Happiness is Finding Old Stuff

I’m going through hell here trying to get this move done, but among all the snafus and heavy stuff, I’m finding things I’d forgotten about. Like pictures of Mollie in high school. And the pillowcase all the kids on one of my tech crews signed when I was teaching high school. And an old picture of Mollie and Josh when they were dating, standing close to each other and smiling at something out of the picture, just together. And a note from my old editor and a collage I’d started years ago and . . .

That part of the move is making me happy. What made you happy this week?

64 thoughts on “Happiness is Finding Old Stuff

  1. I’m impressed, Jenny — It has taken me 8 years since moving to go thoroughly through the boxes of stuff in the attic. I’m glad I waited because (1) I regret throwing out some of the stuff I tossed at the time of the move. (2) I kept too many bad reports of my kids’ and my own behavior. Those are getting trashed fast this time around. And, (3) I’m deeply loving the stories of people and places from the past that I didn’t have the patience to read when we moved.

    I feel like I’ve spent many decades learning to forgive myself for being human.

    This week was filled with Disastrous Rain, Thunder, Lightning, and Road Washouts!!! Our town center was completely flooded twice, and the main road into town remains closed. There were reports in the Boston Globe — not a rag that mentions little hill towns very often. I’m quite puffed up about it. The best part is that the tadpoles — which were just about dried up by the drought that stretched from last year into this June — are doing very well in our vernal pool. They have little hands and feet now, and we hear toads croaking during our walk.

  2. Accomplished some things, which was gratifying. Failed to do some things, which I am not allowing myself to be demoralized by. Discovered the form someone asked me to create (or did I foolishly volunteer?) was not apparently what he wanted; he has redone it and I get to see it later today, about which I have mixed feelings. Got another baby sweater done which pleased me enormously. Had some beautiful (smoke free) summer days last week and only a couple calls upon my time today so pleasantly optimistic.

  3. Last day of the annual niece/nephews trip from Calgary to Toronto. I will no doubt disgrace myself in the airport once again by crying, leaving them all look teenager-y and uncomfortable. I miss them a lot though.

      1. I consider it to be a parental/family responsibility to show love in ways that embarrass kids …part of the job description.

    1. Just back from the airport where my 14 year old nephew informed me that he didn’t want to hug. I said: “Who cares what you want??” And hugged him anyway. So satisfying.

  4. I am happy because I made it through the trauma of the Optometrist telling me I had scar tissue on both eyes and should wait over 90 days before getting my free Medicare glasses, because I might have to have laser surgery to get rid of it, and that could move the lens and change my prescription, and I’d have to pay for the new glasses. Reading is one of the joys of my life! I now know that from 30-80% of patients have this problem, depending on the source of the information! Cells, or bits, of the old lens end up sticking to the new implant, and transmute into scar tissue. My advice is to get the surgery as soon as cataracts begin to show up. The longer you wait, and the older you get, the more likely it is there will be complications. I was so proud that I didn’t need the surgery as soon, but that was not an advantage. People I know who got the surgery early had no such complications.

    So, I went to Warby Parker for glasses, because there were maybe half a dozen frames in the doctor’s office that were under the $150 “free” zone that Medicare will pay for after cataract surgery, none of which appealed to me. WP had a whole room full! I found a pair that I really liked, and they will arrive at my door in 7-10 days, and I will be able to read again!!! If I have to buy a new pair in four months, so be it. Their prices are very affordable.

    I am also happy that my two sons, brother, and step-father all called or texted me with support and encouragement after reading my long email explaining the problem. Friends and daughter-in-laws also chimed in. One son told me about Warby Parker. That was a real eye opener. Did you know that 70% of eyeglasses are made and sold by ONE company? It’s a kind of monopoly. That’s why glasses are so expensive. I am grateful someone had the nerve to start a company that has their own lab and creates their own frames, and has much faster service, too.

    I am also happy that I remembered what I used to take for the cough and congestion, and bought some decongestant cough syrup at the drug store. It is helping. I slept two nights in a row! This, too, shall pass.

    1. I’ve reused the same frames for almost twenty years. Just change out the lenses that is until I find a pair of frames that I like. Not a fan of the current style and I think I had similar frames back in the eighties.

      1. Mary, I did that last time, too. And they still had my frame in the lineup where I got my glasses, so they just had to exchange the lenses when the new ones came in. It was great! The new place says they will do that, too, with their frames. It saves a lot of trouble and money.

    2. My eye surgeon gave me the same advice. My left eye is severely structurally deformed and he was worried about scar tissue, both existing and potential after surgery. I called their office last week to find out if they could give me an estimate on my surgery date only to discover that Alberta Health Services have been messing with surgical schedules and the wait times are longer.

