Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. Some weeks are more challenging than others. There are times it feels that a hole has been dug and it is nearly impossible to dig ourselves out. Other times a glorious week presents itself; all is right with the world and you cannot remember ever giving into doubt, stress, confusion, or anything of the like. Most of us have weeks that fall somewhere in the middle. The good and bad, give and take, exciting and dull flesh out the weeks we string together into a lifetime. Finding and savoring Simple Joys is the secret to good living. The key to accepting life in all of its forms and having faith that bad times morph into opportunities, lessons learned, and a new perspective is seeking out and washing yourself in Simple Joys. Like any muscle that is left dormant, it can atrophy. But daily use can spring it back to life resulting in the most amazing outcomes. Simple Joys, quite frankly, beget Simple Joys. So, without further ado, here are this week’s Simple Joys.
Friends. When family lives far away friends become a huge part of one’s life. This past week I’ve had many plans with friends and feel so lucky to have amassed a strong group with whom to socialize. Young and old, singles and married, parents and grandparents, we count all kinds of people as true friends who enrich our lives. Having friends to count on, rely on, and plainly have fun with is a monumental Simple Joy!
Warrior. This is the ultimate movie for Mixed Martial Arts fans or those who are not versed in the sport. A strong plot is set in the background of the world of MMA. I highly recommend the film, feel it was a quality picture, and thought the acting was spot on as well. As I have recently been making a name for myself interviewing MMA fighters both on the radio and in articles it was high time I saw this film. Seeing it and loving it was a powerful Simple Joy.
Thomas the Tank Engine. Each child in our family has had the great privilege and joy of taking the long journey to the Strasburg Railroad to take a ride in a coach powered by none other than Thomas the Tank Engine. Located in central Pennsylvania in Lancaster County, the Strasburg Railroad is one of the few places left in the country with working steam engines. In conjunction with the fantasy world of Thomas the Tank Engine, all of the railroad activities were enthusiastically met by our three children, including and especially our nearly two year old little girl. She delighted in every ride, activity, and sighting the day offered and shed nary a tear. Taking the family on a long excursion to experience a marvel like Thomas the Tank Engine and the Strasburg Railroad is a Simple Joy I’m proud to say we’ve revisited four times!
Apple-Picking. Autumn has arrived and with it the traditions we’ve shared since creating
our family. Apple-picking in September is a family favorite because we all truly enjoy eating the fresh apples off the trees and then taking home a huge bag full to consume throughout the weeks. Although we sometimes create tasty recipes calling for apples, mostly we scarf them down as snacks in their natural state. Picking apples with our family and friends, eating their natural goodness, and soaking in the memories create lasting memories that personify Simple Joys.
Good-Byes. My parents left this weekend. During the summer they are my neighbors living about 10 minutes away from me. They arrive in early June and a whole summer is laid out before us. We make tentative plans, speak often, and see each other a lot. Having them around through the end of September to reconnect and enjoy is an immense and wondrous Simple Joy that not many adults get to claim. The downside is there is always a “Good-Bye” that has to happen upon their leaving. But even that must hold some kind of Simple Joy for, although it is sad and tear-filled, it is an opportunity to tell one another how much we love each other. Sappy? Yes. But how many really do this with their adult parents? I get to do it every year!
Even the best Simple Joys are painful at times. Like the way I ended my Simple Joys this week with “Good-Bye”. Another summer has closed signaling my parents it is time to head back down to their home in Florida. After four months with weekly visits, meals, shopping excursions, and daily talks, our lives morph back to the long-distant relationship we endure for the majority of the year. We speak less, lose track of one another, and fall out of practice of being a family unit. As they do not live with me that is perfectly natural, but the initial separation is very difficult for my children and me. Yet, I must teach my children and myself that even in sadness and good-byes there can be Simple Joys. The thrill of an out-of –the-blue phone call from them, a social life that suddenly has far more openings, and the freedom to plan without consulting their needs are among the benefits. But, although these Simple Joys are great, I’d still trade them all in to have my parents around me year round. So, I’ll keep collecting little Simple Joys regarding them, but will look forward with great pleasure to the time when summer is dawning and they pull in to town with the van full and my heart bursting!