This isn't the first time I've shared a list of things that I love. You have already seen 5 Things I Love and 5 More Things I love. But, it's the little things in life that really make it worth living. Those big events, no matter how great, are fleeting. The little, everyday moments are what make the days better. Here are five more little things that I love.
1. Smell of fire - I remember having a fireplace in the living room when we lived in Georgia. It may sound odd to have a fireplace in Georgia because it is so hot but, in fact, it makes perfect sense. A single fireplace can heat an entire house though the mild winters in Georgia. It has been a long time since we lived in that house but I still remember the street (Buckboard Court) and I think I remember the layout pretty well. When you came in the door from the driveway you entered a utility room that was likely a converted garage. As soon as you came in the door from outside there was another door on the right that led into the living room. The first thing you saw when you entered that room was a fireplace. We would have firewood stacked just outside through a sliding glass door that led to the back yard. We would heat the house with that fire and I still remember that smell.
I always have two other powerful memories when I smell fire. The first is spending Christmas Eve at my grandparent’s house. Nana and Pop had an old-school iron stove in the basement that would heat the room to hell-like levels. We would gather in the basement to open presents on Christmas Eve. The second is spending many nights in Boy Scouts around a campfire. Sometimes it was for warmth. Sometimes it was for cooking. Sometimes it was just to enjoy before turning in for the night. There isn’t anything quite as good as the smell of a fire.
2. Hotel rooms - There is something about staying in a hotel room that is luxurious even if you are staying in a cheap roadside motel. The idea of getting this home away from home makes you feel like a king. Making this place that doesn’t belong to you a home away from home brings so much joy. I think it is a great way to scratch that itch that one can get to move to a new home just because they are bored where they are living.
What is it about staying in a hotel that makes you want to get ice? I hardly ever use ice at home. I don’t put ice in my water. I don’t put ice in any beverage. Yet, seeing that ice bucket sitting on the dresser upon entering a hotel room makes me want to slide that bucket condom into the plastic container, run down the hall to the magic water-freezing device, and fill up on my free ice.
Staying in a hotel room is a release from the regular routine of your own home. Sure, you have spent years growing getting your home just the way you like it. You spend hours mowing grass and pulling weeds (if you have a yard) or picking out just the right pictures to hang and throw pillows to purchase (if you don’t have a yard). Still, the simple act of replacing watching reruns of Law and Order on your couch to watching reruns of Law and Order while lying in bed snacking on vending machine snacks and drinking over-sugary beverages can make life worth living.
3. Book stores - I love books. I love to read and I love to own the books that I read. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, books were a rare commodity. What may now be considered having a “bookshelf” would then have been considered a respectable “library” from which to choose. Picking the next book to read can be more of an emotional reaction than a mental exercise. That is the beauty of a bookstore.
I love taking a cup of coffee and walking up and down the aisles looking at the titles, examining the title. I’ll pick up a book that catches my eye with a clever title or with a subject that I know I enjoy. I’ll read the back about the book and, if it is included, about the author. Then I’ll put the book back and move onto the next shelf. What a joy!
E-readers have hurt bookstores considerably. I’ll admit that I was very much an advocate of e-readers when they first started to hit the market. The idea of being able to have hundreds of thousands of books at my fingertips was intoxicating. I would be able to read anything at any time. I’m still pro e-reader. I think it is a great way to gain access to books and to able to read. However, I don’t think that it will ever replace the feel of turning pages. Somehow the joy of hitting the right arrow button for the last time just doesn’t have the same sense of accomplishment as turning that last page. Bookstores still hold the real seat of knowledge. I hope they never die.
4. Saying ought for a date is relevant again - I know, I know, after the first three this one seems trivial but for a guy like me who is fascinated with old stuff (I often wear a fedora, I often carry a pocket watch, I’m looking forward to walking with a cane, I listen to a bit too much Frank Sinatra), I love that I can say ought for a date again. You have all seen movies that take place in the 1950s or 1960s with that old guy talking about the good ole’ days. “Well, I guess it was back in ought six when I first saw old Ty Cobb play. He sure was a miserable cuss.” Or, “Man, I haven’t had cake this good since my grandmama died in ought three.”
Now that we live in the 21st century I’m at the perfect age that I can use that term and it makes perfect sense. “Dad, how did you meet Mom?”, Cece asks one day in the future. “Well buddy, it was way back in ought nine. Back then people drove cars and we still listened to music on CDs.” “What’s a CD?” Yep, that is going to happen. Remember back in ought eight when Barack Obama was elected President? Ahhhh, the good ole’ days.
5. Weird things kids say and people say to kids - I know I wrote an entire blog post about things that you may say to your kids that seem inappropriate called What did you say? That is a little bit different than this topic. This is more in reference to weird things you thought you would never hear or never thought you would have to say.
Let me give you this example. One night Rizzo had just gone upstairs with Cece to start taking a bath. Things sounded like they were on the normal path that is the typical battle a parent has with a toddler. There was a lot of “Go to the bath tub” and “Come back here” and “put on your pants”. Then, there was uncontrollable laughter from Rizzo. She screamed down the stairs at me through laughs that I have to hear this.
I went to the bottom of the stairs and Rizzo instructed Cece to tell me what she had been saying to Mommy. “Daniel Tiger in my booty!” I wasn’t sure if I heard that correctly so I asked Cece to repeat. “Daniel Tiger in my BOOTY!” I still wasn’t sure I got that last word right in my head so I said “Daniel Tiger in what?” “My BOOTY!” Cece replied, turning around and smacking her butt so I knew what she was talking about. Yes, my daughter was casually screaming Daniel Tiger in my booty.
There you have it folks. Five more things that I love. What are five things that you love? Or three? Or One? What regular, everyday things bring you happiness?