In honor of Love Thursday on this, the twelfth anniversary of my first real date with Coop, I'm creating my OWN meme.
Because, see, I just went to the nursery AND to an office supply store. (Dudes, going to those two kinds of places makes me realize that I can never, EVER do drugs. Because clearly, I have an addictive personality and I am powerless against certain temptations.) AND then, coming home, I heard the Indigo Girls on the radio and I was just so filled with gratitude for my life that I started making a little list of things that give me a rush of joy.
1. Jane's belly laugh. Actually, Jane's BELLY. I get this little rush of joy that she has that great six-pack. I can't explain it--maybe it's just an appreciation of perfection. Jane's stomach is completely perfect. (Well, okay, the rest of her isn't so bad either.)
2. Ana's spray of freckles across her nose. In the morning when I go into her room to wake her up, I always take an extra few seconds to gently stroke those freckles--I think if we connected them, they would make a most wondrous constellation.
3. Coop's kisses. Twelve years later and I still get a little goose when he kisses me.
4. The Adventure Song: Years ago, the girls and I dubbed the Indigo Girls' song "Get Out the Map" our Adventure Song. We've played it for every single trip that could have remotely been considered a possible adventure--from going to the grocery store to driving across the country.
I have heard this song, conservatively, about 64 million times and each time, when it gets to the line about, "I'm going to love you good and strong while our love is good and young," I smile. Every. Single. Time. Because my loves are good and young.
That's the song I heard today driving back from my errands.
5. That kind of gospel harmony that is so thick you can almost walk on it. Joy rush, right there.
6. Homegrown tomatoes from my father-in-law's garden in Alabama. I am on a never-ending search to find tomatoes that taste as good as his. Hasn't happened yet. Sometimes I go here and just look at them.
7. Edward's feet, Thomas's broken purr, Sydney (just Sydney) and Scout's smile.
8. Claudia hand-painted sock yarn. And hand-knit socks. (Guess that goes without saying.)
9. Planting... stuff. All stuff.
10. Empty white pages and a really good pen.
11. My camera.
12. Crisp days when the sun warms you and makes you drowsy.
13. Really good writers. Actually, there are some writers whose use of the language can bring me to tears. Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Berg, Karen Joy Fowler, Kaye Gibbons.
14. The Ocean. Because it's um, the ocean. Look at this picture I took of Ana and her dad this past Saturday. Does it give you a combination of heartache and deep, deep happiness? I think that's a joy rush...
15. This blog's readers. Today, I got a fan letter from a reader and DUDES, I still haven't stopped smiling. (I've been beaming for about two and a half hours now.) JOY RUSH!
Okay, so I'm tagging everyone. EVERYONE. Come up with your own Joy Rush List and be sure and either send me a note to tell me you've posted it if you're a blogger or send me an e-mail with your list. I'll link to y'all (bloggers) or post the list if you don't have a blog and you agree to that. I'll send a copy of my book to the five I like the best--unless I've already sent you one, in which case, maybe I'll knit you some socks! Totally subjective contest, in an objective kind of way.