Happiness is Change

It’s getting colder up here in the northern hemisphere. Days are shorter. Apple cider is everywhere. School buses, those big yellow motarized bricks, are back on the road. The leaves aren’t changing here–this is NJ, we don’t get vibrant falls–but up in Vermont they’re getting cold nights and their usual ridiculous foliage (Vermont just shows off in the autumn, flaunting it’s loud sense of color and maple syrup). There’s always a part of me that listens for the Wapakoneta High School band, something I heard every fall for the first seventeen years of my life: down the alley, across Auglaize street, down the side street, across the river, past the swimming pool and there was the stadium (very small stadium) and the band practicing, faintly but insistent. (Ohio State has its famous “Script Ohio,” so we had the not nearly as famous “Wapakoneta Wiggling W” where each band member stood in place and wiggled like they were trying to get rid of a wedgie. Well, it was a small high school.) It’s funny how a season is always an amalgamation of things: what’s happening in nature (didn’t the days used to be longer?), what’s happening in the community (I grew up in Ohio so that was football), what’s happening in stores (temporary big box Halloween stores, OMG), all of it schmushing together to let you know that Change is happening, kick up your heartbeat, remind you that it’s a new season, time to start over again.

I love autumn. It makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

39 thoughts on “Happiness is Change

  1. I have left town for the first time in 2 years and am on vacation. I am listening the waves lapping on the beach, and later, if it doesn’t rain, we will go for a walk. If it does rain, I will lie on the couch and read for an extra hour. Sending you all the peace and calm of Lake Michigan and trees.

  2. I went to Michigan for a few days. It was lovely to spend some time just puttering around with my husband being a tourist.
    It was cool, it was crisp. We went to a cider press that is over 100 years. Just fabulous.

  3. I’m happy that it’s end of term vacation here. I have many things to do. I am using movies and shows to motivate me to get through. I put them on while I work to get into flow.

    My car died last Friday while I was filling up. Luckily someone was able to give me a boost. Drove to the nearest Toyota dealer (1km away) and bought a new battery, they were closer than any other vendor. Dealer branded batteries are often 40% more than other brands. Argh. Am going to stick to my “Buy-nothing” plan with a bit more focus because I really want to save money for some sort of language lessons, and an actual exercise plan.

    I’m happy that I made the decision. Now to stick to it.

    Hope everyone here is well. And vibes to all who were/are dealing with surgical procedures. 🌻

  4. Happiness is BIL visiting. DH and sons are so happy to be with him, to see him, talk and especially all the laughs. Missed that for many years. Whole new chapter, so happy for him and us. Dinner with good friends. More laughs. Week of laughter, love and food. And eggs beny breakfast with left over crab from our crap fest Friday night. Yum.

  5. I got to see a friend I don’t see much on Monday night. I hung out with another one yesterday. And I auditioned for a show with a third friend Tuesday. Sadly, I did not get into the show because my voice isn’t good enough, but…well, that’s not a surprise. But hey, I tried.

    In all honestly, I’m not happy this week and I’m really drained and fried due to work, but a few moments were good. Doing the lights for Mary Poppins is going well. And I’m taking a vacation day and getting my booster shot Tuesday.

  6. Went for two long walks this week. Began clearing and sorting out the garden: wonderful to be gardening again. Very happy to have finished painting the shed, plus the main edit of the rose book, so can relax and enjoy life more.

    Stumbled on hundreds of little iridescent emerald beetles turning dock leaves to lace, on the path to a standing stone. Felt magical.

    Had a good film night with Pam. I made tomato sauce (with pasta, peppers & feta); Pam brought news of a promising new pizza place that we’re going to try instead of the Indian.

  7. I was happy to read in the NYT weekend briefing that a few zebras – escaped from some oddball in Maryland – are still on the loose a month later. Apparently sustaining themselves quite well on the native and cultivated landscape, cheerfully ignoring the feed set out to lure them to recapture. Some wild things prefer to stay wild. 🙂

    Also happy to have what I think is an actionable plan for extending my bougainvillea windbreak + soundbreak (it’s amazing how greenery dampens noise in a paved neighborhood) in the backyard. Need to run it by the man, as I intend to recruit him and a power tool for this purpose, but it’s a low-labor project with a pleasantly low budget.

    1. There is a herd of zebras on the Hearst estate in Californa. After his death they gave away the carnivores to zoos and let the other animals roam the ranch. Sometimes you can see them from the highway.

    2. The national aviary has lost an eagle. There is currently an apb trying to get him back. People can call in sightings. He seems to be fine, so this is amusing to me.

  8. Jenny, I read your post, then for whatever reason spent an hour listening to Garrison Keillor talk about Lake Wobegon, “Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” In that hour, the only season he talked about was winter. Winter in Minnesota. So I quit listening, but I was still smiling.

