Writer’s Workshop: 7 Things That Bring Me Joy

These aren’t easy posts for me to write. A lot of things bring me joy, but sometimes it’s hard to put them into words. But I’ll try.

  1. Mary. I have to start with the woman that has put up with me for 41 (at least, as of January 28) years, and a couple before that. I think I knew she was the one for me the day I saw her in our training class at Marshall Field’s, and again the day she saw me in line for coffee at Loyola and asked, “pardon me, do you work at Marshall Field’s?” We’ve been through a lot together, and still like each other (although she was less than happy with me when I backed up her iPad and lost all her knitting patterns). The other day, we came home after being at Starbucks, and she said, “I love being at Starbucks with you, and I love when we come home and spend the evening together.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
  2. Molly and CeCe. The end of the line as far as our stewardship of the lives of cats. I’m just happy they’re in good shape at their ages (14 and 17, I think) and that they still like us. Well, Molly likes both of us, CeCe likes Mary (and then I think only grudgingly). CeCe’s lived almost all her life with us, and still treats me like a stranger. Molly, on the other hand, came to us as a foster kitty and, well, it was a foster fail… and it was a good fail.
  3. Music. This goes without saying. I listen to music whenever I can get away with it. I’m a little obsessed with it, something that started when I was in high school. I’d put an album on and spend the whole time reading the liner notes as I listened to it. I’m still like that, although it’s hard to come by the liner notes anymore, so I substitute the Wikipedia articles. Two For Tuesday is just one expression of that obsession, but really, all the music I post here is.
  4. Vintage TV. Newton Minow called TV a “vast wasteland” back in the ’60’s, but compared to now, the programming was classic. We probably wouldn’t watch TV if it weren’t for channels like MeTV, This TV, and Cozi TV rerunning old favorites like The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, Columbo, The Saint, Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, Frasier, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Perry Mason, and so many shows we enjoyed when we were younger. Mary and I were talking the other day, and decided that the writing and storytelling were so much better, maybe because the writers were storytellers, not TV writers. I think a big part of it is the demand for quantity. But maybe that’s just me.
  5. YouTube. I’ve talked here before about my favorite YouTube channels. YouTube is my “happy place”: when I’m in a bad mood, I can sit and watch things on YouTube and it seems to get me out of it.
  6. Baseball. Baseball is the only sport I follow, but I’ve followed it most of my life. I’ve rooted for the White Sox the whole time, and for the Braves since I’ve lived in Atlanta, through thick and thin (mostly thin). I don’t get to watch it much, because the games are on cable stations and we don’t get cable, and MLB.TV blacks out games that are held in Atlanta, so it wouldn’t be worth the $19.95 a month. Besides, for that much a season I can get the radio feed of every game played in the major leagues. Seriously, I’d just as soon listen on the radio, because I can do other things while I’m listening.
  7. This blog and you, my readers. I’d write this blog every day even if no one was reading, but I do appreciate that you take the time to read and leave comments or “likes” on the stuff I write. You make this worth doing. Thank you!

46 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: 7 Things That Bring Me Joy

  1. Great post. You and your wife are blessed to have each other ❤ The cats are blessed to have you two. lol at the one who still treats you like a stranger. Music loving is a great obsession if you’re going to have an obsession. Not real into vintage tv or baseball, youtube is always entertaining. I like going down that rabbit hole from time to time. And yes, the blogging and the blogging community is a blast.

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    1. I used to sell the Frango Mints when I worked there. They’re still available at Frango.com; Garrett’s, which also sells gourmet popcorn in several Chicago locations, has taken over the task of making them. We’ve had the new ones, and while nothing will replace the ones I sold, the new ones are pretty good.

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  2. OMG you’ve got me beat by 1 year…This is our 40th anniversary + 3 years of hanging out together. Marshall Fields was our favorite store. We had one locally and we use to eat at the Trail Room w/his mom all of the time. The Angel Food Cake was to die for and the Ozark Pudding, well there are no words. During the journey of our life together, (raising 5 kids, mortgage, yadayadayda we lost our business and our home and the husband who has an MBA in finance couldn’t buy a job so he drove a limo, taught a class at the local Jr. College and worked at the local coffee shop besides me during the day when the kids were in school. Macy’s took over downtown so no more Marshall Fields. Such great memories. Thanks, Mr. John and hope you are have a great day. Y A Y tomorrow’s Friday and the weekend ❤

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    1. Like the very tall building at Franklin and Adams will always be the Sears Tower, the store with the two big clocks on State Street between Randolph and Washington will always be Marshall Field’s, just as the store at 1 South State Street with the Louis B. Sullivan entrance will always be Carson’s. At least as far as anyone over the age of 40 is concerned. There are certain things you do not mess with…

