Joy (Again…or Still)


When you come to the letter J, in any alphabetical list, “joy” is the likely topic. This I know, because it has shown up as my subject here three times in the last few months. That’s okay. It’s a pretty good thing to write about, whether or not it shows up as a given topic. There are always plenty of things that bring me joy. In no particular order, here is my list today:

  1. The moon on any night, whenever it shows up.
  2. My morning routine, which makes me feel productive and accomplished, no matter what else the day brings.
  3. Friends, new and old. Shared memories make them all the more precious.
  4. Shared memories, with family and friends, are a joy unto themselves.
  5. A summer breeze, especially at night, brings me right back to my teen-age years.
  6. Daughters. I have two, and they are both wonderful, joy-bringing treasures.
  7. But the sound of my daughter Kate’s voice on the telephone deserves its own mention.
  8. As does a hug from my daughter, Jen.
  9. Pie.
  10. A good, rousing thunderstorm.
  11. A smoothly writing pen.
  12. The brightening sky any morning,
  13. And the rooster crowing next door.
  14. My baby sister, Amy. A card and two sweetly wrapped packages arrived in the mail from her the other day.
  15. Cool nights for sleeping.
  16. Whitetail deer.
  17. Being appreciated at work. I swear, a heartfelt pat on the back and a “good job” often feels better than a raise in pay.
  18. A brand new tablet.
  19. Poetry, when it touches my heart.
  20. Blackberries. They are ripening now here on Beaver Island, and I can easily gather a bowlful with a simple walk around the perimeter of my yard.
  21. A clean kitchen.
  22. White sand beaches.
  23. My big dog, Darla, who takes her jobs as protector, snake-killer and spoon-licker very seriously.
  24. Rosa Parks, my fat little Chihuahua who refuses to like anybody but me.
  25. Blackie Chan. This most recent addition to my dog family is a charmer. My heart swells at his earnest efforts to please.
  26. A freshly mowed lawn.
  27. A nice camp fire.
  28. Corn on the cob.
  29. Pencils, with a sharp point.
  30. A quality pencil sharpener.
  31. Wild turkeys crossing the road in rows.
  32. Smooth white stones.
  33. My sister, Robin, who never swears, and has a sweet laugh and great style.
  34. Milkweed. It’s mop head flowers have the nicest scent, that perfumes the air on my walks down the Fox Lake Road.
  35. A bowl of cereal with fruit, as a snack before bed.
  36. Good books, of any genre. Right now, I’m reading Presence by Amy Cuddy, In the Wake of the Plague by Norman F. Cantor, The Paris Girl by Natalie Meg Evans, and (on Audible) Dangerous Old Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
  37. My little tablet, that allows me to listen to audio books while walking the dogs.
  38. Stubby screwdrivers. They are easier on the wrists when – like now – I have a lot of metal frames to assemble.
  39. Short-handled paint brushes for the same “easier on the wrists” quality.
  40. A good thermos.
  41. Hot coffee.
  42. My coffee cup, adorned with blackberries, vines, and blossoms.
  43. Newly-framed art work. Sometimes it is so greatly improved by the frame, I can hardly believe it’s my own!
  44. Beans. My vines are finally starting to produce, and fresh-from-the-garden beans are always a pleasure. Last night I cooked a mess of them with a slice of bacon and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a very pleasurable simple supper.
  45. My sister, Cheryl, who inspires me with her organization, enthusiasm and energy.
  46. Live music.
  47. Old movies. Not vintage-old, just nostalgia-old. Like E.T., or Jaws.
  48. The deep blue color of the water this time of year.
  49. My older sister, Brenda, who I cherish for a million reasons, only one of which is the fact that she is older than me.
  50. Peaches, when they’re not quite ripe.
  51. Grandchildren, in general, and mine in particular:
  52. Michael,
  53. Brandon,
  54. Madeline,
  55. Tommy, and
  56. Patrick.
  57. Maple trees.
  58. Ice cream, in a cone. Double chocolate almond is my current choice.
  59. Chocolate of almost any kind.
  60. Almonds. Whether in ice cream, as a bit of crunch in a salad, or tossed into a pan of fresh green beans, almonds are always welcome.
  61. Pistachios, of course. Whenever I’m talking about nuts, pistachios have a place in that discussion.
  62. The family farm.
  63. My brother, Ted, who writes the nicest, newsy letters.
  64. Cousins. There is always a good connection, and a little different perspective on shared history.
  65. The CBS News “Eye Opener.” They promote it as “your world in 90 seconds,” and that’s often just about all I can stand of the news!
  66. Mail. I love finding envelopes in my mailbox. Even junk mail. Even bills.
  67. Perfume.
  68. Slip-on shoes. Because, life is too short to have to mess with shoelaces!
  69. Birthdays. I used to hate when mine came around, but that has changed somehow. Tomorrow, I’ll be sixty-nine years old, and joyful about all of the sixty-nine items on this list!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

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