    Autumn is my favorite season. I know that even here in Virginia, we have the colorful foliage. We just have it later, unless you drive up to the Appalling Mountains. (I can’t spell Appalachian.) I forget what our section is called, whether Smokies or Blue Ridge or whatever. I’ve driven “The Trail” and “Skyline Drive” in the Fall and gawked at nature in her finest clothes. Conversely, on those drives I’d visit the caverns, like Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns – there are at least nine tourist tra… natural wonders. They’re not Carlsbad, but they’re not half bad, either. Hur, hur, hur.

    Seems counterintuitive that enjoying Autumnal Arboreal Splendor would make me appreciate big holes in the ground. Come to think, I always had genuine reproduction Robert Wood paintings of Autumn landscapes on my walls.

    Speaking of seasons, I just got an email from Medicare reminding me that open enrollment begins mid October. I thought it began in December. Anyway, I only have Part A, which is a reason (not alone) I’m not retired yet. I’m going to fix that. I could be retired by November to enjoy the Autumn of My Life.

    1. Gary, make sure your employer is providing the equivalent of whatever part it is that provides the prescription coverage. When my husband retired, SS wanted to penalize him $10/mo for forever because they said he hadn’t carried prescription coverage. He had to get a letter from his employer and a copy of the plan to prove that his insurance provided the equivalent coverage (it was actually better) in order to get them to back off. It was a pain getting this taken care of.

      1. The Commonwealth of Virginia state plan that I fall under has excellent coverage. I’ll make sure I have Lachshmi (HR) document it. Thanks. 🙂

      2. Oh, dear. I will remember this in the coming months. The reason I am still on my employer’s insurance and not Part B is that our insurance (which we have only had for five years–VERY small company) has excellent drug coverage. No deductible for prescriptions. However, I will be having cataract surgery next year (after the busy season is over) and Part B will be fabulously cheaper for that. So I need to pick just the right time to switch over.

  9. Happiness is my having repaired the water damaged plaster in the entry way. It looks totally professional and my paint colors matched so I don’t have to repaint the whole room. Now I am cleaning out the sunroom and starting cuttings of shrubs and plants I want more of next year.

    Now if we could get/the sewer contractor dealt with life would be perfect almost.

  10. I had a good week until this am when the Chair of my Horticulture program advised that we’re going back on campus full time as of Nov 1. Unilateral decision taken by one instructor in the program.

    I spent a glorious day at the flower farm where I did my coop. We got lots done. Came home with 2 gorgeous bouquets – 1 for DH (it was his BD) and one for me. I am making good progress on end of year assignments. DH, DS and I went out for dinner for DH’s BD.

  11. Still reading Pratchett. I’m up to Soul Music. The Librarian has been in each of the first 16 except for Pyramids and Witches Abroad. Discworld makes me happy.

  12. Every new season is my favourite season, except perhaps winter. Actually, right now I’m not enamoured of spring either – the blossom was all out on the apricot trees (apricots are my favourite and they are always always so much better home grown and tree ripened), and two days later it frosted, and then a spring storm took care of the rest, and now I will just have two pretty-ish trees and no apricots. Grr spring.

    BUT! This is what made you happy Saturday, sorry. It’s actually Monday here and yesterday I ran the Virtual London Marathon. It was my first ever marathon, it took nearly 5 hours. I am proud and sore and tired and a bit happy.

  13. We had a lovely time in Jasper, very relaxing and peaceful. I just wish it had been about a week longer. The mountains are gorgeous and we went on some really nice walks. Going when there are fewer crowds is always nice.

    We have been putting flooring down and that’s going well. It looks nice and seem like it’s going to be durable with the dogs.

  14. We had a lovely day here yesterday (today is rainy and gloomy) so I went to a local park and hiked some of the back trails and took photos. It always makes me feel good to get out and somewhat away from people (not that I don’t like people but sometimes it’s good to get away from everyone). Later, I mowed the lawn and spent some relaxing time in my hammock swing, reading and daydreaming.

  15. The realization dawned on me that I’d never read Crazy People so I downloaded the book and read everything. Wonderful. Terrific.

  16. I’m happy to be out of the cardiac ICU and in the regular cardiac recovery room! Also happy not to have had to take narcotics for the pain. I do not do well on narcotics, and other options have worked. Also happy that everyone at hospital has been fabulous and listened to me about things I know more about than they do (rare disorder).

    1. I’ve been thinking of you and hoping all was well. I’m really glad that things have progressed well for you. Here’s hoping that your road forward is smooth and has lovely scenery.

    2. Huzzah! I’m so glad it went well, Gin. I just finished reading the first two Garlic Mysteries and I absolutely loved them. Getting ready to download the third.

  17. Fretting about how many obstacles there were to getting the flat portion of my roof replaced, including encroaching trees, broken gutters, etc. So Friday there’s a knock at the door and a friendly looking little Latino guy is dropping by his card. “If you need any tree work done, I can give you an estimate today, no charge.” Turned out he had three guys in his truck, looking for paying work that day, estimate was reasonable, so with trepidation I leapt on it and said “Okay?”

