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Sep 5, 2007

authorblog: Weekend Wandering

authorblog: Weekend Wandering

David Mcmahon challenges us from his most excellent blog to answer the question, "What makes us happy?" Seems simple enough, doesn't it?

The first thing and only thing that came to my mind was my oldest son. He has been there for me through some of the toughest times I will ever face. He has shouldered burdens that most men his age don't even consider. But to see him laugh, to know he is content, makes me content as well.

But, I had to wrack my brain for other things that make me happy. The past two years have been spent in shades of gray. It still doesn't seem appropriate to feel happy, truly, about anything, other than my oldest son's well-being. Deep down, however, I know that is not how my lost child would have it be. He lived his life to the fullest, trying his best to make every second a memory. So, I will try to think of some things that I really do enjoy.

I love a brand new mystery novel, especially one from my list of favorite authors, the cover tempting me, tantalizing me, to lose myself in the pages within.

I love my first cup of coffee in the morning, with the forbidden half and half, with two teaspoons of sugar, (yes, I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar, thank you!) and that very first sip, oh, its just glorious.

Sitting on the front porch in the evening with neighbors and friends, talking about nothing, laughing and picking at one another, making total fools of ourselves, just because we can, always leaves me feeling warm inside, a part of something larger and so much more than myself.

Walking down to the pier, and striking up a conversation with a fisherman, just as the sun is setting, watching the ducks swimming peacefully about, wondering what creatures lurk just beneath the water's surface, talking about bait and lures, and fishing lines, takes me into a whole new world. I like it.

Watching my cats do their cat things, and talking to them like they were children, "I told you to stay out of the street, dammit! Get back in the yard, right now!!" Do I really believe they understand me? Sometimes, when they turn there back to me, tail in the air, ears back, blatantly ignoring me, I believe they do.

Little things make me happy. The big things seem never to live up to our expectations. The vacations, the holidays, the evening's out, all seem to fall short somehow. Its those simple everyday things that bring me joy.

Of course, if Vincent D'onofrio showed up one night wearing nothing but a smile, I would be ecstatic, but that would be spontaneous, as I don't see that happening any time soon.

There's other things that make me happy, but always little things. That's what life really is. The little things.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now I have a challenge for you. Guess this young lady's age. I bet you don't even come close. She took this picture herself. I see a photographer in the making.

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22 comments:

dawn said...

Such beautiful sentiment. I am like you in that simple things seem to make me happiest lately. Coming home and having my tyson get so excited everytime he sees me. Watching the kids enjoy themselves or get annoyed at their dad and me singing.You know watching my son rip thru a plate of crab legs and mainly just laughing with my hubby. Anyhoo I say 12 years old

alphonsedamoose said...

My Grandson Owen Makes me happy.
My guess is 10

SJ said...

Age: 14?

Here's your coffee mam.

Queenie said...

I agree its the little things that count. I tell my partner that diamonds don't come as big as stones (I am small in stature), he replied but poison always comes in small bottles!!!!
I'm thinking fourteen????

Mary said...

Great list. I think its important to appreciate that seemingly little things are what matter and make life good.

Babzy said...

Vin...cent...di...on...o...fri...oVin...cent...di...on...o...fri...o

Babzy said...

I don't know why that ran off the page but let me do it again (and again)

Vin...cent...di...on...o...fri...o
Vin...cent...di...on...o...fri...o

Scott from Oregon said...

I like talking to guys fishing too.

Your son surely wants you to be happy. I mean, a son and a Mom? Come on...

Dorky Dad said...

That girl is 14.

And I think perfectly made coffee that has cooled down slightly so it's still quite warm but not so hot that it burns my mouth ... that makes me happy.

And Ii do really like the iced coffee I'm drinking now.

just me said...

Well, the little girl is 12. Going on 17. She is EJ's daughter, the one he has raised since she was 1 and half. His goal in life is to chase away every boy that comes within five feet of her. As you can see, that is going to be a challenge. Right now, I am at the top of her shit list...why aren't we surprised?...

