1) A cup of tea, a scone, and some book discussion. I love any type of eating and book discussion, but there is something distinctly British and lovely about the tea and scone combination. I am fortunate enough to have a dear friend and neighbor who makes an excellent scone and also happens to enjoy the same type of books that I do. Yesterday morning she invited Ashley (Johnson) and I over to rekindle our tea and scone meetings after my prolonged absence. There was nothing really relaxing about our time with the 4 little girls trying to juggle their Mommy's nice china, the crumbly scones, the enticing fun of adding more and more and more cream to their tea, and the blustering winds of yesterday. However, I looked across the table at Lauren and we both smiled. I said,"We may not be discussing a beautiful novel, but I bet one day soon we're going to miss these crazy tea parties with little girls."
2) The Beach. I could write all day long about the joys of the beach. From the sand, to the breeze, to the sun, to the fun restaurants, to the calm tired that comes after a day in the sun...but you all know those things well enough yourself.
3) Getting all dressed up for dinner. Whenever Jeremiah and I get a "money present", this is usually what we choose to spend it on. I love the anticipation that comes after making a reservation at a nice restaurant. I love to labor over what I'm going to wear (which usually means raiding Ashley's closet for something new and exciting :)) and what kind of eye makeup to add to change my every-day look. I love giving our name to the maitre de, and having Jeremiah put his hand on the small of my back as we are lead to our table. I love to read every item on the menu and think about the chef in the back who has been trained to know that spices and foods I've never even heard of can be combined to bring out new flavors. I love the low lighting and the quiet conversation and knowing that there WILL be dessert, because it's our night and we're splurging. I just love it.
4) Feeling connected to a writer. When I am reading a book and suddenly come across a thought or feeling, typed in bold print, that I thought was something isolated within myself, I get giddy.
5) Going to the movie. If Jeremiah and I get a "money present" that isn't enough to send us out to dinner, we invariably will use it to go to a movie. Holding hands in line, feeling like we are out on a real date, the smell (and TASTE) of buttered popcorn, the dark theatre, the surround sound, the excitement of the plot... We cherish the whole movie experience. Now that we have wee-uns, our movie-going has dwindled substantially. We have had to substitute renting for the real deal, and we miss it.
6) A cold night and a good book in front of a fire. Last Christmas, we received a fuzzy green throw blanket that I keep waiting for me on the back of our couch. Fortunately, I have a husband who builds a fire every night he is home and the temperature drops below 70. So, once Pace and Mary Aplin are nestled quietly in bed, I usually can savor at least a few moments in this joy-bringing activity.
7) A smiling, cooing baby. If that doesn't make you smile, then you may want to ask Pace what the grinch did with your heart!
8) A Jesus moment. I said this was going to be a worldly list, but I can't bear to leave this one out. Nothing brings more joy than getting in the word, or hearing a sermon, or having a friend share something that you know was a gift sent to you straight from Jesus. I had one of these moments a few nights ago, and that is what I was planning to blog today. Hopefully I'll get the time to share it with you soon.
9) An antique book store. To look around and feel blissfully overwhelmed by the vast amount of books that are still waiting to be read. To think of all the previous owners who've poured over their pages. To smell leather and staleness, waiting to be made new again. It makes my heart beat fast.
10) Writing. And writing with the anticipation of it being read. I've never been a performer. The thought of a stage and crowds of people makes me sick to my stomach, but I will admit to you that there is something invigorating about writing and wondering if any of you will feel a connection with me like I have felt with so many others. I enjoy writing period, and I would write even if my eyes were the only ones to ever read the words. However, I thank you for adding something extra to the joy of writing, and that is the joy of being read.