Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Favorite Things

"We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry." - E.B. White
I experience great joy from the simplest of things in my life. This spring has been lovely in so many ways. I find myself telling people who ask how things are going that I really feel like I am living the life I have envisioned for a long time. This often results in an expression of surprise from the person, since these questions can often elicit a laundry list of woes. I really am superbly happy with how things in my life have been unfolding, notwithstanding the occasional hurdle or moment of drama (life would be boring without these things!).

Thus, I am inspired to make a list of some of my favorite things at the moment - things which, upon thinking about them, make me stop and smile. I hope you, too, will ponder your favorite things and go out and experience them for all they're worth.
  1. Breakfast - this is my favorite meal of the day. It is the simplest of meals, tastes splendid after 8-10 hours of fasting, and gives me time in the morning to contemplate my day and avoid getting off to too hurried of a start. I feel sorry for people who think that breakfast is unimportant and they "don't have time" for such a basic part of life.
  2. Sweetsies Eats and Treats - this roadside wonder sits along Route 40 between Clear Spring and Hagerstown, Maryland, which is an oft-traveled route for us when running errands, etc. It offers the best soft serve that I've ever tried (barring Sandy's Frozen Custard in Austin, TX). I love a good soft serve cone, particularly plain vanilla. One lick of Sweetsies' soft serve and I melt!
  3. Bustling around the house - I love to "tidy". It is my way of making sure that my little space in the universe is orderly and free from clutter so that I can go out into the messy world with a clean slate, ready for anything. The process of straightening things up is meditative and refreshing for me. I often think of Mary Poppins snapping her fingers as she tidies up the nursery, everything magically folding and falling back into its proper place. Did I mention I'm also a Virgo?
  4. Playing music with Fred and Brechyn - this has been a weekly tradition since this winter, and it will soon cease to be since our good friend, Fred, is moving to Boston. But we have played several gigs together, enjoyed weekly jam sessions, laughed and guffawed at talking in silly accents, and had many enriching philosophical and musically-charged conversations. I'm glad I'll still have my sister, Brechyn, here as we continue on as The Hello Strangers.
  5. Gardening - this is an activity that both my husband and I enjoy together, now in particular since we have been living in apartments for the past 4 years and never had a house, per se, at which to start a garden. The other evening we started a new bed of orange marigolds, purple verbena, and white astilbe. I love to clear out the weeds and plant fresh growth, then stand back and admire our work.
  6. Sadie - I have written a lot about our dog. But let me just say that she continues to surprise and amuse me daily. I can't imagine life without her.
  7. Riding my bike to work - I fly down the hill into town, my hair blowing behind me, my backpack on. I feel like a teenager again, as I retrace many of the routes I rode on when I was young. Then I ride back up the hill after work, knowing that I avoided pumping at least a little carbon monoxide into the air that day.
  8. The Burning Spear live album "Live at the Zenith, Paris, 1988" - this is my favorite reggae album that I most often crave and blare throughout the house. After writing my Masters Report on reggae in 2006, I try to make sure I remain in touch with my knowledge and appreciation of the genre. Despite being recorded in 1988, the musicianship and arrangements on this album are timeless in the way that Winston Rodney (the frontman) does it best. I love playing this album for folks that are reticent about reggae or have only heard the cornier (and there is a lot of it) side of the genre.
What are some of your favorite things?


Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters said...

My favorite things:
- wife
- family
- friends (especially Larissa and Ryan)
- Blogging
- giving a present (I love people's expressions.)
- Plant life (I love the variance in one plant to the next, just on a nature walk.)

Larissa said...

Thanks for your list, Karl. It's fun to read what other folks consider their favorite things. Thanks for reading!

Chloe said...

Great post, Larissa! When my husband and I first met (through and our correspondance was still in the email-only phase, we emailed lists of things we liked back and forth. We still have these and it's fun to go back and look at them every so often. I know that we fell in love with each other based in good part on what we read in those emails, before we even had a face to put with the name. You have inspired me to put together a new list of favorites and will let you know when I do! Hope all's well!

Margey said...

I love what you said about cleaning! That is exactly how I feel about it.

My favorite things off the top of my head:
-laughing with Sean as we fall asleep
-long peaceful walks in the morning
-cheese and crackers with preserves
-exploring the nooks and crannies of Chi-Town

Larissa said...

Chloe - it's nice to know that other people appreciate lists as much as I do. They don't have to be about menial tasks. Lists of favorites are a fun way to get to know yourself and other people - like you and your husband did. What a great story. Do you share your new list of favorites if you get the chance!

Larissa said...

Margey - mmm, cheese and crackers with preserves is a good one. I love seeing people's favorites. Thanks for sharing and hope you are well!

hallie said...

savasana, alpine glow, that feeling I get after I freak out about swimming through a bunch of algae and then can't feel it under me anymore, pot-luck dinners, bathrooms with windows, the whistle of my teapot, picking dead leaves off my house plants, and vacuuming to name a few