes us to reevaluate where we are in life and challenges us to find true happiness. Her story is inspiring and her courage is unimaginable. She shows us how to take life into our own hands. Thank you for teaching others the value in every smile, every day.

Follow Miss Norma's Journey :https://www.facebook.com/DrivingMissNorma/?pnref=s...

Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/DrivingMissNorma/photos/pb.898793136878957.-2207520000.1464282888./1026444414113828/?type=3&theater

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.

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Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill

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South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos

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I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja

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I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs

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They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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