Happy ◊ Happy ◊ Happy

Happy, Happy, Happy!” What makes you happy in a given day? I suppose there can be as many answers for that question, as there are people, in all forms and feelings.

Life can be heavy at times, but it’s the light, fun, happy times we remember the most ― the people, places and events that warm our hearts and bring smiles to our faces.  It doesn’t take much and a lot is not required to make you happy. Most of the time, it’s a simple moment during an ordinary event that makes you the happiest. 

One of those times happened for me many years ago, when I was little. It was a happy, funny event with my grandparents and cousins. We rode out to Grandpop’s boat to do some routine maintenance, while the tide was going out. It was time to copper paint the bottom of it, while tied up close to shore. Actually, it was my grandmother, who would be painting it, as my grandfather, with a history of respiratory problems, was frail and not as tough as he used to be.

Grandmom was a strong, big woman, about 5’10”, and Grandpop, with a smaller frame, was much thinner. They were a happy couple in their golden years ― similar to Ma and Pa Kettle.

Grandpop and Grandmom

Personal Photo – Grandpop and Grandmom © Pat Ruppel


She was equipped for this annual, summer event with her used, stubbed paintbrush and can of copper paint.  Decked out in her working house dress, old loafers and hair tied up in a bandana, we were ready to go!

When we arrived, the seven of us bounded out and wandered down the bank while the adults unloaded for the task at hand. We wanted to check for any fiddler crabs or periwinkle in the weeds along the shore. They’re a type of marine snail that lives in cone-shaped, whorled shells.

Things were set up and ready to go.  Grandmom wanted to get us settled before she started. She didn’t want to stop in the middle of painting to tend to us and wanted to be sure we would be secure and safe. So, she set out splitting us in two skiffs to tie to poles a little from shore where there was still tidewater. We would be contained and could occupy ourselves crabbing with a line and sinker with the water less than waist-high.

To maneuver and transfer us from one boat to the next, she put one foot in one skiff and the other foot in the second skiff alongside to steady them. In the midst of the shuffle with us transferring from one boat to the next, it was getting harder for Grandmom to hold the two boats together. They started to drift apart and her legs stretched as far as they could go.

She couldn’t hold on any longer and all of a sudden we saw her legs fly up in the air and the rest of her land with a thud in shallow water. It was a sight to behold seeing her, knees up, stuck in shallow mud and water. She started laughing and the rest of us chimed in until our sides hurt. Seeing the whole thing unfold from shore, Grandpop laughed so hard he almost fell in the water.

Needless to say, the copper painting would have to wait for one more day. Even now, as I tell this story, I have to chuckle as the scene plays back in my mind. They were happy, happy, happy times. How about you? Do you have any of those times you remember that bring up a laugh as you recall them? I’d love to hear them.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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9 thoughts on “Happy ◊ Happy ◊ Happy

    • Thank you Susan. I’m glad you enjoyed and it brought back some happy memories. It still makes me crack-up when I think of that story. I loved them dearly and miss them everyday. They were some of the best days of my life. 🙂

  1. When we would visit, my grandmother would take my mother and I on a walk through her yard. We stopped and talked about every single flower, what it was, what she did to help it grow successfully and more than anything, about life. It was always quiet, calm and healing. After she passed, my mother and I started take walks through our own yard to talk about things. Now when I visit my mom, dad, husband and I take the same walk and look at (usually the same) flowers. She came to visit me recently, and we all walked around my yard. The other day my cousin came by for a visit. I asked her “would you like to take a walk around yard?” She smiled and said she did. We talked about everything under the sun. My mother-in-law has even picked up the tradition, often walking around the yard with both my husband and I. 🙂

    • Beautiful and touching story, Michelle. What a lovely memory of your grandmother. I bet she didn’t know she was starting a tradition so long ago but I bet she did know the love and connection she felt with all of you as you walked and talked around the yard.

      Thank you for sharing. I loved it and now have a picture of it in my mind. 🙂

    • Thank you, Elizabeth, I’m happy you enjoyed it. It sounds like you had great memories with your grandmother too. You’re lucky you had her with you as long as you did (2001) but now she’s even closer in spirit. 🙂

  2. Unfortunately, I never knew either of my grandmothers…both died before I was born. However, I have fond memories of my paternal grandfather who lived with us. He kept a trunk in his room filled with treasures…my favorite memory is of grandpa and I looking at photographs through a machine that he cranked with a handle…I have no idea what it was called but I remember it. I also recall sitting at grandpa’s feet when he sat in the rocking chair and enjoying the smell of his pipe tobacco. Thanks for sharing your funny story Pat…it gave me a good laugh!

    • Hi Bev – I’m happy you stopped by and enjoyed the story. I loved hearing about your grandpa and your favorite memory of looking at photographs together. Doesn’t it warm your heart to have had those special people in your life? You can almost smell the pipe tobacco.

      Thank you, my friend, for sharing. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Happy Happy Happy ~ Guest Post by Pat Ruppel | A Selection of Recollections

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