SJ: Thank you for the coffee, sir. Just the way I like. Just like my men...hot and strong!!!

Moose: I kinda figured Owen would be in your happiness field somewhere around the top..

Dorky Dad: I've never quite mastered the taste of iced coffee. Iced tea, yes, iced coffee....? Sounds good, sounds tempting...

Scott: Yes, fishermen always have wonderful stories to tell. Especially bass fishermen...I ususally catch one of Bill Engval's dorkfish...

Dawn, Mary: It is the little things isn't it. Dawn, you paint such a beautiful picture of your home life, with just a very few words. Mary, you always have something wise to say, which is odd, as you can't be a day over 25.

Ah, Babzy, a new chant. How I wish we could chant together...I mean me and Vincent...no offense...I mean, it's just he comes with the right equipment and all....lol...I think I remember what it looks like...

dawn said...

Hey thanks for the compliment but more important I guessed right I'm the winner you poor thing. I guess having boys is a little easier in away. Have a fantastic weekend

benjibopper said...

Well said. It's so important to savour those little pleasures. Coffee's a great one; chocolate too. (esp. fair trade)

Lately I've been unpacking and enjoying old letters from friends and things my wife and I made for each other over the past few years.

Vincent D. eh? who woulda thunk it from full metal jacket?

Woozie said...

I say the big things fall short because they end. An endless vacation? Awesome :)

Since you bet we won't even come close, I'll be extreme and say 25.

eric1313 said...

It makes me happy...
to love
and to feel loved, too

sad but true...

it's something,

it's a fortune.


Never begrudge yourself a good love when you find it. You probably already know it.

I really like long rambling conversations and to read good writing.

I love reading a favorite novel over and over again. I read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut sic times, his accounts of being a prisoner in Germany drive it so well, if you haven't read it, do it. It's only two hundred pages or so, but it's hilarious, poingiant, and brilliant reading.

Ever read Larry McMurtry? "All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers" is one of the best books I've ever read.

Peace out

eric1313 said...

six times. It's that good.

alphonsedamoose said...

I figured you be chanting with Vincent. I left you a new happiness on my latest post.

TomCat said...

Hi Just Me. First, thanks for your visit and comment at Politics Plus.

I have a slightly different take on the happiness question. Nothing makes me happy... or sad, or angry, etc. My emotions are my own, and I am responsible for them. When I feel happiness over my first cup of morning coffee, I feel it because I choose to respond that way. I do some volunteer work in prison, and one of the things I do there is to teach prisoners how to avoid misattribution error, that is, the concept that outside people and events control our feelings.

On the age, I'll guess 17.

I like your blog. :-)

just me said...

Eric:
The words you leave are so devine
I claim them now, I feel their mine.

I have read to Kill a Mockingbird, and I Capture the Castle, at least a dozen times. Some books I think are meant to be read over and over again.

Moose: Vincent and I chant a little. We chant..Oh my yes Oh my yes..or Ooo la la, ooo la la...lol..I have no sense..

Tomcat: I agree totally that we choose our paths in live. Everything is a choice. But emotions, I don't know if that is a choice. To try and choose not to feel an emotion like anger or rage because it not productive, or for whatever reason, well that feeling is going somewhere, it just doesn't go away..perhaps we will agree to disagree about this one little thing.

Scott from Oregon said...

I think you need to able your comments on your most recent post...

Interesting, by the way...

Queenie said...

Can't leave a comment on new post so I hope you see this, will do the tag in the week is that ok.

Babzy said...

Deb something is screwy with your last post (What Blogging Means to Me). I want to leave a comment but it won't open.

You got a comment from the Unibomber? Yikes!

TomCat said...

Just Me, I understand what you are saying. One does not live in Bush world without feeling anger. Perhaps I should have said that we control how our emotions are directed into states of being. Like happiness is an emotional state of being. We control whether the enjoyment of coffee takes us to that state of being. Bitterness is a state of being. We control whether anger takes us to that state of being, or a more positive one, such as activism. Are we back on the same page? :-)