Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter!

Since we last connected autumn has fallen upon us.

It is a time of transitions.

For me it is always a bittersweet time.

I am fortunate to have both of my parents living. In the summertime they live close to me. My children and I see them regularly and truly enjoy one another’s company.

When the fall nip is in the air my parents close up their tiny summer cottage and take refuge in their home further south.

The hardest part is saying goodbye knowing I won’t see them in person until Christmastime, a maddening time filled with too many rushed traditions, over-abundance of riches both calorically and materially, and dictated by “have-to” statements.

Summer is far more relaxed, genuine, and comfortable.

Finding my Simple Joys when a part of my heart has left is a tall order, but one I know is necessary for the health of me and ultimately my family.

Truthfully, I get into the swing of things rather quickly, indulge in a spirited life with my husband and three children, our friends, and our extended family. Still, their presence is missed.

But, beyond the wistfulness there are many Simple Joys along the way.

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

Fiesta dinner. We love taco night in our family. And, my folks do, too. On our last night together before their trip South we shared a taco dinner that was so pleasing – and festive!

We took the opportunity to celebrate my daughter’s birthday nearly a month early so her grandparents could see her open and enjoy her gifts.

It was such a wonderful night it was difficult for me to see it end. But having the memories – and a belly full of tacos – is a Simple Joy I was always cherish.

Movie night. My husband and I rarely get to treat ourselves to a movie alone. Usually our Netflix choices are family-oriented and the children join us. This past week, however, I had chosen a title based on a book I had read earlier in the year. Water For Elephants is an older film but was new to us.

We enjoyed the story, thought the acting was good, and, most of all, spent time together caught up in a movie without kids interrupting!

Spending movie night engaged in a grown up movie sans kids was a luxurious Simple Joy!

Apple Picking. Yes, we’re one of those families who traipsed out to the country (I actually live in the country, but still) and paid money for a large paper bag to fill with fresh-off-the-tree fruit picked by… us! There was, of course, a ride behind a tractor, too.
My family and I enjoy this annual activity so much. The children’s favorite part is being told to eat as much fruit as they care to… and they do!

I love that, too, but I really like having mountains of apples in the house to serve the family that taste as fresh as, well, off the tree!

Going apple picking on a beautiful, crisp fall day is a Simple Joy my family and I always look forward doing together!

The Emmy Awards. Look, let’s get something straight. I don’t get to watch much TV anymore that isn’t on the Disney channel or racing. And that’s cool. But at one time I used to be a television junkie. I was a bona fide addicted mess who would know every actor nominated in the Emmys and follow several of the programs – from comedy to drama, variety shows to miniseries.

A combination of not having HBO or other subscription channels, having kids, and choosing a career in racing has ended my addiction cold turkey.

But I still love awards shows, especially for TV and especially hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Watching the entire show wasn’t an option in my schedule, but I did carve out time to watch a bunch of it and was rewarded with a plethora of Simple Joys.

My Facebook Friends. On Monday morning (yesterday) I posted a request to my FB friends to help create a list of reasons to look forward to Mondays. Many people complain about the first day of the work/school week so I wanted to counteract the negativity with a burst of refreshing and uplifting thoughts. My friends did NOT let me down.

Surrounding myself with upbeat, positive-thinking friends on Facebook and in real life is a Simple Joy I cannot live without!

The transition from summer to autumn is all but complete. The school year is well underway as are the myriad extra-curricular activities our family engages.

I miss my parents but can still speak to them daily and see them on Skype. And, God willing, I will have them back here next summer to enjoy another season’s worth of Simple Joys.

Now, how long is it until Christmas?

Wishing you a week full of Simple Joys!

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