      1. Grr. My friends tell me Alberta Health Services are messing with Everything!

  5. I made scape pesto from scapes and basil from my garden. I freeze it and use it as pizza sauce on home-made pizza. I’m on my last container from last year so happy to have a new supply.

    First day of a week-long visit with a dear friend and her family. Flight was delayed 2 hrs and airline didn’t notify me so longish wait in airport. I got some steps in by walking length of terminal a few times. Arrived to a big hug from my friend. So happy to see her and spend time with her.

    DS came home from day camp on Friday and brought 6 other fellow directors. They sat under our gazebo and chatted. This makes me happy because DS is not social and most of his friends are virtual. One of the girls, who he’s known since HS, gave me a big hug and told me she’s missed me.

  6. Rereading ‘Faking It’ because so many people said it was their favorite. (I do love so many of the characters in this one, but I have other favorites.) While reading, I am thinking about Jenny’s recent doppelgänger discussion, and wondering if any are in this book. Entertaining myself quite a bit with this q, especially when you consider Eve and Louise. Lol.

      1. I actually have 4 favorites! Maybe that’s why I’m an Argher. “Bet Me”, Agnes, “Maybe This Time”, and “The Cinderella Deal.”

        1. I like all of those, they are all ones I revisit regularly, but Faking it is the favorite of my heart. I think it is because it helped me unlearn a lot of bad thoughts that I picked up in art school. I reread it every time I am struggling to make are or the voices in my head get too loud. Also, I just adore everyone in that book. I even really like Clea.

  7. I’m happy our weather has improved, at least for now. I had a relapse of the post-Covid fatigue after my trip earlier this month (I’d been warned about that possibility, but I thought 2.5 months out I’d be safe. Nope. Covid sucks) so anything I actually manage to accomplish makes me happy.

    Also happy that Amazon finally saw fit to post my review of the new Jenny/Bob book, after something like 4 days.

  8. Went back to work for the first time after my surgery. It was a long day because it was a meeting an hour away, but a colleague drove and it was very productive. But it wiped me out. This is a slower recovery than I expected.

    DH returns from Nepal today.

    DS had a poster at a physics workshop and he was completely calm and not anxious about it. He attributes it to the theater camp he went to for four years in high school which I had also thought made presentations easier for him —interesting to hear him say that.

    Eating the first cherry tomatoes from the garden and have a steady supply of nasturtium blossoms to spice up my salads, and lots of squash blossoms to cook.

  9. Friday we drove our oldest son into Boston for hip replacement surgery. Was not looking forward to the drive. Imagine our surprise because we left two hours early and it was smooth sailing with no hiccups along the way. We were an hour early. Everyone must have on vacation. Then when we were home the company he works for sent him a gift basket. Sometimes I’m just amazed at the thoughtfulness of people you wouldn’t expect. All in all, a surprising day, the surgery went well, and they released him yesterday 24 hours after the operation.

    Not so good was the trip to pick him up. We were up against a tide of a million tourists wandering the streets with cell phones cameras, and any opportunity to cross the streets. We’re just not used to that hustle and bustle of traffic anymore. (Psst, don’t tell anyone but we missed the exit and had to backtrack through the financial district and Haymarket down secret side streets to get him.)

    1. I just volunteered to have all sorts of ear/balance/hearing tests done for a research study (there’s a poorly understood correlation between my rare bone disorder and hearing issues, so this might shed some light on them, even though I don’t actually have significant hearing issues, which makes me kind of a “control” patient for comparison to others who have both hearing issues AND the rare disorder), and I’m happy to do it, everything except the trip in/out of Boston. I’ll be at Mass Eye & Ear for about 8 hours, so even if I start late to avoid inbound traffic, I’ll hit outbound traffic, which makes a theoretical one-hour commute (each way) into two to three hours (each way, if you’re lucky). Gonna be a long day.

      I guess that’s the good and bad of being within driving distance of Boston — access to amazing, top-notch medical research and state-of-the-art health care providers, but you have to fight insane traffic to get there (and home again).

      Hope the recovery and PT go well!

  10. I am happy that I’m not at work. That and our pond frog has gotten really big and no longer leaps into water when we walk nearby to put birdseed on stumps near him. And I could see him in the middle of the day because…I’m not at work!

  11. I am happy because after quite a few weeks (months?) of having our laundry machine burp onto the kitchen floor when draining, our friendly landlord & his wife my BFF came over yesterday and helped DH fix it. Well, landlord helped DH fix it; BFF & I went out to pick up BBQ so we could eat once the fix was done. Best: this all happened after 4:30, when I was functionally done for the day, having achieved much writer business.

