Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome in to Chief 187 Chatter on Tuesday, Simple Joys day! It sometimes amazes me how this post usually writes itself. I don’t struggle to find the topics; I’m just receptive to them. Normally I have to consciously stop writing to assure a reasonably and accessible-sized article for reading consumption in this forum. It delights me each week to “pen” this piece. Now, without further ado is this week’s Simple Joys.

Daimler. The week after Memorial Day Weekend begins my husband’s summer hours at work. He goes in a half hour early and stays a half hour later and by Friday is able to knock off after a four-hour workday. This last Friday was a splendid day so my husband took his beloved Daimler, his racecar that is also street-legal, to work. He arranged with me to pick our four-year-old up from pre-school in the car as a surprise. Our son was over-the-top excited to not only see his father at the pick-up, but also to get to ride in the Daimler! Later in the day my husband was able to pick up our eight-year-old from school as well. He, too, was thrilled with the surprise visitor and cool ride! Little things like this, surprising our children and making the ordinary extraordinary, bringing Simple Joys to our children, make me fall in love with my husband all the more. That is a Simple Joy that cannot be argued!

Massage. My girlfriend bought a couple of reasonably priced gift certificates for massages from another friend who could no longer use them. We planned our excursion for the Saturday after our weekend away with our families to Hersheypark. We escaped after our children’s swim lessons, leaving them in the capable hands of their fathers. This was only my third massage in my entire life, but I can tell you, I was addicted after the first. This time alone, in a warm, soothing, calming atmosphere, being rubbed, stroked, and manipulated, is Heaven-on-Earth. I’ve written before about The Healing Power of Touch, and I do believe that wholeheartedly. At the conclusion of my one-hour session I felt relaxed, renewed, reinvigorated, a little pained, and ready to face the day! I highly recommend a massage to any one on the fence about getting one.

Surprise Party. My girlfriend who accompanied me to the massage turned a milestone birthday. Her wonderful husband planned a surprise birthday party for her and used me as the decoy to get her out of the house for a few hours and then to my house where the party was being held. The plan worked perfectly (and I got a bonus massage instead of frantically attending to last-minute details like I normally would have) and she was definitely surprised! Family and friends gathered, many from over two hours away, to celebrate her birthday. Even a consistently raining/misty day did not hamper our outdoor party. We allowed the children to play in the house, while the adults huddled under the pop up canopies my husband places over our deck furniture. We dined on delicious hamburgers and hot dogs and all of the appropriate sides, sang “Happy Birthday” as she blew out the candles on her Costco sheet cake, and laughed the day away. Genuinely surprised and deeply moved, my girlfriend, in true form, enjoyed everyone and everything around her. It was a fantastic surprise party!

After Party. After the majority of the guests left the surprise party, a small group of us, the guest of honor and her family, her college roommate/best friend, and my family, stuck around to just hangout, talk, eat dinner of the same foods, and bask in the moment. The stories were told that were familiar yet still bring tears from laugher to the eyes, were welcomed additions to the night. As terrific as the surprise party was, the after party was my favorite part of the day!

My parents. My parents arrived back in New Jersey to live in their summer cottage for the season. They hadn’t seen my family since Christmas so they remarked on how much the children had grown, how adorable they are, and how grown up they all seemed. Since they left my career as a writer has taken off. I write about them, examine our relationship, and revel in the fact that they are my parents; loving and supportive. My mother, not a writer, was sure to point out that the Simple Joys I write (and she reads) about my children is, “exactly what your father and I felt about you and your brothers”. It was a powerful statement that stopped me in my tracks. My mother may not have been able to write if for me to read, but I always knew we were all loved. And hearing her say that to me made me so plainly happy. Later in the day, the first of their arrival, my father and I were able to steal away from the rest of the group and just talk. He’s a car fanatic and had purchased two books he had sent to my house anticipating his arrival in New Jersey. Both books contained pictures of a car he owns. He was over-joyed and I was intrigued. I asked some open-ended questions that led to nearly an hour of explanation and stories on his end. It was so interesting I urged him to write it all down for others to read and learn. He thought he would. Bonding with both parents, individually on the same day, was an overwhelming Simple Joy. I am so very blessed they are both in my life.

Flag Day. June 14th is Flag Day. I am a Patriot. I love the United States of America. I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag. My family has several American Flags flying proudly around our property. We march in parades throughout the year, waving American Flags and honoring those who serve, defend, and died in service to our country. On this Flag Day, please remember how lucky, fortunate, and blessed we are to live in this great country; a country millions risk their lives to come, a country where freedoms are guaranteed. The United States of America is where we still have a voice, a vote, and a say. It’s easy to criticize, but harder to volunteer, serve, and do. I am proud to be an American. I love my country, I honor those who serve and protect it, and I fly the American Flag proudly because I can. God Bless America! Happy Flag Day!!

Thank you so much for reading my Simple Joys. I always encourage you all to make your own list and share it; but even if you don’t share it, making one of your own only adds a positive lean to your day/life. Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic on a completely new topic on “Freestyle Wednesday”.


  1. Hey Candice;

    Once again a wonderful post and a great reminder to enjoy the simple things in life. All too often we miss the simple joys as the world whirls by.

    Dr. Rus

  2. It was a wonderful massage and an even better party! (of course, my initial response to your lovely article was "hehe...she said rubbed, stroked, and manipulated", but I decided to take the high road and not mention that...oh, wait...)

  3. All I can say to that, Karen, is Happy Birthday! I knew you'd appreciate (and mention)that sentence!!