The Happy List

I felt that on this fine glittery afternoon, in celebration of my newly granted freedom from studies, I should commemorate my own, as well as many others’, first day of true summer with a list of some of the things that make me happiest in this world. Now, below you will not find an eloquently composed piece of literature or content of any real cerebral value, but that is not the point. It is simply a happy list. Today is a day for celebration, appreciation, and hope for a wonderful season of fun that has just now arrived, so with that said, enjoy the favorite list and happy summer to each of you!

Popsicles, real music, rainbow things, watching a person crank their neck to drink out of the refrigerator’s water dispenser, the ocean, monkey bars, the sharp crayon, animals that don’t bite, waisty skirts, pinky promises, clouds that look like stuff, sailing, wind, garagesailing, snow, the cute shirt you thought was 25.95 but it’s actually three bucks when you walk up to the register, playing instruments that aren’t there, playing real instruments, when the blinker in the car in front of you is in tempo with your music, lit up trees, neon, ice cream, funny people, the grass you can walk in and know nothing will bite you, exploding fake cheese cans, when you finally get where you’re going, storms, wind chimes, family, soul sisters, great books that make you forget what day it is, fans, when you find something you thought you lost, finding out they like you too, remembering the funny thing your friend said 3 and a half weeks ago and laughing out loud in the middle of an exam, your treasure box, trying on a thousand dresses, ordering diet water, stealing your dads last bite of cake, realizing you won, knocking the candy out of the piñata, typing the period at the end of your 30 page thesis paper, water so hot it feels cold, hotel room smell, French silk pie, old fashion candy stores, sand in between your toes, sunsets, metal detectors, finding treasures, hermit crabs, pillow fights, auctions, contests, that spinny thing on the playground that everyone loves but no one knows what it’s called, loopy roller coasters, unlimited refills, singing, running at the flock of birds, realizing that the frog you just caught peed on your hand, your leg tickling because you were sitting funny, when your tummy stops hurting, cheese, pop out stickers, finger families, considerate hair, remembering when you realized that it was your grandma screaming your name across the Walmart, putting on that dress and everyone stares and you KNOW you  look amazing, prune hands that have been in the water too long, ice cream, Duvall street, unfathomably talented people, singing  into your hairbrush, snowflakes on your  tongue, trying to eat the blow-dryer air, glow in the dark things (especially fish) , waking up and freaking out that it’s Monday when it’s Saturday, pajamas, happy tears, remembering how your brother shut up and you could actually hear yourself think,when your teacher chucks her pick axe at you, when you drive by the hummer that ran out of gas on the side of the road, sparkly things, waves, band, when you can’t quite figure out what color their eyes are, the backspace button, right before you fall asleep, funny bumper stickers, when justice is served, milk, flipbooks, when your expecting to taste water and you take a sip only to freak out because it was lemonade, happy people, unicycles, watching your dad fall out of the canoe, slushies, being the leader, the little happy dance people do, the personal bubble, summer nights, nutella, real friends, shopping, making fun of cheesy movies, loosing all of your willpower and yanking open the oven to eat the half baked brownies with a spoon, the dream where you fly, closets you could probably play basketball in, finger-painting, sleeping, pickles, smencils, the flea market, thinking you’re going to die by meteor and then realizing it’s just a floating lantern, taking pictures, enchantment, chicken toys, the rainbow channel on TVs, trying on 30 inch heels, parasailing, having a plan, taking pictures of pictures, remembering what you forgot, when the car next to you is playing the same song, randomly  seeing your friend at the grocery store, racing each other with the midget shopping carts at Randall’s, when you’re taller then your momma, landing in a plane, sleepover camp, babies, watching mustard blow up in peoples faces, selling stuff you made, waving strangers and watching their reaction, getting  splinters in your nose because your face was pressed up against a wooden door, friends, getting a whistle, watching their face when they open the present, making it happen, saving a life, knowing that you have in fact jumped off a bridge and therefore can say that if somebody told you to jump off a bridge you would do it, writing on your hand so you remember, accidentally sleeping on your written on hand so u have squiggles on your face in the morning, Jello, naming the blister on your thumb,  when the stereo always crackles right before you get a text message, POURING rain, being unexplainably happy, frappes, people who get it, the person you can be with and never have an awkward moment, sushi, what’s for dinner?, colored eye liner, seeing someone who looks exactly like you, making playhouses out of cardboard boxes, peanut butter and pickle sandwiches,  drum line, perhaps means yes, kitties,  really old nail polish on your toes, sweet potatoes, breathtaking wind, smoothies.

What are your favorite things? 🙂

The Memory Guard

 

            There are certain memories held tightly by each of us that induce such a strong nostalgic happiness and magic that we feel if they were ever allowed to fall through our fingers, so too would a beautiful piece of ourselves vanish from our lives. These memories are formed from actual experiences, ones that could not have come to exist in the beginning if we were not blessed with a free country in which we may prosper and savor life. One such memory of my own, which replays each time with as much sweetness as when I first experienced it, took place in a frosty winter in Pennsylvania.

My parents were taking me, my brother, and my sister to get ice cream. As we made our way down the mountainside, we rolled down the windows and the wind readily swept my hair in all directions with a 30 degree gale. I sat in the front seat, body cocooned in the warmth of a down feather blanket, head out of the window, and face to face with the frigid current. My eyes raced through the blackness of the night, up the towering pines that surrounded me, and jumped to the glowing moon. I was ready to take on the world as I was lost in the complete awe-inspiring majesty of night’s serenity and the icy chaos that enveloped me. My own, and everyone in this country’s ability to re-live our most cherished experiences is extended to us only as long as we also have the ability to live them for the first time. It is this privilege that we have, the privilege to experience a beautiful and free country of which we may later reminisce, that is guarded and protected by the men and women of the Armed Forces. For this service, we honor and remind those lost in the strides for freedom that they are not forgotten or taken for granted, but appreciated and respected on Memorial Day.

            For many of those who enter the Armed Forces, their personal enjoyment and making of cheerful memories is selflessly forfeited so that they may preserve the joy of the many. They willingly lay down their lives for the cause of providing us with privileges that the people of so many countries find unfathomable. Their commitments often wreak havoc in their lives during their absence, and with those blessed with the occasion of a safe homecoming whom we honor each Veterans Day, upon their return as well. Marriages are strained, childhoods are missed, homesickness runs rampant, injury is likely, and depression is common.

 Does not this exceptional level of loyalty and sacrifice on our behalf deserve exceptional recognition? In a world where we take far too much for granted, Memorial Day is one where we must pour out our sincerest thanks and respect as a token of our appreciation for what they have given up. As Veterans Day reminds the recently returned soldier struggling with PTSD that his pain and altruism were not and are not in vain, and proves to those who proudly adorn their silver hair with their military cap that we as a nation still understand the importance of what they fought so valiantly for, Memorial Day reminds the American people of something equally as important. It reminds us of those who fought so that little girls could wrap their tiny bodies in a warm blanket, and so we can have the occasional leisurely ice cream trip, and so we can all experience the exhilaration of knowing that the country we live in is a free one.

The men and women of the military, past and present, have given and continue to give us the liberty to take on the world, as I felt that I could on that November night, through their allegiance and sacrifice. They allow us to partake in the magnificent experiences held by a free nation, those which we may later re-live as sweet memories. They are our Memory Guard, and for that, we honor them this Memorial Day.