The Happy List
Since these doors are an homage to my old website, I thought I'd include something from my old website on at least one of them. One of the doors on my old site used to link to my list of things to be happy about.
During my senior year of high school I started keeping a list of things that made me happy---in part inspired by my friend Julee and an author named Barbara Ann Kipfer. It's a delightful list, really. Even though there are things on this list that I would probably not put on the list today, a flood of happy memories comes back to me whenever I read it. Sadly, I doubt that I still have the same optimistic, rosy-colored outlook today that I had back when I composed this list. I think the best I could do these days would be to write a list of "Things Which Really Annoy Me A Lot." (Sigh.) I guess I've lost the Stargirl in me. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have this list: it's a record of my carefree days in Tennessee---a time when I was a different person. Good days.
So here's the list in its entirety, all 72 pages from cover to cover (don't worry, it was a small notebook).
I had written the following epigrams in the front cover of the notebook in which I kept the list. Forgive them for their cheesiness:
"Men are that they may have joy." - 2 Nephi 2:25
"This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." --Psalms 118:24
(adapted by myself from a poem by Priscilla Leonard)
Happiness is like a crystal,
Fair, exquisite and clear,
Broken in a million pieces,
Shattered, scattered far and near.
Now and then along life's pathway
Some shining fragments fall;
But there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.
You may find a bit of beauty,
Or an honest share of wealth,
While another just beside you
Gathers honor, love or health.
Vain to choose or grasp unduly,
Broken is the perfect ball;
And there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.
Yet the wise as on the journey
Treasure every fragment clear,
Fit them as they may together,
Imaging the shattered sphere,
Learning ever to be thankful
Though their share of it is small;
For there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.
Things to be Happy About
Angel fingers: rays of sunshine beaming down through the clouds.
Driving under an overpass during a storm.
The ripple of a cat's shoulders as it creeps across the lawn.
Roasting mini-marshmallows over a candle with a sister.
Sledding on Burgi Hill.
The position of your head as you bite into a taco.
Purple sunsets that give scenery a rosy tint.
Seeing an elderly couple strolling hand in hand down the road.
The sound of a humongous textbook being slammed shut.
Having cold feet and donning a pair of warm, woolen socks fresh from the dryer.
The shadows cast by shutters on shiny white walls.
When someone runs their fingers through your hair.
Scat (as sung by Al Jarreau).
Across-the-breast watch chains.
Gazing across an empty field just after sunset in the summertime and watching a glowing array of fireflies.
A shrug of the shoulders when things don't get done.
Disappearing coin tricks.
The Charlie Chaplin look.
Making a wish and tossing a penny into a fountain.
Pretending to be a matador with a red towel and the dog.
Braking for rainbows.
Hiking to a waterfall with a friend and being under a canopy of brightly colored Autumn leaves.
Eating all your snack bar items before the movie even starts.
Marveling at the poetic crayon names on the sides of crayolas: cerulean, periwinkle, tickle me pink, chartreuse, mulberry, sepia, royal purple, fuschia, dandelion, vivid tangerine, thistle, spring green, melon, cadet blue, magenta, plum, bittersweet, aquamarine, carnation pink, mahogany, salmon, sky blue, lavendar, goldenrod, wild strawberry.
The cool underside of a pillow.
Walking through a neighborhood to look at the Christmas lights.
Overcoming a tremendous obstacle---like learning to ride a bike or learning to drive a stick shift.
John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Kicking off your shoes and splashing your feet in a fountain.
Throwing a wad of paper and the trash can and making it.
Wild roses over a cottage door.
Arriving home after a long, hard day and finding your dog waiting for you with a wagging tail.
A culinary masterpiece: graham crackers with milk.
Blowing bubbles and watching them gently drift across the lake until they disappear from view.
Taking a walk when the world is too much.
Being awoken in the middle of the night by a mother who merely wanted to give her child a hug and a kiss and say, "I love you."
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
Egyptian War (card game).
Dentists who expect you to carry on a conversation with a mouth full of novocaine and their fingers in your mouth.
Uncomplaining fathers who help their daughters when their cars run out of gas.
Running down a beach.
Constructing an immaculate house of cards or a chain of card dominoes.
Closing your eyes and savoring the sweet succulence of a Hershey's kiss for a full minute or two.
Monthly trips to the recycling bin.
Mow (card game).
Victor Borge (pianist/Comedian).
Feeling like a child who has mastered the art of shoe-tying.
Butter of the peanut.
Squirrels with question-mark tails.
S.W.A.K.B.A.L.W.S. = Sealed with a kiss because a lick won't stick.
Feeding ducks at a pond.
James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.
The upside down picture(s) at Ruby Tuesday.
The hum of a freezer.
