I feel good.

Maybe it’s the way the sun is hitting this farmland I’m driving past. The scalped fields. The blue skies. Or maybe it’s the way my waitress kept smiling at me earlier this morning.

I was at a truckstop, eating breakfast. It’s a good feeling to eat eggs in a room full of handle-bar mustaches.

Shaniqua was my server. It was on her nametag.

“I’m super happy today,” Shaniqua said. “Just told my husband he gonna be a daddy. He started crying. He’s a big ole Teddy bear.”

She was pure euphoria.I wish I would’ve had a wallet full of fifties.

Then again, maybe it’s the semi-truck, carrying pallets of bricks, ahead of me in traffic right now. There’s a giant tarp. It’s tattered, flapping in the wind. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

The driver must know this because his hazards are on. He’s driving slow—probably looking for a place to pull over.

God love him.

There’s a sticker on his bumper which reads: “How Am I Driving?” and “If you don’t like my driving call “1-800-How’s-My-Driving?”

I dialed the number before I hit Pintlala, Alabama.

“Hello,” the woman’s voice says.

“Yeah, I’d like to report that one of your drivers is quite exceptional.”

“You wanna what, sir?”

“That’s right, just wanna inform you that one of your drivers deserves a fat raise.”

More silence. “Is this real?”

“It is.”

“Okay, I’ll write it down, sir.”

“Happy New Year, ma’am.”

She’d already hung up.

Or maybe I’m happy because of the way my dog is sleeping in the passenger seat. She’s snoring.

Why can’t I be more like a dog? It takes so little to satisfy them. A belly rub, dry food, a quick roll in a foul-smelling substance, and (snap!) euphoria.

I love that word. Euphoria. For years, I used it wrong. I thought it was a continent that Napoleon conquered after he sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492. But I know what the word means now.

It means:

The way summer air turns into winter air, almost overnight. Or how you feel when you see people you grew up with, with grayish hair. Or when you see sharp kids who will one day grow up to be astrophysicists—or if they’re lucky, truck drivers.

And farmland. Average scenery that isn’t average if you know how to look at it. Sprawling pastures that make you say, “Ain’t that pretty?” even though your third-grade teacher threatened to gut you with a pitchfork for using the word “ain’t.”

An old man once told me: “Good days get harder to come by the older you get. Just wait. One day, everything on your body hurts, and life will feel lousy. You’ll see.”


But that doesn’t change the prettiness of today. It doesn’t erase the small farms along the highway. Or the sparkling frost on my truck hood this morning. It can’t change the way 15-year-old Arnold, who has cerebral palsy, wants to be a world famous chef one day. The same kid who wrote me and said, I can’t wait to prove everyone wrong.”

It won’t change the way 72-year-old Percy felt when he graduated from online high school last week.

Or the way 12-year-old Dean sang “In the Garden,” for his step-father’s funeral last week.

Or the way a simple grin from a pregnant truckstop waitress can make 50 truckers look like they just discovered teeth.

Oh, yes, Virginia, Heaven is real. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see it. Sometimes the pain of life can make you blind. But when I look at Shaniqua, I see the glory of the universe. I see the greatness of humankind. And I’m glad inside.

Glad that I’m alive. Glad that we’re together. Glad that God looks out for fools and children, of which I am both. Glad that unconditional love is real. Glad that you are still here, whoever you are.

If you don’t like this column, call 1-800-How’s-My-Writing?


  1. Eva Toews - December 27, 2022 1:52 pm


    I just want to report that one of your columnists is exceptional!

    Is this real?

    It is.


  2. Lisa - December 27, 2022 1:53 pm

    You made my day. Thank you.

  3. Priscilla Rodgers - December 27, 2022 1:57 pm

    I love your column. It’s the best way to start a day along with my other daily devotions. Thanks.

  4. Jo Anne Taylor - December 27, 2022 1:59 pm

    Every morning, I read your column aloud to husband. I have learned to pause for his laughter. Thank you for making us laugh.

  5. Penn Wells - December 27, 2022 2:00 pm


  6. Evan Adams - December 27, 2022 2:01 pm

    if you ever take a few days off please have a short book of maybe 365 or so of your “thoughts” that we could flip through! It helps our mind and our insides.

