Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Simple Joys have been a part of my being for so long that I take it for granted that people know what they are. On the chance that new readers are stopping by or some of us have conveniently forgotten, I’ll explain again.

Simple Joys are the different times throughout the day that lighten your heart, mind, and soul. They are as impactful as long awaited good news, a milestone reached, or a strong connection with a loved one. On the other hand, Simple Joys can be as fleeting as a quick giggle, a momentary glance at a gorgeous scene in nature, or locking eyes with a stranger.

Simple Joys come in different shapes and packages. They are the positive parts of your day that add up to create a truly good life.

For many it seems nearly impossible to find Simple Joys… at first. Life throws curveballs, seemingly devastating news, and challenges us daily.

Simple Joys counteract those feelings and situations. What is most important is opening one’s mind and heart to the notion that Simple Joys can and do exist and we have the power to find and embrace them.

Finding your Simple Joys is about exercising the belief, the faith that you will succeed. That Simple Joys will start to appear to you and you will find joy in your life. And like any exercise it can be difficult at first, but memory muscle does build and eventually Simple Joys will be easy to experience, attain, and create!

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

Tricky Tray. On a rare night out together my husband and I attended the Little League Tricky Tray in town. We are novices and were a bit overwhelmed by all of the hardcore Tricky “Trayors” we encountered.

Fortunately some kind ladies took us under their wing, gave us some pointers, and shared their supplies (did you know you should bring Scotch tape and noisemakers?).

At the end of the night I was nearly $100 poorer with no bounty to bring home, but it was for the town Little League program and my husband and I enjoyed a night out which in and of itself is a Simple Joy, especially learning this “craft” and having the bonus aspect of "people watching".

Winning Run. If I haven’t made it abundantly clear, my eldest son is a complete novice when it comes to baseball. He is trying hard, attends practices, and plays his heart out, but he is yet to have the valuable experience that is all too necessary to succeed. He’s working on it.

On Saturday my family and I sat in the sun to root for my eldest boy and his team. It was hot, the game was not going in their favor, and my husband and I needed to get home as we had a rare date planned and needed to ready ourselves.

We arranged for another dad to bring our son home after the game that was one inning from being over when we departed.

When my son arrived home about twenty minutes after us he burst into the house with a wide smile, eyes blazing, and enthusiasm uncontainable yelling, “I scored the winning run, I SCORED THE WINNING RUN!”

It was the grandest of Simple Joys to hear that from my boy and I was only tinged with guilt a little bit that his father and I had missed it. My loving boy, with his heart so big, totally understood and did not let it dampen his festive mood.

The second Simple Joy related to this was when the Coach texted my husband the news! Coach was as excited as we were!

Once again our family’s involvement with Little League has provided another Simple Joy for me!

Date Night. The Tricky Tray was the night before but since it was an organized event in town and we had no control over the night, I don’t count it as a full-fledged Date Night!

Saturday night my husband and I had the sitter back to care for the children so he and I could attend a fabulous concert.

We started the evening with the awesome baseball news about our son scoring the winning run. From that bit of news we carried our evening to dinner – quickly – to our favorite Sushi restaurant for a quick bite at the sushi bar.

Dinner was superb, not only because the food was sublimely perfect, but because we had nary a child to feed, wrestle, take to the restroom, entertain, or interrupt our conversation.

We made it to our destination with time to spare. We saw a taping of The Discovery Orchestra’s Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. It was taped for airing some time in December. The music was familiar, wonderful, rich, sumptuous, and so well played. The maestro is supremely talented, informative, entertaining, and funny, and makes classical musical accessible to the masses. We had a top notch evening!

Spending time alone with my husband (in a pretty new dress and some of my favorite jewels) is always a Simple Joy I look forward to often!

Car Wash. Sunday dawned spectacularly. Sunny, warm, and conducive to outdoor activity; my family and I took advantage.

We practiced baseball in the morning, had a great lunch at home, and then decided to be productive and wash all of the cars. We have two daily drivers, my husband’s race car, and my father’s Studebaker Lark that he stores at our home.

The three kids, my husband and I got out the sponges and used our elbow grease to scrub the cars clean. We squirted the kids with the hose, did some minor detailing, and felt good about treating our cars so nicely.

