Humans of the West Valley

Lydia Vinson, Features Editor

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On a chilly September afternoon, Shari Houston stood with her multi-colored clown attire and beamed, which was almost impossible not to reciprocate. As she approached you, you could see her purple, glitter-covered eyebrows glisten in the sun. You would never think she was unhappy a day in her life, but her past may surprise you.

“The most influential thing in my life really was Jesus putting me in a clown suit in 1984 which saved me from eight to nine months of clinical suicidal depression…he taught me to laugh again, and I’ve been spreading smiles ever since,” said Houston.

Prior to living in Sheridan, Ore., Houston lived on a 40-acre farm in Amity. Her mission is to spread joy through conversation, smiles, and small tokens she passes out, each with a special message.

“It helps me feel better because I know that I, even in a small way, have made the world a better place…I think [my happiness] comes from reaching out to others, and not focusing on myself so much, and my struggles and my pain,” said Houston.

Houston uses every single day as an opportunity to help others, and this leads to maintain happiness in her own life.

“I get up and the morning and I’m excited. I have quiet time with [Jesus] because I know He’s the source of my strength. And I’m a freelance writer, so I try and spend at least two hours a day writing. I’m currently writing [my husband and I’s] story; we’ve been married 45 years, and have not had children. So I’m writing about childlessness. Is there hope? Yes,” said Houston.