Tag Archives: Hot fudge sundae

Little Joys

Everyone loves huge joys, the take-my-breath-away, can-this-be-me, yippee-yahoo-yaaaay! joys. Some people even become speechless. (A lover of words and hyphens, I’m not one of those.)

Many, though, experience bits of gladness that barely raise adrenaline levels, yet light blahness like a candle’s flame. For example:

  • Being the very first to stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter.
Image by sebastianhausi from Pixabay.
  • Discovering an in-law’s dog chewed your shoes already destined for the trash.
Image by wixon lubhon from Pixabay.
  • Putting away groceries without remembering what you forgot.
  • Buying avocados at exactly the right stage of ripeness.
  • Almost spilling something purple on a friend’s white carpet but recovering in time.
  • Seeing someone else has reloaded toilet paper. She may have been a burglar, but wouldn’t you like to shake her hand?
Image by Carola68 from Pixabay.
  • Baking brownies with crispy edges and gooey middles — though someone will inform you they are too crispy. Or too gooey. Which doubles the little joy, as you can eat them all yourself.
  • Discovering you really did leave your phone at home, rather than at O’Hare.

Maybe that last qualifies as a big joy, an end-zone-dance celebration. But other small joys make a difference:

  • That someone held the door open for you when your arms were full. And didn’t let go too soon.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.
  • That your car, even more hostile toward winter than you, started at first try.
  • That a human hug is something computers will never replace.
  • That rain doesn’t have to be shoveled.
  • That no one cares whether pink or blue baby sleepers are politically correct. At least, not in Indiana.
  • That you finished a book delightful as a hot fudge sundae — and no calories!

“It doesn’t take much to make you happy,” critics might say.

As if everyday happinesses don’t matter. As if little joys collected throughout a lifetime don’t add up to something substantial.

On the contrary, they shine in a person’s face, walk and talk. In memories of them long after they pass on.

That is no small thing.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What little joys brighten your days?

Seized by Spring

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.

Have spring longings germinated in you?

Delicate green tendrils, they remind us: “You’re still alive and kicking!”

One pops up, then another. Before we know it, we’re caught in their delightful grasp.

Perhaps for you, these comprise seed catalogs. Your spouse may hide them and block websites, but all in vain. You fill your basement/garage/bedroom with seedlings, hovering as if they bear your name. When you install old baby monitors, your spouse finally gives up.

Wayward gravel peppers our flower beds.

Spring has seized you. There is no cure.

Other victims are captured by home improvement. They not only remodel their houses, but also demolish walls in those of strangers.

Hubby’s big spring thing, however, is adding gravel to the driveway. When winds soften and buds swell, his wistful look sprouts. “Let’s call the gravel pit guy.”

“We have gravel,” I say. “Don’t you remember? During the last snowstorm, we shoveled it all into the flower beds.”

Image by Insa Osterhagen from Pixabay.

Others live for their lawns. Years ago, our neighbor, instead of renewing marriage vows, pledged eternal love to his John Deere riding mower.

Similar spring madness victimizes women with a compulsion to wash windows. If denied, they are found in alleys, foraging for empty Windex® bottles to sniff. If you are a lawn lover or Windex® sniffer, please come see us.

When spring debuts, I join Steve for exercise and sightseeing on our tandem bicycle.

Instead, my husband and I can’t wait to ride our bicycle built for two. Baseball gloves’ leathery smell sends fanatics, aged four through 84, to soggy backyards to play. Golf devotees, forbidden to swing clubs inside after window incidents, now drive with abandon matched only by platoons of skateboarding kids. College students dance amid showers of Frisbees while music thunders from open dorm windows.

Age doesn’t matter when spring’s call, potent as a tornado siren, issues from the nearest ice cream place or drive-in. Customers shiver through hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats. Or we fire up grills and torment neighborhoods with cravings for that first juicy burger.

Image by moerschy from Pixabay.

I drive with windows open wide, The Beach Boys harmonizing approval on the radio. Passing college dormitories, students’ Top 40 echo back. Zooming near wetlands, I hear hundreds of spring peepers spout crazy love songs.

Spring seizes us all. And we’re loving it.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What tells you it’s really spring?

Field Trip

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay.

As a child, it never crossed my mind that supervising a busload of screaming kids with unsynchronized bladders wasn’t a teacher’s dream. We must have pushed them over the edge.

We children celebrated with 30 choruses of “Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall”— amending to “Ninety-nine Bottles of Coke®” when Teacher threatened to return home to soul-choking fractions, verb conjugations and Norwegian exports.

Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay.

I recall only two scenes from our trip to Indianapolis. First, the governor’s office, with its kingly desk and (gasp!) gold trim on the walls. Surely, this guy wore a crown.

Second, at the Indiana State Museum, an enormous stuffed owl stared with topaz-colored eyes. We remained a respectful distance away.

The final event overshadowed all others: the Dairy Queen. I ate my huge hot fudge sundae without sharing a bite with siblings.

Fast-forward a quarter century. I volunteered to chaperone my child’s class trip to Chicago.

I handled “Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall” with parental aplomb. My charges only got lost 23 times in the Field Museum of Natural History. It wasn’t my group who knocked down the dinosaur skeleton. I felt in charge — until we reached the Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower in 2009).

Image by Aprille from Pixabay.

I must have repressed this destination. I don’t like anything higher than one-inch heels.

No time for regret. We rocketed 103 stories up in the elevator.

Any rational architect would have designed small peep windows at the top. Instead, the area resembled a giant greenhouse.

“Come back!” I simultaneously gripped a railing and grabbed at my charges.

They escaped to the windows.

I yelled, “Don’t look down!”

“Isn’t that why we came?” A sensible girl cocked her head.

“Cool!” A nerd plastered his nose against a window. “That’s a cumulonimbus cloud formation below us.”

The wind kicked up. The building swayed like a giant Hawaiian dancer.

Hours later, I woke up on the bus. “Kids! Where are you?”

“We’re fine.” All four were eating hot fudge sundaes.

My daughter slipped beside me. My failure as a field trip chaperone shrank in the face of her loving solicitude.

“So glad you’re sitting with me.” Tears welled.

“Teacher said I had to thank you.”

I stared. “For what?”

“She knows she can finish the school year now. Compared to you, she feels perfectly sane.”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you chaperoned a school field trip?