All of us spending the day together, pitching in to accomplish a goal, and laughing while doing so created a treasured Simple Joy.

The Chatterbox. Once the cars were cleaned, dried, and put away we found it was dinnertime. Although I had a plan for dinner, we decided it would be much more fun to drive in the Studebaker to the nostalgic-looking “Drive-in” restaurant The Chatterbox for dinner.

Shaped like a Drive-in of yesteryear, it is necessary to go inside for service, but the décor is straight from the 1950s, movie posters, music, and all. We treated the children to burgers, fries, and ice cream and had a fun-filled meal.

Relaxing, driving in the “fun car”, and having someone else make dinner was a Sunday Simple Joy.

Each week I make a point to write down the previous weeks’ collection of Simple Joys in my life.

Doing so has given me a completely different and vastly positive perspective.

Of course I still experience stressful moments, bad days, and frustrations, but I now see the bigger picture. That each day does contain a litany of Simple Joys that I can reach out to, immerse myself in, and collect to reminisce and look forward when things start to get out of whack.

Whether you write your Simple Joys down like I do or merely take a moment each day/week to think about, I hope you do so.

Recognizing the Simple Joys in your life can radically improve your quality of living. Who couldn’t use that?

I wish you all an abundance of Simple Joys!

Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic about an entirely new subject on Chief 187™Chatter.


  1. Hmm... You've got all mine here. George Maull, The Lark, Baseball, Sushi...

  2. We had a thrilling Simple Joy in the last week. The 2 youngest took their EOG's (End of Grade tests). Every year since the 3rd grade our daughter has had to retake one or more of her tests. She is a very inconsistent test taker and we all struggle with it. We do our best to follow the school's guidelines with a great nights sleep before and good breakfast in the morning. We do what we can to alleviate any stress or anxiety that we might see in her and hide our worry for her. We tell her to do her best, take her time (even though they are timed tests), pray before and go back through her answers if she gets done early...
    Friday afternoon I picked her up from the last middle school dance of the year. She was beaming. I figured it was because the guy she liked asked her to dance, but then I remembered, this was middle school! LOL! I asked her what she got on her EOG's and she PASSED them BOTH! This will be the first year she doesn't have to retake them! We are all still on cloud 9. Even last night she was excited because now she gets to find out what everyone else does while people are retaking their tests! This was a thrilling, exciting moment for her. A huge boost of confidence as well! I had to share!

    Upcoming Simple Joys:
    ~My youngest crosses over to Webelo I tonight.
    ~My parents arrive from California tomorrow.
    ~Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance starts Thursday.
    ~One of my parents is joining me at the Coca-Cola 600.
    ~My birthday, a celebration of living one more year.
    ~Then I am driving (by myself- ROADTRIP!!) to Chicago to cheer on a very special 1st time Avon Walker and the rest of the walkers. Also, volunteer at Event Eve.
    ~See some dear friends.
    ~Enjoy a little time away from the family before summer begins and calendars are filled with activities!

    Have a wonderful day Miss Candice! Much love and a big hug to you and your family!

  3. Our Joy is to read your writing. The Lark looks great. We are happy it is being used.

  4. My simple joy has come in the last few weeks and it's been finding somebody at work to talk to about what's going on in my life. I am a private person and don't open up easily with my emotions. I've been talking to one of my managers at work (including an emotional one a few weeks ago) at least once a week for the last few weeks and it's really helped me a ton. For me, just having somebody like that to talk to is a simple joy because I've never felt comfortable, or even trusted I guess, with opening up to anybody about my emotions and what's going on.

    My other simple joys are:
    -taking a MUCH needed vacation week to Chicago to meet up with Rowdy friends for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
    -finding and talking to people at work who I can talk to, and even relate to with what they are going through and what I've gone through in my past (my dad died when I was 13, which is more than likely a big reason why I never opened up to anyone)
    -taking time for myself and doing a lot of self reflection and realizing things about myself that I never had to do before

  5. Erin, I'm so very happy for you! Thank you so much for sharing your Simple Joys here. I'm thrilled that things are falling into place for you and you are able to trust and open up. Best of everything to you in Chicago, at work, and beyond! XO

  6. Love the "Stude" ...and the Chatterbox drive-in looks very groovy!