Watching Normal

At my local:  people sitting, talking, smiling, greeting friends, accepting strangers.  Hardly ever an altercation–and even then, surprising apologies.  Warm, accepting (within bounds that can stretch when necessary), enjoying the hubbub of normality.


Chance Happy

At my local the other day, kind of reading but also eavesdropping on activities around me while sipping my cuppa.  Two people, a mom and her (probably) teenage son come in and walk to the line waiting to order.  From around a group of people come two other folks, a man and his (probably) teenage daughter.  The young people smile at one another and politely introduce dad and mom.  They all chat for a moment or two, and then, four people grinning broadly go their ways.

It was lovely.

Little Things

Sometimes, the old sayings seem new again.  The one I am thinking of now is “it’s the little things that count”.  This little saying never really meant much to me, but a thing happened today that caused me to give it a bit of thought.  Which means, of course, that you also can give it a thought.

Little things.  Things like finding a whisker that my cat shed (I collect them and have done since Sister Dear mentioned that she kept her cat’s whiskers and I loved the idea).  They can be found in places you might expect–the spot where she likes to nap, for instance–but occasionally, I come across one in a spot where I would not have thought she would have been.  That’s a little thing that counts.

It’s not just the good little things that count, though.  The bad little things also count, because they provide a wake-up or provoke a re-think.  You hear someone berating a small child, or see a dog being mishandled, and it makes you re-interpret the person and relationships and noticing the weak and the strong in people.  Those are little things that count.

It’s been a harsh winter for me, long periods of snow and cold that are not quite the norm around here, then rain, a bit of sun to bring an optimistic state of mind, but that doesn’t last. Today though, a little thing happened.  I was walking up my driveway and I saw crocus buds in the small garden.  That counts.  As does the smile that sprang to life when I saw them.

Let the little things count.


A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a book to read about happiness from the perspective of various dead (mostly) white (mostly) philosophers.  I finally have begun to give it a read–maybe a couple of pages at a time, but it is not a terrifically long book so I may finish it sometime.  One good result of this is that I think about being happy more than I have been doing over the last few years.  Today I had one of those inadvertent thoughts that come along occasionally and that thought led to the question of whether we just plain can decide to be happy.

I am actually not going to even attempt to answer that question–at least not until I have finished reading the book (if ever I do).  However, the inadvertent thought came about (I think) because of an encounter at my local this morning, so I am going to tell you about that encounter.

Walked in, was pleased (but wouldn’t say exceptionally happy) that there was no line and that my usual chair was available, and one of the people I say hello to was there.  All of that was quite nice, but the happy came next.  The barista was wearing a white collared shirt (more of this sartorial stuff, sorry) and had on a tie.  This was not a normal tie, if such exist.  It was an exceptional tie.  A rather large bow tie, it was.  But the really happy thing about the tie is that it was a striped bow tie, and it was a tie that just made my mouth turn up into a big smile (even though that makes all of the wrinkles show more than usual).  Without even thinking about it, I was happy.  But that wasn’t the end of the story.  I told him I really liked his tie.  He told me that his mother had given it to him a year or so ago, and that she had found it while on a vacation to Italy, wandering down a street filled with vendors.  He said she saw it and just had to buy it for him (now this is not a particularly young man about whom we are speaking–upper middle-aged married [I say because his hair is gray] with maybe grown kids).  I immediately had a mental picture of the sighting, the joy that she must have felt when she knew she had found the perfect gift for her son, and I can almost see his expression (and his kids’ expressions) when he saw what his mother was offering to him.  And, saw in the gift the person she knew him to be, and was apparently delighted by that sight, because he actually wears the tie even when his mother is not there to see.

So.  First, I was happied by the sight of the tie, and then I was happied by the intuition that this was one very happy family being represented by the barista, and finally, I was happied by the knowledge that I was happy at that moment and for a while after.

What do you do when get all that happied?  You come home and do your happy dance, sing your own secret happy song, and purr to the cat as you tiptoe through the tulips in your home.  I am not sure that I decided to be happy.  I know that I was happy, and that I am happy right now as I relate this story.  Picture me happy, and hopefully that picture will make you smile and be happy too.

The Week that Was

The really good thing is that the last week is now in the past.  Way too much going on, made more difficult because it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing (still is).  So as you know, my poor old car went to the hospital last Friday, and was ready to come home yesterday.  I had yet another dental appointment, so I decided to kill all kinds of birds with one stone (I really do hate that phrase, I should delete it, but oh well).  Take the bus to the dentist, then I’d be halfway to the car place, an easy bus ride further on.

All was well until I got to the dentist and reached for my wallet to pay my share of the bill.  No wallet.  Last seen when I pulled it out to get the change for the bus.  Oh my.  Dentist said OK, they would just send a statement.  But, no money no pick up car.  The good part was that the bank that lets me charge things on a card is right across the street from the dentist, so I tooled over there and got all that taken care of rather easily.  New card coming, no nasty activity, yada yada.  Nice bank.  Called the car doc and told him I would try again today (did–car is home, yay!).

Called the Transit Authority and told them what bus I had been on and where I caught it and all, and they said, call back tomorrow afternoon and we will check Lost and Found.  So I will do that, although I expect my poor old wallet was emptied of cash and tossed in a garbage can never to be seen.

Lovely internet!  Was able to cancel the other credit card and order up a new medical insurance card and also order a replacement driver license all online!  Super.  Now its just the muck work of replacing all of the other information and non-critical stuff that was in the wallet.

But here’s the thing:  what I miss most and what makes me cry about the whole stupid incident?  I had just registered a new Starbucks card that had a really cute kitty on it–I was lucky to have found it and it was the only one I have ever seen.  I had used it for less than a week.  And, of all things, that card is what keeps me awake at night and crying over my stupidity at having lost the wallet.  Probably because I don’t carry photos in the wallet, this irreplaceable card is what I miss.

Go figure.


UPDATE:  Just called Transit, and some wonderful wonderful person turned in my wallet!

Still Life: New Year morning at my local

It snowed overnight and is snowing again now, after a low fog.

There are three people at the “gamer” table (named because they talk a lot about creating online games).  Two are fairly old, one reading the newspaper and the other fiddling with her phone.  The younger, who has a marvelous smile, is engrossed in his laptop.

A silver-haired woman sits alone, smiling at her i-Pad.

The Marine veteran (according to his hat) and his wife are reading at a table for four. He is perusing the newspaper.  She sits across the table from him with her feet on the opposite chair, shoes off, reading a novel.

A family (father and three daughters), dressed for church, sit in the comfy chairs by the window.  They are talking, mentioning that they went to the 8:30 am service but found it had been canceled in favor of a 10 am start time.  They do not seem unhappy about that as they enjoy each other’s company while sipping hot drinks.

An older couple sit together, but each is working on their own phone, and they are not conversing together.

There are two old men, sitting separately, one at a table and the other in a comfy chair near the family of would-be church-goers.  The man’s table is covered with already-read newspaper and he sits with earphones on while working his laptop.  The comfy guy is wearing sweats and slippers and has settled in with a novel to read.

There are two baristas on the other side of a wall.  One is a young married man, and the other is a big man with lots of tattoos.  They work well together and seem happy to be there, serving folks as they come and go (mostly young men dressed in what appear to be pajamas and slippers).