My Favorite Things

“Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, these are a few of my favorite things.”   The movie, “The Sound of Music”

I’ve always loved the musical, “The Sound of Music.”  One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the Von Trapp children are afraid of a thunderstorm during the night.  One by one, each child sneaks into Maria’s room until they are all piled up on her bed, seeking comfort from their fears.  In her happy, bell-like voice she sings to them that if they can remember their favorite things during times of sadness and discomfort, they will not “feel so bad.”

I noticed a few years ago that this song, “My Favorite Things,” was being played as Christmas music on the radio and on Christmas sound tracks in shopping malls and stores.  Each year, it seemed that it was gaining more popularity as a Christmas song and was being played more often.  I have heard it so much during this Christmas season that I’ve decided to take its advice.  It’s time to consider my favorite things.

Armed with my iPad and a nice glass of red wine, I sat down Sunday night to make my list.  I thought of Oprah and all of her “Favorite Things” lists.  I didn’t have Oprah’s budget and couldn’t send out teams of employees and my best friends to choose wonderful exotic treasures from all over the world; treasures that would pamper and make me feel like a spoiled princess  – not that there’s anything wrong with that. No, all I had was a scattered list in my mind of things that made me happy.  In no particular order, I began to put into words the things that made me smile every time.  Here is my list and what I wrote.

My Favorite Things

1.        Stemware.  I “flat out” love stemware and crystal.  It makes me feel wealthy when I look in my cabinet and see my crystal catch the light and sparkle like diamonds.  I love to take a glass off the shelf and place it on the counter top as I consider what I will pour into it.  I love to hear the stream of wine hit the bottom of the glass as I make my pour.  Then, I love to pick up the half full glass and hold it.  Caress its fragile body and slim leg.  Sometimes we guess the musical note that pings when we thump the glass with our fingernails, finding the true note on the key board to see who was right.  I know – stemware and music nerd games.  Oh the luxury of it all.

2.        Sea glass.  I love to walk the beach and find the treasure of sea glass.  My eyes constantly search for a flicker of color or frosty white amongst the sand, shells and rocks.  If I happen upon the treasure, I scoop it up, clean the sand off and put it in my pocket.  I am jealous when I see others walking the beach with a hand full of the exquisite glass.  I makes me search harder and more diligently, not wanting to leave the beach without at least one piece.  I take my smoothed out shard of glass home, adding it to my growing collection of blue, green, white and brown sea glass, which by the way, are held in a piece of fancy crystal stemware Bill and I got for a wedding present over 30 years ago.

3.       China.  (Not the country)  I adore china.  My cabinet shelves groan with the weight of plates, cups and saucers. I have china in my cupboards, china in several kitchen cabinets and china packed away in the garage.  I don’t have room for all my china.  I have given some to my children and love to sit at their tables and recognize my old friends staring up at me, filled with good food.  Comfort dishes for comfort foods.  I also decorate with plates.  They proudly are displayed on plate racks in my dining room and bedrooms.  I see that I have surrounded myself with the things I love and the things that make me smile.

4.       Pearls.  I have always loved pearls.  I suppose that they may not be considered “gems” in the most technical sense, but they are to me.  Simple sophistication!

5.        A fire in a fireplace.  I don’t care if it’s made with chopped wood and kindling or fake logs and natural gas, if it’s cold outside, I will back up to it and warm myself up.  It’s comforting!

6.       A good book.  I love to read and I read all kinds of books.  I especially love novels.  I have discovered that they are the best way to escape my reality and I have become quite a good escape artist.  I love to walk in a book store and smell books and coffee.  The mixture of those smells is intoxicating to me and like a drug.   My heart palpitates a little and my hands shake ever so slightly as I try to walk and not run to the best seller rack.  I put my hand over my heart as I look over the titles and book covers.  Slowly, I reach out to the one that flirts with me most…That feeling is one of my favorite things.

7.       A bride standing with her father at the back of the church waiting for their turn to walk down the aisle.  My husband and I used to sing at a lot of weddings.  We would always be on the platform looking out over the church in the opposite direction of all the other wedding guests.  We could always see the father/daughter pair before the rest of the crowd could.  The scene got to me every time and would bring me to tears, even if I didn’t know the bride very well.  I could actually see the emotion of the moment in the father’s grip on his baby’s arm, her eyes smiling up at him to reassure him that she’s made the right decision and the grip loosening to a gentle pat by him on her arm to indicate that he understood love and letting go.  I don’t sing at weddings anymore but I always turn around in my seat to catch the father daughter exchange.  It’s one of my favorite things to witness.

8.       Roses on a fence.  What could be more charming?  No matter where I live, I always try to have roses on a fence.  They are homey and welcoming.  If for some reason I don’t have them, I will be combing the countryside taking pictures of everyone else’s!

9.       My mother’s laugh.  My mother has a great, loud laugh.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have been comforted by that laugh.  Hers is a distinguishing laugh, one that rises above all other chuckles and heehaws in a room.  As a child, I remember getting separated from my mother in a grocery store one time, only to hear her laughing with a friend and all I had to do was follow the laugh and there she was.  On several occasions when I was older, I was shopping at a mall in another town and I swore that I heard my mother laugh.  “My mom’s here.”  I said.  “She’s around here somewhere.  That’s her laugh.”  Sure enough, I followed the sound of the laugh and there she was, laughing with someone she had “run into from Tarboro.”  I shopped with her this week for Christmas and I was reminded of how that sound from childhood was still one of my favorites.

