Let's keep it positivie – for now

Like many, many Americans, I don’t feel like there is a lot to celebrate this July 4.

Yes, I love my country and I am glad that – for now – we still have some freedoms. But things are not looking that great as I see it.

But I will save that for a later column. Now, I want to try to keep the holiday column a little lighter, if possible. We know the terrible things that are going on, so let’s take a week off and not focus on them, OK?

How about we focus on my horrible sense of humor? I personally think I am hilarious, but my wife? Not so much. For example, my wife is in banking, so every time – and I mean every single time – I accidentally wash some pants with coins in my pocket, I have to point this out to her.

Me: “Ah oh!”

Her: “What? Are you OK?”

Me: “I washed some money. Please don’t bust me for money laundering! Hahahaha!”

Her: “That hasn’t been funny since 2005.”

Me: “Hasn’t it?”

Her: “No.”

Me: “Hasn’t it?”

Her: Leaves room.

In my defense, they can’t all be comedy gold.

But if you look around, there is plenty of good news to offset the terrible news. Here are some examples:

* A start-up car company has announced it is close to launching a solar-powered car. Depending on where you live, it can drive hundreds of miles without a charge. I find this incredibly exciting, and it points to a clean energy future where vehicles not running on fossil fuels can actually go long distances without a charge. This made me very happy.

* A refuge couple from Burundi who now live in Australia recently won $4 million in the lottery there. They are also both health care workers and have a young child. That is fantastic.

* There are more than 26,000 asteroids that are near our planet. I am no mathematician, but that is a lot of space rocks. The good news? Not one of them has hit the earth and destroyed life as we know it. That is worth a high-five, right?

* Suicide rates in the U.S. are down.

* In a recent study by molecular biologist David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School, old mice are growing young – seriously. I read about the process, but it was honestly over my head. It had to do with using proteins to turn adult cells into stem cells. He said the process seems to be permanent, and that it could eventually be used on humans to help us live well into our 100s. No, it won’t be in time for us. For now, we can at least look at our children and grandchildren complaining about their jobs and think, “Just wait until you’ve been there for 70 years.”

* Mexico City has finally banned the brutal “sport” of bullfighting. Some say that could be a death blow to bullfighting, and to that I say good.

* A woman in a Minneapolis neighborhood who was loved by all, was set to be evicted from the house she had rented for decades. Her neighbors came together and through fundraising efforts – including an art show, bake sale and many small donations – raised $250,000 so she could buy the house herself. I mean, if that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t think anything will.

Yes, I am very concerned about our country and the world, but when you look around, there is good news to be found. We need to remember that from time to time.