Category Archives: Joy

Simple Pleasures

Standard

A lazy start to the day,

Snuggling in flannel sheets, cozy and warm.

 

Steaming coffee, rich and smooth,

Its inviting aroma hovering in the air.

A hurry-free breakfast,

Its colors feeding the beauty-thirsting soul.

 

A to-do list, the schedule for the day,

Full of washing,

And cleaning,

And planning

for the anxiously-awaited guests.

 

A conversation, written in words, sent as a text.

The video of a granddaughter

Smiling,

Toddling,

And saying, “Hi!”

 

A porch with pansies on its step,

Petals-golds, purples, violets, ambers-

Politely calling, “Spring, spring, spring!”

Robins, hopping in the lawn,

Cheerily chirping in reply.

 

Sunshine dancing on the ground,

Clouds floating in the sky.

A restful day,

A peaceful day,

A day to remember.

 

A day to remember 

the One

Who made this

Friday Good.

 

©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved

For This Today

Standard

Today, like many other days, after getting ready for school, I walk down the wool-carpeted flight of stairs from the upstairs to the main floor.  Feeling a little creeky and not fully awake so early in the morning, my hand loosely holds onto the rail for an added bit of reassurance. A muffled footfall echoes in the foyer as my slippered foot steps onto the hardwood floor.  (I’m fully dressed for breakfast except for my feet which luxuriate a few more minutes in my comfy slippers.  Just for a few more minutes before the on-my-feet-all-day shoes are put on.) So begins my day.

Later, when a scheduled meeting ends a full 45 minutes early, hee-hee, I head happily for home. As my red Sonata approaches the familiar two-story, gray house, the signs of various School Board candidates remind me that I need to vote before I leave on break. So, on a spur-of-the-moment whim, my foot pushes down gently on the accelerator instead of the brake, and I drive right on down the street toward City Hall where I know I’ll be in time to vote by absentee ballot.

I enter the glass doors of the stately, three story stone building. Its marble staircases and brass handrails beckon me onward to the second story. After providing the usual information, I enter the voting booth, carefully filling in the bubbles before the names of the candidates I support.  Placing the ballot in the provided envelope, my tongue wets the glue, and I seal and return it to the receptionist. She stamps it with today’s date. I smile to myself. I know it’s silly, but a voting pride swells my chest as I think how I’ve done my duty as a citizen yet again.  I think of the men and women who have fought over the years to give me the privilege. A warm feeling spreads inside me like maple syrup over pancakes on a winter morning.
I turn and trip lightly down the stairs. I think how wonderful it is, if just for today, that I can almost dance down the steps.  Not needing to grab the handrail, I feel like a teenager zipping down these marble treads. Tippity, tippity, tap.  Even the sounds sing out to me, calling me back to a time when injured knees painfully cried out with every step, up or down.  Then, the rail was my friend who supported me, helped me. I clung to her, then. Those were the times when I never thought I would be able to do this simple task again, pain free.  Tippity, tippity, tap. But now I can! And everytime I do, I thank God for this time, just this one time. Maybe tomorrow, the gift will be gone.  Who knows? But for this day, this today, I am thankful, and I skip merrily down the rest of the stairs, easily and carefree and joyful.   

The First Bike Ride of the Season

Standard

Yesterday, the day, fresh and warm and gorgeous, beckoned me,  “Come play!”

I answered.  My bike, with flattened tires and dusty body, sat stoically behind winter storage-the wicker chairs and pillows, the planter, the shovel, and an assortment of other items.  Ugh!

Determinedly, wiggling this item, moving that item, scooching the other thing, I managed to roll out my royal blue Peugeot.  It’s like an old friend; we know one other well The seat is comfy; the handlebars are adjusted just right; and the frame is perfect for 5’3” me.  I wonder where that pump could be? Usually, my husband and I ride over the rolling hills along the bike trail to a lakeside deli that overlooks a marina together, but today, my husband is working.  I think I can do this by myself this time.  After wasting a good bit of time looking for the elusive pump, I decided to call my husband’s work.

“Do you know where the pump is?” I asked.

“Are you going on a bike ride?” he answered, somewhat disappointedly.  I knew he wished he was free to ride along.

“I know I’m out of shape so I thought I would just go on a little ride. Maybe 20 minutes or so.  Do you think it will be OK? Both the tires are flat, though,” I added. The last time I rode by myself, I got a flat tire and had to be rescued by the sag wagon.  The bike dealer had repaired the rim, noticing that there had been little metal shards that sliced the tire.

“I think if you go 20 minutes without any problems, you should be ok.  The pump is over to the left of the garbage cans. Have fun!” he added wistfully.

The yellow pump was shortly attached to my tires.  Pushing down easily and quickly at first, it became harder and harder until, at last,  I was using my entire body weight to force the air in. Reaching out with my right hand, I squeezed each tire hard.  Neither was mushy or soft. I’m good to go!  Quickly, I detached the pump and put it away.

Just to be sure I didn’t overdo my very first ride after a long winter’s biking hiatus, I set the stopwatch on my iPhone for 24 minutes.  Twenty-four minutes out, turn around, and come back home.. The return trip for me is traditionally a bit longer.  Max time about 45 or 50 minutes.  Just get my legs warmed up for the season.  

