Dear Ann:

This is one of my favorite columns. It reminds us that too many people don't take time to smell the roses. I am 84, and enjoying every day. Anonymous

Erma was a dear friend, and truly an original. The likes of her will not soon pass this way again. Here are her words of wisdom you sent.


By Erma Bombeck

If I had my life to live over again, I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television -- and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more I love yous, more I'm sorrys, more I'm listenings, but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it, look at it and really see it . . . try it on . . . live it . . . exhaust it . . . and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.

Dear Ann:

Here's a comment on your Gem of the Day, "People who live in glass houses may as well answer the doorbell. Callers know you're there."

My parents, who were Dutch, owned a summer cottage on the seashore. The Dutch are very family oriented, especially when one of them owns a cottage on the seashore, and my parents were tired of uninvited drop-ins.

One Sunday, when they saw a carload of people arriving, they ducked behind the sofa and didn't answer the door. The visitors, thinking no one was home, decided to have a picnic on the lawn. Since the cottage had many windows, my parents spent the entire day crouched behind the sofa.


Serves 'em right. People who don't have the guts to protect their privacy deserve what they get. They should have said, "Sorry, we have plans for today. Next time you want to visit, phone, and we'll make a date."

To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at