A Dose of Happy

DOH Monday - Fall Season

Summer has come and gone and left behind the beautiful colors of fall. I love this time of year because everything is changing, the leaves, the coffee flavors, weather, clothes, you name it- it's changing.

I recently went apple picking with my little family and it was a lot of fun. That is until my little one started to throw a tantrum (and apples). He was not as into it as I had hoped, unfortunately. So my attempt at a fun family outing was turned into a tantrum fest. Oh well, there is always next year. The upside is I had a lot of apples to make some yummy treats with. I made two batches of my finest Apple Crisp, which were delicious.

I love Fall. I love everything about it. The smell of leaves, the colors, the weather. Everything. I live in Maine, and we have the most beautiful foliage you'll ever find. Which is why we have so many tourists come through during the season. I feel like tourist season never really ends in New England. We have ski season, which lasts from early november some years, to late March, depending on the snow season. Then we have the tourists that come for the summer, many people have summer homes up here. And then the leaf peepers come for Fall. I just want a break from all of the tourists so I can enjoy my Fall without all of the people. I know it is great for the small businesses around here and they get a lot of foot traffic but I just want to enjoy it while it lasts, without all of the leaf peepers.

So that is my Dose of Happy, The Band. What is yours?

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DOH Monday: The Off Season

I live in a tourist town. Yeah, it's a pain in the ass sometimes: giving directions, acting as the tourist information booth, all the strangers, the noise, etcetera etcetera etcetera ...I suppose that's a small price to pay for living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

It starts getting all touristy here in March, when the fish start biting. It stays all touristy here until about the fourth of July, when it gets too damn hot to do touristy things. We get a brief uptick around Halloween from biker rallies in the area, but otherwise it is nice and quiet around here throughout the autumn and winter months.

It's about to officially be autumn, which means it is relatively quiet around here.

AAAAAAAHHHHH

I woke up this morning to silence. No tourists, no weekenders, just us locals that don't make much noise. It was also in the low seventies (fahrenheit, low twenties celcius). It's finally starting to think about cooling off. We're still looking at 90-ish for the highs, but it seems as if the malice has left the afternoon heat. (That's actually rare around here--usually around this time of year, we're still looking at near 100F for daytime highs.) With any luck, I'll actually be able to wear clothes again soon, maybe even a light sweater!

Now that the heat has broken, I will get to enjoy the benefits of living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I stood by the river this morning and just stared in awe at the wonder of it all.

Days like today, when there are no tourists and no stupetaculous heat, I can remember the meaning of life. This moment.

This moment is all we really have--yesterday is gone and I can't change it, tomorrow never really arrives. I have to take time to be in the moment and truly live it, as it's happening. I can look back on today with fondness tomorrow, but I can never relive it.

So today, I'm going to go enjoy this moment in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

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DOH Monday: Baby Turtles

I live in a swamp. Every spring, the turtles emerge from their hidey-holes near the water, cross the street, and lay their eggs. Sadly, other swamp critters often dig up and eat the eggs before they hatch. I see white eggshells scattered around holes dug in the ground throughout the summer, and it always makes me sad.

This year, turtles laid eggs right under some neighbors' campers. Today, those eggs started hatching and turtles started crawling out, following their internal compass toward the water. My neighbors gently started digging up the hard ground and collecting the turtles so that they had a chance to survive without getting run over trying to cross the road. See, while folks around here slow down for turtles crossing the road in spring, those babies are much harder to see as they head toward the water.

At least two turtles' babies have a chance this year, and that makes me happy. Life--be it turtle, dog, human, or whatever--is worth celebrating. Knowing that my neighbors gave some tiny baby turtles a chance to make it to the water without getting crushed or eaten is definitely something to be happy about.

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Dose Of Happy: Maine

I recently got back from a trip to New York, a five hour drive (from Maine), which was huge for me!

I suffer with agoraphobia, meaning I have a hard time leaving my house for any duration. Five minutes is hard enough, you can imagine how hard A WEEK was for me.

BUT, alas, I DID IT! I successfully left my house for a vacation and managed to have fun!

 

Not only did I have fun, but so did my son, here is a picture of him playing with his cousins in the sprinkler on one of the hotter days. 

 

He had a ball and I was so happy I overcame this hurdle and was able to experience this with him!

Anxiety and panic disorders are very real and can feel like a noose around your neck, but I promise- with a lot of work and effort, YOU CAN FREE YOURSELF FROM ITS HOLD. It doesn't have to be a life sentence. You can overcome your fears a little at a time. Baby steps, just remember baby steps. Small victories lead to even bigger victories (before this trip, I was only able to be outside of my house for 15 minutes at a time). Don't let yourself be held down by anxiety. Fight for your life back!

Thanks for being there for me, The Band. I don't know where I would be right now without you guys!

 

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DOH Monday: The Soda Shop

My best friend's 17 year old daughter just got her first car recently. I somehow got talked into going to Jefferson, TX with her. This girl, who I'll call Jenny, and I worked together in the same restaurant last summer, and actually get along rather well. We both enjoy the same anime cartoon, and find the same things amusing, and we both have a serious weakness for cuppity cakes. Now she is, in many ways, an old soul and a pretty cool chic to sit and talk to. So really, it wasn't any kind of torture to go spend time with this kid just so her mom could have some peace of mind knowing that an an adult was around if something went wrong with the car or whatever.

We went to Jefferson, TX, which is this little historic town that used to be a major shipping hub in the plantation days, but is now a tourist trap with antique shops and ghost tours and such, along with the occasional four day long biker ralley. Jenny and I wandered into some of the cuter stores and looked at funny teeshirts and weird pocketbooks with pounds and pounds of fake gems pasted on them and looked at all of the historic architecture, and train cars, and such, and had a great time.

As we were wondering around, we wandered into the local drug store. I had never been in there before, and Jenny thought the place was cool. The first thing I noticed was the old timey soda shop inside this drug store. It was OLD, and it brought back memories of my dad taking me to the local drugstore in the town where I grew up and having lunch or ice cream at the soda shop counter there.

It was a powerful wave of childhood memories, and for a moment I wasn't my 44 year old self. For just one moment, I was a little platinum-haired kid, and I think I actually looked around for my daddy.

Now, rather than make me sad that my daddy died when I was only 14, these memories made me feel so connected to the daddy I lost so long ago. I actually felt the joy of a child as I walked up to the counter and started to read my ice cream options on the wall.

I sometimes think that, as adults, we get so caught up in all of the busy-ness of our lives that we forget that kids are onto something. Kids don't forget to laugh and play and enjoy the moment. Kids don't forget to live life.

I think I'll have to ask my friend if I can borrow Jenny again sometime soon so that we can go back to that drugstore with its soda shop counter and sit down a moment and enjoy life.

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