Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. This post has gained a life and following of its own. It pleases me to no end how quickly and deeply Simple Joys has resonated with Chief 187 Chatter’s readership. Simple Joys is my way to accentuate the positive in life, to share the good that happens amidst the bad, scary, frustrating, and seemingly hopeless news that surrounds, both personally and universally. Simple Joys tries to offset that by keeping all the good we experience in the forefront of our day. I sincerely hope that reading my Simple Joys inspires you to get in touch with yours that are all around. Now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.
In-laws. My in-laws arrive this week. I am very pleased to announce this as I truly adore them and am looking forward to their visit. Some people cannot stand their in-laws and I feel sorry for them. My case is rather unusual; not only do I have great people whom I call “Mom and Dad” as in-laws, but I’ve known them since I was fourteen so they truly are like a second set of parents. We have a long history, share a rich past, and are truly family. I have always been treated with courtesy and respect by them and hope they feel the same about the way I’ve treated them. We absolutely get along beautifully and I am thrilled to have them staying with me so we can embark on making new memories together!
Birthday. My oldest child turns nine this week. He has been planning his party since he turned eight. With a child’s innocence and excitement he plots the games, organizes the guest list, and figures out the ideal menu. He is in “birthday-mode” from the last day of school in June until the big day arrives in mid-August. He is filled with pent up angst and heightened glee because his big day is on the horizon. I, too, am in a heightened state, but more because my child, the one who made me a mother for the first time, is sprinting toward adulthood. At nine he is only twelve short months away from being a two-digit number. He is four short years from being a teenager and nine years away from graduating high school and going off to college. At his age those years seemed interminable to me, but I know otherwise now. In the blink of an eye he was crawling, walking, and talking. Preschool morphed into grade school before I could catch my breath. My family grew from one baby to three. Now this man-child is living under my roof and I am feeling the immediacy of the time we have left. Milestones that once felt like ages between one another crash into one another at record speeds. New school year, Cub Scout functions, birthday parties all occur like clockwork, and, boom, another year has slipped away. I am working hard to stay in the moments, breath in every day, stay present and be cognizant, but even I, with my best intentions, feel it is rushing by in a blur. As he blows his candles out on his number “9” candle, I will add a silent wish to his ~ that for the next nine years life will slow down a bit and I can stay in suspended animation being his mommy, wiping his tears, holding his hand, and baking his birthday cake.
Bubbles. My home is filled with nearly every toy imaginable for both boys and girls. We have action figures, cars, dolls, kitchen sets, play tools, and the like. But what really captures my children’s delight is a brand new container of bubbles. I quietly unearth them as they are playing outside and start blowing bubbles into the breeze. The iridescent bubbles float idyllically hither and fro, glinting in the sunlight, and captivating all who witness. Once spotted, my children run after the bubbles with reckless abandon. Some want to pop them, others want to “catch” them, and one always wants me to create “the biggest one ever”! My dime store purchase captures the imagination, enthralls young and old, and puts smiles on faces. It utilizes brain and body, “fits” perfectly for boys and girls, and holds endless hours of amusement. Bubbles are a forever Simple Joy.
The Guys. I have been so blessed with a loyal, supportive, and wonderful readership. Whereas I cherish each person who reads these pages, I want to place the spotlight on a special sector, the guys. Since day one I have had men as part of my readership. I figured they arrived because they knew of my NASCAR background in writing and wanted to read more car stuff. That was true with some who quickly drifted away when I tackled topics like “Anger” and “Forgiveness” as well as “The Healing Power of Touch” and “The Art of the Kiss”, but many more stayed, read, and commented. These early male readers stuck with me through the holiday period when for nearly six weeks I wrote about nothing except preparing for Christmas! These men honor and delight me and for each one of them I am sincerely grateful. Again, every person who reads my work here and returns again and again gets my deepest gratitude and awe, but today these men get a special shout out. With deep affection I want to thank the following: My husband and number one fan from the dawn of time, Racer 187. My father, who has always encouraged me, supported me both financially at first and emotionally throughout, and has believed in me as a professional writer since I mentioned it. The man who encouraged me to write daily when it seemed “too difficult” and still reads me faithfully, Art Tidesco. The man who followed me from Rowdy and consistently cheers me on from the sidelines, bares his soul and stories, and never lets me forget what I’m doing matters, Grumpa. The man who innocently used one of my blogs for his Daily and never got rid of me and now honors me with his beautiful graphics and kind words, The Soulful EMU. One of the nicest men I’ve ever had the privilege to meet, a damn fine son, father, husband and friend, Steve “Archidude” Arnaudin. A dad who writes and loves NASCAR like me and who followed me here from Skirts and Scuffs and stayed, Cruetten. A brave man who struggles daily with MS, always finds a kind word for me, is a loving husband, and a huge NASCAR fan, Richard Fazio. A super sweet, fun-loving, movie-appreciating, heck of a nice guy, Rob Bartow. A generous, gregarious, heart-of-gold father and husband who works tirelessly to make the world a better place, Dr. Rus Jeffrey. A music-loving man who knows that a bad day racing beats a good day at work any day of the week and twice on Friday, Vroom Vroom. Another super duper nice man who brings me joy on Twitter and graces these pages, Johnny. A schoolmate who became a dear friend, is a multi-talented man, and an all-around good egg, Stephen P. Brown. A wise-cracking, car-loving, recipe-tryin’ guy who flatters me with his presence on these pages, Jr. Cracker. To my friend and mentor who need not read me but finds his own Simple Joys in doing so, Mike Fiore. I am touched, surprised (they stayed even after they realized there wasn’t cars or porn mentioned here), honored, flattered, and so pleased by their readership. I present you all as a collective and enormous Simple Joy that I get week in and week out. Thank you!!
Much love and respect to you all who read Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. My biggest hope is that this piece inspires you to find all of the Simple Joys in your life. Share them here, keep them private, but do find them!