Winning Essay

By Kimberly Johnson

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, came into my life at a time when I really needed her. Looking back, that time spent with all of my beloved "friends" in Colorado Springs--my Sully and Michaela and the children, Dorothy and Lauren, Hank, and dear Horace. These shows helped me cope with some of the most worrisome and uneasy times in my life. I looked forward to each episode after I had tucked my two little ones into bed so that I could give my full attention to the next storyline and its cast of characters. How I loved melting into that time and era when I could escape, albiet for only an hour, from the troubles of my own day. What that program did, I believe, was to make me THINK!--to be truly thankful for my own blessings, to live a simpler life, to cherish my friendships, and to try and seek joy in each day, no matter how difficult it seemed.

My husband Wes, and I were living in a rented townhome, bill collectors calling day and night and dealing with my son, Sam, who was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. We lay in bed many nights wondering how in the world we would make ends meet. Wes was constantly on the look for work in the acting business and spirits were low. I had to quit my job to stay home and figure out how I was going to get my son through the school system with his self -esteem intact. The people who lived during those times faced and endured such difficult situations and still managed to have decent and happy times. That proverbial "light" came on then for me and I decided to change my attitude. I feel that my whole family has benefitted from it. We try now to focus on what we have rather than what we dont. We also take much more joy in the process of saving for something we dream of and enjoying and being in the moment when it arrives.

Dr, Quinn also gave me courage to believe that we can make dreams come true and overcome obstacles in our path. Things are looking up for us here in the Johnson household! With much hard work and perserverence, Sam is thriving in the fifth grade. We still struggle financially but Wes is working and enjoying living his dream and I am looking to return to school someday soon to pursue my teaching degree in history.

I still treasure the reruns of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Whenever I feel a bit low or find myself needing the reassurance that "all will be well" I find the greatest comfort in watching my favorite show and feeling at peace again.