I start every morning at my computer with a familiar ritual. I enter a contest to win a house. Any house. Sometimes it’s the HGTV Dream Home, or Green Home. Right now it’s the Southern Living Choose Your Home Giveaway. I envision myself living in Sonoma, California, or Habersham, South Carolina, or any number of fabulous places. I furnish the houses, go sightseeing, start my garden. Do I expect to win? Well, somebody’s going to. Why not me?
I was eight the first time I won a contest on the “Captain Mack” show at our local St. Petersburg television station. I was chosen to answer the following question on live television via telephone. “Hickory, dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock. The clock struck. . . What did the clock strike?”
I was sure the clock struck twelve and nearly said so. Luckily my mom and dad made certain I didn’t. And being the dutiful daughter I was, I won with “one” and received a lovely Shirley Temple doll–who would undoubtedly be a really valuable prize if I still had her.
The next year Lady Luck smiled again, and I won a green rabbit’s foot from the gumball machine outside our local soda shop. My very first penny, and I got the prize. I was all powerful, chosen by the gods, invincible. Of course I immediately attempted to win another, and paid fifty cents for 50 stale gum balls and nothing more. Perhaps this is why I never chew gum.
Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. The real value is the fantasy. The real value is taking a chance, albeit a million to one, that you might just win. Not too many chances, mind you, because they have a name for that. But the occasional chance, the occasional fantasy, the unshakeable belief that good things can happen. Taking chances and happiness. I’m not sure we ever experience one without the other.
Let me congratulate two women who recently took chances right here. Juanita, from Puyallup, Washington is the winner of the Noah’s Ark musical water globe from my contest page. And Carol, of Pasco, Washington, won a copy of Diane Chamberlain’s wonderful novel, The Courage Tree, by commenting on my interview with Diane. Two women who took chances and won. It happens–but apparently this month, only if you live in Washington.
Didn’t win? Remember, that happens, too. Another chance is right around the corner. To celebrate the upcoming launch of Happiness Key, I’ll be giving away a beach bag stuffed with items “donated” by the four women who live there, including, from Tracy, the lovely sterling silver seashell bracelet shown above. To enter, just comment on any of my blogs with “Happiness” in the title, and tell us what makes you happy. That’s all. Comment as many times as you like, although only your first comment will be entered for the drawing.
All details, including more about the prizes, will be on my website soon, but now, you have a head start. What makes you happy? Did you ever win your own Shirley Temple doll or rabbit’s foot? Take a chance today, and enjoy.