10.   My father’s blue sweater.  I love my father in blue, my favorite color.  It makes his grey hair silver and sets off the color of his green eyes.  As I became older, I realized that it was the color that suited him best, the color of a pool of calm waters.  That’s what reminds me of my father:  still, deep waters.  That’s my father.  Cool, calm, patient…blue.

11.   My children’s faces around my table.   I love to sit at the dinner table and watch my children eat what I have cooked for them while they talk and laugh.  If I could make that time last for hours, I would.  I take each face, hold it in my mind and put it in my heart.  That time is heaven on earth.

12.   Riding around in the car with Bill and dreaming.  My favorite pastime.  We have actually whiled away many hours driving around in our car, looking at houses we can’t afford, commercial properties that could house potential businesses and…you name it.  We’ve dreamed it!  If I go a few weeks without riding around and dreaming, I get irritable and start focusing on all of my problems.  I grab Bill and say, “It’s time to go dreaming.”  Love it. Love it!

I don’t have the time to give you the other “favorites” on my list.  I had twenty-five!  When I finished writing them down on Sunday night, I read the contents of the list out loud to Bill.  He couldn’t believe the things I read off to him.  “I had no idea that those were your favorite things.”  “Actually,” I smiled, “neither did I until I thought about it and wrote them down.”

They were inexpensive things, for the most part.  Some costs nothing at all. “Now that I know what your favorite things are,” Bill said, “I’m going to devote the rest of my life making sure that you are surrounded by them.”  I couldn’t have loved him more when he said that. It wasn’t until I made the list that I defined myself. 

Everyone needs to define themselves.  Each year you can begin by making a list of your favorite things.  Some things will remain the same and others will change.  You will discover amazing things about yourself when you think of the things that make you laugh and smile or things that give you peace and comfort. 

I challenge you to begin your new year by making a list of your favorite things.  You’ll be surprised at what you find.

Happy New Year to the Best Part of You!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steven & Nancy Waters
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 19:19:21

    I read your blog to Steven on our way home from the airport. It warmed our hearts, especially Bill ‘s sweet response.
    Much love,
    Steven and Nancy

    Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 04, 2012 @ 17:03:50

      That was a sweet response, wasn’t it? It sort of surprised me. I asked him to give me a favorite things list too so that I could do the same for him! Keeps marriage interesting at this juncture in our lives!

      Reply

  2. Mary Lou Pridgen Emmons
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 22:46:43

    Donna, I loved reading “my favorite things”. It got me to thinking and wanting to write down MY favorite things. I am NOT a writer but the thought of putting down a list of things that make me the happiest was very inspiring. Many of the things you mentioned, also bring joy to my heart. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes! Thanks for the inspiration and the New Year’s “resolution” to ALWAYS keep all those favorite things close to my heart…
    Your long-ago neighbor and playmate,
    Mary Lou

    Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 04, 2012 @ 16:59:33

      Mary Lou, when I wrote down my favorite things list, I also did it with tears. I don’t know why. I think just the joy of thinking about those things liberated me and simplified my seemingly complicated life. I like what you said about keeping the favorite things close to your heart. What a simple and “do”able New Year’s resolution. Happy New Year to you and I hope you are daily surrounded by your favorite things! How good it is to hear from you!

      Reply

  3. alabamapeggy
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 14:06:15

    Donna, I loved this list of favorite things!! One of my favorite poems is by the English poet, Rupert Brooke, entitled “The Great Lover.” I hope that you will google it and read his list of “These I have loved.” He died at a very early age in World War I. Every time I read the poem, I feel such sadness that he died so young and also such amazement that one so young could already be looking back on his life and making this kind of list. I’m going to make my list!

    Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 06, 2012 @ 17:59:34

      I read “The Great Lover” today for the first time. It was sad but sometimes humorous, just like real life. I read a bio of Rupert Brooke and saw a picture of him. How handsome he was and what an interesting life he lived in those few short years. I think Hollywood should do a movie based on his life. It would be fascinating.

      Reply

  4. Sheila
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 03:28:07

    Loved Bill’s sweet reply…and love your first few things as well. Remember the beautiful crystal piece that you gave me for my birthday, many years ago. It sits on my mantel tonight and shimmers like that sea glass you love. I think of you every time I look at it and it is one of my most favorite pieces!!!

    Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 06, 2012 @ 17:38:20

      Sheila, Thanks so much for telling me that! You made my day! I love things that remind me of the people I love. I’d love to see you and sit down and have a long chat. By the way, isn’t today your birthday? Surround yourself with your favorite things and be happy all day! Love you!

      Reply

  5. Mary Ellen
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 04:36:14

    Donna, I’ve just recently discovered your blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts (musings). I have found them wonderful and refreshing. Definitely gonna have to think about and write down what my favorite things are.

    Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 06, 2012 @ 17:34:19

      Thanks for reading, Mary Ellen! I realize that my musings may not be for everyone but they may amuse some of us. “My Favorite Things” was fun to write and quite a revelation to me. May you keep your list of favorite things close to your heart this year and surround yourself with them!

      Reply

    • themuseinme
      Jan 21, 2012 @ 15:58:06

      Mary Ellen, Thanks for reading my post and commenting on it. That’s always encouraging to me! I hope you find your favorite things and surround yourself with them. How great would that be? LOL

      Reply

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