Things that make me happy

Sunshine, shiny apples, apple pie.  Grandma’s apple pie, Grandmas, Grandpas, family, family tree, trees in general.  Seeing the forest for the trees.  Tree houses, houses that are homes, Home on the Range, a clean stovetop range, cooking popcorn on the stove, cooking popcorn on the fire, campfires, camping in tents, intense camping, backpacks, binoculars, birds.  Birds in my backyard, kids in my backyard, dirt in my backyard, dirt on my kids, dirt on myself.  Mud. Muddy Waters, blues music, bluegrass music, music in my car, music in my house, music in my heart, heart strings, strings on a guitar or banjo or mandolin.   Ukuleles kept close at hand, holding hands, holding onto memories, making memories, making time, finding time, time for bed.  Made beds (but not making them,) flower beds, flower skirts, summer skirts, summer weather, winter weather, spring weather, autumn weather, October, October, October color.  Coloring, the smell of a new box of crayons, the smell of an old book, non-fiction books, cookbooks, picture books, taking pictures, explaining ‘film’ to children.  Children laughing, people passing, silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.  Rowboats, fishing boats, catching fish, lakes and ponds, skipping stones, healthy bones, no bones about it, skull and crossbones and sea chanties.  The sea, the rivers, the creeks, the clouds, the rain, the snow, skiing, sledding, shivering, staying warm, sipping on hot cider.  Cider and donuts, hanging donuts on a string and eating them with no hands, eating donuts with hands, eating with chopsticks, Pick Up Sticks, sticking it to ya’, y’all come back, back scratchers, the itch you finally reach.  Reaching for the stars, stories in the stars, feeling like a star, stars and stripes.  Fruit Stripe gum (for about 30 seconds), clean gums, clean teeth, new toothbrush at the dentist, postcards from my dentist, postcards from anyone, mail of all sorts, all sorts of coffee, coffee on an evening walk, coffee in the morning, coffee with a crossword puzzle, newspapers.  Newspaper columns, writing this column, knowing that people actually read this column (especially the nice lady who wiped mud out of my eye at a recent running event), shaking people’s hands.  Paper to hold in my hand, the touch of paper, the touch of cotton, the touch of a baby, a baby holding my finger for dear life.  Life in all forms, people of all forms, people of all ages, young people, old people, that old couple sitting at the table in the corner drinking coffee and sharing a sandwich, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, homegrown tomatoes, gardens, snapping fresh beans to snack on, snapping fingers, snappy dressers, dressers full of clean clothes, clean floors, clean bathrooms, hot baths, bubble baths, kids out of the bath, baby powder bottoms.  Not quite bottom of the barrel, old wooden barrels, front porches with checkerboards, checkered blankets, picnic blankets, picnic baskets with enough food to share with friends.  Friends that are old, friends that are new, strangers that become friends while I’m standing in line at the store, standing for the National Anthem, the Fourth of July, the American flag, the Polish flag, being Polish.  Pierogi on holidays, Doc Holliday, cowboys, the wild west, saloon doors, playing cards.  Cards on my birthday, birthday phone calls, Call of the Wild, wilderness, seeing wild animals, animal crackers in my soup.  Chicken soup and ginger ale when I’m sick on the couch, cuddling on the couch, cuddling with my kids, my kids, my kids, my kids, my family.  You, me, the world, the Earth below and the heavens above.


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