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Favorite Testimonials 1995-2013

Before reviews or social networking (link here) were popular, we relied on old fashioned testimonials to spread the good word about Birkenstock or to hear your inspirational stories. Here are some of our favorites from 1995-2013.
It was a particularly slow day in the operating room...

Remembering that I had read about autoclaving Birkies, I decided to sterilize mine.

I had the circulating nurse autoclave them without the insoles at 270 degrees (F) for 10 minutes (this is the time and temperature necessary to kill germs on non-metallic items).

When we opened the autoclave, instead of finding a pair of nice clean Birkies, we found two distorted, very pliable (they were still hot) Birkies. I shaped them by stuffing some towels in them while they cooled.

I had learned a valuable lesson.

The positive side is that I made for a good for a laugh every time I came to work for several weeks, and now many months later still hear about my misadventure.

Robert D. Hildebrand
Tulsa, Oklahoma

My beautiful 22 year old daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer this summer.  After major surgery to remove a large tumor and an ovary, she underwent three rounds of very intense chemo.  All the while she was going through this ordeal, she never once complained, not even after all her gorgeous hair fell out nor after her favorite aunt (and namesake) lost her own battle with cancer in middle of all this.  She kept her head down and muscled through it, working hard to stay positive and help her body fight the cancer.  A mere six weeks and two days after her last day of chemo, she boarded an airplane and flew to Egypt to work on an archaeological dig! She worked for a full month and only missed 2 days of work due to a stubborn cold.  At times she had to climb 70 feet out of the tomb just so she could catch her breath after working in the dense air, but then she’d go right back down and keep on working.  She is an inspiration to all of us on overcoming a very scary disease and moving forward in life.  I couldn’t be more proud.

- Gail

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."
I love this African proverb because I tend to get caught up in what I haven't done/started and then I feel like my goal is unobtainable. I use it to remind myself that it doesn't matter what has already happened, only what I decide to do about it.

- Meghan

I was at the Humane Society the other day and watched a senior dog being adopted. What a great thing to see. I felt good for the rest of the day.

- Robert

As a Chicago Cubs fan I'm always looking for ways to stay positive when things aren't going as well as I wished. Since the 2010 season isn't here yet I'm feeling good about our chances in 2010.

- Mike (Go Cubs!)

Smile every day.  Laugh with your whole being.  Take joy in the rituals of life that create memories for generations.  Explore your ability to share with those around you so that you all may experience life in a more positive frame of mind.  Embrace and cherish those close to you for they are the most precious gifts you are given.

- Laura

For many years my positive thinking has taken me down many joyous paths. In an attempt to spread that feeling my goal in interacting with others at home, in the community or even on the computer is to “Spread the Joy”.  It goes a long way for many people, always brings a smile to faces and fills my heart with so much love and joy that lifts me up each and every day!

- Robin

My favorite positive saying has been passed down from my grandmother, June. As kids we would always complain about how hard we had it (which wasn't true), or how we thought we were being misunderstood or not being treated fairly. She would just look at us, smile, and say in a kind tone of voice, "This too shall pass!". Rarely did she provide input other than that because it pretty much ended there.

Now that I am a senior citizen with grown children of my own, I can't tell you how many times I pass those words on to my own kids. There's nothing negative about it... in the grand scheme of things...THIS TOO SHALL PASS always seems to sum up any situation and help us to think positively!

- Cheryl

I always think about and miss my mother who passed away just last Mothers day.  She had the most giving heart of anyone I ever knew.  She always told me that if you didn't have any money or food to give those in need you could always give a smile and when you get one back, you will become a rich person.

- Rita

I have been wearing Birks for about 36 years. One of my first pairs was a white clog, as I am a nurse.  The only time I have ever had a problem with them was the time I ran out of them, racing to a "code" in the ER.  The professional pair I have now has a back strap, so that worry is gone!
I introduced my mother and my husband to Birks, inheriting my Mom's pair on her passing.  My husband wears his Milanos year-round. That's some feat, living in Maine!  He resigns himself to L.L. Bean boots in heavy snow, but changes into Birks once he reaches the office.
If I have to wear another shoe, I immediately change into Birks upon my return home.  Thank goodness for Birks!

- Donna

People won't remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. - Carl Buechner

- Leo

The mighty oak was once just a little nut. - Author Unknown

- Betty

I am a genealogist and this is my motto: I hear ethereal whispers persuasive, soft and still, “Daughter, if you don't remember us, who will?” - Author Unknown

- Linda

Consolation Prizes for Reaching the Banana Peel Generation. First of all, there’s one thing for sure, you might as well relax and forego any worry or stress. You can’t get out of here alive. That being said, there are a few pleasant surprises ahead (Doris sent a great list of 12 reflections, we will show our favorite - BX):
#10 Shopping may be faster: folks either rush to help you or get the hell out of your way. Maybe you have to be on the shady side of 75 before this is funny, but it keeps me laughing

- Doris

The Earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

- Laurie

"Travel light and you can sing in the robber's face," I have seen this attributed to  Roman poet Juvenal. The fewer resentments, grudges and disappointments you take on, the fewer  expectations, the easier life is. No one can take anything from you.  In other words, go with the flow and trust that what you need will be there.

- Patti

My feet have never been so great. Birkenstocks are super and I would go nowhere without them.

- Evelyn

Take time to move from the Thanksgiving table where grace is said, to the manger where grace is born for all of us. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the life we have been given in the gift so long ago.

- Gail

Start everyday as a new beginning; end each day at a finished point...no regrets, the day is over and cannot be redone...accept it and start tomorrow fresh!

- Linda

A friend of mine just posted a facebook status that I thought was absolutely beautiful and quite a positive thought of a situation that could turn out the best of us into nervous nellies: I've noticed the rain is no longer running off the tree limbs.. it is now freezing in little droplets under the branches. The Swarovski crystals of nature.... -Kristina Jones

- Martha

Birkenstocks are a lifesaver for me. I have horrible arthritis in both ankles, and my Birks allow me to function. Thank you!

- Claudia

In each of us there is a little of all of us. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

- Reiko

I would like to share my advice on living each and every day to their fullest. Back in 1981 my husband, four kids (ages 6,6,8,and 9), were enjoying family time in the quad area of military housing with other military families. My husband was playing with the kids in the pool, the kids got out and I went in. My husband got out, then came back in with a little dive, and then it happened...our world turned upside down. My husband broke his neck without hitting bottom. Doctor said it was one of those freak accidents. From that second life changed as we knew it. The kids and I spent the next full year visiting my husband, their daddy, in the hospital. My husband still to this day has a hard time dealing with his quadriplegic status. Hard on all of us to deal with. From that emotional day on June 15,1981, till present has been tough on all of us, but we always tried to see the brighter side...there is always someone worse off than us. Enjoy and make the best out of everyday in your life. Life is too short...you too can have your world turned upside in a split second. Positive thinking and looking to the brighter side in most situations will bring more to your lives. I am still taking care of my husband, my four children are grown with kids of their own, and we all take one day at a time.

