While we were doing our daily texting last night — texting has replaced phone calls between me and my children — my son Mickey told me that he had green tomatoes growing on the tomato plants he had planted in his back yard.
After receiving a promise that I would receive some homegrown goodness after they were ripe, Mickey stated that he would love to plant a full size garden if he wasn’t so tired when he came home from work each day.
Of course from there the conversation turned to my mother, this amazing woman who planted and cared for a very large garden every year in spite of holding down a full-time job.
I told Mickey that, in my opinion, she could do this and enjoy doing it because it was her happy place.
She was a farmer’s daughter, and the love for sowing a crop, protecting it against weather and vermin and then reaping the bountiful rewards was a source of satisfaction for her soul.
It was her happy place.
Unfortunately, the love of farming didn’t pass down the family tree to me. Instead, I had more in common with my dad — the thrill of diving into a good book by one of my favorite authors and a passion for music, both listening to it and also making it.
A lot of reading and a lot of singing went on at our house. Dad and I loved to harmonize on songs from the paperback hymnal I still possess.
It was our happy place.
My mom enjoyed our singing but she didn’t always appreciate the time we spent with our noses firmly entrenched in books.
I still love a good read, and I thank Amazon for letting me know when any of my favorite authors have a new book coming out.
But I admit that after becoming addicted to British TV after watching every episode of “Downton Abbey,” I don’t spend the time with a book — or a kindle — in my hand like I used to do.
I feel a little guilty about allowing technology to become a substitute for using my own imagination to cast the characters in each story.
Now, here in my old age, I have definitely found one of my current favorite happy places. With iPad in hand, I can settle in my recliner, go to Youtube and just feast my ears with beautiful sounds of music, be it country, pop, classical, jazz or whatever my heart desires. And of course listening to music brings back the best happy place of all — reliving the sweet memories associated with the songs.
I can find “Stella by Starlight” and as I hear it, I’m back on the dance floor with my secret crush from high school.
As I listen to “Vaya Con Diaz” by Les Paul and Mary Ford, I recall eating hotdogs and then receiving a proposal and an engagement ring at the favorite local drive-in.
Like one of my favorite Trisha Yearwood song, “The Song Remembers When.”
Surprisingly, after thinking about happy places, I realize that the work I do at the newspaper is one of the times I’m truly happy. There is a certain satisfaction in completing a job under pressure and the relief that’s a part of it when it’s finished.
Who would have ever thought that a deadline could be a happy place?