Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happiness Project...A Wish List

This week, my Happiness Project continues; however, I'm veering a little off subject. Instead of writing about the things that bring a smile to my face on a daily basis, lately, I've been smiling a lot thinking about all the things I'm looking forward to about summer. I have begun a new list...a list of delightful little plans I have that will allow me to embrace the sun and relax a bit before a new school year approaches and our lives change forever with the arrival of Baby J.

32. the library. Ever since my mom got her job at the Allison Library, I've been dreaming of the chance to explore the shelves, thumb through the pages of the current best-sellers, and check out books to read FOR FUN. See, as an English teacher, I'm always reading. Reading students' papers, reading professional literature on current methodology and practice, and reading classic and contemporary young adult literature as possible texts in my classes. All of these different reading experiences share one thing: they are all done for a purpose. This summer, I want to read for no other purpose than to enjoy and get lost in a good book. I want to quietly stroll through a cozy lit library and experience that excitement that goes along with checking out a book. I want to sit on my deck, sip a glass of lemonade, and read.

33. pie-making. Last summer, I embarked on a journey to learn the art of pie-making. This year, it's about perfecting. For the first time I've noticed, Hy-Vee currently sells long, luscious legs of rubarb. I've been eyeing it the last few times I've been grocery shopping. It may turn into a crisp or a coffee cake, but I assure you, I will experiment with rubarb before it clears the shelves for the season.

34. flower-hunting. Last year, Mom and I ventured an hour and a half away to a lovely greenhouse owned by a sweet Mennonite family. Their flowers are the best...it's not even worth it to spend a penny on the flowers that are so tempting at Hy-Vee or Wal-Mart. They have everything known to man. The drive in the car gives Mom and I a great excuse to spend much needed time in conversation, and we always leave with a car full of plump, colorful, and exotic flowers.

35. Outdoor exploration with Beau. Three years ago, Beau and I purchased a couple of fishing licenses and spent ample time knee deep in the surrounding waters of the Cedar Valley. We anxiously awaited fish; however, focused much more on 'catching' up with each other. Then, Beau and I decided to demolish and reconstruct a kitchen which took up the majority of our summer. After that project, our little fishing excursions became a thing of the past. This summer, we are bound and determined to bring fishing back to our lives. We've already scoped out spots, and Beau's gracious colleague Phil has offered us use of his canoe whenever we want.

36. Baseball. Whether it be a Cubs game at Wrigley, a Twins game at the new Target Field, or a $1 Buck Night at River Front Stadium, baseball is not only America's favorite pastime, but one of my favorite pastimes. The combination of fresh air, raw sun, and salty peanuts and popcorn screams carefree summertime. I will miss watching Taylor play ball, but hope we can find more time for W'loo Bucks games and maybe even a few IA Cubs (especially on fireworks nights).

My summer list is sure to lengthen, but for now, I'm content with my five summer goals. If I make it to the end of summer with a thick bed of flowers, a good book, a suntan, and a full stomach from yummy pie, I'll be one happy girl!

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