Perfect balance on a subway without using the straps.
Benny and Joon (movie).
A small dish of Venetian glass candies.
Dave Barry humor.
Uncle Roger's Mickey Mouse pancakes.
Barbara Streisand (actress).
The indentations on the sides of my scriptures.
Cartoons of the eighties.
The thin red string you pull to uncover a band-aid.
Mary Poppins (movie).
The system by which one dog can quickly establish an entire neighborhood network of barking.
Crystals that paint rainbows on your walls.
Wine cellars that are filled with nothing but sparkling cider.
Levi's jeans commercials.
Those lines and markings on a gym floor that have no purpose.
Dancing like children of the night.
Skipping arm in arm through the local grocery store.
Architectural Digest (magazine).
Fish Lake: feeding the chipmunks, two-story Christmas trees, cracking walnuts, throw-the-hat-on-the-moose's-antlers games.
Counting your change.
The ritualistic circle dogs take before laying down to take a nap.
The misty fog effect created by dry ice.
The way a pot of water looks just before it begins to boil.
Eating Oreo cookies and then looking at your teeth.
Putting a flower on someone's pillow.
Sunken living rooms.
T.T.F.W. = too tacky for words.
Tucking something special, like a little note, into a lunchbox, briefcase, pocket, or purse.
The hand movements of the hula.
"Southern" gentleman manners: walking arm in arm, opening doors, pulling chairs out.
Kids who think "bath" is spelled y-e-c-c-h.
Being kind to the child in you.
Dr. Seuss (author).
The small piece of lid that the electric can opener always passes over.
Lighting a match with one hand.
Meeting someone at the airport.
Secret stashes of soda in a basement.
The place where one sock in every laundry load disappears to.
The smell of the sea.
The high notes of an opera soprano.
Jumping over the widest puddle.
Using someone else to warm up your cold hands.
Speaking in accents.
Remembering when kids used to want to be president.
The "girl gene."
Little kids who take bubble baths and put the bubbles on their chins.
The Welcome Back, Kotter song.
The zip-p-p of a zipper.
Little kids who think they are invisible.
Coining catchy phrases from popular movies or t.v. shows.
Amor vincit omnia = love conquers all.
Wrinkles on a grandmother's complexion carved from years of smiling.
Dining by the window.
Frolicking in a pile of leaves.
Turquoise umbrellas shading white iron work tables and chairs.
Tin can phone systems.
Unbuttoning peas on the front porch.
Cheerful, hard-working waiters.
The gurgle of water draining from a bath tub.
Lip balm Tuesdays.
"It's Not Easy Being Green" (song).
Showing a child how much fun life can be.
"All the tea in China."
Discovering an unexpected letter from a friend in the mailbox.
A tender message from a friend written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror's glossy surface.
"American Pie" by Don McLean.
The Muppet Show.
Running over a piece of lint a dozen times while vacuuming, continuing to give the vacuum a second chance.
Cracker Jack prizes.
Buying something outrageous and then something practical to feel vindicated.
Searching for four-leaf clovers.
Little sisters who give hugs for no apparent reason.
Long, satin evening gloves.
Little kids who have just learned how to write their name.
Waking up to the melodious chirping of birds outside your window.
Finding things in common.
Picking wild flowers.
Spontaneously breaking out into a tap dance and watching all the weird looks other people give you.
The device at intersections marked "push to cross."
The whoosh of exhiliration caused by standing next to a passing train.
Old-fashioned straw dispensers.
Dogs leaning against your legs.
Throwing a white elephant party in the middle of the mall.
Designing artistic masterpieces of chalk on a driveway.
Gargantuous words such as "antidisestablishmentarianism," "pnemonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis," and, of course, "supercalifrajilisticexpialidocious."
The charm bracelet. (It's an eighties thing.)
When the dog wakes you up in the morning by licking your face or hand.
Getting chills when new dictionaries are published.
Seeing a newspaper blowing across and empty field of grass.
Burning an orange peel to cover bad cooking smells.
Hearing someone you know request a song on the oldies station.
Vines growing along the side of a building.
The warbling of a canary.
Being up and outdoors when the day is young and damp with dew.
Finding coins and other long-lost objects in the cushions of your couch.
Indoor goldfish ponds.
Watching little kids play by themselves in the snow.
Buttering toast generously and immediately so that the butter melts and sinks in.
Old fashioned street lights.
Falling asleep on the lawn.
Defending your beliefs.
Sitting in front of the fireplace and feeling the coldness melt away.
Being able to hold a glass to your mouth by sheer lung power.
"Camp Grenada" by Alan Sherman.
A ring around the moon.
Roller skating with a pillow strapped on.
When the light turns green just before you approach an intersection.