- Darlene

Life is not the way it is suppose to be, it is the way it is. The way we cope with it,  is what makes the difference.   The economy has hit my family hard,  we keep our chins up and keep moving forward.  Even if it is difficult. We are treasuring the simple things life has to offer, that doesn't have a dollar value. Like, honesty, values, dilegence and love.  Let us celebrate these wonderful things and attitude will soon follow.

- Melissa

The Story of Johnny the Bagger (as told by Barbara Glanz). The story was a tad long for this space, but you can find it on the internet. Nice story. - BX)

- Rachel

Don't give them the benefit of doubt, give them the benefit of your love. - Ronald Bryant

- Gayle

After all... tomorrow is another day - Scarlett O'Hara (from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

- Kate

Life can give you seemingly insurmountable challenges.  Be kind to your feet as they work to carry you in a positive direction.

- Christine

Good is the enemy of Great!  I heard this in a David Foster interview (he's a famous composer, producer, etc).  The more I thought about his quote - he heard it from Quincy Jones, I realized he is absolutely right.  With aspirations of "great" work, positive attitude is fostered among the doer and the recipient.  Don't settle for good.....being positive also requires that we do not settle...it's a conscious effort and well worth the time and energy!

- Roberta

Whatever the problem, remember....Even the worst day ends at midnight!

- Christina

"The best place to be is in the middle of too little and too much". I read this somewhere and I don't remember where. It has become a great motto for me and helped me through many days. I have worn Birkenstocks for years and years. I have scoliosis and they are the only shoes on earth that give me the support that I must have. I also have very high arches that require lots of support. I've had back surgery and have rods in my back so I appreciate every day of walking upright and being strong. Thank you very much.

- Elizabeth

Every since I was a little girl my Dad and I have had a tradition about the full Moon. We take turns calling each other when ever there is a full moon and say look at the moon I love you! So when things are stressful just call someone and say I love you to remind them how special they really are to you!!! A simple story but each phone call is full of memories.

- Kimberly

I foster and rehome rescued Springer Spaniels.  Two of my "failed fosters" (ones I couldn't bear to give up) have become exceptional pet therapy dogs.  Twice weekly we visit a local convalescent hospital and bring Springer love and joy to the residents.  We've brought smiles to unsmiling faces and received words from ones who haven't spoken since being admitted.  On Saturday afternoons, we visit our local library where children come to practice their reading by reading stories to the dogs.  The dogs offer no criticism for mistakes made, give lots of love and encouragement when needed and bring lots of smiles to small faces.  We've watched several children grow from showing pictures to the dogs to yelling across the library "I can read!"as we walk in.  I can't think of anything more positive than bringing such joy and love to all the new friends we make.

- Cindy

Life is like a good book. You never know what's on the next page, but no matter what it is it's always a new adventure and you will have learned something by the time you turn the next page.

- Evelyn

Friendship is unnecessary like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value, rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. - C.S. Lewis

- Barb

Skip everywhere. It's impossible to be upset or mad while skipping.

- Ellery

Hi, I'll share a story with you on how I became the massage therapist that I now am. My then 3 year old daughter came into the kitchen and asked me to scratch her back And I replied, I am busy, tell me where it itches and I will scratch it. She said, oh no Mommy, you try everywhere and you'll find the right spot. So when someone comes to me with pains in the neck and back, I always try everywhere. And I do find the right spot.

One leaf the wind did blow my way
As tears welled in my eyes.
And time just stood there taunting me
As all the years rolled by.
I wished it could come back to me
I called please be my friend.
But once the leaf is off the tree
its time is at an end.

- Catherine

I am having foot surgery in 10 days and I can't wait! Even though I know how painful it is going to be (I had a previous bunion surgery in 1994) I am SO looking forward to having a pain free foot and getting back to walking my dog! And I'll have beautiful feet in my sandals with a straight big toe (minus that big ugly joint) to match the straight big toe on my right foot. And my shoes will both fit! Whoo Hoo! I'm so pumped about this, can you tell?

- Linda

Are you happy?  If you are, “tell your face”!!!  Show your inner spirit with a grin, crinkly eyes, a smile that hangs on your ears.  You will infect the world in no time!

- Suzie

Success: Don't be afraid to jump right in and make it happen. Besides, God's way too busy to create a failure just for you!

- Coleen

"In giving to others, you give back to yourself. You give, because it matters. It's never too late to help the world. And it's never too late to change it." My positive thinking comes from knowing that what I do as a teacher can make an impact in people's lives- When my job gets challenging from parents, students, or administration, I use this quote of mine to remember that I am doing meaningful work in the world. No negative thinking can survive when I remember that I am empowered with remembering the value of being a teacher.

- Jennifer

Have a great day...I know I will I woke up this morning!

- Dustin


- Sharyl

When we are blessed with health and our family, even though we lose jobs, you have the most important gift a human being can receive, the gift of life. I was born and adopted in Heidelberg, Germany and raised by an American family. After 44 years I found my siblings in Heidelberg and we still call and visit each other. I am very thankful for life and take nothing for granted. Thank you.

- Ellen

A Sister's Love is Forever I fondly remember the words of my husband's dear Aunt, as we sat together on the sunporch at the tree farm to chat.   She loved writing poetry of her experiences through the years, and of her loving brother, which brought a few tears.   She simply wrote "A Poem for Ralph" explaining his love for his Christmas Tree farm; proving "A Sister's Love is Forever," and this is what it said:   "The trees this year are especially strong,
and some display an iron will...
Just like the man who planted them
some years ago... on the hill.

  For he has instilled his abiding love
as he touched each branch with a caring hand,
and willingly sent them on their way
to give happiness throughout the land.

  And this is why we sing the words
"Oh, Christmas Tree - Oh, Christmas Tree,
Spread your branches far and wide,
Your love will forever be!"
  It was signed, "Love, Your Sister, Mildred." Mildred recently passed away at the age of 99.  She was a wonderful, positive woman who is dearly missed at Christmas Tree Hill in Pennsylvania.   Submitted by her nephew's wife, Diana Beisel.

- Diana

At Thanksgiving I was working at a soup kitchen with our Christian
Community. There was a man that went to a table after he got his food.
He was praying before he started eating. Just to start a conversation
I said to him, "I noticed you were praying before you started eating."
He told me that he was "thanking God for all the good food that He has
provided on this table." This man has nothing and he is thanking God
for the little he has. It made me humble, it made me think, how great
God is to give me this man to remind me what I need to be thankful for
in this world.

