Happy Excerpt

Many (many, many) moons ago, I discovered a little book called 14,000 things to be happy about. It’s a great little open-to-a-random-page book that catalogs things, places, thoughts, foods, people…that make us happy.

Flipping through the pages now, it feels a little dated. But even the nostalgia of its older entries—Kodak photo supplies, David Brinkley, using a supercomputer—makes you smile.

In the spirit of being thankful, here are a few excerpts:

30.
getting the guts to go jogging
hot chocolate cups and saucers
laughing at yourself
someone laughing
saucepot and fresh vegetables
blue-jeaned students
double-pack pinochle
fruit hats
vivid paisley cotton velveteen
a view of sailboat skimming the horizon
giving snakes the right of way
sea angling
lawn-cutting, garden-tending, house-tidying chores
a wheel barrow of joyful rides
a wish for adventure
having lots of candles burning
boxer shorts and jockey shorts
laying out patterns or the Sunday paper on the kitchen table
saying yes
60 Minutes (TV show)
a Danish waffle iron
construction paper
learning a headstand
leaves becoming a restless golden drift, a wine-red flurry in the wind
neatly pressed pants
places where you can lunch in a swimsuit

60.
wearing safety glasses outside lab class
orange tea doughnuts
plain old bad habits
platters of good things to eat
reading outside on a blanket wearing a big sweater in the autumn sun
soaking up some extra memories
pinning your hat on
dozing
Thanksgiving dinners
traveling by bicycle
wearing white cotton
an aging flower pot
black tin bread pans
brandy Alexander pie
chamois-cloth shirts
planning trips to country inns
chasing evil spirits
Chanel quilted purses with chain straps
one-person kayaks for rent
enamelware
teaching one another
the flat wooden “spoons” that come with ice cream cups
graduation
learning to like yourself better
heavy pots
a birdwatcher’s path
wide-wale corduroy shirts
naming your baby

535.
a basket of large seashells
designer pizzas
fashion quizzes
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
satin jumpsuits
water fountains = bubblers
a thick mattress pad, soft feather pillows, fresh flowered sheets, a cotton comforter, and lace bed skirt
A trip to New Hampshire and Vermont to see fall foliage
the giving of gifts
buttered new potatoes with skins on
attic sleuthing
automobile running boards
butter crunch and white almond bark
catching peas with a roll
cottage cheese containers
eating utensils
getting snow caked on socks and in jean cuffs
hot-water heating systems
mountain vistas
prune ice cream
abandoning all civility and slurping the grapefruit juice straight from the bowl it’s served in
sour-cherry jam
squeezing limes
adust = browned, sunburned

• • •

My favorite entry has always been “the angle of your head as you bite into a taco.” You can read that one and more in Barbara Ann Kipfer’s updated version of 14,000 things to be happy about.

4 Responses

  1. TJB Googins

    i started such a list once myself… but 14,000 things (dated or not) is an impressive undertaking (writing it AND reading it)

    i don’t think i can quite imagine “catching peas with a roll” (would that be like a parker house dinner roll?) but of the ones you shared above, i like these the best:

    platters of good things to eat
    a wish for adventure
    aging flower pot
    mountain vistas
    attic sleuthing

    and, my overall fave:
    chasing evil spirits
    thanks, jen!

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