What’s a “Good Day” for you?

What a great day – My son and his wife were on a conference trip with their engineering NASA jobs. I was helping with my grandchildren. My son surprised me with an outing to the Japanese gardens and feeding the koi fish like we did when he was little – so thoughtful!

A Good Day

People are always wishing us to: “Have a good day!”

Good days for me have encompassed exquisite, rare opportunities like getting to see the aurora borealis in Alaska, visiting Paris in celebration of my husband’s and my 40th wedding anniversary, watching a total solar eclipse and flying over frozen landscape in a hot air balloon. Good days for me have encompassed everyday joys like a walk in the mountains where we live with our dogs, accomplishing something difficult like learning, yet one more thing connected with technology or enduring a challenging hike and always – reading a book I can’t put down. 

What constitutes a good day has certainly changed over the decades; hasn’t it? I remember – maybe you do too – when what made me have a happy included: no homework, my favorite babysitter, something I liked for dinner (perhaps spaghetti or grilled cheese) and watching a favorite TV show, like Bewitched or Gilligan’s Island.

Around that time, when I was about 8-years-old, TV and food played a huge part in my delight; as did spending time at my Meme’s. Summers at Meme’s were the greatest since I got to spend several days at a time there, without any parents! Spending the night meant being treated like a big kid. I was scared in front of the television watching The Twilight Zone with my aunt who was 4 years older than me. Sometimes I close my eyes at the really scary parts of the show and she would make fun of me. But the opportunity to be a big kid was worth enduring being teased.

Just Meme and I would have breakfast in her cozy kitchen.  Suzy the Siamese cat rested on top of the refrigerator, twitching her tail while watching us. I enjoyed warm buttered toast and hot tea with cream and sugar while watching The Beverly Hillbillies on the little portable TV.  I was sure there was no better way to start the day.

Meme had a great big above the ground swimming pool that was so deep; it was up to my shoulders! She’d bring out party sandwiches in the shape of triangles with the crust cut off and celery stuffed with pimento cheese. We’d eat right in the swimming pool!

Meme’s screened porch was one of my favorite places to play. Her elephant ears grew up against the porch creating a snug environment. I’d read or dress my paper dolls and Meme would slip in with a bowl of cherries or strawberries, respecting my quiet place.

When I was old enough to go on walks by myself, walking soon became my favorite activity and an important part of a good day. Walking our collie dog, Duke was so satisfying. Duke was a great listener and always up for a walk. I liked our alone time.

By third grade part of a good day was a trip to the library or walking to the neighborhood bookmobile. Having a new book to read or having uninterrupted time to read a book I couldn’t put down, that’s been a much loved part of a good day for me since childhood.

As a child, my favorite books were often Nancy Drew mysteries or stories about the lives of the saints. Regularly in my catholic school we’d have to give a report on the books we read. Classmates were clamoring for the books I described.  The lives of the saints were particularly fascinating; as one saint drove a nail in her skull to endure suffering for sins. Another saint was waiting to be torn to bits by a lion while she gave birth. The guard laughed at her birthing pang cries. She responded that she would not cry out loud in the morning when she was being torn to bits by lions. Periodically my mother got telephone calls from classmate’s mothers wanting to know what kinds of books was I was reading and where did they come from. I simply replied that I got my books from our school library.

Seldom was I the center of attention; so it was an intoxicating feeing having the whole class listening to me tell about my book. That is when it (be it subconsciously) occurred to me that the written word is powerful.

Having a reader tell me that they were moved my something I wrote is an exciting feeling that makes my day. The recent day spent alone with my 2-year-old granddaughter and I discovering each other was especially wonderful. A few days ago I spent the day with two 1st graders. It was a busy, tiring, exhilarating and very satisfying day. A good day sometimes involves getting together with one or more girlfriends. Good friends, good conversation and good food is always fun!

Yesterday my daughter telephoned and we talked unhurriedly about numerous topics important to us. It was part of a good day. She is having her first taste of ‘motherhood’ as she is presently staying home full-time with her 3-week-old foster son. It’s always good to know my daughter or son is thinking about me with a call, text or email.

Visiting my daughter when she was at Brandeis University for graduate school – she’s dressing her puppy warmly for a cold day

For me a good day can involve many things, of which walks with my dogs and time spent reading and writing are often a part.

Today was a fun day with my husband. We drove to Montrose to get more supplies for our sunroom that he’s building us. It’s a long drive. We talked. We listened to podcast. After getting our building materials I picked out some colorful flowering plants for our deck. We then enjoyed a tasty lunch at our favorite Montrose restaurant, Daily Bread. We don’t eat out often, so it’s a treat. I very much enjoyed my cup of mushroom soup and my crab and avocado salad at this mom and pop café. When we got home we walked our dogs and I enjoyed playing with my flowers. I checked on a friend’s cat which meant I got to do a kindness and make an animal happy. I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about Meme and writing this blog entry (and remembering the theme songs to Gilligan’s Island and The Beverly Hillbillies!) It’s been a good day!

As you journey through life I wish you countless good days. What makes a good day for you?

Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in Paris