Things that make me happy

(An antidote to the telephone frustrations)

These are things that have been in my life this past week that make me happy:

1. A Ugandan's accent - and his laughter - heard in a radio interview.

2. A son who says, "They're not Arabs, mom. They're Persians." (This would be the same son who says, "Not 'the Orient,' mom. Asia. We don't orient our maps like we did in the old days." --- Sometimes I wonder if I've unleashed something terrible out into the world, but I can't be sorry. This sort of thinking makes me really really happy.)

3. This conversation we had with our two huge young men: (As we're handing over another check.) Dad: "You two need to rebel against your parents' values. Go find jobs that make a lot of money." Son: "How much do high school music teachers make?" (Mom's mental happy dance goes here.)

4. A cool breeze that has ended the ten-days siege of heat in our "temperate zone." A local radio DJ called it "being microwaved." I quite agree.

5. The smell of summer, coming in through the car windows as I entered the woods on Hwy 14 on the way home in the evening. Columbia River making the air soft to the touch. Warm blackberry brambles sweetening everything and conifer cones and needles lying on the ground to give the scent of sun-dried forest. The rocks of a creek bed making the taste of minerals, suggesting splashing water to the person breathing it all in. I don't loathe summer when I smell the woods.

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