What Makes Emilie Happy, and the Giveaway Winners who are Happy, too.

apples.jpgFor the past six months I’ve had the distinct pleasure of blogging about happiness, and more important, reading your comments on my “happiness” blogs.  Next week I’ll share with you the unscientific survey that my assistant Marna and I did of your wonderful and evocative contributions.  We saw patterns, but that was no surprise.

Looking back over those blogs, I find that I’ve never really told you what makes me happy.  Not in so many words, at least.  It only seems fair that after asking you to share, I should do the same.

Driving through cold rain this morning to the local outdoor Falls Church Farmer’s Market, I realized just how happy I was.  No question I would be soaked and chilled very soon, but I was going to one of those special places in my life.  I am a huge fan of farmer’s markets.  Like lemonade stands, I feel it’s almost a sin to pass one without buying vegetables from the people who worked so hard to produce them.  All week I’ve thought of the fabulous crabcakes at Chris’s booth, and the fragrant Virginia apples, which make me believe in apples after a Florida childhood of the tasteless grocery store variety.  (But let me tell you about our citrus fruit!)

I parked and was indeed soaked by the time I made it to the first tent.  No matter.  By the time I had finished shopping, I had a canvas bag filled with wonderful things, including two end of the season heirloom tomatoes.  We will eat well. 

All the way homes as I dripped water on my steering wheel and shivered, I was still unreasonably happy .  No surprise.  I’d already managed, somehow, to accomplish so many of the things that make me happy in one feel swoop, albeit a wet and cold one.

I left work behind.  I bought food I’ll enjoy cooking and eating all week long.  I supported a favorite cause, family farms, that deserve our support.  I pitted myself against the weather and won.  I came home to a warm house, a happy dog, a grateful husband.  I knew I had more to look forward to today, as well.  Writing this blog, time quilting and listening to the end of an audio book, riding the exercise bike as I watched the end of a Miss Marple mystery.  Little things, surely.  But that’s what happiness seems to be made of.  The small moments piled one on top of the other.  The wisdom to appreciate them. 

That last, wisdom to appreciate them, is probably most important of all.

A different pleasure this week?  Sending prizes to everyone who won one in my recent giveaways.  (Determined in random drawings.) And the winners were?

2nd Runner Up in the Beach Bag Giveaway:  Anne, of Suffolk, VA, who said:  I am happy quilting with my friends, being with my children and grandchildren, blue skys, being with my husband, the sunshine, I could go on and on!  (The winner and first runner-up were announced last week.)

The Facebook contest to determine which Happiness Key character you were most like?  Lisa of Brookston, IN who was most like Wanda; Carolyn, of Cocoa, FL, who was most like Janya; Lauretta, of Santee, CA, who was most like Tracy, and Cindy, of Mendenhall, MS, who was most like Alice.  Congratulations to all.

Congratulations, too, to all three US readers who wanted copies of the gorgeous French translations of Whiskey Island or The Parting Glass.  Each will receive one.

And finally a round of applause (and a copy of Happiness Key) to Amber of Rising Sun, MD, who, in an impromptu Facebook Page contest this week, correctly guessed the brand new title of the third novel in the Happiness Key trilogy, to be published in 2011.  And the title?

I’ll save that for another blog.  But luckily, it makes me very happy. Add that to my list.



  1. Ingrid King on October 18, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I love these happiness posts! I think it’s so important to acknowledge all the seemingly small things that make us happy in our lives. Happiness is not necessarily brought about by one big thing – it’s the accumulation of small pleasures that makes for a happy life. By celebrating the happy moments in our lives, we attract more of the same.

  2. Kitty Wood on October 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I once had a friend ask me (for a class assignment) to list 10 things that made me happy. It took me a day or two to come up with my list but looking back on said list makes me smile still. It is as follows: Happiness is :
    1) Hearing my children say “I love you, Mom”
    2) Making eye contact across a crowded room with my husband and knowing his thoughts & that he knows mine.
    3) The light of gladness in my grandchildren’s eyes when they first see me come in.
    4) Seeing a friend or relative happy about something
    5) Spending time or talking on phone with my friends
    6) Completing a talk and knowing it’s well done
    7) Helping someone
    8) Having a few minutes to myself
    9) Reading a good book
    10) Listening to music
    There are so many more things that comprise happiness for me but these were the highlights.
    You brought these to mind and made me feel the happiness that the thought of these things bring.
    Kitty Wood
    Plaquemine LA

  3. Janice Strong on October 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I am a Dear Reader subscriber and read your column today. I am so glad you writing women’s f iction and that you love water, too. I find great happiness holding a new book in my hand and having the time to read it then. I also find great happiness when I find an old book, an old friend and I can peruse it again. I am looking forward to “Happiness Key” and holding it in my hands with time to read. I am retired so that time to read is easy to find.

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