- Mary

It's a story...Over 30 years ago my family took a vacation to Toronto and we stayed at the then new Sheraton Centre.  I have returned in the years since, and in the past years...since being there on 9/11 alone, having flown...with my canine daughter Malie.  Since she comes with me, we drive and try to go at least once a year.  We feel like the hotel is our home, and some of the staff who have worked there for many years seem like family.  This past summer Malie got sick after the car was loaded and we had our birkies on and were ready to go (well, mine were on anyhow).  So we postponed....then cancelled....and re-scheduled.  Then my 92 year old father had a medication reaction and I was concerned about leaving--or leaving and having to make the 5 hour trek back home.  I think there were at least 3 times the reservation needed to be changed and revised.   I was in tears since I'd had a very good rate for my budget.   I was tired and really needed a vacation and was so disappointed each time.  Through it all, Michael, who works in Corporate Reservations, had been such a comfort as he reassured me not worry and would re-set things.   I kept my suitcase packed and in the trunk all summer until Malie and I finally made it there, the end of September.

Once back home, I linked onto a page of the Toronto Star newspaper where you could describe acts of a kindness.  And then life went on.  Weeks passed, when one day I opened my e-mail  and had a message from Michael which began "ROBIN ROBIN ROBIN!!!  WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?"  UH OH!  ...what HAD I done???  I didn't know!  Well, it seems the Toronto Star had, without contacting either of us prior, published a much edited version of the story...When Michael arrived at work he was unaware of it until co-workers informed him and he checked his in-box to find notes from many people.   His wife's coworkers saw it...the whole hotel was buzzing about it, it was emailed to everyone who had e-mail, and all of management in the hotel, in the country, and to corporate headquarters.  Michael said I wouldn't believe the effect it had on everyone's spirits.  And all I did was tell the truth!  And, it warmed my heart to know how it had brightened everyone elses day.

- Robin

To help elevate my spirit, almost every night, weather permitting, I step out onto my front porch. Gazing at the moon and/or stars, my heart and soul are lifted by saying, "Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name." You know my needs, you know my heart.  Thank you Lord, thank you.

- Mary

Everyone knows that you don't know what you've got until you lose it, but if you think about it, you don't know what you are missing until you find it! Life lesson of the day. Enjoy each day & Smile, because smiles are contagious! A Thanks means more than most people give a thought to. But it always makes the heart feel appreciated!

- Kim

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. - Pro.3;5-6

- Barbara

My daughter told me happy people sparkly eyes. She says mine always sparkle when she hugs me.  I try to hug three people a day to make their eyes sparkle too!

- Ashley

While working at the candy counter of a department store this summer, a woman with a walker came up to counter. She was perspiring heavily and wiping her brow. She said, "The thing I hate most about this cancer is that it makes me sweat so much." She went on to tell me that someone had given her a gift card, and she had come into the store to buy some fragrance because she was beginning another round of chemotherapy the following week. "I want to smell good, not like chemicals this time."

She asked if the dark chocolate raspberry candies were any good, so I gave her one to try. A look of rapture came over her face as she ate the candy. She bought eight pieces with the remainder of the gift card. As I handed her the candy bag, she said, "I'm going home to put on my new fragrance, open a bottle of champagne, and eat my chocolates!" This woman is my new hero.

- Mary

Here is my motto, and it has been getting me through the hardest time in my life so far – a difficult separation from my husband of 17 years, and being a single mom to our 3 boys. But I know, without a doubt, that all things work out as they should, we must have trust and faith that it is so!

Believe in and expect what you want in life with a positive attitude & obstacles will crumble in your path, clearing the way for you to receive. - Me

- Wendey

We had a baby recently and watching her grows is the most rewarding thing. Children make the world so beautiful. In them we see pureness.

- Sheau

My ex-wife and ex-mother-in-law passed away both a little more than 2 years. My daughter was very involved with the both of them during the time they were very ill. It was so very hard on her and she is still having such a hard time dealing with this on a daily basis along with raising a 15 year old daughter. I have a key to her house.....I went out and bought her a Christmas tree while she and my granddaughter were at work and school. I put it up, decorated it and had one gift for each under the tree. It was a very sentinmental moment when they arrived home.....one I will always cherish.

- Melvin

To the nights that turned into Morning, And the Friends that turned into Family. - Author Unknown

- Rossi

My wife's Uncle Fonzi, he called himself the orginal "Fonzi," had spent
three years of his life caring for his sick wife, who became more and
more ill with Alzheimer's, returning to infancy level. But she was a
adult, and began fighting him his efforts to help her dress. He threw
out his back and their doctor ordered his wife into a nursing home. For
a year, he was there everyday visiting her. She mercifully died. Men
are at premiums in Florida senior communities. Fonzi started going with
a widow about his age, and they'd go out dancing a couple of nights a
week. They had a great time together. Fonzi took good care of himself
walking a couple of miles every day. Then he contracted cancer. About a
month before his 90th birthday, he knew he was dying. He was
dissappointed to miss 90. But, always cheerful, despite his obligations
and illness, and having his new life cut short, he told us all that he
was thankful for what he's had. He'd had a long run and thanked God for
that. He grace, gratitude and optimism were an inspiration to all of us.

- Bob

...Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato

- Windy

"True Friendship" comes from a warm and loving Heart!

- Vernon

In 1979. Erma Bombeck wrote the poignant and very wise column below. It was and is a gentle reminder of a very special lady and her unique views of life. It represents well the joy of life as she dreamed it should be.

- Steven

I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing. - Flannery O'Connor

- Donna

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:13

- Angela

If we fall, we don't need self-recrimination or blame or anger - we need a reawakening of our intention and a willingness to re-commit, to be whole-hearted once again. - Sharon Salzber

- Jim

Life is 10% what you make  of it and 90% how you take it. This is a quote that I keep hanging on my refrigerator to remind myself daily of what life has to offer. I do not know where it came from originally.

- Susanne

Keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole. - Author Unknown

- Sandy

Through breast cancer, chemo and radiation, my only thought was that no matter how bad it got, I was still here.  I would say to myself you're still breathing, eating, talking and getting around which is more than a lot of other people can do. So, THINK POSITIVE!!! Every morning that you open your eyes is another opportunity to live, love and appreciate that fact that you can!

- Clairealine

I believe it was from a Diane Keaton movie, but I always think about the line "marriage is all about having someone that witnessed your life" whenever I am frustrated by something my husband does. Because it is true, if it weren't for him there by my side, to witness all the days of our last 25 yrs together, who would I turn to?