    • Gayle Wilson - December 27, 2022 2:18 pm

      Yes, that is a great idea!

  7. David (the California one) - December 27, 2022 2:06 pm

    As the son of a (long deceased) truck driver, thank you.

    Your writing is just fine (in the sense of awesome). Thanks!

  8. MR - December 27, 2022 2:08 pm

    You are doing great, Sean! Keep on truck’n!

  9. sjhl7 - December 27, 2022 2:12 pm

    I tried to call to tell them that I can’t make a day without a dose of Sean’s sunshine but I couldn’t get through … too many calls! Love this and love you!

  10. Pogo Bob - December 27, 2022 2:12 pm

    Hello? I’d like to report that one of your writers is exceptional. Yes Ma’am. This is real.

  11. Susan Kennedy - December 27, 2022 2:14 pm


  12. Gayle Wilson - December 27, 2022 2:17 pm

    Dear Sean, I want to report that your writing brightens my life in ways that as an average person would be hard to articulate in words. But, your writing brings sunshine and bright light into my little tiny life. Right here in St Augustine, FL. Thank you and God bless.

  13. Hall Powell (Hank) - December 27, 2022 2:23 pm

    Blessings for you in the new year, Sean. Keep believing; keep writing.

  14. Nancy L Heitzman - December 27, 2022 2:27 pm

    Hello, I’d like to report the writer of this article is exceptional.

  15. Lynn Presley DeVries - December 27, 2022 2:40 pm

    I don’t like your writing, Sean Dietrich. I absolutely love it! As a kid from Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama “going home” meant going to a farm just outside Evergreen, to Mobile to visit cousins, to Andalusia and Brewton, Alabama. When I read your articles it feels like I’m listening to my granddaddy as he sits on the old porch with a toothpick sticking out of one side of his mouth! He farmed cotton and peanuts.
    Thanks for the visits back home. Keep writing!

  16. Sally Taylor Walpole - December 27, 2022 2:45 pm

    Hello 1-800-How’s-My-Writing? I am calling to tell you your writings make my day, and bring a smile to my face daily. Do you pay for facelifts from smiling too much? Happy New Year!

  17. Kathy - December 27, 2022 2:48 pm

    Love your columns!! Every single day! Happy New Year!

  18. Rufus Ornduff - December 27, 2022 2:51 pm

    I thank it is fantastic that you see life in a way God intended for us to see it and more real how to feel it thank you for your writings they make this 89 1/2 year old southern boy even more positive that America is still 99% full of people blessed by God. And yes at my age the1/2 year counts.

  19. David - December 27, 2022 2:53 pm

    I don’t think there will be many negative calls to that number. Your stories are exceptional and I haven’t read a bad one so far. Knock ‘em out Sean!

  20. Joanne - December 27, 2022 3:10 pm

    I really look forward to your emails

  21. Kay - December 27, 2022 3:11 pm

    Your writing is perfect ❤️

  22. Mary+Bales - December 27, 2022 3:21 pm

    Hello? 1-800-How’s-My-Writing? I want to tell you about Sean Dietrich. He’s a man of simple faith in his fellow man that the world needs to remind it of the Good all around us. Thank you, Sean!

  23. Gigi - December 27, 2022 3:30 pm

    Hello, 1-800-How’s-My-Writing? I’d like to comment on one of your writers. His name is Sean Dietrich and his writing is Exceptional ! He starts my day, every single day, bringing stories that make me laugh, cry, and get the “warm fuzzies” about humanity. I can’t do without my “daily dose” of Sean.

  24. Helen De Prima - December 27, 2022 3:38 pm

    Your writing is just fine, Sean!

  25. Judy - December 27, 2022 3:57 pm

    Just want to say “I love this column”. Keep it up. New Year Blessings

  26. Ed (Bear) - December 27, 2022 4:07 pm

    Excuse me, but you didn’t leave instruction for if we do like your writing. So here goes… I love your writing! You tha’ man when it comes to writing. Wish I had some of your writing talent… but that doesn’t stop me from writing. I’m inspired by yours and have learned a thing or two from you, young man! (I’m 71, so you’re a YOUNG man!)

    Keep writing Sean! We need more good in this world!

