Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

I must admit, some weeks are easier than others to produce this post. It has become so much a part of my life, however, that writing it has enriched my life, changed my perspective, and given me a sunnier and more optimistic outlook.

The best part is it can do it for you, too. Not just reading my post, but identifying the Simple Joys in your life can give you the same positive outlook. In this day with a still less than stellar economic forecast, political mudslinging, and general malaise from society as a whole, Simple Joys ascends all to provide a personal boost each time they are experienced.

And the greatest thing? Once you find Simple Joys, it becomes even easier to find them throughout your day. All this joy and it’s free? You betcha!

And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Dressed up. As I’ve written about throughout the years, my husband has been working on earning his Master’s Degree. It’s been an arduous process that requires sacrifice, focus, dedication, & concentration that is hard to come by when one has a full time job, a family with three young children, and a life!

He is now in his last days of the program before graduation. Last week he had two presentations to do, two nights in a row.

For each presentation he dressed up in a very handsome/dashing suit and tie. He’d come home late at night, exhausted from a long day at work, commute to school, presentation, and commute home. And, no matter what, each time he walked through the door dressed up he took my breath away.

Feeling that for my husband after more than twenty-five years together is a Simple Joy that I cannot imagine ever going away.

Bread. I love bread. I think it’s an excellent and tasty addition to the meal. I know it’s not so good for me, but I really don’t care. It’s delicious! Besides, I don’t serve it all of the time.

The grocery store had a new item called a Ciabatta baguette. I had had Ciabatta bread before, but not in this form so I bought some to try for our pasta dinner.

My eldest son asked, “What’s that?” when he saw me cutting the loaf at dinnertime.

“Ciabatta bread,” I replied.

“Chewbacca bread?!” he asked incredulously, a smile on his face but believing what he thought he’d heard.

That struck me as deliriously funny so I laughed aloud and said, “Yes, yes Matthew, Chewbacca bread.”

“Really?!” he asked excitedly.

“No, not really, but that was really funny.”

Having exchanges of this nature while fixing dinner is a Simple Joy I’ll never tire.

The song. My middle boy asked for and received a guitar for Christmas. It is one his father and I found at a discount store and cost around $20. It’s more than a toy and something he loves to fool around with. He’s musical even without lessons.

The other morning he got the instrument out of its case to serenade me while I was doing the laundry.

“Mom,” he said in his precious high-pitched voice of a five-year-old, “I’m going to sing you a Mother’s Day song.”

Which he did and it was so sweet. Nothing rhymed, the lyrics rambled and repeated a bit, and the guitar part was sort of gloomy, but the words were incredibly heartfelt and genuine.

I know that this Simple Joy will stay with me a lifetime, long after he pins the corsage on his prom date, graduates college, and introduces me to one of my grandchildren, I will remember the little song he made up on the spot for me in honor of Mother’s Day. I love that kid with every fiber of my being.

Manicure. To remind the readership, I do not get my nails manicured professionally. It’s not that I don’t agree with paying professionals to care for and luxuriate me, it’s that I don’t have the money to afford to do it regularly so I skip it. But I do like to care for my own nails as best as I can… when I remember… and find the “free time”.

A new bottle of nail polish prompted me to sculpt my nails and paint them. My daughter, now two and a half, was fascinated. I started with one nail. After 24 hours the polish was still on (she hadn’t sucked it off) so I finished the job painting all ten of her nails.

She loved it! And this normally fidgety child was calm for the couple of minutes it took to paint and dry her tiny little nails.

Now we show one another our hands and I say “hand kisses” to which we bump hands gently and say “MWAH” loudly.

Having a girl and spending time doing “girly” things is a Simple Joy that is addictive!

Mustache. My husband has only had facial hair for longer than 4 days once in his life. He grew a beard in the winter of 1989-1990 because the surveying work he was doing in northern New Jersey left his face battered and cold. The beard helped keep him warm.

It was okay. I think my husband is sexy no matter what, but I was relieved when he shaved during the spring thaw. His was a rugged “mountain man” beard. His face, in my opinion, was far too handsome to cover in facial hair.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and a temporary skin irritation led my husband to grow his stubble out. He was ready to shave when I suggested he keep the mustache, the sight of the blemish.

My husband relented and over the last few weeks I have watched his mustache fill in. I love it! He’s still so very handsome clean-shaven and I know he’ll go back to that, but the mustache is a definite fun element to his face.

Having been together as long as we have, it is absolutely fun to explore change in this way. Over the years I’ve changed my hair style or color, but my husband has stayed very much the same appearance-wise (I’m very lucky!).

The mustache has added a spark that, well, is fun! The mustache, as long as it is here, is a Simple Joy I am enjoying seeing on my husband immensely! And, it’s true, kissing a man with a mustache tickles… a lot!

Simple Joys come in many ways. Some are loud and memorable; others are passing, fleeting moments that lighten the day. All are vastly important in making life manageable and worth living.

Whatever forms your Simple Joys take, I hope you take the time throughout the week to remember them and look for new ones along the way.

Wishing you all a week filled with Simple Joys!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Chief 187™Chatter.


  1. I like Chewbacca bread and guitars, too!

  2. Chewbacca bread and Mother's Day serenades?! Your children are all kinds of awesome. We love them! xo

  3. Simple Joy this week being reminded to dust off my guitar more often :-) Thanks Chief 187™ !