- Pam

Life is simple, its just not easy. - Author Unknown

- Brian

I once was a glass half empty kind of lady, now I am a half full one.  I remind myself and grown child these things, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.   In this world, when I feel depressed, I often pray for someone I know or a stranger, anyone on television or in the news and that lifts my spirits to a positive. I try to look for the good in everyone, no matter what the outside says, giving them the benefit of doubt.  I believe my environment needs to be cared for as it sustains all mankind, from the birds to the mountains,  giving us enjoyable surroundings which is good by being green where I can and helping nature prosper, all in a positive way.  Leave something at the store for the next person, smile at someone who you don’t see anything in common, help a stranger open a door, the list goes on and on.  There is too much negative in this world, so you realize positive influences help make life worthwhile as this journey in the world truly is a quick one.

- Jon

We can curse the darkness or light a candle. - Chinese proverb

- Susan

Hold onto the present, think about the past. Look into the future the future and have faith that it will last. - Author Unknown

- Cathey


- Julie

Some people have a difficult time handling constructive criticism. As an entrepreneur, I've always welcomed honest feedback and disagreement from anyone on my team. In fact, another one of my favorite quotes is: 'In business, if two people always agree . . . one of them is unnecessary.'"

You can't keep a person out of the Rain but You can hold an Umbrella and let them know you care.

You can not keep a Birkenstock Shoe or product out of Your Life, it just wouldn't be the same.

I know you only asked for one, but these are my three favorite sayings and I have had Birkenstocks Shoes since 1973.

- Joyce

Giving to others, feeds your soul.

- Holly

Do do something today even if its wrong, at least you tried.  Quote from a great man  My Dad!

- Virginia

Always look up and be thankful.

- Mary

My grandmother always said, “Out there somewhere in the world, there is a lid for every pot”. When people lament they will never meet their soul mate and/or get married I think of this.

- Annie

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

- Cynthia

I have over 20 pair of Birki’s.  Most of which I have purchased from you.  Nothing makes me happier than flopping my feet in a pair of Birkenstocks on a warm day and heading to the beach.  Here is my favorite positive quote.

The good you do today will often be forgotten……..do good anyway. - Mother Theresa

- Georgia

Hell is living in your mind and judging everyone and everything. Heaven is being in your Heart, and simply loving everyone and everything!

- Suzanna

This is the time we’ve been waiting for and until now, only dreamed about.  Filling us up with its presence.  Becoming this energy.  The vibration that we feel and the one that we crave.  The beautiful, amazing and graceful energy of the higher realms.
This new grounding, places us in a very new position.  Our one true power.  Anchoring our Spirit to the Earth.  We are the rightful caretakers of this world.  This is not an arrogant posture, but one of stewardship.  We deeply love the Earth and all her inhabitants.  Focus and visualization are paramount.  Our dreams and desires come together to create a heightened awareness of reality.  A new re-birth.  It is connecting us.  Speaking to us. 
We are guided and supported in many ways.  It is a gift from our Earth Angels.  They walk amongst us.  We know them as our mentors.  They share with us their infinite wisdom.  Let the magical message in.  Receive it.  Except it.  Believe it.  Embrace it. Namaste

- Lori

A Zen Story...A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk.” Monk”, he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience,” teach me about heaven and hell!”

The monk looked up at this mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,” Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dirty. You smell. Your blade is rusty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”

The samurai was furious. He shook, got all red in the face, and was speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword and raised it above him, preparing to slay the monk.

“That’s hell,” said the monk softly.

The samurai was overwhelmed. The compassion and surrender of this little man who had offered his life to give this teaching to show him hell! He slowly put down his sword, filled with gratitude, and suddenly peaceful.

“And that’s heaven,” said the monk softly.

- Julianna

A man is about as happy as he makes his mind up to be. - Abraham Lincoln

- Cathey


- Mason

Vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit.(Bidden or not bidden God is present.)-Carl Jung (on plaque over his front entrance

- Linda

You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?' - George Bernard Shaw

- Janine


This is a story of spontaneous kindness. My friend was in court, and while she was there, she heard that a young mother who had four small children was charged with "driving without insurance". The young woman was very distressed, claiming she could not afford to pay the insurance. The judge fined her $1000.

My friend waited outside the court room until the young mother came out. She was crying and said she did not know what she could do. My friend then reached into her purse and gave the woman $1000. Now my friend is not a rich person, but she worked hard all her life and paid into a retirement fund. Since she retired, she is better off than ever before. She reared four children herself, and I suspect that she remembered how hard it could be.

The young woman asked for my friend's address so she could send her the money back. My friend said that she did not want the money back. All she wanted was a promise that the young woman would put away enough money each month to pay her car insurance when it came due.

When she told me the story, she asked that I not tell anyone else about it. I asked what her spouse thought about her giving away $1000. She replied that she hadn't quite figured out how to tell him yet.

This was a very special "Random Act of Kindness," and if I am lucky enough to win the $150 gift certificate, I will give it to my friend. She deserves something for her extraordinary behavior.

- Faye

Inside of each person is a genius with the ability to change life. The opportunity of this lifetime is to seek until you find it. - Barbara Bernard Miller

- Barbara

In these troubled times, with the jobless rate soaring, I had a wonderful encounter I'd like to share.

In November of 2008 the Drug & Alcohol Treatment Facility at which I worked was closed due to lack of funding.  With that closing I lost my job, and at 64 yrs. of age, have been unable to find employment. My husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and things just seemed bleak. Yesterday, when I was feeling particularly "blue" I passed a young man in the grocery store.  We smiled at one another as we passed each other by.  I thought the young man looked familiar, and decided he most likely was a friend of one of my nieces or nephews.  A few minutes later he approached me and said, "Excuse me Ma'am. You are Barbara from Wellspring. (Indeed I was. I was the Registrar there..the first person the patients encountered.) I just wanted to know that because of your kindness, because you were so gentle and warm, because you welcomed me with a hug and a smile, and because you treated me as if I were your son, you touched my heart and opened my mind so that I would accept treatment. So because of you, and because of the wonderful nurses, I was able to turn my life around. You gave me faith in myself, and let me know I was worth it.  I came through the facility in 2005.  I have not used for going on 5 years.  I couldn't miss the opportunity to thank you for what you have done.  Please know that I will always remember you!"

We parted after giving each other a big hug and a "God bless you."  The tears streamed down my face as I left the store. I smiled the rest of the day knowing that no matter how bleak things may seem, it is easy to give of yourself and make a huge difference in another person's life.  Somewhere down the road, it will come back to bless you when you need it most!

- Barbara

I choose to be happy every morning, it is a choice. I like Linda's, 'Start every day as a new beginning; end each day at a finished point........No regrets, the day is over and cannot be redone......accept it and start tomorrow fresh.

- Annis

It’s so hard when I have to and so easy when I want to, attitudes are contagious, are yours worth catching?

- Shelia

I have a very small plague. - Author unknown

- Darlene

Whenever I feel down or stressed about something, my "mantra" is......this too shall pass. I have taken a tip from the alcoholic's prayer and try not to worry about the things I cannot change as life is shorter than we realize and we should live it to it's fullest joys.

