Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Make My Day

There are just some things that make me so damned happy....and usually it’s the little things.

This morning I got up early to write this column but ran to the boulangerie to get some bread first. I was starving and needed fortification.  I was handed a fresh, crisp baguette, still so hot that it almost burned my fingers. As I walked home with this hot-piece-of-heaven in my hands, imagining how the Bretone butter would melt so easily over it and how my homemade fig jam would taste slathered over all that goodness, I realized that this just-moments-fresh baguette had just made my day. A silly, little, warm baguette!

It got me thinking about other whispers of time that do the same thing to me. Sometimes I’m treated to several in one day and sometimes I have to wait awhile. But they always come.

For instance…my old cowboy boots.  When I wriggle my feet into this pair of leather boots that have spent their years conforming just to my feet, it feels like a welcome home party for my piggies. And in spite of their complete lack of spit and polish, I always somehow feel strong when I wear them.

Or....The ozone smell of the air after a spring rain. The smell of worms after the same rain. Or the rain that arrives as a surprise on a hot summer day, falling amidst the curious remaining rays of sun, and parting just as it arrived, with more sunshine...and a bit of steam rising from the hot pavement as evidence that it’s been there.

My down blanket and my squishy down pillow….both of which were important enough to bring with me to France.

The sound of the waves on the beach just as I’m drifting off to sleep. Not the crashing kind of wave….. the kind that just lick the beach in a rhythmic tempo….until….unti….unt….un…u….

The smell of a dog’s paws. Okay, I suppose not any dog’s paws and it depends on where he’s been, but….if you take a little sniff of the pads of a dogs feet, they smell like buttered popcorn. Really!

The silky feel of saltwater on my skin while swimming in a calm, tropical sea.

The amazing blue color of that same tropical sea.

The smell of a campfire that lingers in my hair three days and two hair washings after I’ve returned to the real world following a camping trip.

The feel and taste of really fine chocolate after I pop it in my mouth and let it melt away rather than chew it. (I rarely do this…takes loads of self-discipline!).

The calming effect that comes after a kick-butt workout when I’m particularly stressed.

The smell and the glorious feel of freshly line-dried white sheets.

Watching my children sleep. At any age.


The chubby, dimpled, perfect hands of a small child as he holds his parent’s face between them.

Writing with a freshly sharpened pencil. Actually just looking at a freshly sharpened pencil makes me happy.

The comforting memory of the smell of my dad’s hair, the smell of my mother’s makeup drawer, and the lovely scent of my baby blanket. Periodically, I am treated to a whiff of something that reminds me of these things and I am content.

Basil in the garden as the hot sun releases its scent.

Warm mud squishing between my toes. If I work my toes just right, I can make the mud erupt between them like mini-geysers.

Kissing that soft indentation on the back of a baby’s neck.

Being kissed in that same spot.

Preparing food with a well-made, well-balanced, razor-sharp chef’s knife.

Finding a real letter in the mailbox.

The smell of the milk room on a dairy farm. Sometimes when I walk through a professional restaurant kitchen, the exact same scent takes me back to Grandpa's barn.

A fresh box of crayons and coloring with them in a good old-fashioned coloring book.

Okay, that does it! I'm making myself crazy. There’s more, but I have to finish this right now and go out and buy crayons and a coloring book….and maybe some chocolate... because I think today I'll treat myself to a couple of other fabulous moments that truly make my day. After's birth month!

Enjoy your perfect moments today, and if you have the time, tell me what your perfect moments are.



  1. Delana,
    I love this post! you are so is the small, simple pleasures that make a full, happy life. Thanks for reminding me to notice. Can I have your recipe for fig jam?

  2. I am laughing here to myself because I would like your recipe for fig jam too!!!!My late Mother-in-law used to make a rhubarb and fig jam to die for but nobody makes it commercially here,and the family do not make it either! Love your blog,very humourous,and I would love to run off and live in France too!

  3. Such a great reminder. Thanks, Delana! Though I need to investigate this whole dog's paws/buttered popcorn thing. Really? :)

    Mmm, baguette. They *can* set off all kinds of wonderful reveries!

  4. Yes...small, vitally important smells, sights, memories.

  5. Hey D...

    As you know, I too live my life for simple pleasures...It's the only real way to live the present moments to the maximum...It may be taking the time to smell the flowers or the fish......For me tonight it was opening an excellent, very chilled bottle of coteaux d'Aix rosé fruité to accompany a very simple plate of pasta with fresh parmesan and basil and un filet d'huile d'olive and a good grind of 5 baies pepper while watching the fleeting sunlight hit the back of the St. Victoire and listening to the last cries of the swallows before they head in for the night.....A very simple magic moment...Just like we like em......Let's all share another one together soon....

  6. Oh Delana, I think we are kindred souls, everything on your list that makes you happy does the same for me.
    Hope we can meet one day soon.
    Train trip?
    Thanks for your beautiful blog
    My friends call me Shell

  7. Love your term "whispers of time"! Having several this a.m. with light hitting the beveled glass in the 'chapel' windows, puppies snuzzled close and snoring, watching the bouquet of tulips leaning toward the light.

    So love your moves me out of Eau Claire and to France on many days.

    Roger G

  8. Aidan:The fig jam was actually home made by a friend but I will get the recipe.

    Tales: It's so nice to hear from you. I will get the recipe...but it sounds even better with rhubarb. Maybe Liliane has a recipe for that too. She's always giving me jams made from all the things in her garden. And thank you for the kind words.

    Sion: The dog's paw thing is real! I promise!

    Fly: You are right. VITALLY important and always worth taking notice of.

    Oooh Cory, that's perfect! Out on your beautiful, vine covered terrace. Yes...this is me, searching for an invite!

    Shell: Now THAT is a grand idea. Let's make it happen.

    Roger: I'm so glad you are reading and that you like it. That means a lot to me. And thank you for the description of your moments. I can see them in my mind.


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