Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Art of Appreciating Happiness

Day 43:  Prairie Eydie's
favorite salsa.
Several months ago I began to receive these daily Facebook posts from our own Prairie Eydie--"Day 14 of 100 Days of Happiness" and there would be this picture of a venti latte from Starbucks. Or "Day 23 of 100 Days of Happiness" and the photo was of PE's own Lulu (age 4) squeezing the begeezus out of the family cat. Secretly I thought to myself, "Lordy Eydie, clean out a sock drawer or something.  Who has time to be looking for happiness each day?"


Prairie Eydie is a very "the glass is half-full" sort of gal.  In fact, Eydie tosses in a few ice cubes and adds a squeeze of lime and a teaspoon of organic sugar to make that glass overflow.  She knows how to celebrate the little happinesses in life, and I know that this is one of the many reasons I enjoy being around her.  Oh, we have shared more than a few boxes of Kleenex. Last year's week-end collage trip at the cabin had us both mournfully blubbering about the many unfairnesses of life, but on the Universal Scale of Happiness Appreciation (1-10), Eydie is decidedly an 11.  

Knowing that my dear friend would never knowingly lead me down an angst-y path, I decided to start my own "100 Days of Happiness" photo montage.  And do you know what happens when you start looking for happiness?  You find it everywhere!  I am so backed up with happiness pictures,  I have decided to share a few with you.  Think of it as happiness overflow.

Is there anything that can make a person happier than finding something that you thought you had lost months after you thought you had lost it?

This is my favorite paring knife.  I have had it for 10 years. Annually, I send it to a distant eastern state to be hand sharpened by cloistered nuns.  It is a knife of such quality as to be worthy of being included in a legal document and passed down to the next generation.  My children will fight over this knife before I even make it into the urn.  

Last September this knife went AWOL from my knife block.  I noticed its absence immediately and went through a garbage can full of  a week's refuse three times to no avail.  I accused every member of the household (including the dog) of grand theft.  I searched through each cupboard and drawer in the kitchen with meticulous care.  I even lined said cupboards and drawers with decorative and expensive lining paper thinking that the penance might bring that knife back. No enchilada. 

Yesterday, I made the first strawberry jam of the season.  I longed for that knife as I topped those organic berries with an inferior implement.  I dragged myself out to the garage to retrieve the blue enameled canner from the top shelf. I slogged it back into the humidity-heavy kitchen and dumped it on the stove. I heaved off the lid to fill it with water. Inside that canner I found my collection of jar rings, the canning funnel, two packages of jar lids (small and large mouth), and...the knife.  Suddenly my heart lightened.  I called my at-home children together to celebrate the return of the prodigal paring knife.  Such unexpected happiness!

Looks a bit like a bagged buttocks.
Related to that jam I just mentioned is my next bit of happiness. This is a loaf of bread from the grocery that now employs me (Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee--shameless advertising, but we are employee owned).  This loaf makes me very happy for several reasons.  For one, it is a really good-tasting loaf of bread.  It is chocked full of whole grains, not too dry, and just the right density to make really good toast or to be eaten as is.  

The second reason I love this loaf is that it is like two loaves in one.  My at-home daughters are not whooping crazy about whole-grained bread.  They might eat a slice of this if it was the last thing to be found in the refrigerator and the car was totally out of gas.  I take this little two-for-one number and popped half in the frig and half in the freezer.  I never have to eat stale bread again.  Simple but pure happiness!

These are my at-home-from-college daughter's sweaters.  She loves argyle.  I love my daughter.  I love having my argyle-loving daughter home.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Extreme happiness!

"She had better be bringing home the kibble."

I am throwing this one in to drive Prairie Eydie crazy. She is a cat person.  I am a dog person.  She tells me I have far too many pictures of my pooches posted on Facebook.  This is our newest pup waiting for me to come home.  Oliver Twist Harry Houdini Puttmann (the name will be explained in a future post) is a nine-year-old rescue who has called us his own since April.  He adores me.  It makes me momentously happy to be adored!

Even having shared these, I still have enough happiness photos left to last me through next week.  Prairie Eydie was right.  There is so much happiness around us when we take the time to just look for it.  You don't even need a camera. Just enjoy! 

Prairie Sherry   


  1. You both are very inspirational! What a good reminder that when we do actually LOOK for happiness, we find it. Huge lightbulb moment!

  2. Thanks Jenny! You make me happy. I do have to stop myself from taking happy photos every day of my garden. Eydie