Welcome to Simple Joys at Chief 187 Chatter. Simple Joys are the little moments in life that add immensely to your overall happiness. They are at times spontaneous, some times planned, but are always pleasurable and wonderful. As difficult as it may seem to find Simple Joys at first, the more you open your heart and mind, regardless of your circumstances, the more receptive you become to them. I urge you to think about all of the Simple Joys that fill your day; I’m betting the list is quite extensive! Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.
Swimming at the Lake. Summer has finally arrived in my part of the world. It was slow to settle, but now has embraced us with scorching temperatures, endless sun, and humid air. The only place I love to be in these months is in the largest lake in New Jersey, swimming. My earliest memories are of me swimming, constantly. The term “fish” was often used to describe me. I was more comfortable in a swimsuit than any other article of clothing. I would get in the water early in the morning and stay until the dinner bell rang, and often return after that! Now, it is a true treat to take my children to the lake house my parents occupy in the summer months. We store our suits and towels there, an economy-sized bottle of sun block, and take every opportunity that arises to swim. The children and I swim for literally hours. “Real” swimming, fun swimming, sitting on “noodles” and other floats, and treading water are the activities that keep us in the water. Spending every possible moment at the lake swimming is summer’s greatest Simple Joy for the children and me
Power Outage. The other night my husband and I arrived home at the exact same moment at dinnertime. We pushed our respective remote devices to open our individual garage doors and… nothing happened. My husband, not skipping a beat, got into the garage and manually opened the doors so we could park. Of course, the pasta dinner I had prepped to make prior to my son’s swim meet the following day was unable to be made without electricity so my husband suggested the local Italian restaurant for dinner. We enjoyed a fun meal and returned to no power still. With waning day light we huddled in the family room, played toys, and engaged in an epic game of “rough housing” or “tickling”. It was a moment that made me pause and think how very blessed and lucky we are to have three beautiful, healthy, and engaging children. All too often I get caught up in deadlines, schedules, and “have-tos” and forget to slow down, enjoy the moments, and be grateful for the many riches (non-monetary) that have been bestowed. We readied the children for bed. I pulled out a long-forgotten book light that enabled me to read the children a bedtime story, and sent them to sleep a bit earlier than normal. I was so anxious to do the same; read and hit the hay early, when the power returned. The power outage was relatively short-lived which is truly a good thing, but I was a bit saddened that it couldn’t have lasted a little longer. Being unplugged from television, computer, and lights was so very peaceful and fun that it ranks among the highest of my Simple Joys this week.
Rowdy Chat. I’ve written many times of my path back to NASCAR fandom having a lot to do with a NASCAR social networking site called Rowdy. I am still an active member and consistently show up on NASCAR Sprint Cup race days/nights in the Race Day chat. It is a blast to type in real time with people who share a passion for the same sport I do, and to go off on crazy tangents that is rarely questioned by any! Rowdy Chat is a comfortable and weekly Simple Joy!
Charlotte’s Web. When my oldest child was four I read to him Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It was the first chapter book he’d been read and he liked it, although it was difficult for him to stay enthusiastic when there weren’t many pictures. Still, I persevered and we finished the book in good stead. As an eight-year-old third grader he reread the book as a class assignment and truly delighted in the experience! When I inquired if he’d remembered any of the book from the time I had read it to him he simply replied, “No.” Saddened but undeterred, I took the book out this summer to read to my now four-year-old second son. Because his big brother had just read it in school, he was most enthusiastic to hear the story. Like his brother before him the lengthy passages and lack of illustrations did leave him a bit unfocused, but he rallied often and seemed to follow the story well. We finished the book this past Sunday. It was terribly emotional for me as it always has been. A tale of a friendship between a runt pig and a grey spider is beautifully crafted, enormously interesting, and wholly heart wrenching. From the first pages I am in tears barely able to keep my composure (let’s face it, NEVER able to keep my composure) and finish the book the very same way. Poignant, charming, clever, metaphorical, and sweet, the book stands the test of time; it is universal in theme and timeless. If you have never had the pleasure of reading this classic juvenile literature, I urge you to pick it up. It is a lovely book to share with a young person, even if that young person simply lives inside of you still. The only consolations I have about finishing the book are I have yet to read it to my daughter and we start James and the Giant Peach this week! Sharing childhood favorites like Charlotte’s Web is truly one of life’s most intimate and special Simple Joys.
Simple Joys have become a signature for me. I wish my friends, followers, readers, and relatives all Simple Joys. It is a sincere wish for all I come in contact both virtually and in “real life”. To experience and recognize Simple Joys is a special gift and may even be one of the Secrets of Life. Wishing you all Simple Joys!
Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic on yet another topic!