Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lists of Happy Thoughts

The past year has been hard for my family. Over the past 15 years, we lost two brothers, our father, and now our mother. The rural area that had been ‘home’ for generations dating back to the 1820s, now has no ties for us. When our mother died in April 2011, there went the last reason to return to the farmlands and small towns. Most probably, we would never again drive down those country roads we once knew so very well.

All this made me realize how truly wonderful life is in general, and my life in particular. The things and events that have made me stop and reflect have been small in the large scale of life, but significant. This list may not make sense to anyone but me, but here goes:

1. The smell of angel food cake baking.
2. The sound of a violin solo and getting goose bumps
3. The jasmine blooms winding over the front door
4. Holding hands with my husband in a dark movie theater
5. Churning homemade ice cream under a maple tree on a hot summer day
6. That first cup of coffee (or tea) in the morning
7. Holding a baby
8. Walking on the beach with the tide washing over my feet
9. Watching a smiling young couple pushing a baby stroller
10. Writing anything
11. Singing the “Hallelujah Chorus”
12. Reading poetry aloud in an empty house

This is my list.
Do you have a list? What would be on that list? 


  1. So sorry to hear about your loss. I like your list, and although I wouldn't hold hands with your husband I agree with all the things on the list. I think I'd add walking in the country to walking on the beach.

  2. A lot of the things on my list would have to do with smell because it is smell that seems to trigger so many memories for me....
    wood shavings
    onions frying
    and then we have vision
    That's ten and it is hard to stop there.
    Great post.

  3. Loved your list, brought back so many experiences.

  4. I actually don't have a list like that, because I love getting surprised by the little things every day.

    Good post!

  5. You are such an amazing person! I'm so sorry for your losses. I feel silly sharing this here, but I would love for you to hear a song my husband and I wrote. It's called Secret Rose. For some reason it reminds me of all the beautiful things in life.

    Here's the link:

  6. Wonderful list! Very inspiring :)
    Some items on my list -
    my daughter fresh out of the bath
    hearing my daughter say "I wuv you."
    The smell of rain on hot pavement.
    Running in the summer rain.

  7. Wonderful post. Life catches us often by surprise, it is so important to remember the small things that give us pleasure!

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. It is so lovely that you can see the beauty in life after so much loss. What makes me smile? easy..watching and hearing my family laugh. Fills me with indescribable joy. there is so much more but it would take up your whole page. Beautiful post. Blessings, Joanne

  9. Our parents and home are our core, and when we lose them, no matter if the relationship was good or bad, there is always that empty spot in the heart. We heal, never completely, but that is not a bad thing.
    My list includes:
    The sound of a train whistle
    The smell of an old hardware store
    Root beer
    Children on swings
    A New York accent (really!)
    Baby powder
    Remembering my mother's voice
    Sweet, sad songs

    Loved this post, made me stop, think and remember.

  10. Sorry you've endured so much loss.
    And my wife appreciates little things like that.

  11. I'm sorry to hear about these losses through the years. Your list of 'happy' is inspiring. You don't know how much I want to sit under that tree and eat your churned ice cream!

  12. Im sorry to read about your mother, and all of your losses. But I loved that you made a list to draw your attention to the lovely things.

    The angelfood cake made me smile. When I was last in the States I bought two angelfood cake mixes--not even thinking if I could make it from scratch or not. And not remembering I would need a special pan. I love angel food too. x

  13. Great topic to reflect about...
    Here are some more great things:
    A long soak in a hot bath
    A new novel by your favorite author
    Whenever "Sara" by Fleetwood Mac comes on the radio
    Driving PCH on a sunny day with the windows open

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. You made me tear up! Lovely list - I have grown up in SM and lived here my whole life, as has several generations of my family, but there it's a very Californian life all the way through...your Mayberry-like memories of country youth and farm living are so beautiful to me. Thank you so much for sharing the. It was such a pleasure to meet you in person last week.

  15. happy thoughts:cats,pink skies,nice accents,key lime pie,the taste of a good washed apple,funny movies,the memory of peaceful societies,the smell of wooden construction,a nice American highways,mountains,prairies,tundra,jungles,monkeys,penguins,remembering true real privacy,knowing you can do well at work because you have the energy and endurance,not caring what people think because it has no effect even though it takes up subatomic space,believing in yourself and that you have people standing behind you always in heart,knowing trolls and bitchy people often get the shitty side of karma,caring for the environment as much as possible everyday,knowing that life is a gift,enjoying mystery,not dwelling on imperfection,letting people be themselves when you know they are being real,skateboards,water,plants,space movies,orchestras,guitars,drums,Randy Rhodes personality,artwork,flowers,pottery,natural resources,Britteny Spears first cd...more like tape,thinking of that there is people fighting for the environment,that there's an ability to achieve any positive lifestyle,that birds dont have to shut up,


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!