On Blogging, On Writing

Happiness is a Warm Doggy

My pal.
My pal.

A few years ago, on a scorching hot workday in August, I visited a Princeton area farm. I was there to oversee a photo shoot for The Lawrentian, and, while the place was idyllic and lovely, I would’ve rather been doing almost anything else — as long as that “anything else” included air-conditioning.

It was one of those days where it felt like I was being assaulted by the sun. A few minutes after we had begun to work, I was soaked through, exhausted, and crabby beyond words.

During a break in the action, I wandered over to the farm store to buy a frozen cider slushie and an apple donut. As I sat there on the store’s covered porch and ate, an old yellow dog lying in the sun in front of me raised her sleepy head, glanced in my direction and decided that I was the type of fellow she’d like to get to know better. She toddled over and flopped down next to me as if we belonged together.

I was sort of honored.

I pet her belly with my left hand and continued to eat with my right.

“This,” I remember thinking, “is what I want my heaven to be like.”

This moment of bliss was quite a turnaround for me. Ten minutes before I met that dog, I was grumbling about the heat. Five minutes after that, I was filled with exhausted relief, thanking God for creating a world that included the cider slushie. And five minutes after that, my heart was full of peace and joy.

I never wanted that moment to end. And, in a way, it didn’t; every time I recall it, I relive it, and I can’t help but smile.

That’s pretty much the way happiness works, I think. At least it’s the way it works for me. It is at once elusive and right in front of my face.

Wanna share a small, happy moment? Please do! Write me a comment!

Three Things...

Three Silly Little Things That Make Me Deliriously Happy

Don’t mind if I do!

Sample Ladies

Shopping in one of those ginormous warehouse stores is exhausting. You’re pretty much hoofing half a mile every time you go down an aisle – and since they’re about 400 aisles in those places, you’re in for a very long walk.

So what a delight it is to turn a corner and encounter a smiling grandma-type ready – eager, really – to hand you a paper cup with a cookie or a wiener dog or a cheesy cracker inside. She knows you’re walking a marathon with a two-ton shopping cart in tow. She knows your blood sugar is low. She wants to help. She’s your support team.

“It’s good, hm?” she asks as you chew. And since she already knows your answer, she follows it up with a wink and an almost conspiratorial, “Have another.” And you comply, because you and your new grandma are sharing a special moment.

You also comply because, well, only one cup of whatever-it-was just doesn’t cut it. Go ahead and ask for a third one; she’ll give it to you.

Accept no substitutes!

Scotch Magic Tape

I take great pride in my ability to giftwrap unusually shaped objects. I chalk it up to my on-again/off-again obsessive compulsive disorder.

So it should come as little surprise that I find Magic Tape wonderful. You can make it nearly invisible by scratching it with a thumbnail; that, my friends, is the difference between a good wrapping job and a great one.

Once upon a time, my wife, Ellen, didn’t understand this. Once she bought a roll of cellophane tape. Her reason was “because it was on sale.”

That is a bad reason. The only acceptable reason is “because someone forced me at gunpoint.”

Not only was the cellophane tape absurdly, distractingly shiny, but also hard to rip off the roll and had this nasty habit of sticking to itself. I grumped about it constantly.

I don’t whine like this about most things. In my life I have (repeatedly) coped with getting fired; dealt with serious family illnesses; and helmed enormous, high priority, long-term projects without ever breaking a sweat. Subpar tape, however, is my kryptonite. That’s just the way I roll. Ellen has decided to love me anyway.

Ellen has also decided that cheap, crummy, evil tape is not worth the inevitable rift in our marriage and now buys the “correct” tape, regardless of price.

Yes, I know my wife is patient and wonderful. No need to tell me. I know.

Those leaves were made for walkin’ (upon).

Crunchy Leaves

I love to walk in the woods. I also love it when my footfalls make little noises. Fallen leaves make quiet, yet deeply satisfying “crish crish” sounds that gladden my heart. Don’t ask me why this affects me the way it does; I have no idea, but I’ll walk for miles to keep hearing that “crish crish.”

Now if someone ever decides to station a few sample ladies along those leafy, wooded paths, I would be a very happy man indeed.

What silly little thing makes you happy?