- Mary

Several years ago I was experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil and my husband's suicide.  I had moved to a fairly large city from a rural environment, and didn't know anyone there - no support system at all.  It seemed to me a good chance to start fresh and change my life experience.  The first year was pretty good, my daughters were in a good school, I had a nice place to live, and a decent job.  Then things began to go down hill.  All I could think of was "If I can just get back to Greenbrier County everything will be all right". That became my mantra as I began to make plans to get me closer to what I felt was my real home.  Lo and behold, my best friend called me out of the blue - I hadn't heard from her in months - and said "start packing - we'll be there on Friday with a truck and lots of helping hands".  But that's not the end of the story.

I kept up with my positive thinking - I'm back, everything will be ok, even though I had no house (was staying with my friend), no job and two adolescent daughters, largely because my Father was such a fan of Norman Vincent Peale's book The Power of Positive Thinking. It became required reading whenever I was down in the dumps.  This same friend who had rescued me with the moving had insisted I meet her friend, Tom.  At that time, I had no inclination what so ever to have anything to do with a man - ever again.  Long story short, we felt like we had known each other for years, both of us had the same philosophy of life - POSITIVE THINKING - we were interesnted in many of the same things and most of all, my daughters fell in love with him too.  We have now been married for 28 years - happily - and although we disagree sometimes, we have never had a serious argument or fight about anything.  My girls had a father figure that they respected because he made their mother sooooooo hsppy, and all our lives turned for the better.   Everytime things start to go wrong, I pull out the book, read a few chapters (it's getting pretty well worn by now, I've had it for almost 50 years.  But the theory still works for me.

- Marti

I love this quote from Winnie the Pooh and have it on the mirror in my kid's bathroom to remind them every day when they get up and go to bed: "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin said it well.

- Melissa

This is a haiku that I wrote:

To abide in grace
In gratitude for this life
Bowing silently

- Tracey

My favorite quote which speaks true to my heart is this one excerpted from Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

I am a mother of 5 daughters. My last pregnancy was beautiful twin girls! My family and I made the decision, after researching birth options, to welcome our two little ones into a loving, safe home environment. With the help of our family, a team of skilled midwives and this quote to help us remain positive and strong, I birthed my girls at home. For us, having the option for a multiple home birth and the love and courage to pursue it, has made all the difference.

- Olivia

We battle the elements...health and age..and life.. but we should never, battle who we are. - V.Y.

- Verna

Your feet connect you to the world…keep them happy. - Author Unknown

- Philip

I work in a cancer center.  When I see all the little kids with a huge smile on their face and no hair at all, I realize that all the things I complain about are very insignificant. I look around me and realize I have so much to be thankful for.  It brings tears to my eyes and a joyful thudding in my chest to know that our children and grandchildren are pretty healthy and happy. This is the greatest gift of the holiday season.

Also, when my feet hurt, I hurt all over and without my birkenstocks, I would be very unhappy.  When I put my birkenstocks on my feet smile and I can be a happy, uplifting person sharing my thankfulness.

- Janice

Listen to the mustn'ts child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts
The impossibles, the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen child
Anything can be

- Hart

This very moment is the perfect teacher and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are. - Pema Chödrön, “When Things Fall Apart”

“What can I learn from this?”

The Universe has been expanding for 14-1/2 Billion years.  I guess that’s the true nature of Nature and ours too, because we are undeniably part of Nature and the natural order of the Universe. Change is constant, whether we call it evolution, cosmic creativity, the life force, or evolution towards something greater.  As we unfold from a moment of balance to a moment of pleasure or sadness, to satisfaction of regret, to contentment, to joy… we pass through moments of change that we experience as upset, crisis, stress or unpleasantness as we cling to what’s familiar.

In the Universe these ‘moments’ might look like the collapse into a black star or a cataclysmic explosion.  In Nature and in Life, chaos is where creativity happens. I like to remember that in my life each of these passages is my opportunity to learn what I need for my next phase, to grow into another of my infinite possibilities, to evolve into more of who I can be.

We’re all like one of the brothers who were told to muck-out the barn.  One resisted and dawdled on starting the unpleasant chore. The other set to it with fury.  Ask why, he said, “With this much s**t, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

So, what can you learn when someone with road rage drives through your experience?

- John

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION INCLUDING MODERATION. I don't know where I originally heard this but love it and love to share it.

- Lois

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go. - Dr. Seuss

- Sonjia

Strive to find what it is that you love to do. Make a checklist of things you can do to earn a living doing what you love.  Earnestly devote one hour each day working on the items on your checklist. Each day you will be one step closer to personal freedom. Dream and visualize what your life will look like when its become a reality.  I heard someone say somewhere along the line ...." If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life!"

- Rachael

Think positive and positively clean.

- Priscilla

The path we walk today is worn smooth by the feet that trod before us.  We may not always know the outcome of the steps we take in life, but we must never falter, for we can be sure that we are making the way easier for those who follow.

- Ruth

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. - Anthony D'Angelo

- Brianne

All great experience has a guarded entrance and a windowless façade. – Robert Grudin

- Ruth

Hi I guess my inspiration to think positive is the music of the band I've loved for 40 years-the Grateful Dead(Bobby Weir wears Birks CONSTANTLY,by the way!) The whole vibe of the Deadheads (which I have been one for 40 years) is kindness, love and tolerance of all types of --everything! I do have a dierct quote too, which is good to live by. Jerry Garcia, when he heard of someone or something happened to him personally that was because of a nasty person, he never got angry, took revenge, got "payback"-none of that stuff. He said "Karma will come around and get them" -which in my lifetime, I have always found to be true! Joyous Yule,Happy Hannukah, Kozmic kwanzaa to everyone at Birkenstock Express!

- Janelle

Someone always will have it worse than you.  That shouldn't make you happy, though.  Reach out and help them.  Stop thinking about yourself and you will be happier.  Live is a gift, even when you are miserable.  Laugh about it and things will get better tomorrow. Really.

- Judy

In response to “I can’t”, remind them, “Can’t” never did nothing.

- Kathy

The Man Who Thinks He Can By Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.

