33 things that make me happy

By Caitlin Kelly

 

Lunch with a friend that lasts until dinner

 

Any film starring Kristen Stewart or Michelle Williams

 

Big band music

 

Maja soap

 

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A pot of tea

 

Fresh flowers in every room

 

Diner rice pudding

 

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Anticipating the next journey, whether a weekend road-trip or somewhere distant

 

Speaking and hearing French

 

Reading design and interiors magazines, in print, especially English and French ones

 

Sitting in a movie theater, with popcorn, waiting for the film to start

 

A snooze on the sofa

 

Playing Banangrams and gin rummy (not simultaneously!)

 

Taking a canoe out for a solo ride

 

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Unscheduled time

 

Trimming jib

 

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Setting a pretty table for a party

 

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Lighting candles

 

The delicious sillage of someone’s very crisp cologne

 

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Paris

 

The “blue hour” of dusk when the sky is a deep indigo and everything else silhouetted against it

 

Sleeping beneath a puffy duvet on a frigid winter’s night

 

A crackling fire in a weathered fireplace

 

Saying hello to and patting passing dogs

 

Staring for a long time at a painting in a museum or gallery

 

Browsing for hours in an indie bookstore

 

A very cold, very dry gin martini, straight up, with olives

 

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I love patina! This is the doorknob to our friend’s home in Maine

 

Old, well-made and well cared for objects, the earlier the better, especially textiles, glass and porcelain

 

Reading and choosing recipes

 

Making someone’s day easier

 

The work of Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti

 

The stunning opening chords of  Tschaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C

 

Playing vinyl

 

What are some of yours?

Grateful For…

Hudson River
The Hudson River...right outside our windows. Image by Randy OHC via Flickr

A home I’ve enjoyed — in safety and silence — for 22 years, shared for the past 11 years with my sweetie-turned-husband

Our unimpeded and unchanging view, looking northwest, of the Hudson River

Clean, fresh running water available 24/7

The same access to electricity and heat

A life free of violence or threat

Being able to earn a living in my own home in peace and quiet

My lovely husband, Jose

A perfect fall wedding this year in Toronto, surrounded by dear friends and close family

Savings

Our good health

His staff job, (and its benefits), which he still enjoys

My Dad’s good health and vigor, still racing around in his black sports car at 82

His partner, who is gentle, loving and smart

Her kids, who we’ve gotten to know a bit, even though they live far away in Seattle and Hong Kong

Good neighbors

Strong and lasting friendships, some going back to childhood

Work that I enjoy and clients who appreciate my skills

Quick and easy access to an excellent hospital, 10 minutes up the road

Good physicians (and health insurance)

Terrific physical therapists who have helped me rehab from three surgeries, so far, with the biggest soon to come

The health, strength and means to travel

The wisdom, advice and comfort of colleagues who also write or freelance for a living

Living in a town so pretty and charming it’s been used as the backdrop to a number of films, including The Good Shepherd, Mona Lisa Smile, The Preacher’s Wife and Purple Rose of Cairo

A hard-working agent

The fact my new book, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail”, is in development as a possible sitcom for CBS

Invitations to address retail executives at three conferences, so far, offering my thoughts on how best to hire and manage  low-wage workers — a chance for a bully pulpit

Editors who value what I offer them, both my ideas and how I shape them

Smart, fun readers like you who (yay!) come by to visit and chat from all over the world, whether Scotland, France, Canada or Australia.

Thank you for making Broadside a part of your life!

What are you giving thanks for this Thanksgiving?