Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter. This is one of my favorite weeks of the entire year because Thanksgiving is the epitome of Simple Joys in one glorious holiday when we are all encouraged to think about all the things and people we are grateful.

What Simple Joys does for me is allow this feeling of gratefulness and hyper-awareness to last all the yearlong. This is the first time I will celebrate Thanksgiving with Simple Joys in existence (the feature not my feelings/experiences. It is a dream realized to get to take the positive in my life and share with an engaged, loving, and supportive readership. Simple Joys enhance my life exponentially and sharing them with all of you does emphatically, too! And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Flag Ceremony. As I share often, my eldest child is a Cub Scout in his WEBELOS I year. This means that his responsibilities as a Scout increase and independent work, citizenship, and the like become vastly more important. At the Pack Meeting held Friday night my boys (I am the Den Leader along with 2 other great parents) were chosen to present colors. In addition to carrying the American flag and Pack flag into the auditorium where the meeting is held, our boys also carried a folded American flag, unfolded it properly, hung it, and hoisted it reverently while never letting it touch the ground, brought the room to attention, announced, “Those of you in uniform please salute, those of you who are not, please place your right hand over your heart”, and recited the pledge. Afterwards the boys lowered the flag, unhooked it, refolded it properly, and presented it to a den that was working on requirements regarding the American flag. For nine year old boys who have a tendency to want to run around and not listen at 7:30p, they did a phenomenal job with each step, understanding the reverence and importance of every job they did. The room was silent and the boys competently took to the duties they were assigned. My son refolded the flag in front of a large group and showed no nervousness at all. Not only was I proud of him, but all of the boys for rising to the occasion and always making their den leaders proud. Watching these boys consistently improve their character and skill set is an endless source of Simple Joys for me! [The picture is from the Internet & is not from my Den]

Girls Night Out. They don’t happen often but when they do I anticipate them for days (weeks?) and they NEVER disappoint! My bestie was there but so were three other women whom we adore. The venue was my favorite high end sushi/Asian buffet that is large, always scrumptious, and relaxing allowing us to sit and chat for hours with no pressure to vacate the table. We all met at the dojo and have all taken class together. A couple of us (me included) are on an extended hiatus from class, but we are still a tight-knit group of women who can share ANYTHING. We all come from different experiences which enriches the times we share because we have much to offer the group individually and as a whole. Our one friend is a newlywed (I wrote about attending her wedding in a Simple Joys post last month) and brought her wedding pictures to share. Another woman is a very young and sexy grandma who is back in the dating world and shared her stories. The three of us who are longtime married ladies with kids at home all added to the cacophony of stories, advice, and laughter. And there was a lot of laughter. I know it was an awesome night because more than once I was reduced to fits of laughter that resulted in tears, a tell-tale sign that I enjoyed myself wholly and completely! We already have plans in January and I can tell you with certainty that like this one being chock full of Simple Joys, that meet up will make the list of Simple Joys in early 2012!

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. The conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season was on Sunday and Tony Stewart was crowned dethroning five-time consecutive champion Jimmie Johnson. The entire season, the first I ever worked and thus followed each race intently, was dramatic, competitive, and full of controversy. Drama was for the amount of winners during the season, eighteen different ones in all, and several were first-time winners. A real battle between two competitors, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart, emerged in the Chase (the playoffs) and continued the entire run! The controversy was mostly attributed to the actions of driver Kyle Busch who will certainly be a changed man come the 2012 Season or he won’t be in NASCAR much longer. From a fan’s point of view, this season couldn’t have been any better and was certainly the most exciting in recent years. From a writer’s point of view, there have been endless opportunities for finding fantastic subject matter. I am saddened the season is now officially over. With the holidays approaching I definitely have ways to fill the void left by NASCAR. But, I guarantee, once January arrives I’ll be counting down to the February Daytona 500 like all of my NASCAR brethren! In the meantime, I want to reiterate that watching the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season has been a constant source of Simple Joys!

Mom-in-law. Let me be perfectly clear, I love, adore, and treasure my mom-in-law. I cannot even call her “mother-in-law” because that is far too formal and impersonal. Since my husband and I have been together since I was fourteen my mom-in-law has been like another mom to me but also like a dear girlfriend. We were both teachers, both adore her son, and both value a lot of the same things in life. Consequently, we have always gotten along famously and have always respected each other. We chat on the phone, work well together in the kitchen, and simply enjoy one another’s company to the nth degree. Thanksgiving is one of our very favorite times to be together because we typically get to spend a ton of time together. We shop in sync, make fabulous pies together, and, to revel in her favorite past time which allows me a much needed break, she plays games with my children much to all of our delight. We stay up late and talk, get up early and talk, and cry when the time comes for her to depart. I am anticipating her arrival tonight and cannot wait to I see her in the morning on Wednesday. She’s bringing my Dad-in-law (my other “Daddy”) and her father (Bumpa/my children’s wonderful Great-Grandfather) along, too, so there is much happiness to our festivities. I know from my peers that many women do not get along at all with their mothers-in-law. My mom-in-law hears often from her peers they cannot stand their daughters-in-law. We feel incredibly blessed to have one another in our lives and are proud of the relationship we cultivated. Anytime I spend with my mom-in-law, no matter the season or reason for the visit, is a Simple Joy.