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      1. I so agree. I worked my first job for the Illinois Central Gulf RR at Randolph Street Station. It’s now Metra. The husband is still a suit in the city. He graduated from Northwestern (the Harvard of the Midwest) that’s what his mom use to say. We are both from the south side. Sorry to say, you wouldn’t go there now. Very sketchy, can’t believe how bad it is. Time marches on. I don’t go in the city much anymore. Both of our boys danced on Joffrey Ballet on Congress. Glad they got out of that city. Its not very safe there anymore either. Only safe time probably noon on State Street. I’ll just hold onto my memories 🙂

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        1. Mary grew up in Back of the Yards (47th and Ashland), and I lived there after we got married for about ten years before we moved to Atlanta. That’s gotten to be a pretty bad area now. Come to think of it, it wasn’t very good when I moved there. I grew up in Rogers Park, near Loyola University. Most of the prime real estate there is owned by the Jesuits now…

          I spent two years at Northwestern. They weren’t good ones…

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          1. Yeah the husband said that’s been a bad area for a long time…He always says we should move down in the city. No way !!! I really have never liked it down there. I got mugged one morning in the Prudential Building during the morning rush. People everywhere, no one helped. I was 5 months pg w/are first one. After that the husband said it’s time to quit, so I did and I haven’t looked back.

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              1. OMG no I really don’t … Husband probably does. I remember mom taking me and my 4 sisters downtown and we were going to the top of the Prudential b/c that was the tallest bldg. at the time. Do you remember that? I’m sure you do…

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                1. One day I talked my aunt into taking me to see the WGN transmitter at the top, and we ate lunch in the restaurant there. Then we went to the Museum of Science and Industry, where WTTW had its studios before they moved to 5400 N. St. Louis Ave. I was a weird kid.

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  3. Did you see that Youtube about the engineer who made a unique device to catch/punish doorstep package thieves with? It’s incredible. Has cameras in it, a GPS, glitter to cover the thief with and fart spray to gross them out. Clever and hilarous.

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  4. You couldn’t have started off with a better #1. I love what she said, too. Y’all are so fortunate. ❤
    Music and blogging rate high on my list, too.

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  5. John,

    I’m like you. I feel so blessed that it’s hard for me to name those because everything that enters my life I’m grateful for and that’s very much the same with my joy. I’m a happy person. I love life. How do you put that down? I think you did a great job. You like me have great joy with our soulmates and that’s pretty wonderful. We’ll celebrate 40 years in June. Where does the time go? Let me say now congrats on y’alls upcoming anniversary! You had me smiling and nodding my head in agreement with those cats of yours. They are funny animals. Most of your joys I can say are mine, too with the exception of baseball. I liked it as a kid but fell away from the sport. Well…I never liked watching it on TV but I enjoyed going to the amateur games comprised of school-aged kids. Maybe, I just liked it because I got to see the cute boys. 🙂 I’m glad that your blog gives you much joy because it gives me lots of joy to read, as well as your friendship. Have a good day!

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    1. I think a lot of how much of a baseball fan you are depends on your family and whether they’re baseball fans. We were pretty much all fans, men and women alike (Mom remembers her grandmother taking her and keeping a scorecard). Baseeball is huge in Chicago, with two Major League teams…

      I’m happy people like the blog, and for your friendship. Thanks!

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  6. This is a great list and, just last night, I was looking at my husband while he was talking and just enjoying the moment. I think people who have no pets seem to be missing something. They don’t think so but the love they give or the ignore is always something of fun. Music is universal….you can be anywhere in the works and music is a huge part of their culture and their lives. If we didn’t have language, we would communicate through music. Blogging is great isn’t it?

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    1. Yes, blogging is great! And you’re right about music. I used to put on a Spanish-language radio station Sunday nights when I was in high school, because everything else was either off the air or doing their “public affairs” programming for the week. Didn’t understand a thing they were saying, but the music (Puerto Rican or Cuban jazz) was great.

      There are often extenuating circumstances why people don’t have pets (allergies, landlord, travel all the time etc.) and I feel sorry for them, but I also think there are people who don’t have them because they don’t want to be bothered. It’s very sad…

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  7. Hi John – you’re so right … the blogging fraternity is a wonderful one to be part of – I learn so much … being a duff at music – I’d learn loads here … but pop in occasionally – but am glad you and Mary are around and sharing your lives with us. Poor Mary and her patterns – still it happens to us all – I thought I’d lost loads on the pc – but my computer whizzy lady found them on my return – thank goodness. Take care and here’s to seeing more of your postings – cheers Hilary

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    1. Always good to see you when you drop by, Hilary.

      See, I’m Mary’s computer whiz and things like that aren’t supposed to happen. but you know what it’s like with computers. Best you can do is to have an adequate plan for what to do when that happens, which we now have.

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  8. Music is a cure-all. I love Cozi and also Heroes and Icons (H&I). That channel shows The Greatest American Hero. 🙂 And, awwwwww. Thatsa nice about Mary.

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  9. I love that Mary tops the list. 🙂 I feel the same way about my husband and that I picked a good one because I am so content just enjoying his company doing the most mundane tasks.

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