Click! My chin strap latched as I put on my helmet.  On slipped my gloves, first the left and then the right..  Right foot on right petal. I’m off.  Looking both ways, I navigate out the driveway onto the suburban road in front of our house.

The saying, “It’s like riding a bike,”  is so true. My bike and I start to fly along in perfect harmony, just as if my bike hadn’t been waiting patiently all winter long for me to come play.  The unseasonably warm day, 55 degrees to be exact, brought more than just me out. I think every two-legged creature alive was out walking, and many with their four-pawed friends. Couples with pouchies.  Moms with strollers. Parents with children. Joggers. Bikers. Scooterers.  Is that a word?  Oh, I don’t care.  The air was fresh and clean and it breathed new life into my winter-weary soul.  As I slowed to cross one road after another, I noticed I didn’t even have to stop.  No one was driving their cars! All werel out, like me, soaking up this seasonal medicine.

My alarm, annoyingly, started to ring, reminding me that I must turn around.  Seeing a little turn-around spot along the bike trail, about halfway down the hill  I”d been zooming down, I slowed my bike and sharply turned the handles. Time to head for home. 

The return trip was full of delights. Two cardinals-one a brownish female with just a hint of red and the other a male wearing his scarlet robes twittered a merry hello as I glided by.  Then, a pond slipped by, complete with a goose and her goslings swimming in an orderly line…like children following a teacher. Rabbits hopped from bush to bush; squirrels scampered here and there.  All were out-human and creature alike.

I slowed as I spotted a familiar gray house with its red door and inviting forsythia wreath..  Carefully, I steered into the driveway and came to a gently stop. Reaching behind me, I unzipped the pouch in my neon yellow windbreaker where my iPhone was ticking off the minutes.  I checked it. Twenty-eight minutes return trip. That figures!   A little pride puffs up inside me, I know pride goes before a fall, but I am happy with my accomplishment- this little goal for the day.  I can’t wait for the second ride of the season!

 

“God is in His Heaven…”

Standard

Bang! The car door slammed behind me. Turning, my feet stepped from the back parking lot into  the alleyway beside church; I headed toward the front door. The sun shone brightly on my face, warming it.  A smile, the kind with little upturned ends, spread across my face. It feels so good. The breeze, an early-spring kind of warm, played with my wavy, brown hair and tickled my skin.  It feels so good.  

Chirp! Chirp!  Could that be a robin?  Where is it? I asked myself, looking up, down, left, and right.  Where is it?  My little feathered friend was shy and chose to remain out of sight.  

I need to hurry.  I”ll be late. I willed my feet to hurry along.  Then, music and joy and God’s people praising Him.  How great to be alive!  

I ran up the concrete stairs, reached out my hand, grasped the door knob, pulled it open, and entered.  “God is in his heaven, and all is right with the world,”  I quoted to myself.    

“It’s a Girl!”

Standard

These memories came flooding back, with accompanying waves of emotion, as I was writing a birthday card to my sweet daughter, now a grown-up woman.  

“It’s a girl!” the resident exclaimed.  

After a few, brief moments my husband’s arms reached tentatively out to take the pink-faced, black-haired little bundle from the nurse who, all smiles, was handing her to him. Time seemed to slow down, wait, and almost stand still. Wonder spread across John’s face like sunbeams bursting through clouds after a storm as he gazed into the now-seeing, but bleary eyes of the daughter he was now holding.  Those sea-green eyes, so full of emotion, like lakes brimming over after the spring thaw, sought mine. A wobbly smile and tearfilled eyes answered that lover’s call. This beautiful miracle represented all our love and hopes and dreams. How could this perfect, 10-fingered, 10-toed little girl be all that?  

“She’s beautiful!” he said huskily, then added, “I love you.”  A kiss sealed those words–and his love-in my heart forever as he gently placed our new daughter in my waiting arms.

Life’s Little Pleasures

Standard

The day has been a peaceful one, full of the pleasures that make my heart happy.  The kind of pleasures that just make life beautiful. First, when I did my Saturday banking, I chatted and laughed with the teller.  I greeted the next teller by name. A smile lit my face as a strode out the door.

Then, my husband and I went to Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee. Before we went in, we stopped to chat with a stranger.  And his two Corgis, one was 7, and one was 3. Strangers connected by a common love for dogs.

As we sat down with our coffee, my husband and I happened to see an acquaintance from work, and we chatted how we ended up in Wisconsin.  It was just everyday conversation about the weather and the merits of living in our community. A conversation where we made a little connection.  I walked out of the shop into the brisk wind with warmth in my heart.

Then, my little, sweet granddaughter came over to visit and showed me how she can toddle across the room now.  Then, “Where is Mabel?” A pink-cheeked face wreathed in smiles, peeked out from behind the table. “There she is!”  More baby giggles. Ah, that is pleasure.

Next, off to the airport to collect my third son and his new bride from their belated honeymoon.  The Florida sun could not match the sunshine that broke across their faces as they told me of their 5th story balcony overlooking the private beach.  Cool weather was not enough to dampen their pleasure in being together or freeze their fun. How wonderful for me to be a willing listener in this happy discourse.

Yes, this was a peaceful day full of life’s simple pleasures! There is a smile and glow in my heart.