Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Continuing with the Happy theme...

I loved Christie's post from the other day where she decided to just 'call the whole thing happy'. Happy is good. I figure everyone else probably agrees that it's good. Strike that. Happy is great!! I'm generally a happy person. I've been known to smile and laugh even when nothing is funny. I just like it better that way and for the most part, I do feel that I can chose to be happy or chose to be sad. Granted, there are times in everyone's life - mine most definitely included - where sad, unfortunately, takes over. We lose friends, we lose family, we lose beloved pets, we lose jobs, we lose heart.
Loss is never easy, but with perserverance and determination and a little help from our friends, we can rise above.

I find that it helps to surround myself with things that make me smile. I'm happiest, for instance, when I'm surrounded by my kids and grandkids. Now granted, we only have one son but our daughter-in-law (who truly is a goddess) is like a daughter to us. and those babies - oh, how they make me smile. Here's a photo that makes me laugh every time I see it. It's of our youngest granddaughter, Hailey, 18 months, just chillin' and hangin' at Gramma and Grampa's after having some fun with a garden hose. Is that a look of smug contentment or what?

Here's another photo of the older kids,
Kayla 8, Lane 3, and Blake 5 up at our
cabin in Minnesota. It's a little hard for
you to see but next to Blake, on the
ground at the lake shore is, with a little imagination, a summer shelter for the gnomes who live in the forest. There's a little shelter made out of rocks, a table made from a flat rock, a tiny campfire over which the kids built a tripod of sorts to hold a small copper kettle for the gnomes to cook their fish in. Sadly, a minnow from the bait bucket bought the farm on this one but the kids were all excited about the gnomes getting excited when they found their fish dinner. Oh - and that white thing that looks like a plastic container? Well,
it's a plastic container that Kayla used to make a swimming pool for the gnomes, complete with diving board because, well, they probably wouldn't want to swim in the lake, right? This photo makes me happy because searching for the gnomes made the little ones happy.

BTW - just in case you think gnomes aren't real, here's a photo of their permanent home up the hill from our cabin. Look close and you'll see the door set into the base of a large rock, several
little white quartz rocks (proof that it's a gnome house because gnomes love white quartz, don't you know), and a small garden of clover. Just because you can't see the gnomes (no one EVER sees a gnome) doesn't mean they don't exist. The other thing you can't see is that this little house is hidden deep in the forest, a towering white pine tree is rooted in the rock above the door and birch and aspen flank it on all sides. Again, this photo makes me smile because of all the time the little ones spend searching for white quartz to take to the gnomes as gifts, the blueberries they left behind when their picnic table is set up and because of the notes the Gnomes wrote on birch bark paper and left for the children, thanking them for being so thoughtful.

Here's another photo of all 4 kids on the little beach near the cabin. This picture also makes me happy because it makes me remember that when they weren't writing gnome notes or figuring out ways to sneak up on them and actually spy one, they were in the water or on the beach or roasting marshmallows and making memories.

Less astute readers might have decided by now that this post is really about my grand kids. Well, maybe it is, just a little, but truly it's about happiness. The happiness I find in their bright eyes and excited smiles and their imaginations as they swear they saw a gnome running through the woods or sailing off in a little boat, or saw smoke from a tiny campfire in the woods, or saw a princess standing on the turrets of the sandcastles they built and that Margaret, the Brittany, or Ernie, the Lab, invariably trampled in their excitement over finding the children on the beach.

So now it's your turn. What makes you happy? Be it big or small or somewhere in between, what never fails to take you to that happy place? And don't say it's laughing at me because I have the date screwed up on all of those photos :o(


Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- Happy is good. Isn't that one of the big reasons we read romance? I'm always happier when I've just finished a romance novel. Or any good book. But romance is particularly happy-making.

Helen Brenna said...

Yes, happy is great, Cindy.

And that first pic of your granddaughter is one of the most precious pictures I've ever seen. Frame that baby!

I kept looking at the dates on your photos, wondering about the ages of your grandkids. I didn't think they were old enough for these pics to be 5 years old. And on the beaches in January in MN - yeah, that makes me laugh!

Summertime camping trips with my kids makes me happy!

Cindy Gerard said...

Deb - yes!! You got it. romance does make a person happy and hopefully our books do too!

