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A List of Happy


Car Talk. “Let’s make a list of happiness,” I say.
We were somewhere south on I-25, far enough south that we could see the end of the Rockies. It just came to an end, like the tail end of a pig. “You go first. What makes you happy?”
“The possibilities.”
“Oh, good one. Strong start. Vague, but strong.” I write it down.
Then I say, “You do. You make me happy.”
“Well, that’s good news,” he says. “Gum.”
“Cracker Barrel’s french toast.”
“Not having a headache.”
“You’ve been getting them a lot. How is it right now?”
“I could use some aspirin.” I love that aspirin is his word for anything pain relieving. I reached into the center console to get him four ibuprofen while he’s driving. As a bonus, I give him a piece of gum from in there, too.
“Thanks, baby girl,” he says. “Your turn.”
“Pens. And conversation. I’d stay up all night for a good one.”
“A great playlist.”
“Oh, yes. Great music makes me very happy. Turns my day around.”
“A whole day stretching before me. With books and pens.”
“Good traffic,” he says, flipping on his blinker and changing lanes. “Smart drivers.”
“Candles. Fall scented.”
“The smell of leather in a baseball mitt.”
“Freshly cut grass.”
“Scarves. A pashmina.”
“The hell’s a pashmina?”
“It’s a big scarf.”
“Oh. I thought it was a new friend of yours. Puppies. Puppies make me happy.”
“Helping my wife.”
“Really? That’s so nice you would say that.”
“It’s true. Being of service.”
“Diet Coke.”
“Tickets to the theatre.”
“Hey, now. Woah.”
“I’m just saying.”
“Dancing in the kitchen.”
“Tucker. Tyler.”
“A road trip.”
“Any punctuation?”
“Proper punctuation.”
“I thought so. I know how you feel about a comma where a period should be. Or excessive exclamation marks. All that yelling on the page.”
“I actually had a visceral response to that just now.”
“A good fight. Righteous confrontation. Put an exclamation point after that one.”
“Colors. And a clean house.”
“Burt Bacharach.”
“Country music. Metaphors. Similes.”
“Someone who gets me.”

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I love this.
    Hi, Tricia! Your mom introduced me to your blog. I’m loving it, and I’m looking forward to meeting you in person!
    -Sarah Koller

  2. “Orgasms.”
    “Hey, now. Woah.”
    “I’m just saying.”

    That. is. FANTASTIC. 😀

  3. What makes me happy? A fantastic, uplifting blog by someone who knows how to hold joy and sorrow, both. Love you, Tricia!

  4. Hey, now, wait a minute! Isn’t there a law against having so much fun? 😉 (I LOVE that picture!)

    Many things make me happy.

    One totally weird and inexplicable one is cement mixers. I absolutely love seeing those out and about, their barrels slowly turning, especially when adorned with a fantastic, glorious graphic – a logo or company name or patriotic theme or whatever – like a bull dog wearing a tutu.

    The bright little blossoms of our volunteer dwarf daffodils, only four inches high, sassy in the face of late-season sleet, make me laugh.

    Somehow achieving that magic of perfect harmony and instrument/vocal balance (elusive but sometimes it shows up) with the Civil War string band I play and sing with.

    When the stuff that comes out of the end of my pen surprises me with its power and majesty (in doing a writing exercise). (“I wrote THAT?! Where’d that come from?”) (Yes, I know: it’s the good Lord blessing me.)

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