All the Little Things

I cannot, for the life of me, think of anything particularly amusing to write about this week.

All that’s been going on around these parts is the Big Flood. The National Disaster. The National Guard people and Humvees at every corner, sand bags and detours and fish all confused, swimming in the street.

And lots and lots of people in lots and lots of pain over the loss of their homes, belongings, peace of mind.

There’s just nothing funny about that.

I had this same problem following the earthquake in Haiti. How can I write some goofy column when so many are dead, dying, suffering?

The world is a terrible place. The world is a wonderful place. It just depends on what kind of day you’re having.

I like to think of this column as one of the small good things that can maybe provide a smile, a LOL or maybe even a LMAO!

One of my students asked me not too long ago how to be happy. I told him I don’t know.

I think happiness is an individual thing. Kind of like your eye color, or your target heart rate.

But I told him what works for me.

I am able to maintain a healthy degree of happiness by remembering to enjoy all the little things. After all, you can’t count on too many great, big happy things, not every day can be Christmas morning, but there are all kinds of little happy things, little unnoticed miracles, all day long, pretty much every day.

Like kids barefoot and laughing and catching fish in the middle of Route 18 – right smack in the middle of a National Disaster.

So, back then, when the earthquake happened, and my student was trying to find a way to be happy, I felt compelled to compile a list of all the little things in life that make me happy:

Russel Crowe

Clive Owen

70 degree day in March


“Project Runway”

“Sex in the City”




some people



Harpoon IPA


wine – all kinds

matzoh ball soup

those little umbrellas you put in drinks

hot tub

hot shower

Tabasco sauce

the Heat Meiser and all those claymation Christmas shows

a big, fat, orange, rising June full moon

sunrise, sunset

Susan Boyle when she sang on that show




Newbury Comics

“Charlotte’s Web” the book

riding the chairlift with my kids

riding the chairlift without my kids

Christmas Eve

Yankee Candles

Pixar movies

bare feet

fresh cut grass

snow men

kickboxing class

making a great spinning CD

singing really loud in the car

heated seats

Fenway Park


patio tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

the frogs in summer



Milky Way ice cream

a fire – indoors our outdoors

jumping on the trampoline


leaf blowing

the end of school bell

my morning coffee

coming home

And so on and so on.

And that’s all I can think of lately when I drive past these homes that are now sitting in the lake and see all the things ruined and lost.

Sometimes all you have are the little things.

And a lot of the time, if you string them all together you can make one big happy.

So, if you have your own list of all the little things, please comment back and post it. I could use another smile today.


11 Responses to “All the Little Things”

  1. 1 Randy
    April 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Right on, Marcia.

    I’m with you on all that, except Clive Barker.

    He’s a sh*t-head, in my book.

    I am mindful of a few other things thaty make me happy.

    The bright yellow glow of forsythia, this time of year.

    A big springtime bonfire.

    Snow, still on Monadnock.

    Lilacs, soon.


  2. 2 Randy
    April 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    …he’s the bastid who screwed up Hal’s film.

    Diving into thick snow, then back into the sauna.

    Real maple syrup.

    Dylan Dreier’s weather forecast.

    Charlize Theron.

    A Stratocaster that stays in tune for a whole set.

    Perfect tube compression.

    Washing my car under partly cloudy skies.

    Mary Anne as Ginger.

    The first real tan of the summer.

    A clear shot at a six-point buck.

    Old boots with brand-new socks.

    Swimming down, down, down, down, and finding a quarter.

    The smell of candy apples at the fair.

    Hearing my kids sing along to the Ting-Tings.

    Excellent seats at Fenway.

    Seeing Marcia laugh.

    Grilling a perfect steak and cracking a cold beer on a Friday afternoon.



