A List of Happiness

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my “A Happy Life” post last week (if you missed it, you can read it here).  I love when my blog strikes a chord with people, and I love it even more when they take the time to let me know their thoughts.

One person in particular really touched my heart.  Remember my Auntie Carol?  I’ve written about her before, and about the special role she plays in my life.  Well, she lives on a farm in rural Eastern Alberta, just outside of the teensy town where I was born.  I spent much of my childhood time on her farm, and it’s the setting of some of my fondest memories.

Following my post, she sent me a list of the things that make her happy.  This list was something she’d been working on for a few weeks she said, scribbled on a notepad by the computer.  Just jotting down happiness thoughts, not for a blog or for Facebook, or for an article….. just for herself.  She shared her list with me, and has given me permission to share it with you.  You see, our lives are thousands of miles apart and our day-to-day activities could not be more different, but what struck me about her list was the simplicity of it. b7081851e49a47b24ce844f4ed3cfa84

“Yes,” I thought, as I read it.  I nodded along to every point.  I think it’s the simple things in life that bring joy to all of us.

Here’s her list.  I hope it inspires you to make one of your own:

  • The awesome song of meadowlarks
  • ‘Explores’ in the coulee with the grandchildren
  • The tickle in my finger from a newborn calf’s suckle
  • Eating fresh peas from the vine
  • Tobogganing in the coulee
  • Watching the kids jumping bales with the dog
  • Friends stopping in for coffee
  • The taste of raspberries off the bush
  • Canada Geese flying low over the house
  • Baby calves running around in the corrall in the evenings
  • Watching the kids slipping and sliding down the slope of the lawn
  • Enjoying the spring bouquet of crocuses that my husband picks for me
  • Playing ‘hide and seek’ on 4-wheelers with the grandkids
  • Kids helping me make homemade pizza
  • Fresh corn on the cob
  • Coffee and cold drinks on the deck with my daughter-in-laws
  • Hauling bales on a beautiful October afternoon
  • Decorating cookies in ‘Grandma’s kitchen’
  • The peace and tranquility of my 6am gardening
  • Trips to the pasture at Sounding Lake
  • The wonder of fresh rows popping up in the garden
  • I feel so Lucky and Blessed to be living in my beautiful ‘little corner of the world’!!

Me too, Auntie Carol, me too.


It’s More than a Piano

I am now the proud owner of my late Grandmother’s piano.  It arrived from Alberta last week on a huge moving truck, wrapped and protected in a big blue tarp.  Oh, the stories it could tell…

My maternal Grandma got this piano when she was just a young girl living on the Alberta prairie.  Our best guess is that it was built in the 1920’s/30’s, meaning it’s nearly ninety years old.  The fact that it now belongs to me overwhelms me, and it’s a gift I do not take lightly.  I’ve known I would be the eventual recipient of this piano since my Grandma died in 1998, but to have this cherished piece of my family’s history in my dining room seems surreal.

It’s more than a piano.

It’s the huge sacrifices my Grandma’s immigrant family had to make to purchase it.

It’s the countless hours of practicing and playing she did to become proficient.

It’s the love of piano music that she passed on to her daughters.

It’s my childhood memories of sitting on the piano bench next to her, hearing her play, and eventually joining her in duets.

It’s my Grandpa sitting in the red armchair beside the piano, listening to the music with a peaceful smile on his face.

It’s the smell of lefse cooling and buns baking.

It’s the sound of my cousins laughing and the doorbell ringing.

It’s the ten years of piano lessons I took growing up, and the opportunity to resurrect my ability to play.

It’s the multitude of decisions and choices that were made to lead the path of my life from Alberta to Ontario.

It’s a chance for my children to be able to touch a piece of a woman they never met, but who would’ve been so happy to meet them.

It’s the familiarity of home; a connection to my past and a bridge to my future.

It’s the ability for me to look at that piano every day and feel my Grandma’s love.

The piano in 1960, at a sing-a-long at my Aunt’s 13th birthday.

The piano begins its journey from Sundre, AB…

Leaving the cold dry air of Alberta!

Patiently waiting once we got the call that the piano was in Mississauga, en route…

Here it comes!

BOTH kids are in awe!

Checking out the moving truck.

The 4th generation to play this piano!

And the piano lives on, in its new home!