Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

What has become evident to me as I surf my Facebook, Twitter, Google + and other social media pages is that negativity has become pervasive.

As tangible, real, and haunting as it is disturbing, negativity has replaced optimism for many.

But I have also found that when a positive post is offered there are a great many who cling to it and support it to keep it alive.

I used to be mired in negativity and hopelessness. It was coloring my world and ruining my relationships with people whom I love greatly.

When I forced myself to examine my life daily and seek out the good and not concentrate on the bad, I found my mood lifted, my perspective changed, and the quality of my life improved.

As a writer it was natural for me to write those good things down to stare back at me. By doing so I could no longer deny that life was indeed good. Not without its hardships, stresses, and problems, but not wholly bad.

I realized that every smile, kind email, Internet joke that made me laugh, sound of my children laughing, hug from my husband, and myriad other things added up to a life worth living despite the negative stuff.

And that’s when Simple Joys was born.

What’s wonderful is Simple Joys do not just work for me. They are available to all who open their hearts and mind to their existence.

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

Strawberry Picking. This time of year is glorious where I live in New Jersey. With all the guff my beautiful state gets in the media, many forget that New Jersey is the Garden State for a reason!

Our dear friends own the Sussex County Strawberry Farm that is a U-Pick location. The season is relatively short lasting approximately five weeks from the end of May through June.

The sun is hot, beats down while you are bent down picking the succulent berries, and there is no cover. Your hands get stained a true red, but your mouth explodes with unbelievable incomparable flavor when you “taste test” the berries in the field (which is encouraged)!

If you’ve never tasted fresh strawberries in the field, find a farm selling them NOW before the season is over. The adventure itself is a Simple Joy and the fruit is, too.

New food. Knowing I was having company over the weekend and needing some snacks to have around I scoured the grocery store and found a new product – Wheat Thins Toasted Chips.

I found no less than four varieties and bought one of each as they all sounded delicious.

What I discovered was they taste as awesome as they sound! Crispy, solid (they’d hold up to a hearty dip), and perfectly flavored with seasoning, the crackers deliver!

Finding a new food that my entire family enjoyed as well as my company was a Simple Joy I will be purchasing again!

Kiddie Pool. This Simple Joy is so important in my life that I have written a post about this subject! For the eighth consecutive year my husband has pulled out of storage, inflated, and filled with water the round kiddie pool I received at a swap in the MOMS Club I once belonged.

Watching my three children laugh, splash and frolic to stay cool in the dog days of May (?) is a Simple Joy I never tire and I hope they won’t either.

Silly Putty. My middle boy found the Silly Putty in the plastic egg I put away months ago. I have a hate hate relationship with the toy. Whereas I know it is inexpensive and allows for endless creativity, that toy has creatively been interwoven and unable to be retrieved from my carpet, kitchen table crevices, and my son’s sock!

But I reluctantly gave in to my boy’s request because, let’s face it, I love the little man and want him to be able to express his endless creative tendencies.

I am so glad I did. The Simple Joys brought forth from his designs are plentiful but so have my pleasures been in teaching him tricks like spreading the putty out over the Sunday’s comic page and picking up the print!

Top 10 Best Days. My region of the world had been stuck with a very hot and humid front that would not leave. The air was thick, nothing would dry, and my hair was unspeakably lousy.

But on Thursday last the day dawned bright and sunny, skies clear, and the air crisp and clear. My hair obeyed, my breathing was easy, and a renewed sense of vigor returned.

My mother and father used to (and still do) talk about days being “one of the Top 10 best of the year”. It was almost a joke as they never counted, but I now see what they mean. Some days are just ‘that great’ and the one I experienced last week was definitely a Simple Joy.

The list is ever-changing. Some things repeat themselves and others are one-offs. Some things are worthy of remembering forever (stories about my husband or children or parents) whereas others expire after I write them down, but each one… every single one, combines to make my life enjoyable.

Wishing you a lifetime of Simple Joys.

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic about another topic on Chief 187™Chatter.


  1. I'm with you about the negativity on social media. That's why I try to send some positive vibes into my friends' newsfeed with some of my posts on Facebook. And now I need to go get some fresh strawberries.