John: E.T.'s real name.
Forgetting your school bus number due to the fact that you haven't ridden it.
Pierced tin lanterns.
A sudden glimpse of a Christmas tree through a window.
Washing a car to make it rain.
The sound of velcro---especially on little kid's sneakers during naptime.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
Dog dishes that say "Good Dog."
Things turning out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.
No Name Street, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Spontaneous steal-your-neighbor's-straw games.
Forgetting to set the alarm and waking up on time naturally.
Complementing a total stranger.
The jiggle of your belly as you burst into laughter.
Frosty A&W rootbeer mugs.
Neighborhood easter egg hunts.
The Star Wars trilogy.
Coming up with ideas.
The elegant flapping of a swan's wings just before it lights upon the water.
Rotisseries: ferris wheels for chickens.
The puffy-cheek look of a chipmunk with a supply of nuts in its mouth.
The inability to leave the movie theater because your date insists upon watching the credits.
Getting together to rip up papers, notes, worksheets, quizzes, etc. at the end of the semester.
The last crumpled leaf quivering on an oak tree.
The wild blue yonder.
The container on the side of a cash register into which your change slides.
Animal on the drums.
Coupons that would self-destruct after the expiration date.
Mr. Wizard, science explicator.
Outings and rendezvous.
Discovering a kindred spirit.
"Jutadore. Juta-window. I don't care." (Jim Carrey).
February 20: Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day, when citizens are asked to go outside at noon local time and yell "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase winter away.
Uproarious laughter that must be forcibly squelched due to its inappropriateness in a situation.
Being softly propped up in bed.
Humorous phone calls.
Hershey kisses vs. hershey kisses with almonds: loves me, loves me nut.
Household aloe vera plants.
Herds of black-and-white cows drinking their reflections.
Answering the phone with "Joe's Pool Hall, who in the hall do you want?"
The sound of trolleys, especially those on "Mister Roger's Neighborhood."
Paper doll chains.
Getting "thrown out."
Blowing the wrapper off a straw.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. musical.
Starting "the wave."
Guys With Ties (singing group).
"Earth Angel" (song).
The King's Singers.
"Short People Got No Reason to Live" (song).
Homemade figure skating ponds.
Windshield wipers on eyeglasses.
"In My Life" by the Beatles.
Miniature clay flower pots.
Mr. Butters, the one and only.
Leve fit quod bene fertur onus = "That load becomes light which is cheerfully borne."
"The Real McCoy."
Always wanting to be a kid when you grow up.
Noticing Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a penny.
Being the proud owner of a two-dollar bill.
The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.
The 400 Blows (film).
Getting together to read children's books next to a fireplace.
The expressive faces of pansies.
Informing TV characters of impending danger, thinking they can hear you.
Decorating ink mistakes to make them seem intentional.
Seventeenth-century costume balls.
Going somewhere you've never been before.
Anything that begins with the word "miniature."
Dushka, dushka, dushka = "wokka, wokka, wokka" in Swedish.
Sinking your teeth into fresh peaches, plums, watermelons, and apricots.
Being the first to discover the elusive pickle on the Christmas tree.
Homemade ice cream.
Attempting to decipher the lyrics of "Stayin' Alive" and "Louie Louie."
Harrison Ford (actor).
The short-lived toys of the eighties: pogo balls, scooters, My Little Ponies, Charmkins, Keepers, etc.
Little Cottonwood Canyon: porch swingsets, Piano Rock, skipping stones across the river.
Children who try to touch rainbows.
Water glasses: homemade xylophones.
"Honk If You Have Grey Poupon" signs.
The Far Side by Gary Larson.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (movie).
The three second rule.
Preschool musical pageants: kids who continuously wave at their parents in the audience, backwards children, parents who are more excited that the kids are.
Bug Nite: "Bug the boss to give you a raise, to close you early..."
Calvin and Hobbes.
"Across the Universe" by the Beatles.
The flicker of a candle's flame.
Thought-provoking and intuitive quotes inscribed on the sides of sneakers.
The Sound of Music (movie).
Strolling through the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store and being enveloped in sweet fragrances.
Bookcases in kitchens.
Chasing down ice-cream trucks.
Dancing traffic cops.
Swiss Days: accordians, alpine horns, leder-hosen, yodelers, Heidi puppet shows, Swiss Miss Pageants, glockenspiels, "Swiss" Navajo Tacos, Swiss Steaks.
Random acts of kindness.
"I'm Gonna By Me a Dog" by the Monkees.
Viewing everyday surroundings with a tourist's eye.
Driving by a gas station and seeing a person in a clown costume filling up their car.
Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour in the Road pictures.
Opening a nearby window to let in the sounds and smells of spring.