  27. Ann Davis - December 27, 2022 4:14 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your columns- even though I don’t tell you every day! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  28. Patricia Gibson - December 27, 2022 4:16 pm


  29. Diane McGinnis - December 27, 2022 4:21 pm

    Your writing is awesome, beautiful, heartwarming, uplifting, surprising, etc. All good things. Keep it coming!

  30. Peggy M. Windham - December 27, 2022 4:24 pm

    Heaven is so real and I can’t wait to get there! Our God is an awesome God and He’s blessed me beyond measure! I’m dialing 1-800-How’s my Writing? To report that you are one of God’s greatest creations because you see the beauty in everything!💜

  31. CurtissAnn Birdwell - December 27, 2022 4:29 pm

    Your writing is excellent!!

  32. Judi - December 27, 2022 4:43 pm

    I adore the beauty in the simple things of life.

  33. Eve - December 27, 2022 4:47 pm

    Thanks for the reminder to live on the BRIGHT side.
    And congratulations, Shaniqua.

  34. Ambish - December 27, 2022 5:06 pm

    I’ll never forget the day I was driving back to college and the sun hit the concrete guardrails and the mica in the mix sparkled so beautifully. If you look, you can find beauty. Thanks for the reminder!

  35. Dan Danley - December 27, 2022 5:14 pm

    Great columns!

  36. mccutchen52 - December 27, 2022 5:17 pm

    You do go up with aches and pains but you still stop and watch a bird eat food out of your feeder when it is cold and the earth is frozen and be grateful.

  37. Jeanne - December 27, 2022 5:21 pm

    And…I hope you dance!

  38. Ann Thompson - December 27, 2022 6:02 pm

    I’m glad you are glad makes me glad.

  39. Jackie S - December 27, 2022 6:09 pm

    Heavenly. I feel so good. Your writing has a way of doing that for me. Thank you. Happy New Year!

  40. Jimmy Stewart - December 27, 2022 6:16 pm

    I called 1-800-How’s-My-Writing. A lady answered and I told her you deserved a big fat raise!!! Blessings brother. You give light like my fire is giving me heat right now. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s offering.

  41. 1018le - December 27, 2022 6:18 pm

    Nothing wrong with YOUR writing, Sean…and your thinking! Keep on seeing the beautiful in what could be called the ordinary! 🙂

  42. Anne Arthur - December 27, 2022 6:44 pm

    A column of hope, love, and God’s glory. I like it very much.

  43. Susie, as well - December 27, 2022 7:07 pm

    Love this column and I love you! You are my safe place, my breath of fresh air.

  44. Linda Moon - December 27, 2022 7:13 pm

    So, which number do we call if we DO like this column and the writer who wrote it?

  45. Elizabeth Wong - December 27, 2022 7:24 pm

    And another post that makes me think and feel good!

  46. pattymack43 - December 27, 2022 7:31 pm

    I personally love your writing and will not stop reading it!! So keep on doing what ever it is you are doing!! THANK YOU!!! blessings to you and Jaime for a great 2023!!

  47. DLMS - December 27, 2022 7:33 pm

    Love your columns….no better way to start the day…smiles and tears together..

  48. deb - December 27, 2022 7:49 pm

    Just “discovered” you today when my dear sister shared your info with me. You are both a Blessing in my life!!

  49. Lisa Francis - December 27, 2022 7:59 pm

    Love your posts every day. I look forward to reading them.
    You are a good man.
    May God bless you for sharing special and “euphoric “ messages.
    The world needs you.
    Thank you!

  50. Steve McCaleb - December 27, 2022 9:22 pm

    Good stuff kid……as usual. To put it in the context of today’s post, there’s so much crap flies up and hits our windshields that sometimes it makes it hard to see how utterly perfect this world is in so many, many ways. Thanks for reminding me. Oh…….and my sincere apologies to the late, great John Prine. He said it sooo perfectly all those years ago,”broken hearts and dirty windows”. From the song “Souvenirs “. As perfect as anything Shelley, Keats or the Bard ever wrote.

