Lots of people observe the little bits of entertainment life provides. Writers take that to an even higher level. We observe, write it down, and repeatedly rehash it to get the description just right. Then we try to convey those tricky observations in the right place in an article, an essay, a novel.
The beauty of a blog is that writers can go visual. We create captions and let your eyes dance over the photos of the entertaining sights we see.
Finding sparks and spots of joy in daily life is critical to our mental health. After the last year plus, it’s more important than ever to give into the little moments. To let the world entertain us and allow ourselves to experience glee. In the dismal winter days, the dining room was covered in sewing projects with swaths of bright fabric everywhere. I’ve been making bags—small bags, large totes. Why? No clue other than that the process of creating entertains me..
Hiking in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park, we came across this pile of lava. What do you see? A dog? Perhaps a small bear?
Lava hiking is stark—the bleak black landscape stretches out before you. Then you glimpse a cairn or a bright red flower trying to interject color into the inky darkness.
My head is often on a swivel when I’m in a new place (or an old, familiar place). Looking up became essential in Madrid where there are the most amazing sculptures atop buildings. Who decided to put a chariot and horses up there? In Milan, our friend Lorenzo took us on a tour of the Duomo—a stunning cathedral. Seeing the multitude of statues at ground level was nothing compared to what you see on the roof.
In Genoa, Jackie and I marveled at the intricate statues of men holding up beams on ages-old buildings. Walking in Manarola, we saw a young man removing stones from a cemetery—using the same stance.
This is Irv, our goldfish, low maintenance, and charming. He moves from room to room—we’re never sure where he’ll turn up.
One morning I drank my coffee, glanced around, realized I’d been sitting in the same chair for months, and moved. That’s when I noticed that a candle had melted into a reflection of our howling coyote.
Turning from the table to put a knife on the counter, I missed, stabbing it into the floor at a perfect angle. Excuse the blurred photo, I was laughing too hard to take a good shot. (Alex did not laugh.)
Dad taught me to look deeply into the clouds and cobwebs. We shared many photos of them once we went digital.
Tony the Pigeon. How ever do I explain the bird? He showed up on our parents’ porch one summer day mere weeks before our mother passed. She, convincingly, told us he was Tony the Pigeon, used by a fellow in Dilltown* to send messages. *At least Dilltown is a real place. Yep, Mom made up the entire saga, slaying all of us.
We live in a suburban Pittsburgh neighborhood, so the amount of amusement we get from our yard is surprising. Winter is often the funniest time of year as all manner of bird, and squirrel, use our feeder. Every now and then, a glance out the window let’s us see …. A hawk standing on the deck railing or a squirrel sprawled like a rug across it. Once in a while, it’s an insect of some sort sitting there, waiting to be photographed. Squirrels swipe chestnuts and walnuts from a house up the street, climb our maple tree, then sit there, gnawing away.
There are those ridiculous things that happen where a person utters, I couldn’t do that again for a million dollars. Like dropping a napkin down the laundry chute and it catching on the duster. Or missing the shelf when I set down the eyedrops and having the bottle land upside down between books.
At Christmas, it’s walking into the living room time after time and finding two ornaments facing the hallway. Their rebellious Chucky behavior freaked me out.
Our office windows face the street and every so often in standing to stretch, we see something fun. Like the day that a grandpa from a dozen houses away was walking with his granddaughter, not unusual. Plop—they decided to sit near our driveway because she had something important to do. Or one day when I glanced out and there were two dads pushing matching prams from opposite directions. Then there’s the brindle dog from the next block, insisting her owner wait for the next-door poodles to come play. She patiently stood there for five minutes until Hudson and Harper appeared.
Making My Own Merriment
Sometimes I have do something to make someone laugh—even if it’s myself!
Ya know how people used to slap travel stickers on their suitcases? I decided why not put hiking stickers on my Black Diamond Trekking Poles.
Mulching one spring I thought these stones made a perfect quoit, so there you have it. A garden gnome enjoying Stonehenge.
Because isn’t being melodramatic just so much fun? Me, as troubled as Greta Garbo—but only when my Nespresso is gone.
In autumn, we collect acorns to fill the Wendell August dish covered in leaves and acorns. Why not?
After college, I told my parents I wanted to buy a Winnebago and travel the country. Being practical sorts, they said that was a bad idea. Then I moved a zillion times over twenty years. Dad finally admitted, Yep, shoulda encouraged you to do that. I still want a camper.
Do you alternate sentimental items in your home? I set out Alice in Wonderland and mouse at the beach—both were Mom’s. Later, I realized it looks like Alice is giving the mouse a stern talking to.
The 1947 Farmall tractor Dad bought new is still running. I gave him this ornament one Christmas. Setting it out one day, it just so happened to be near a device with the perfect puff of exhaust….
God Provides Entertainment
A knot in a tree looks like….
Large leaves and small petals….
Snow with bird tracks and snow on a railing….
A crazy hen and chicks we fondly call Loch Ness monster plant….
What happened when this little critter arrived home, dragging concrete on its feet?
More Amusement to be Found
You realize this post could continue and that I could include fifty more photos, right?
- At Trifels Castle, Germany, I stood stunned to realize that my feet were walking stones where Richard the Lionhearted had once been held captive.
- There’s the rock I picked up in Cecina Mare, Italy in 2005. A month ago, I discovered it attracts magnets.
- It’s catching sight of a Chicago firefighter wielding a hose and the picture in perfect focus for the arc of water touched by sun.
- Or the tiny toy cowboy I stood on a cubicle wall one day to see who would notice. Then I saw his shadow on a wall where he looked larger than (his) life.
- A restaurant in The Strip had me laughing—they offered two types of water (plain or citrus infused). But only real coffee. No decaf.
- Taking a bite from a Ruffle potato chip shaped like a heart.
- Making a point of walking through the snow one way, then matching my steps the other direction because it’s funny.
I’ll stop now and leave you with the joy of uncovering your own entertainment today. Please add pictures to the Facebook post of this blog. I love to see what you see!
PS. The dog joy in the top photo? That’s Jackie’s irrepressible Airedale Daisy. She’s nuts, but oh-so happy about being that way!