The midnight hungries.
The habit of checking for change in every coin return you pass.
Making a beeline.
Liking the people you work with.
Even more creative crayola crayon names: purple pizzazz, wisteria, shocking pink, cerise, shamrock, granny smith apple, laser lemon, purple mountain's majesty, mauvelous, robin egg's blue, razzle dazzle rose, electric lime, unmellow yellow.
The Utah Jazz!
The wave of heat that knocks you down when you open the dishwasher.
Waterwheels on the side of mills.
Finding wildflowers while picking up trash ont he side of the road.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
The mist that rises from automatic car washes.
A cat sitting in an open window.
Shirley Temple dolls.
Pressed flower books.
Listening to a new CD for the first time.
Young couples in loe who spontaneously drive over 500 miles to appear on TNN's Dance club.
GQs = good quotes.
Playing holiday music.
Driving through the mud on the advice of the sister missionaries.
Smiles from friendly strangers.
Watching a meteor shower with your family late at night on the trampoline.
People who become upset after witnessing someone toss a rock over the side of a mountain because of "the centuries of hard work it took that rock to get to the top."
"Hey nonny nonny and a ha cha cha.
Writingon the foggy windows of a car.
Rocks dashed with the sea.
A sweet tooth.
Seeing the twinkling lights of town in the distance.
People demonstrating organs and pianos in a shopping mall.
Voicing your opinion where no one can hear you.
Impatiently popping toast up and down in the toaster.
Crying over the thought of not being allowed to listen to the Beatles or the Monkees in heaven.
Larry H. Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz.
Telling a letter "Have a good trip" as it goes into the mailbox.
Jump rope chants.
"Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse in 1928.
Inventing a new dance.
Young robins trailing their mother in search for worms.
Davy Jones (musician).
Making crystal goblets sing.
Watching people play with their dogs.
The Twelve Days of Christmas.
"Jolly good, what?"
The smell of popcorn.
That splendid feeling of emancipation that comes from passing a slow car.
"The Rainbow Connection" (song).
The Morton Salt girl.
The smell of fresh newsprint.
A window close to the floor.
Bizarre fireplace tools whose function no one knows.
R&I = radical and intense.
Leaving notes on cars.
Teams coming through a paper hoop at the beginning of the game.
The smell of Utah rain.
A full moon emerging from behind the clouds.
"Hasta la bye-bye!"
Video game music.
Checking your fortune cookie's message to see how it matches up with your partner's.
Old English lettering.
Mr. Potatohead keychains.
The fogging of bathroom mirrors.
Engineer stripe jeans.
Television's Greatest Hits (album).
Eating spaghetti, Lady and the Tramp style.
Being sent home from work early.
The Yo-Yo man.
The sound of squeaky contentment a mirror makes as it is being cleaned.
Spoons (card game).
Cartoon characters who eat their corn typewriter style.
Natural ice-skating rinks.
Automatic card shufflers.
Humorous answering machine messages.
The Good News (newspaper).
Speed limit signs that read "45 MPH unless listening to the song 'Sweet Home, Alabama.' "
Ritz crackers and tomato soup.
Meeting someone at the airport.
Straw wrapper worms.
Robert Fulghum (amateur philosopher/writer).
Corn on the cob.
Refrigerator door decor.
Pretending to be secret agents: listening to the Mission Impossible theme song, rescuing sisters from the neighbors, bombing and shooting all passing cars and pedestrians, secret messages hidden in Starburst wrappers.
Watching other people cook.
Demonstrating operative conditioning on the family dog.
The sounds of the waves against the side of the boat.
A stormy evening to get reacquainted ith the most comfortable chair in the house.
Pampered Chef kitchen supplies.
Old-fashioned perfume bottles.
Homemade musical instruments.
Besty Harvey (artist).
"It's so windy out there my car just blew away!"
Playing cops and robbers.
One room schoolhouses.
The marvelous folding process that allows Kleenexes to emerge from the box one at a time.
Capture the flag.
The headlight on a vacuum cleaner.
Professional barber shop quartets.
Discovering items left in your coat pocket from last year's winter.
Whistling tea kettles.
Individually wrapped, flavored toothpicks.
Hot, fresh croutons fogging the salad bar glass.
The nick of time.
Johnson & Johnson baby powder.
Chinaman's Hat, Hawaii.
Strategically shutting off the car just before a good song plays over the tape player in order that it will be the first song you hear when you get back in the car.
Lattice-top pie crust.
Galavanting around the city snapping pictures of a stone chicken at various sites.
Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Good lane choice.
Science lab demonstrations.
Etchings on the carpet.
Quixotic = foolishly romantic, extravagantly chivalrous.
Getting out of the car to pick sunflowers in a traffic jam.