Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The raindrops on my windshield that
greeted me when I left work today.
After starting my 100 Happy Days with Dana, the obvious choice for day two would be our wonderful children, right? Well, they of course make me crazy happy, but what fun is it to do the obvious thing? Besides, with April ending, who knows when the next shower might come along?

I remember summers from my childhood when the sun would bake the clay soil of our yard to the point of opening up cracks that could swallow my feet whole. Once they opened up, it seemed like no amount of rain would ever make them close again. But eventually, they would. Back then, rain didn't make me terribly happy despite how much I knew we needed it. Because in Tornado Alley, rain was often the harbinger of storms that scared the bejesus out of me.

After moving to Pennsylvania, it took a while to adjust. The worst storm I've seen here in almost 14 years dropped marble-sized hail for a few seconds. In Kansas, that's like the opening act for the real show. Now, rain is what makes things beautiful. And thanks to Dr. Who, I know that the smell I love so much is called petrichor - and there isn't a price to be paid after smelling its announcement of a coming shower. Sure, I might complain when I forget my umbrella and have to run through a downpour, but that's about my vanity.

Rain makes me happy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

100 Happy Days

Happiness has seemed to be an elusive thing for me ever since an unnerving Saturday morning over two years ago that turned our town upside-down. One day I will likely feel compelled to write about the reasons my neighbor's crimes affected me so greatly. But for now, this is enough.

I have worked hard to remind myself that there are many things in my life that bring me joy, and that dwelling on those things is far more healthy than dwelling on the things that bring me down. And thanks to my friend, Michelle, I learned about the 100 Happy Days challenge. As I looked over the website, I realized that it could not only better motivate me to recognize the things that make me happy, but it could also be a means to help me to get back in the habit of writing blog posts. Signing up was what I had to do.

And so I give you my number one happy — Dana.

My wife, my partner, my best friend. Many times, she's my conscience. And yes, the angel-on-my-shoulder type of conscience. She is the person I want to see before I drift off to sleep at night, and the one I want to see when I wake. Our bond is the best kind, because it's one we chose, and we tend to it with passion and conviction. We've spent half of our lives together, and I don't want to think of what my life would be without her. I love this woman more than I will ever be able to express.