  3. 3 Jessie
    April 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Fridays, teaching, SUMMER, snow days, girls night. 🙂


  4. 4 Liz Albon
    April 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    So many things…..favorites,

    the smell of sunscreen and salt

    a clean house

    driving the jeep with no roof/doors, listening to great music

    my kids freshly shampood hair

    sleeping in with the breeze coming in the window

    staying up late reading cuz I can’t put the book down


    chatting with someone with no distractions or hurry to get somewhere

    big hugs

    watching the girls learn new things and being surprised by the things they do/say

    yard work

    the feeling you get when you finish report cards and progress reports and know you have another 10 weeks before you have to do it again

    my coffee

    Thanks Marcia


  5. 5 Alice Williams
    April 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Well, then -I loved this so very much !!!! It speaks to my broken heart about our town- Actually my heart is a bit broken about a variety for things, but you speak to the our town part so eloquently-
    I very much agree with the philosophy of counting on the little things to keep one happy- It’s the little things that save my butt every day-
    Things like- A great spin with friends 🙂
    A sunset over the lake-
    A good run on a nice day-
    The smell of spring flowers-
    A long slow cup of coffee on a weekend morning with nowhere particular to go –
    Bruce- the Indigo Girls- Little Feat, for that matter-
    Some really good chocolate-
    Summer time Peaceful Meadows ice cream in a cone-
    A day, or many days, on the beach in the sun and water-
    Warmth-Sunshine- Together-
    A Red Sox game, preferably a winning one-
    Sitting with my dog on my lap for a while-
    Watching UMASS Lacrosse playing well-
    Watching Tufts Softball playing well-
    Sitting on my porch watching the birds at the feeder-
    Dinner at Chatta Box or Crispi’s- Yum-
    Those are a few of mine- Like the idea of creating a nice long list to look at when things aren’t going that well-


  6. 6 luke
    April 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    People who smile
    Watching things or people bloom
    fresh cut grass
    sand in my shoes
    steamed clams
    Dry Fly Fishing for trout
    Old movies (Hud, Long Hot Summer, Double Indemnity (old version), Cool Hand Luke…)
    Foreign Films (Manon of the Spring)
    Deep sleep dreams
    Christmas and New Year’s Eve
    Snowmen and snowball fights
    Red Tail Hawks
    Using a snow bank as a cooler
    Long Trail Brewery


  7. 7 Kerri McCarthy
    April 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks Marcia…sometimes it is hard to remember it is the little things that makes us get us through the hard times…here goes

    an ice coffee on a hot day
    the smell of a baby
    freshly washed sheets
    the smell of the beach
    the feel of the sand between my toes
    listening to my three kids talk to each other and realizing how big they are getting
    having someone tell me something great one of my children did
    waking up and realizing you still have 4 more hours before you have to get out of bed
    Bruce, U2, REM, Coldplay, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, on the radio
    Watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the first time each Christmas season
    a big hug for no reason at all
    a call from a friend
    finding money in your pocket you did not know you had
    looking at your kids and your heart bursting with love
    thinking of lost loved ones not only with a tear but with a big smile


  8. April 13, 2010 at 1:12 am

    It is always all the little things, which just blend with the big ones.
    I often have to make the list, or stop and watch, and remember, it’s a perfect day,
    and I’m glad to spend it with you. Curtiss and I kayaked on the lake tonight, and
    then came home and watched the perfect sunset next to a warm fire and a glass of wine.
    Thanks for spending some of your perfect/imperfect day with me.


  9. 9 Lisa BS
    April 13, 2010 at 1:18 am

    getting into a bed with fresh sheets
    a juicy peach
    a bright full moon
    laying in a hammock with a slight breeze and a great book
    the sound of the ocean
    the sun on my face
    the smell of pine trees in Wellfleet
    an August game at Fenway
    Sundays with the Patriots
    music and singing loud
    driving fast with the top down
    Johnny Depp


  10. 10 Jerry
    April 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    My two cents
    The roar of the MGM lion before the movie
    Seeing tadpoles in a little puddle
    when my kids respect their curfew
    when the lights go out just long enough to scare you during a thunderstorm
    trying a new candy bar
    being a participant and not just a spectator
    a long ride through New Hampshire
    the first leap into the ocean in June


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