  12. I am happy that I got time with the grandkids and it was all smiles and laughter, and no “We don’t do that statements.” (they are 2 and 4 so at times there is a lot of “We don’t hit, We don’t scream.”)

    I am very happy to have gotten over a 2 day migraine just in time for the hardcover of Lavender’s Blue to arrive on my doorstep and was able to read it unhindered by said migraine.

    I am unhappy to have to wait an entire month to keep reading about Liz and Vince and the rest of the town, but hey if that’s it on my unhappy list, life is pretty good.

  13. Had a good day at the allotment today, sharing my enthusiasm with friends & other visitors on our open day. The plot’s almost tidy: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu_xZ_0MSnd/

    Caught up with an old friend, and made plans to stay with her for a couple of nights on my way to another friend in Surrey – so will be away for ten days, which I’m looking forward to. Plan to visit two favourite nurseries on my way home.

    1. Jane, will someone look after your plot and maybe water, if needed, while you’re gone. It’s great you can get away.

      1. Yes – my friend Pam will water for me (just the greenhouse if the weather continues to be showery; plus harvesting); she’s then away for ten days almost immediately after, so
        I’ll return the favour. If the garden needs watering as well, I’ll ask my next-door neighbour.

    2. That looks so much better than mine. I took the netting off my vegetables and pulled some old broccoli and discovered (a happy!) that the bell pepper plants had five mature peppers on them. I had thought there were none but they were lying on the mulch under the very short plants and I didn’t spot them through the netting.

      1. Well, you’re doing better than me: the three peppers in my greenhouse aren’t much more than a foot tall, and haven’t even flowered yet.

        1. After I complained about my peppers recently I heard from so many people nearby that their pepper plants are not doing well, either. Is it global, I wonder?

          1. I shouldn’t think so. I think the slowness of mine is due to not sowing them until mid March, and not planting them out until May. I think both needed to happen a month earlier.

  14. After a difficult return to work I will ask for external help on my own dime, and I may likely get it. It’ll probably cost me $300 a day which is just about the equivalent to ¼ my monthly take home. It gives meaning to, “put your money where your mouth is” and I feel neutral about it. Let’s see how tomorrow goes, first.

    I’m very, very, very grateful for those friends that I keep going on about. They are happy to see me and spend time with me and being valued for just existing counts for so much contentment in my life.

    It’s my cousin’s birthday and I made a birthday phone call and made her laugh repeatedly even though it was a very short call. I am happy that I stillz got the humour skillz!

    I went to two different cultural events yesterday and today. I’d technically crashed yesterday’s but I’d been invited to today’s. Both made me supremely happy. I was welcomed yesterday and I was anticipated today. I now feel extremely calm and contained. I like this feeling. I need to find ways to make it last.

  15. Happy to have FINALLY customized some new curtains for my bedroom and hung them up, which I’ve wanted to do for years and years, and have had the too-big curtains on my work table for more than a month.

    Also happy to realize this week that the August crop of black raspberries last year wasn’t a fluke, and I now have a late-season variety (planted by birds, not by me) that’s covered with berries that will be ripe in a couple weeks. The regular ones peaked the first week of July, so about a month before these will be ready for harvest. Black raspberry season is way too short, with only about a week to harvest all of the crop, so having a second wave is nice!

  16. Ooh, gardening friendies. Having just seen Jane B’s beautiful pic, I have questions.

    I’ve not managed to keep Marjoram alive for long. Bearing in mind the sub-tropicalness of my climate, where best should I plant my seedlings?
    I also bought lemon balm and celery seedlings. Celery was previously successful, newbie to lemon balm.

    1. You need one of the Australians for this, or maybe a Californian. Oregano (basically the same as marjoram) grows wild in Mediterranean countries, so likes it dry and hot. I’ve got it in poor soil in a semi-shady spot, and it’s thriving, so it’s pretty adaptable. I imagine it probably doesn’t much care for hot and humid conditions. I should treat it mean: give it poor, well-drained soil, and don’t over-water it.

      1. Our oregano is now covering a strip maybe 2 ft by 10 that is sunny, sloped, very dry, and poor soil (and not deep).
        Sort of a rock garden plant.

      2. My oregano is thriving in this hot damp climate in an even damper bit of ground where the laundry room roof drains on it. Four years now.

    2. Marjoram forever here in Southern California dry, sandy soil. Only care received is random glances.

  17. My happy this week; swimming to beat the heat, getting the last fan replaced (they all work now! Hooray!), being done moving kids, reading Page & Sommers mysteries and having more books to read and more summer ahead.