- Edwin

The greatest thing about a dog is that you not only can make a fool of yourself, but he will make a fool of himself too.- Samuel Butler

- Linda

I am a Animal Control Officer, I have been for almost 24 years now. I have seen things that a person just should not see. What keeps me coming back to work every day? Her name is Gearless.
A few years ago I went to work for an agency in the North San Diego County area. I had not been employed there very long when I received a call for a welfare check on a dog that had wounds on her face. She had belonged to woman that had passes away and her son had been caring for her. When I arrived at the location, Gearless was being kept in the garage that had access to the back yard. When I walked in to the garage the smell was over whelming. The owner called for her to come. In walked in an approx 8 year old Chow Chow, Golden Retriever mix, she was wagging her tail and was very  happy to see me. When she looked up at me I was sickened. She was Covered in Foxtails and had Open wounds into her sinuses that were running with puss. I told the owner he had 24 hours to get her to a vet or her would be going to jail.
Later that same day the vet called and let me know that they were doing surgery on Gearless as we spoke. They told me that they had so far pulled over 100 Foxtails out of her face. She was released to the owner and had a recheck in 10 days.
I had been keeping track of the days  and was going to  check up on Gearless, when I received a call from her vet. They said that Gearless had not been back in and they were worried that her owner would not be back.
I immediately went to Gearless home.  When her owner opened the door he was not to happy to see me. He did not want to allow me access to Gearless. He finely did and I was not happy with what I saw. She had ripped out the stitches and her face was infected again. She was once again covered in Foxtails. Her owner had stated that he felt it was cruel to keep the E collar on her. I explained that it would have kept her from scratching her face, and she would not have broke the stitches open, he just shrugged. I took Gearless in to protective custody, the owner then signed her over to the Department.
Over the next almost 2 years Gearless underwent approx 14 surgeries to remove foxtails from her face as well as a couple more to remove them from her body. She was a much loved member of the Staff for all that time. She would be let out of her kennel and she would run  down the halls to the front offices to where I was, she would give the best good morning kisses ever! She also knew how to work the rest of the staff, one pitiful look and she was being fed treats.
 Even when we had to evacuated the shelter in the Fires of 2003, she was very much a part of the staff. She loved wandering from person to person getting snacks, as we manned the temporary shelter day and night. As much as we wanted her to be kept here at the Shelter as our pet,  we knew that it was selfish of us. Gearless deserved to have a forever home.
As much as it broke our hearts to see her go,  our tears of sadness were mixed with happy ones, because Gearless was being adopted.  She is now living in the lap of luxury being spoiled rotten by a wonderful couple,  she even has her very own pet cats. We still see her once in a while and she still greets us like she was never gone, with wonderful kisses and wags of joy. So every morning, when I again ask myself why I keep doing what I do, I think of Gearless and what might have happened to her had I not been there to save her.
If I can reunite a lost animal with their owner, keep an animal from suffering, or give the first, last  and sometimes the only touch of kindness to an animal then it is worth it.
Gearless is my inspiration, I thank God everyday for bringing her into my life.

- Tracy

I'd like to share a quote that has helped me many times. Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. - Ambrose Redmoon

- Julia

Inspirations - Author Unknown

Take time to work;
It is the price of success.
Take time to think;
It is the source of power.
Take time to play;
It is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read;
It is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly;
It is the road to happiness.
Take time to love and be loved;
It is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to share;
Life is too short to be selfish.
Take time to laugh;
For laughter is the music of the soul.

- Donna

As a young child I went to Disneyland with my family and my grandmother. She wanted to buy me a t-shirt as a souvenir but I just didn't really wear them. So after much looking and thought I was the proud owner of a Disneyland Hat and a Winnie The Pooh pin to wear on the hat. Later in the week of her visit we went to Universal Studios. While out in front of a ride going through the line under the shade of the tree a bird decided to treat me as a statue and pooped on my brand new hat. I was so upset and as kids do, tears streaming down my face. Of course my brother was laughing and laughing, then my mother declared with all her wisdom "At least it was on the hat not on your hair!!" She then took a napkin and cleaned my hat like mothers do to make it all better. As you can see there are many ways to look at one situation, through tears, laughter, practical wisdom and now just fond memories...

- Didn't leave name

Be kinder than necessary
Everyone you meet is fighting
Some kind of battle.

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.......and leave the rest to God!

- Didn't leave name

I love this quote. "Nothing has been taught until something has been learned". - Derek Prince Ministries

- Didn't leave name

All you need is love. - John Lennon/Paul McCartney
I love this quote. There are so many good ones but I think if you get right down to it, Love is all you need. Thank you and have fun looking at all the quotes!

- Jennifer

Do something "fun" each day!

- Barbara

History proves that people don't read history. Author Unknown

- John

I have always believed that one should have a positive mental attitude in all things - that is, a positive mental attitude. For example, one could get depressed about the global economic recession. I prefer to think positively, like IF WE UTILIZE SPACE RESOURCES, WE CAN WIPE OUT THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL DEFICIT. For example, there are enough minerals and energy on the Moon to wipe out poverty on Earth.

- Phil

Each day know that if you don't change direction you will get to where you are going.

- Sidney

The person who stops advertising to save money is like the person who stops the clock to save time. - Thomas Jefferson

- Shirley

One year ago today, 2 Dec 2009 my husband of 35 years told me he was tired of being married...I opened my arms and let him go.  He filed for divorce and it was final in August.  In case you are wondering, he was the love of my life and the person with which I planned to grow.  I harbor no ill will and only wish him good and happy wishes.  My philosophy is "I don't have to like the hand I have been dealt, but I WILL enjoy playing the cards I have."  Life is good and even the hard places happen for a reason...look for the silver lining, it is there.  Sometimes you just have to look hard to find it.

- Sheila

In the grand scheme of life the one most thing positive thing is Love!

- Didn't leave name

To fill a hole you must dig another.

- Dylinn

I'm 52 years old. I just earned a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering. You're never to old to follow your dreams.

- Bob

Be grateful for what you have in front of you, not what's behind you... Life is sweet!! Think postive thoughts and life will be even sweeter!!! Let go and let God.

- Celena

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It it the source of all true art and science. - Albert Einstein

- Barbara


- Dick

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. - Forest E. Witcraft

- James

When I am feeling down or negative I read this & think of all that Helen Keller had to overcome & it gives me strength to go forward. She was amazing & so was her Nurse/Nanny.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. - Helen Keller

- Sue Anne & Pam

Spread smiles. - Author Unknown

- Anne

My Chance

Today, I had the chance to
Make a difference without a dance
Even though I stopped to make sure

Black shirted dogs were running
In our yards, then I realized they
Must belong to our neighbors

Grabbing two leashes off the door
I ran to see which direction they took
And calling “doggie, doggie, come”

Cause I didn’t know their names
And not aware of playing their games
But help came to me like a magnet

The Sparklet’s water driver and another
Neighbor corralled them from the
Busiest street and rushing cars

And finally two leases attached to their collars
Back home for these terriers who ran for water
And collapsed on their own pool decking

That was my chance to make a difference

- Jo

Destined to be an old woman with no regrets. - Author Unknown

- Ronni

This morning it was foggy and drizzly and dark and dank. I loved it. The weather made me think of vacations as a kid. Going to the coast and walking the beach in the same type of weather.( Northern California coastline is not palm trees and warm beaches.) Anyway, Although I was at work physically, I was mentally at the beach. Listening to the waves rolling in. Hearing the seagulls cry above. And feeling the mist on my face.

