“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.
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