  18. My happy is my brother, sis-in-law, niece and nephew staying with me for the month of July, on their annual visit from Basel. We all hang out in cheerful chaos and don’t worry too much about all the piles of shoes and books and clothes.
    My other happy is that they are leaving on Wednesday to spend their last couple of days with other cousins😁. I will get my bed back.

  19. Your post being about finding old stuff that makes me happy is funny.

    Two things:
    I happened on a NOT funny scene that reminded me of the Sinead O’Connor song from 1990 – Black Boys On Mopeds. That lead to an earworm, wormhole I travelled down, experiencing another song I loved – I’m Stretched On Your Grave and an absolute favorite of hers – This Is The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance.

    AND – I needed a quote for something and dug into Brainy Quotes the Steven Wright section. I have been through his quotes before and I swear there are some new ones.
    “I’m getting an MRI to see if I’m claustrophobic. “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” “Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.”

    Don’t get me started on his old ones. We could be here forever.

    The very happiest news – my friend sent me one of his paintings for my birthday 7/9 and it’s here! I pick it up at the post office tomorrow. Pictures on IG for sure!

  20. My play is going really well. Just came back from set painting. I got in the newspaper and the like. Also went to the state fair yesterday and that was fun.

  21. I’m happy because my book designer and I are in sync and we have determined the cover and the fun interior stuff like font type and size. In September, I hope, there will be a book, something where there was nothing.

    Also happy because my writing partner has her first novel, An Invitation to the Party, published and is doing a reading this Friday at a local indie bookstore. All this, at 81.

  22. If happiness is finding something old, then I must be ecstatic. I have this wall mounted mirror, see… 😀

    It’s actually one of those 13.5 x 50 back-of-the-door mirrors, but it is mounted on a wall below a very inexpensive mirrored medicine cabinet. The way it is set up, the door mirror cuts you off and the cabinet mirror shows your face and head. I blame my scents of humor.

  23. Happiness is bok choy. My sister brought some ‘overstock’ that my other sister had. Brenda stopped off at Cindi’s before coming to see me and brought it with her.

    We basically hit a couple of antique malls and ate pizza.

    My black raspberries are gone but I have blackberries ripening. Like Gin, these are all courtesy of the birds.

    Last time I trimmed my hedges, I shortened them about 15″. They were getting much too big for me to do safely and ladders are not an option since the ground is sloped. So glad I did. Made the job so much easier and quicker.

  24. I’m happy that I finished the replacement of my back deck (with some support from DS and a friend on the foundational work). It’s great being about to walk out the sliding doors and not worry about falling through the previous decrepit deck.

    The new deck may not be “contractor perfect”, but it’s close enough for me. I will be able to replace my living room sofas and STILL have money left over from what the cost estimate was to have the replacement done by a professional.

    1. Is anyone besides me finding that while they can make the little hearts turn red, when they go back to the page they no longer are red?

      1. I think they are red when you are the one who has last clicked one red; if others have added theirs, the number changes and the heart appears gray to you from then on. so it’s a New Red Only sort of thing?

  25. We had a sad start to the week as another friend of Paul’s passed away. We saw him at Cory’s memorial on the 8th and he looked well considering he also had cancer. He was gone 8 days later. That makes 4 people since late May that we have lost. I felt really bad for Paul when he was talking about it because he hadn’t realized that the kind of cancer his friend had has a very low 5 year survival rate and he thought his friend would be okay. I really wished I’d talked to him about it earlier so he could have prepared himself a bit. He’s got a football game meetup with the other member of their friend group on Saturday so that should be fun for them. Root beers will be had in their honour since they both have to drive.

    I’ve been watching a British crime show on BritBox and enjoying it. I thought I was supposed to work on Saturday but my manager changed the schedule and I didn’t which was really nice.

    1. I think (just my experience) it can be harder for guys to cope with these kind of sudden bursts of grief because they are so socially programmed NOT to express or discuss emotional ups and downs with others. Even those who sometimes can do it with one or two other people (usually a spouse) seem to have a weak spot for that programming.

      I’ve always seen the Stiff upper Lip syndrome in guys as analogous to the hypersensitivity thing girls get programmed to when it comes to appearance.

      So I feel four times as bad for your husband!

  26. I spent the weekend in Charlevoix, MI with my hubby. It’s been nearly a year that we were away together and not for a family event. I was super happy to not be woken up at 3:30 am by a cat howling her success at using the litter. It is also a lovely tourist town on Lake Michigan where the water looked like the tropics and there was sunshine. Plus an amazing fireworks show on Saturday night.

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