  51. Margie Fairchild - December 27, 2022 9:37 pm

    Fairml 2007@Yahoo.com

  52. Margie Fairchild - December 27, 2022 9:43 pm

    I’m h my gosh, Sean you are something else! I usually get a blessing out of every writing of your that I read. Today was no different. I only recently discovered your stories and ever so glad I did. Most of the time I read them, I have this overwhelming urge to share it with another, and this, was no different.
    Thanks for the blessing and inspiration that you share with the multitudes! Happiest New Year to you and yours!

  53. Delbert - December 27, 2022 9:55 pm

    Lovin it. Sure do

  54. Susan - December 27, 2022 10:14 pm

    I hope that 800 # you gave is slam-dunk jammed with happy callers, euphoric over your marvelous writing, Sean. You da best😁

  55. Suellen Heinrich - December 27, 2022 11:16 pm

    You’re writing is exceptional!

  56. Charlotte Laughter - December 27, 2022 11:25 pm

    Your writing is excellent

  57. Karen - December 27, 2022 11:41 pm

    You always see the America I see for better or worse. I am euphoric today. We thought our sweet 16-year-old + 11 months Pug was going to have to go to heaven. It turned out the issue should be resolved with medication. Sparky has been a member of our family for almost 7 years. He is the most loving and sweet pup. Sparky is always happy. He only fusses if I am not nearby. I must be sure to use that phone number on the rear of those trucks to complement their driving.

  58. Deb - December 27, 2022 11:53 pm


  59. Mary Rae Harrison - December 28, 2022 12:52 am

    Excellent writing…….❤️❤️

  60. Lana Weatherbee - December 28, 2022 1:00 am

    You are the best, Sean!

  61. Stacey Wallace - December 28, 2022 2:17 am

    I love your column, Sean. Thanks!

  62. Karla Wenger - December 28, 2022 3:03 am

    Enjoyed your writing once again. Thanks for explaining Euphoria. It must be something like when your daughter ‘s friends stop and you serve them hot tea and cookies and look out on the bright sunshine and know there is love all around!

  63. Pubert Earle Bozemann - December 28, 2022 5:34 am

    Sean, you really put it all together on this one. It’s all out there if you’re willing to look. Keep it up, Kimo Sabe ( I always thought that meant My Friend.)

    Your friend,


  64. Pubert Earle Bozemann - December 28, 2022 5:39 am

    P.S. it wuz Purty Good today…Happy New Year. I can tell you were proud of that one too. HONK HONK!

    Your friend,


  65. Irene - December 28, 2022 12:49 pm

    Thank you for writing. It makes me feel joyful every morning.

  66. Carole W. Worley - December 28, 2022 6:03 pm


  67. Melissa Brown - December 28, 2022 7:11 pm

    Your writing and stories just always hit me right in the heart. Thank you Sean !!!

  68. Susan W Fitch - December 28, 2022 7:25 pm

    Fabulousness! Happy New Year!!!

  69. Melanie - December 29, 2022 6:35 am

    Surely there must be a little town tucked somewhere in a corner of Alabama called Euphoria.

  70. Lacie Maynard - December 29, 2022 11:33 am

    Love this….

  71. Mary Spechko - December 30, 2022 12:23 pm

    Your writing is awesome Sean!

  72. DORIS putnal - December 31, 2022 2:32 pm

    More beautiful than usual.

  73. kingswaydaughter - December 31, 2022 6:16 pm

    It’s Saturday, Dec 31st, and I’m just reading your Tuesday blog. I am sick and seeing the word ‘Heavenly’ made me think this is something I might need. Christmas came with a very unwanted guest – RVS (that stands for respiratory syncytial virus). It has been hitting the family one by one, and now it is my turn. Already this year I was hospitalized for influenza (no the shot didn’t work) and 3 months later it was COVID. They say 3 times is a charm, so I need to stay away from the hospital, and I need a big dose of Heavenly. Thanks for the medicine to my soul. More than anything, praying for a healthy 2023!

  74. Joan Mitchell - January 1, 2023 2:30 am

    It’s great, meaningful, moving, genuine, and a channel of blessings at a time when we need all the blessings we can get! I’m dialing 1-800 thank you Sean.

  75. Donna - January 3, 2023 12:48 am

    Ring Ring! Hello? Yes, miss I’d like to report that one of your writers made me smile again!


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