Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

As I type this week’s edition the generator is still droning in the background, school remains closed, and a routine has developed in this new world in which I live.

We are on the verge of getting power restored, at least that is what we are being told. But normalcy will never return – our community has been far too damaged for that.

But we will create a new normalcy, a different way of going about our business, and adapt to our circumstances.

And all along I count on, rely upon, and soak up the Simple Joys that still lurk everywhere at any given time.

The kindness of strangers, the comfort and support of friends, the extra time spent with family, and the knowledge that is stunningly true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and builds character.

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

Trunk-or-Treat. Halloween was officially postponed to the Monday after the holiday in my native New Jersey due to the effects of the storm. Communities far and wide were largely impassible on residential roads, and danger lurked at every corner with downed trees and wires.

Many communities organized town-wide “Trunk-or-Treats” that provided a safe and contained place for children and families to convene, Trick-or-Treat from car trunk to car trunk, and enjoy the spirit of the holiday.

My family attended one such event and had a terrific time. It was a true and appreciated Simple Joy to get to enjoy this favorite childhood holiday despite the delay Mother Nature imposed.

School Supplies. In my former life I was a teacher. I taught history in high schools and eventually in the middle school where I ended my teaching career before embarking on the next chapter in my life.

My children, out of school for a second full week, need to be mentally stimulated and challenged lest they slip backwards in their learning.

As a teacher I never had materials for the ages of my children, but as a tutor and their mother, I was collecting workbooks to use over the summer and throughout the year. I keep scrap paper, notebooks, puzzle books, coloring books, and math and grade-appropriate workbooks in the house for such emergencies.

My children who complained when I first explained they’d be in school the entire time school was out of session, have loved all of the work I give them. I certainly cannot keep them engaged for six hours per day, but they are getting enough to get by until school is back in session.

Having a house stocked with the needed materials to run a makeshift school is a Simple Joy for all involved!

Morning cuddles. We turn our generator off at night to conserve propane. In the morning our children come into our room and snuggle with us. We try to hold off turning the generator back on for as long as possible so we have an elongated cuddle session that usually evolves into a tickle attack!

For a family who is usually on the move from the moment they wake up until they lay their heads to bed, this morning routine is a Simple Joy that has been welcomed, enjoyed, and beloved.

Barrettes. My daughter has naturally curly, baby fine hair – she is three-years-old. In the past I’d try to put in a pretty hair ornament but my daughter would always pull it out immediately. But this past week she sat patiently while I groomed her hair and offered to put in pretty barrettes.

To my delight the barrettes grasped her fine hair and stayed in place. In addition, my daughter allowed them to stay by not trying to slide them off.

Finally having time and opportunity to dress my daughter’s hair in ornamentation is a Simple Joy that I’ve waited years to indulge!

$100,000 candy bars. Look, I love candy. You can have your cakes, brownies, and ice creams. I enjoy chocolate candy. And, for the most part, don’t indulge in many different kinds… until Halloween comes. This year the $100,000 Bar just hits the spot. It is Nestles’ chocolate, crisped rice, and caramel. It is delicious!

Have $100,000 Bars to snack on when the mood strikes is a highly caloric but pleasing Simple Joy.

In life it is easy to get harried and hopeless. To lose faith and lose one’s way is understandable, but not desirable. Life is manageable if you give yourself permission to feel – sad, frustrated, stressed, nervous and also joyful.

Simple Joys are all around. It is the perspective of the person that is most powerful .

Find time for Simple Joys. Make time for Simple Joys. Recognize Simple Joys that exist all around. And remember that to experience joy you must experience sorrow. To find true happiness you might have to go through significant pain. To know yourself you must explore.

But, all the while, look for, take along, and revel in your Simple Joys.

Wishing you another week chock full of Simple Joys.

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


  1. Would all moms set up a temporary school and continue the learnings for their kids? I think not. Kudos to you!

  2. Some how I knew the 187's would be making the best out of a bad deal, what a simple joy to read the evidence !