02/22/2012 11:20 am ET Updated Apr 23, 2012

Winning the Lottery of Life!

Irene Tanner is my legal birth name -- actually Irene Rose Tanner. "Rose" is my paternal grandmother who passed on in my infancy.

Though I came of age in pre-feminist times, I strongly and intuitively knew that I would never change my name -- husbands might come and go -- my surname would remain Tanner. I was born the eldest daughter of Louis Tanner in a family where there would be no male descendents. I am the last Tanner in our line.

Louis Tanner was the youngest of three brothers, two of whom escaped for greener pastures; he was destined to be stuck with the ownership of the family business, a general store in Hopkinsville, KY established by his father, Israel, after whom I was named. I guess the living was easy for Louis -- who was laid back by nature, and, being the baby, rather spoiled. Early on he developed a permanent penchant for bourbon, the Elk's club, poker and the ponies.

By the time he met and married my mother, Sadie, he was a confirmed bachelor of 30 -- she was seventeen and looking for security. LOL. In those days before AA, he was compulsively addicted to gambling and had zero capacity for booze.

To make matters worse, he won an Irish Sweepstake in the 1930s -- during the depression, the money was both a blessing and a curse that reinforced his conviction that money would thereafter fall from the sky... plus, no matter how miserable the marriage, this was an era where divorce was spelled disgrace.

Louis was one of the original good ole boys, generous to a fault, well-liked and totally irresponsible.

Though I never knew him very well, I am sure my father loved me in his own way. In an era that didn't encourage men to express themselves emotionally. He called me "Reenie Bugs," a name I have transferred to my inner-child to compensate for daddy's' lack of presence in my youth.

Though I learned in my teens that there would be no golden parachute for me unless I embraced my mother's plan that I marry for "security"(as she did?), I did carry a gene or two from dear old Dad.

I reached my "Wisdom Years" on the brink of worldwide economic disaster partially if not entirely produced by inept even illegal leadership. Though this has destroyed any illusion of an automatically secure future, I find that I am nonetheless capable of taking effective action.

A couple of interesting ideas are taking root in my mind -- which is where all beginnings begin, having been inspired by my Highest Self as Cause.

A line from the poem "Hiawatha," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has been popping into my head periodically:

"I shot an arrow into the air
It fell to earth, I know not where.

For whatever reason my thoughts then connect to my blogs which I shoot from my computer into cyberspace without a clue as to their destination.

My thoughts and therefore my writing reflect a deep desire to share with others -- especially since their common theme is to suggest how better to have a happy outlook regardless of circumstance. Polyanna? The (fashionable) shoe fits!

Even if we don't hit the jackpot there is an abundance of riches to be found in friendship.

Social networking at its best provides a technology that has the capability to open doors and hearts.