It was wonderful.

- Valerie

Even though it is 15 degrees outside here, in Hawaii there are waves crashing on sandy beaches where it's 75 degrees and sunny with a few light rains...and rainbows. (Taylor also sent the lyrics to the Allman Brothers song, Ain't Wastin' Time No More)

- Taylor

I'm looking for a gift that would say...No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted. Wouldn't it be nice if more people acknowledged the little things because that would definately lead to bigger things too.

- Patricia

Redwood trees are a thing of great beauty! I grew my first one from a "Burl."  It is now, after 30 years, taller than our 2 story 103 year old house! My 2nd tree, we got a seedling in California, when my Father-in-law died. It is also taller than our 2 story house after 20 years! My 3rd Redwood tree planted itself next to the 1st tree. I have 3 trees that I planted in pots on the deck and after 2 years, planted them in the ground next to the deck.  They are a family and almost as tall as our 2 story house. I then started "bonsai" redwood trees, which are surviving after 5 years!  They plant themselves all over the yard and I have a "Redwood Nursery."  I have 3 in pots that will go in the ground maybe next Fall.  I got a wonderful surprise last year, when my husband took his practice "golf net" down there was a Beautiful 5 ft. Redwood that planted and grew all by itself!  I love these Great Giants!  They lift my spirit and are a place of meditation for me!

- Didn't leave name

I lost my mother to mental illness when I was 10 (1961) she was in a Psychiatric hospital for 30 years. Then on to a nursing home, where she finally got better but could not care for herself. I visited her regularly, but always felt so deprived of her. So many hours a week visiting in the psych ward were very taxing on a young teenager. I always felt her life was so wasted. Until, her funeral. She had hundreds of people come to pay respects to her. So many people told me that she was their mom while in Trenton Psych. One Vietnam Vet that I remember while visiting, told me she saved his life when he got back – that she would hold him and just let him cry when he wanted to end it all. I never knew – no one’s life is ever wasted – no matter how we perceive it to be. We are all needed and fulfill life in our own special way.

Mom I love you and miss you every day.

- Lynn

The thing that's totally different between children and adults is that children have the ability to spontaneously use their imagination to forget what's bothering them and be inspired by every pony, feather, or bug that crosses their path.  Oh yeah, you’re like that! – Mike Dooley

- Deanna

There is only one thing worse that getting out of bed in the morning, going to work, and putting in 8 hours.  That would be getting up in the morning, having no job to go to and spending 8 hours looking for work.  Be grateful that you have a job, millions of people don’t. Learn to appreciate what you have.

- Sharon

I have walked down the path of life for more years than I would like to remember. I have taken many turns; I haven fallen into many pits; I have climbed many hills. Yet, with each negative turn, fall, and climb, I have always told my family and myself, "This is not the end, this is only a resting point in my life. Our situation will improve, we will come out on top." It has only been because I keep telling myself this and, as a result of this positive thinking, I have been able to persevere.  I am now on the path of upward steps to fulfilling these positive thoughts; I have been called for numerous interviews of which I am sure one will materialize into the position for which I strive to attain.

- Philip

Stuck in the Mud

  You know those moody moments we go through from time to time and not know exactly why? Well this about one of those moments. I‘ll tell you a story that taught me a meaningful lesson of life.
As I remember it, was eleven o’clock at night and I decided to take a drive to get away from it all. I wanted to go somewhere far away from city lights, in fact I didn’t want to see any lights at all. So I headed toward the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s about twenty-five miles east of Modesto, California. I left Modesto with tears in my eyes, looking for a secluded place where all I would see were the outline of the earth and the starry sky above.
I headed out a little traveled road, crossed the main highway which lead to Oakdale, and continued toward the foothills. As I drove the signs of civilization grew small behind me, except for a few light far off that still shown bright. I came to a sharp right turn in the road, and as I slowed to make the turn, I noticed a gate to the left which looked inviting. I turned left and went though the gate.
At last I thought, I had found the place I wanted to stop and just be. Driving had settled my emotions some and I wanted to stop awhile and just absorb the quiet of the surroundings in this field. Inside the gate and to my right, I noticed a dark area that looked like a paved road, so I turned and drove on to it. To my shock instead of payment, it was mud and all four wheels were six inches deep in it. I turned left to take the shortest way to dry land. Well, I felt relieved when I got out of the mud with no problem. Then a new problem was revealed. I was in a field of huge dirt clods. I knew it would be a mistake to drive over them and noticed that the flattest area skirted the edge of the mud. So I cautiously began to maneuver around it.
I was making good progress until the driver side rear tire got stuck in the mud. Now I was emotional again. I had found my secluded spot. There were no lights anywhere to be seen and the road I had taken was used by few people, especially at midnight. I looked in my car for anything to help get me out of the mud. A floor mat and a carpet square was quickly eaten by the mud. I was stuck and couldn’t get out. Feeling sorry for myself, tears flowed.
After sitting there for awhile, I got out of the car to look for anything that would help me get out. I noticed two pieces of farm equipment close by the gate. I walked over to check them out. One was a tractor, the other a sprayer. I understood now where the mud had came from and neither offered me a way out. Looking around, all I could see was a barbwire fence with metal posts except for one. It was a huge wooden post and on this post was a board 2x6x18, held on with one nail which barely held the board to the post. I took hold of this board with one hand and popped it loose with the other. This was going to work.
I walked back to my car and placed the board under my stuck tire, started the motor and drove out of the mud. As I drove back to Modesto, I knew that Life gives solutions to my problems. Crying about them didn’t solve them, but looking around with belief the answer is there did.
This has been one of the most powerful lessons in my life. Today, whenever I find myself in a frustrating situation, I believe the solution is close at hand and it always is.

- Janet

I make a conscious effort daily to look at my "special" child and see all the good things he contains and see past all the obstacles we have to face to bring them out.

- Karen


- Sharyl

Trees provide shelter, shady, beauty, fruit, and so much more! We need trees!

- Linda

One of the most uplifting quotes that I have ever heard came from a Dolly Parton movie that I saw many years ago and it has always stuck with me ever since. "IF YOU SEE SOMEONE WITHOUT A SMILE, GIVE THEM YOURS." It really works!

- Peggy

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to learn to live in the same box. - Author unknown

- Jan

Do not allow yourself become upset by people or things. They are powerless, your reaction is their ONLY POWER.

- Irma

A positive phrase I came up with for Birkenstock is "Soles for the Sole"

- Cindy

We make a living by what we get, We make a life by what we give. - Sir Winston Churchill

- Irma

Even with all of our "imperfections, we are all perfect exactly as we are right now.  We are all unique individuals, with a unique purpose here.  What we might consider an imperfection, may be what makes us the perfect person to fulfill this purpose.