Helen - Yeah, I didn't realize the date was messed up until I saw the photos. Makes me wonder if the gnomes didn't sneak in and fiddle with my camera when I was sleeping :o)

As for Hailey's photo - yup. Already having it blown up for a frame. Too funny!

GunDiva said...

My RockCrawlinChef makes me happy - almost as happy as riding the equine love of my life. Memories of the kids when they were little and some of the phrases my oldest son came up with when he was little, like "Mustin' Bustin'" because he couldn't say "Mutton Bustin'" or "Cowboy-girl" because we couldn't get him to understand that a cowgirl was a girl cowboy. When my oldest was a wee little thing, he thought the words to "Jump, Jive and Wail" were "Drunk Drive, go to Jail" - came up with that all on his own.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane - now maybe I can go teach my class with a smile on my face.

ForestJane said...

That little one on the top pic has brown eyes to go with the red hair? She's going to be a stunner. :)

Nice looking grandkids!

Kylie said...

Cindy, love the pics!

Happiness truly is spending time with family. The kids crack me up every time. Birthday party for the two oldest last weekend. Watching them 'fly' around the front yard in their Batman masks with the wings popped out of their capes (those suckers have a wingspan that won't fit out the front door, LOL) was a riot.

Cindy Gerard said...

GunDiva - love the stories. Have fun with your class!

Forest Jane - yes. DARK brown eyes and red curly hair. she's a heart breaker all right :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Kylie - Yup. Grand kids bring a whole new definition to the word happiness. And Lord - the things that come out of their mouths.:o)

Terry Odell said...

Definitely grandkids make for happy. I just wish mine wasn't so far away.

Back in the day, happiness was an empty laundry hamper and a full cookie jar.

Cindy Gerard said...

Terry - you're empty laundry hamper comment made me smile. Our Dtr-in-law had posted on facebook last week that she was so happy to have ALL the laundry done. With 4 little ones, it's a never ending job.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the link on facebook....sometimes I forget to check in on the convertible :o(!

To offer some insight from the "grand-children's point-of-view....someday they will look back at their lives and remember all the fun that they had with gramma and papa. Whenever I need a smile I think of getting "put in the dog house" with my papa when we went someplace that mom didn't know about and came back hours later with a bucket of fish or a scraped knee, giggling between the two of us as mom shook her finger and her head at the two of us.
What I am trying to say is that the cycle of happiness doesn't stop with you being happy watching these beautiful kids grow up...it continues on with them passing the memories and the happiness on to future generations.
Oh, and chocolate...that makes me really happy!

Cindy S

Cindy Gerard said...

Cindy - what a lovely sentiment. And you are so right. thanks for pointing that out. It's all a big, beautiful circle!

lois greiman said...

When I first started reading your post I was wondering whose it was, but then I looked at the pic of the oldest girl, and realized she looks just like you.

Thanks for the cuteness, Cindy.

Kathleen O said...

Happy is always a good place to be. The past couple of years has been tough to find happy, but i usually find it in my family and friends, in my books and I try always to watch things on TV to make me laugh. I think happy laughter is one of gods greatest treasures. But what truley makes me happy is being called "Aunt Kathleen" by so many, who when they see me always have a hug or a kiss, even kids I am not really related to but give me the honorary title. Now what more could make a person happy.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - you are right. Kayla is my little sweetie (of course i love them all) but she has always looked like me at every stage of her growth. A mini me - could the world take another? :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Kathleen - It's a tough but very real fact that happy isn't always easy to find. I'm glad you have your little ones to give you that!

Barbara said...

I absolutely loved this post. There's nothing better than sparking the imaginations of children and believe me, if I saw that little gnome house in the woods when I was their age, I would be a believer, too! As far as happy, I'm a big believer in it. Even when times are hard, there are always things like grandchildren to make us grateful and happy beyond all reason. Thanks for the reminder! Barbara Ankrum

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Barb. What a sweet note. and yes, I love watching their minds work behind their eyes. They almost telegraph their thoughts - or at least you think they do until something comes out of their mouths that just floors you :o)

amy kennedy said...

Okay, what with the "chillin" grandaughter and the adorable grandkids making a gnome house w/swimming pool. You've made my day.

Cindy Gerard said...

So happy to be of service, Amy :o)