    So the four guys cut down four trees, chainsawed them all into sturdy flat logs, piled those logs in a gorgeous stack next to the carport, straightened the previously squashed gutters, swept off the entire roof, the driveway, and the patio where debris had fallen, collected all the leaf/branch debris and hauled it away, and all for the same reasonable price. It was thrilling!

    The pair of us then spent the weekend replacing & rearranging all the bird feeding stumps in the yard, devised several cat-friendly lounging stumps, and I’m so chuffed by how neat and orderly it all looks. And my next roof steps are so straightforward now! Very happy. 🙂

  18. Good things happened. My father in law had a planned surgery and bounced back really well so far. I took my niece to a pumpkin patch and she patted the pumpkins in turn. She is going on two. My little installation and art show at the local tea shop are up and looking well…

    But I am still dragging. My partner had a mini life crisis last night, of the omg, why do we live here, what am I doing with my life, it’s all pointless, variety. Took a while to get him in a slightly better place, but by then I was all wound up. And I stepped on the bathroom scale today. There is more of me than I thought there was. This comes from comfort eating of crap… And so it goes. I just am not looking forward to work tomorrow and am out of sorts with myself. Going to try to go to bed early and hope that helps.

  19. I’m happy that the crew replacing the wood siding on my house has finished the deconstruction phase and (fingers crossed) found all of the dry rot there was to find. A few more days to install the new siding and paint everything and then this year’s major project will be done ✅

  20. My diurnal rhythms are totally discombobulated. Not that they were ever combobulated, even partially. For various reasons all in some way related to computers and Internets and so on, I did not get to bed before eight in the ante meridian, eastern standard time. Once in bed, I did not immediately fall asleep. As a result, I was not awake before 5PM, same time zone.

    I was up and out of bed before that, because I have grandkinder. One in particular wanted to lay claim to the laptop I loaned to my daughter (an Acer Chromebook)and have me set up a new account so they could install games on it. I don’t want games installed on my computers. In my weakened mental state I reset it tp factory default and handed it to them, with the admonishment that it is STILL just a loan and I’ll want it back.

    Then I tried to brain on insufficient sleep. Long story shorter, I realized that it was nearly 9PM and I had not weighed, nor taken blood pressure, nor broken fast. So I did those things, and took my “morning” meds. Breakfast was a jalapeno and cheddar smoked sausage on a diet bun, washed down with a caffeine deficient diet Coke. At 10 I drove to the nearby Food Lion and bought stakes and vegetables and flavored water. There’s a New York strip in the toaster oven which I will call Snack, because Dinner is well past.

  21. My son is travel nursing in Hawaii. I think we are going to visit him. I am excited and terrified.

  22. We delivered our big project at work, not perfect but good enough. That’s made me happy if I stop and fight my way past feeling exhausted. Perfection will happen in phase 2, which is going to take up the rest of the year.

    Partner and I went for a 2.5 hour walk yesterday, up and down a peninsula. It was harder work than I hoped it would be but the weather was the perfect temperature, the views were lovely, the path was lined with blue and yellow flowers, and I didn’t get any blisters. I’m wearing 1000 mile socks, they make me happy.

  23. Well, last week was a happy week because I traveled to A Foreign Country on an Airplane. Using my Passport! Not being able to travel has been the worst part of the pandemic for me. [Well, the worst part is all the

    I had a fabulous visit with my London-based friend. I had to work in the middle of the week (so nice to have that option), but we fit in a couple of day trips, fancy meals, and shows. And yesterday we happened to be visiting Tower Bridge while the London marathon was happening, so we got to cheer on the runners from the road and look down on the course from the glass floor of the upper walkway.

    We’re starting the busiest part of our quarter now, so there will be no more fun for a while.

  24. We had our 20th anniversary, that made me happy! Plus the weather is perfect and I finally got to harvest cucamelons, just when I’d given up on those vines producing anything this year. Also we finished the greenhouse this weekend, a work in progress since Labor Day weekend. The cold sensitive plants are in, and I am looking forward to winter gardening. Basically, romance and gardens, that’s my happy.

  25. I like the autumn (with the except of the ragweed, which I detest) and the changing leaves. But I confess, I am not good with change in general, and there are a lot of big ones going on. I’m trying to get better about it, but mostly I’m just feeling unhappy and unsettled. To the point where the title of the blog literally made me twitch.

    Ah, life lessons. You can bite me.

    But at least the trees are pretty.

  26. Good news is my rotator cuff is A-OK so I can get the “good” shoulder replacement which will allow me to do waves at stadiums (if I ever get the urge to do that).
    Better news is that thanks to one of this group, I watched Cinderella and the Four Knights and am now searching streaming services for Il-Woo Jung (or vice versa). Just started Bossam which is a Korean historical drama (with major romance and some comedy). It’s about a man who kidnaps widows so they can marry again, but he makes a big mistake and gets a princess.

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