Joel Anderson

3 years ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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The Simple Joy of a Smile


A captured moment. One of those snap shots in time highlighting the simple and sometimes small things in life that make one smile.

On the way back from a recent family reunion in Lindsborg, Kansas (aka Little Sweden) my cousin Chris, his wife and daughter Irena stopped in Manhattan, to help Irena add to her list of “Big First Time Things.”

This picture was taken of the Master Angler as she shows off the very first fish she ever caught. In total she caught 17 bluegill (catch and release) in about an hour.

As my cousin Chris said “…you can see, one of the basic rules of fishing applied: the size of the fish doesn't matter, it's the size of the smile on the angler.”


"At just a year old, Irena’s father, Chris Johnson, was told she had a medical condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  SMA is a rare condition that affects parts of the nervous system as it relates to voluntary movement.  Most children with SMA are not able to walk, have trouble breathing, and often are more susceptible to fatal illness.  Our Irena has Type II, so unlike many other cases of SMA, Irena is able to walk on her knees allowing for some lower body movement. Irena is so strong!  She visits specialists all over the country for treatment and surgery to help improve her mobility and work toward a cure." *

"Irena wants to become a chemist so she can find a cure for SMA and other diseases and be able to help kids just like her."*

*For more insight on Irena, please take a second to look at one story about her courageous journey:

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Joel Anderson

3 years ago #20

I originally shared this note with a good friend/mentor on Tuesday after having one of those days on Monday. One week apart, two great days. "So I got home last night and my wife could see I was a little agitated. She reminded me that a week ago I took about two hours off from work and got to experience the joy of a simple smile. She said, go down to the river and find someone else to give a smile to. So I went down to my favorite spot and there was a grandpa and grandma with their five grandkids. Their granddaughter was standing about five feet away from me and I latched on to another big one. I just handed her the pole and watched her smile as she reeled it in. The four other kids and the grandparents came over and just cheered her on. So, in perspective yesterday was a good day."

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #19

My purpose in posting the link to my quietude piecee

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #18


Joel Anderson

3 years ago #17

Thank you for your kind words.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #16

Thank you Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic conquering the challenges with a smile indeed.

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

3 years ago #15

May the Almighty Lord bless little Irena with good health and longevity!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 years ago #14

It's hard to comment on such post and find the right words. After reading the story about girl scouts, I can't stop thinking of her. The picture of Irene and her father put a smile on my face. Way to go, Irena! After all, the future is about conquering challenges. This extraordinary super G.I.R.L. with a most charming smile that speaks louder than words will show the world what she can.

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #13

Joel, My hat is off to everyone that helps put a smile on a kid's face. They are our hope. We owe them that and so much more. Right now, the man I call Agent Orange and his minions are responsible for bringing tears to thousands of kids and parents. I'm not a political man but his actions are not what this country was built on. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? If you livei n the USA let every level of government know that this is not acceptable. Not now. Not ever.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #12

Thank you for sharing this Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #11

🤩 'Lookin' back in front of me, in the mirror's grin Through eyes of love I see, I'm really lookin at a friend.'

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #10

I loved the link too...Irene in her mermaid-tail :) We all need a good dose of humility now and then, so she makes me smile!

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #9

Lisa Vanderburg Thank you. Glad I could share one of my snapshots with you and that it provided you with a little joy and maybe even a smile.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #8

Thank you Debasish Majumder for you kind comments and share.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #7

Pascal Derrien Inspiration and courage indeed. "Sometimes as I waddle I see others who just can’t Who use a crutch or wheel A mode of transportation, their legs they do supplant"

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #6

Bill King Thanks Bill for the great comment and all that you have done and continue to do. SUPER kids, SUPER parents, and SUPER people in general are what make this world, well SUPER. Keep making a difference.

Joel Anderson

3 years ago #5

Ken Boddie Couldn't of said it better. Thank you.

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #4

Irene is my joy for today and tomorrow...thanks for sharing Joel Anderson!

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #3

yes, fish cannot see the impending detriment above the water surface! it is the angler whose smile or anger is the prime concern! absolutely stunning buzz sir Joel Anderson! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #2

Inspiration at its best 👏

Ken Boddie

3 years ago #1

One day, Little Mermaid, they're going to say "you can't". Well maybe that's their limitation, not yours. That's when you smile and reply, "Just watch me!"

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