Leaves. My husband is simply my favorite person on the planet; nay, in the entire universe. He is vigilant about house chores so he never falls behind, works hard, attends school, is a caring and wonderful neighbor and friend, and makes me feel like a princess in the best sense of the word. He is a fantastic father, engaged and involved, and knows how to wrangle up some fun. While blowing leaves in our yard over the weekend he made another pile for the children to jump in and frolic! They did, laughing, throwing leaves, and creating mischief. Early on, my husband joined them. I sat on our porch steps watching the fun but not being a part of it. Finally the pull was too great and my husband motioned for me to join him. I tackled him in the leaves and lay on top of him. I was overwhelmed with love and kissed him passionately. The rest of the world ceased to exist and all I was aware was the two of us melting into the leaves. From boundless fun with the children to falling in love repeatedly with my husband, the leaves were the conduit for Simple Joys this week.

Thanksgiving Week always makes me full of joy. Knowing the house will be filled with extended family, the kitchen emanating savory and sweet smells, and Christmas secrets stashed away for next month’s unveiling are parts of the reasons I enjoy this week. But, it really is the culmination of a year filled with Simple Joys that I can reflect and give gratitude in a formal way. Most importantly, upon the conclusion of Thanksgiving Week I know I can continue to find and make Simple Joys in my daily life to make the next year fulfilling. I wish only the best to you and yours on this Thanksgiving Week and every week of the year. Thank you for spending your Tuesdays with me and thank you for being a part of my Simple Joys.

Please join me tomorrow when I debut my first Thanksgiving Poem!


  1. This weeks Simple Joy was singing a round of Plastic Jesus at an open mike night and having the audience singing in (almost) four part harmony with me :-)

  2. Oh ... I just LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS Post!!! Every week... You and your simple joys make me SMILE #FromTheInsideOUT ������ The "Girl's Night Out" reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Waiting To Exhale" = Successful, fun-loving women at different stages in their lives sharing laughs (and tears) with each other!! #Bliss I could go on and on... Leaves, Soulmates, Kids milestones... #SimpleAMAZINGJoys!!!!!!!
    Thank You, My friend!!!!
    @FitInMyHeart (Monique)

  3. Stellar yet again.
    I want to share a very simple joy that happened just this morning.
    My youngest is my "helper" (a simple joy in itself) and was taking the recycling out to the curb for me before leaving for the bus stop. I opened the front door to be greeted with a lovely rush of crisp, clean, cool air and fog. This takes me back to my youth when I walked to school every morning at this time of year. The sun was peeping through the fog and it made for a beautiful sight. If only that house across the street wasn't there I would be able to get a fantastic view of the sun pouring though the trees and fog. I even let the door stand open while my little one donned his jacket and back pack and left for his last school day of the week. Me: Adios! Him: Cinnamon Toast! Both: Bye, Love you, have a good day!

    That Hershey's Kiss commercial they show during the holidays... you know the one. The kisses act as bells and they shake themselves to the tune of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and that last little one jingles as hard as he can and wipes himself with his Hersheys tag and exclaims, "Whew!"... THAT is a holiday Simple Joy. I look forward to that commercial every year. I finally saw it this morning.

    Cornbread. What? How can cornbread be a Simple Joy? Well, it is the base for my Grandpa Jimmy's Cornbread Dressing. I bake it and crumble it up a few days before Thanksgiving per instructions to get it a little stale. Each time I go to the kitchen to stir the cornbread a little I always have a sense that my late Grandfather is standing beside me proud and happy that I am the one to carry on the tradition. This year, I was stirring and felt both of my Grandparents behind me. I could almost hear them say, "delightful", their catch phrase when they are pleased with something they have eaten.

    Your blog is a Simple Joy for me Candice. Every morning I open up my browser and Chief 187 Chatter is one of the 5 tabs that are set to open automatically for me. It is part of my daily routine. Even if I don't comment, know that I am reading!

    Much love to the 187 Family and Happy Thanksgiving!