Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happiness Smells Like...

It wasn't too terribly long ago that I was rifling through my nightstand, looking for something... most likely an iPhone cable, or some wayward stale chocolate from Halloween or something... and stumbled upon an empty bottle of this.

Isn't it funny how a smell can ignite a million thoughts and feelings in an instant?

It's Dave's cologne. He was wearing it the day we met. He wore it the first time we ever hung out together outside of work (and all the other times, too). He wore it when we went fishing and when we went to the movies. He wore it the day we got married. He was wearing it when we had to give Allie back and when Aidan was born. I can't even tell you how many times I've buried my face in his neck for a hug, a laugh, or a cry, and smelled this scent to the point that it's intoxicating to me.

Not only is it a scent that I really enjoy, it's become the smell of comfort to me. The smell of home. The smell of love and acceptance and safety.

I didn't know it would ever become any of those things, when I stole that bottle from his house over 15 years ago. (Give me a break, it was empty!) I was a 19 year old kid who accidentally found herself enamored with an older guy. I didn't in a million years think that I would actually catch him. That we would end up married with a beautiful little boy. To this day, I feel like the luckiest human being alive. No, really. I do. What did I do to deserve all this goodness?

I doubt he realizes that I still pull that bottle out from time to time, close my eyes and breathe in the smell just to bring me back to reality. As the years march on, I hope that I remember this feeling of gratitude and sheer happiness. Sometimes I have a tendency of getting really wrapped up in the day-to-day stuff and forgetting just how lucky I am.

And then he puts on his cologne, and everything is just right again.

And when it's not, I have a 16 year old empty bottle that I can sniff anytime I want.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Dream Environment

I mentioned back in this post that I've been nagged recently about not blogging more.  I enjoy it, I really do.  But I'm a victim of chronic writer's block.  I need a little nudge to get me writing, most days.  But I do need to make more of an effort.  If I'm going to write a book someday, I can't let my writing bug die!

To that end, I found a few sites that offer daily (or almost daily) "one minute" writing prompts.  I have no intention at all of only writing for a minute on these, however they do provide just the starting point that I so desperately need lately in order to start writing.

Here goes my first one!

"If money, work, and family ties were not an issue; and you could choose any kind of natural environment / climate to live in that you wanted, what would you pick? A desert villa, beach hut, a cabin in the woods? Maybe for you the best kind of nature is an urban apartment?"

Ahh, this prompt brings me to a happy place.  I would choose a large house in the pacific northwest on a lake.  I love the pacific northwest because the air is clean, the weather isn't too hot nor anywhere near as cold as I'm used to, and you have a chance at a white Christmas but probably won't freeze to death within an hour if your car breaks down in January.

As far as the house itself, I don't require (nor really enjoy) luxury per se, but large and only somewhat shmancy would make me very happy.  The house would have wood siding and a pretty dark green color trim.  There would be windows everywhere.  I'd have about 8 bedrooms; one for us, one for the kid, one craft room, one computer room, and the rest for all the people I would demand to come visit me.  Ha!  The kitchen (also large) would have beautiful oak cabinets with my son's artwork plastered all over them, just like mine are now.  The living/family room would have vaulted ceilings open to the upstairs, a fireplace, and a ginormous TV on which to watch football and HGTV.

The house would also have a lovely, manicured front yard, immediately past which would be the lake.  Dark blue water with fish jumping everywhere. I wouldn't be able to hear traffic from my yard.  Only the fish jumping. In the backyard would be a little shed to match the house, and my garden.  I want a BIG garden so I can grow healthy food and save myself tons of money while also eating right.  I also want beautiful trees in the backyard for shade and yummy smells, like crab apples or chokecherries or whatever my in-laws have in their yard.  Maybe an apple tree or two, too.  It IS the pacific northwest, after all.

Best of all, this house would be situated only 20 minutes from a quaint little city that's small enough that I can feel safe there, but large enough to have a Target.  (See?  I told you I don't need luxury.)  Oh, and maybe an Olive Garden, for those days when my garden food won't cut it.

What's your ideal environment and why?