Apple pie a la mode.

Autumn day apple cider tartness on your tongue brisk biting air with a hint of rot as the leaves pile up bright as anything ever was bright.

Finishing a long assignment for a class you don’t particularly enjoy.

Going to class completely unprepared, then waking up to waves of giddy relief washing over you because it was just a dream.

A good hug from a too long unseen friend.

End of a good book.

End of a good cry.

Receiving a piece of snail mail unexpectedly on a bad day.

A compliment from a stranger.

French Toast Crunch being sold at grocery stores again.

Live music.

When you wake up at just the right time so that you’re able to get prepared for the day exactly as you want with a nice long hot shower good coffee breakfast nice clothes and a clear view of what you need to do that day and it feels like the world suddenly broke open and cleared your path for you letting you see what the future holds crystalline instead of the usual fatuous glimpses.


Lying in the green green grass and it tickles your neck.

A full refrigerator.

A full wallet.

A full heart.

New shoes.

A ladybug landing on you.

Catching a jarful of lightening bugs.

Realizing you aren’t dead yet, you’ve made it this far and you’ll probably make it a little farther.

Taking off your shoes and socks after a long day at work, curling up with a mug of tea and your hubbie to watch stupid TV shows on Netflix until you fall asleep then move to bed together realizing you’re the luckiest people on Earth.

A Summer thunderstorm.

A snow day with hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace.

Making a gift with your own hands for someone you love.

Receiving a gift like that.

Getting a Jeopardy question right when the contestant answered it wrong.

Finding money in the pocket of your winter coat when you put it on for the first time that Autumn.

A really good massage.

A road trip with good people good music good car games good snacks to a great destination.

Seeing someone worthy of happiness having their wishes fulfilled.

That’s what just happened. All that. That’s how I feel. Because my niece Zola just got home from Africa after a two year long adoption process full of unfulfilled promises, dashed hopes, and unnecessary heartbreak to my family, especially my sister Marie and brother-in-law Burton who deserve only the best in this world. And I can’t feel anything but good right now because Zola came home Zola came home Zola is home and in the loving arms of her parents and if anybody deserves anything in this world my sister and her family deserve happiness. And nothing I could write could truly communicate to you the level of tension released happiness found at the sure knowledge that my sister’s family my family is whole and happy and the future is more certain than it’s been for the past two years: a forecast of tough times for sure, but fulfillment and happiness as well.

I love you Zola.

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