Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. I learn so much about myself and the human condition writing this post. It is, bar none, my favorite to express myself in a positive way. The feedback I receive from this post weekly encourages me to continue on this path indefinitely. The core message is always the same; we have the power to experience Simple Joys all throughout the day every day if we simply open our minds and heart to the possibility. And, the more Simple Joys welcomed, the more that follow! It is a very simple formula that I have oft repeated on these electronic pages, week after week, but it bears repeating regularly. Like children, we learn best through repetition. If it takes me a lifetime of Simple Joys posts to make the world a little better place, especially my own world, I will do it! And now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.

Cub Scout Hike. There are many aspects of being a den leader for my son’s Cub Scout Den that I enjoy and others that are a bit more tedious (i.e. paperwork). Fortunately my co-den leader planned a fantastic hike in a nearby local state park for us to traverse while working on several different requirements; a joy to partake in such a fun-filled and educational activity. The weather was “seasonal”, flirting with 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the foliage beginning to reach peak colors. There were several different kinds of trees to identify, as well as plants, insects, and, a bonus for the boys, a tiny airport adjacent to the park that afforded them an up close and personal look at private planes taking off and landing! Mostly I saw these young men, fourth graders and WEBELOS I’s, who were wholly different than the Tigers (1st graders) we had last brought to the same sight three years ago. Taller, baby-weight shed, front teeth grown in, and more independent, these boys still showed wide-eyed wonder, but were so much more confident and comfortable in their skin. Afterwards we parents treated our boys to lunch at the McDonald’s and, unlike the last visit, saw the boys sit together sans parents. One of the parents snapped a picture of the boys and lamented that we’ll certainly see even more of a change when these young boys become young men as seniors in high school. Being a part of my son’s life, his development as a thinking creature, and being able to witness it at this close proximity is a much cherished Simple Joy.

Pumpkin Picking. Annual pumpkin picking is one of the highlights of the season for my family. My three children still delight in a hayride, choosing and cutting their own pumpkins lose, and displaying them at home. We often go with dear friends who have two little girls. Another close friend is the farmer who owns the pumpkin patch we frequent. We purchase gorgeous pumpkins, interestingly-shaped gourds, bags of crisp, freshly picked apples, and magnificent and vibrant mums to display. Having annual traditions of this fun nature to share with our family while hanging with our friends is a satisfying Simple Joy.

Time with Friends. When I was a young woman a British family moved in next door to my parent’s house. They had a son who was three years ahead of me in school. Although not overly close nor even romantically involved, we were nonetheless compatible and truly enjoyed one another’s company. Our paths diverged and not until more than twenty years later did they cross at a school reunion for those involved in the music department from several different years. I bumped into this man and his bride and was taken with how wonderful it was to see this face from the past. Shortly thereafter we were invited to the man’s fortieth birthday party; naturally we accepted. From that point on our relationship was rekindled! He knew my husband and liked him quite well and I adored his lovely young wife! We’ve been friends ever since and socialized regularly. Last winter our friends moved to Florida, but returned this week to visit. They saved an entire afternoon and evening to spend with us and the magic of friendship was still present! The conversation never lulled, the laughter rang out, and good food was ingested! They adore our children and we pray they’ll have their own soon. As we parted we realized that the kind of friendship we’ve developed was truly strong enough to be considered family. Having this couple in my life as my extended family is a blessing and a priceless Simple Joy!

Freestyle Wednesday. I enjoy all of the writing work I do. From NASCAR to Mixed Martial Arts, and from movies to music and Simple Joys, they all turn me on and give me great pleasure. But, recently, I have found my Wednesday Freestyle day to be the most creative. I go back to the roots of Chief 187 Chatter when every day was freestyle; a time before the Monday Movie Blog and Tantalizing Thursday. I am able to put a topic in the spotlight that impassions me and that is my absolute favorite way to write.

Already Simple Joys has taken hold of my life and offered perspective when things have started to spiral out of control. The act of writing this piece weekly gives me an opportunity to keep my mind trained on all of the positive that enters my life. Like many, I was not always looking through life with optimistic, joyful glasses, but by embracing this concept that has all changed. My hope is that by reading my Simple Joys you will be inspired to find yours. Whether you write them down as I have or simply click them off mentally, by identifying them you make it possible to find more!

Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic on yet another entirely new subject.


  1. Something new and exciting coming up from Stephen in the near future as well, The Hayden Project. Head over to: http://www.stephenpbrown.com/ for updates.

  2. Sussex County Strawberry Farm on 206 in Andover still has pumpkins! http://www.sussexcountystrawberryfarm.com

  3. Thank you, Candice, always uplifting!

  4. My weekend, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday night to Sunday around the same time was all a Simple Joy (well, maybe except the freezing temps sleeping in a tent)!

    This year there weren't enough people to cover all the necessary parts of the AWBC crews. So this year, they decided to "test" using the Youth Crew helping out another crew at a stop. I was blessed to be chosen to be their "unofficial" team leader (they have 2 adults working with them) and being a kid at heart myself I had an absolute ball! They were eager to work, help me in anyway they could and most of all I had the shiny, happy, enthusiastic group I desperately wanted for a crew.

    They apparently loved me back! I was asked by many of the kids to be their Team Leader next year. Whenever they saw me they ran up and gave me hugs, and they deemed me "one of their own" by giving me one of their "youth crew only" tote bags.

    My assignment was changed less than 48 hours before event weekend. This was very stressful for someone who is a big planner... they melted all that stress away!

    Not only the youth crew specifically, but just being involved in such a wonderful event is a Simple Joy in itself. I've already registered for next year & already working to put a team together and a theme. JOY!

  5. Moving a plum tree this weekends simple joy :-)

  6. You are a person who can see the difference between "Your Kids" in a small period of time. You are INVOLVED in your kids lives. The person who mentioned that there will be a bigger change when they become 18... Just don't understand.
    I may be long winded but please stick with me....
    When I was in Little League, I had the "BEST GAME OF MY CAREER". My Father jumped down from the stands and showed me how proud he was of me, as I saw my mother wink at me, crying tears of joy for what I had just accomplished.
    I don't know if I hit a double to knock in the winning run, or if I stuck out the last batter, maybe I caught the ball that led to a double play, or hit a sacrifice fly to right to score the winning run..... IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER.
    "WHAT MATTERS" is that 'Both' my parents were there to see "WHAT I HAD DONE" to help "WIN" that game for my team.
    My point is that I don't "REMEMBER" What my PARENTS were so proud of.... "I JUST REMEMBER THAT THEY WERE BOTH THERE, AND THEY WERE PROUD OF "ME"!!!!!!!
    There was probably 100+ times that my parents came to my games, and if I got base hit, I would looked into the stands and got a smile, And if I struck out, I would look up in the same grandstands, and get the "LOOK" that said "DON'T WORRY, YOU WILL GET IT NEXT TIME...

  7. PS ... How is your "FUTURE PRO" doing. Remember... Follow the ball as it is pitched and follow the ball until it hits the bat. It sounds simple but it will help you "SEE THE BALLS" and "HIT THE STRIKES"