- Linda

My inspiration is my stepdaughter. At the time she was 17 and going through a lot of teenage problems (weight, boyfriend, and life in general). She liked to talk on her phone. One night she texted me feeling bad so we had a long talk. By the end of the night she was feeling better about herself. My one quote to her was "Just Believe" and everything would be alright. She said I made her cry because that was so true and from that day on she still thinks of that night and she can do anything she sets her mind to do. Now she is 18 and in college and doing very well.

- Marcia

Think of each day as a precious gift to be enjoyed and shared with others.

- Lonna

I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. I am a registered nurse, but am unable to work any more. I miss it so much but I was blessed to hear about a site called the American Pain Foundation. For the last 3 years have been volunteering as a nurse consultant, where I host 2 chat sessions and 2 discussion boards. I came across the following quote after going through a very difficult time in my life. I did some searching and found the name of the original author.

Vivian Greene

Every time I read that quote, I picture myself spinning round and round while the rain pours down upon my smiling face! I feel that my opportunities with the American Pain Foundation is one of my ways of dancing in the rain!

- Susan

Live simply, Live mindfully because doing so opens your eyes to the great potential of your being without the clutter and distraction of too much stuff and too little time.

- Monica

Words from my then 3yr old. "Think of what you CAN do, not what you can't" will always be in my heart!

- Frank

The only thing we have control of is our attitude. A positive attitude is going to get you through everything that Life dishes out. A positive attitude paints rainbows in the sky instead of a negative attitude that paints rain clouds. The only constant in the universe is change. So, CHANGE your ATTITUDE to POSITIVE! And be ready for all of Life's surprises and miracles !!

- Debra

The way to truly feel positive is to chat with a complete stranger.  Seriously! Growing up, wherever we went, my mom seemed to always be chatting with someone – it was so boooring for us kids. Once I asked her who it was and she said something like “I have no idea!” I couldn’t believe it.  She says hi and asks a questions or comments on something and away they go. And, as a result, she’s made friends all over the world – just by reaching out with a word and a smile.  And it shows such a beautiful openness of spirit. This year, on her 80th birthday, I thanked her for that lesson! And, without really realizing it, I am becoming my mother.  I was in Vermont last year and started chatting with someone in an antique store, come to find out she has a nephew in my daughter’s class in Connecticut! Then, the other day, my daughter asked me after we left a store who I was talking with and I answered “I don’t know!” So be positive, expect the best from people and reach out to bring a friendly smile to their day.

- Maria

With the recent financial difficulties affecting so many of us, my family was trying to find some way to spread joy and hope this holiday season without having to spend any money. My 13 year old daughter Aili came up with a wonderful and simple plan. We have made and distributed boxes of "hugs and hope" to our local nursing home. We collected old jewelry boxes (and any other boxes that can be opened in a similar fashion) and wrapped them in colorful paper and inserted a personalized message of hope and hugs that residents who often don't have family can open and be reminded that someone cared enough to give them a hug !! They were received with many real hugs and tears when my children and I personally delivered them. Simple, yet so positive. I think we received just as much joy from them as the residents did.

- Belinda

People leave their places of employment everyday. Most never know the impact of what they left behind. My manager just recently took an early retirement package. I know she had a difficult decision in deciding to leave. Although I was very sad to see her go, I realized something amazing she received in the days leading up to her last day.

Generally, people do not usually like their managers very much. She was loved by so many people. I took the opportunity to write how I felt and place it in a special card. Someone on our team wrote a poem expressing how we felt about her. The poem was placed in a beautiful card. My manager was given the gift of words to keep with her always. If she did not leave, then she would not know how much she was cared about by so many people. We would still just be working under her leadership. My manager gave up so much by taking the package, but she got so much in return. I hope she knows this was a very important gift she received when leaving.  Sincere words to reflect back on to bring a smile on her face. Knowing the impact of what she left with the people she managed.

- RL

People leave their places of employment everyday. Most never know the impact of what they left behind. My manager just recently took an early retirement package. I know she had a difficult decision in deciding to leave. Although I was very sad to see her go, I realized something amazing she received in the days leading up to her last day.

Generally, people do not usually like their managers very much. She was loved by so many people. I took the opportunity to write how I felt and place it in a special card. Someone on our team wrote a poem expressing how we felt about her. The poem was placed in a beautiful card. My manager was given the gift of words to keep with her always. If she did not leave, then she would not know how much she was cared about by so many people. We would still just be working under her leadership. My manager gave up so much by taking the package, but she got so much in return. I hope she knows this was a very important gift she received when leaving.  Sincere words to reflect back on to bring a smile on her face. Knowing the impact of what she left with the people she managed.

- RL

  When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In these challenging times, sometimes dark times, we need to stop and take a look at our lives and see the many”stars,” that Ralph Waldo Emerson alluded to in the quote above. We all have many stars, many blessings to be grateful for  including our family, our friends, and our many freedoms. Wishing all of you at Footwise a blessed and “bright” holiday season. Merry Christmas!

- Wlatka

  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Cor, 13:7

- Maria

  Barefoot and pregnant
sweltering hot summer day,
Birkenstock rescue.

- Mary Jane

  Think Positive...smile often...people will wonder what mischief you are up to, and you will find that they will smile back. Say hello and speak to people, even to strangers. You don't know what trials they may be going through, your's may be the first and last positive words they hear that day. Remember to be kind..it will make our world a better place and will make all of us seem a little more HUMAN! I work with children. Its a great experience and every day I find myself eager to go to work!! Children are innocent and accepting and it makes my life richer to know and work with them. That's how I see the world, an innocent, accepting, rich part of life. We live it, we earn it, we love it...

- Marcy

The Birki Knee Cushion as a toy
Tolleson knee cushion

It doubles as a toy...

We recently bought a Birki Knee Cushion for our daughter to use when bathing our grandchildren. Much to our surprise our granddaughter was the first to use it!

The Tollesons

Another reason to love our customers (From 2004)
We planned to have the haiku contest winners selected and the results posted here by Wednesday, May 1. But sometimes life gets in the way.

Birkenstock Express owner Peter Wendel has an elderly godmother who has taken ill. As Peter focused on attending to his godmother, he laid aside his work on the haiku contest.

Some of you sent email wondering where the results were when you didn't see the winning haiku posted on May 1 as promised. In one email exchange, Peter replied to Tina Kenshalo:

eighty-eight years young
godmother needs attention
haiku contest waits

Thanks for your good cheer
the winners will be known soon
waiting rewarded

To which Tina wrote back:

I have learned this year:
every day is a gift.
Enjoy godmother.

Thanks for making Birkenstock Express so much more than a business.

--Your friends at Birkenstock Express