Friday, April 21, 2006

Tag - I'm it.

I've been tagged by dear Nic over at Nic's Place. I don't believe I've ever played tag on the internet, but I think I can get used to this!

Anyway, here's the tag:

Name ten of life's simple pleasures that you like most, then pick ten people to do the same. Try to be original and creative and not to use things that someone else has already used.

That’s not too easy, but I'll try. These are in no particular order. I just went with the stream of conciousness thing.

1. Breathing. Really. I’ve suffered allergies on and off my entire life, and when I go a stretch without major allergies bothering me, the simple pleasure of taking air into my nostrils without being congested or plugged is just wonderful.

2. Sitting on a high ridge somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, usually somewhere in Hope Valley on Hwy 88, on a clear, cool day, with a breathtaking vista below, and just watching. I can sit quietly for a long time, and just listen to the silence and watch the scenery unfold with pristine stillness. Sometimes I can actually hear that movie-like eagle screech in the distance.

3. I like to spend time with my kids. Granted, they are getting older (my eldest, of course, is already living in her own place), so they sort of have lives of their own, and they are busy doing things with friends; but just having them in the home, knowing they will be there, sleeping in their room, eating my food, flushing my toilets (hahah you get my point!) is a joy. I miss them when they are at their mom’s, as I’m sure she misses them when they are with me.

4. I love to sing. God blessed me with a pretty decent voice, and a fair sense of timing, and I like to use the gift every chance I get. I sing mainly at church, because I prefer to sing music that has meaning and passion behind. There is non-Christian music which I enjoy, don’t get me wrong, but the joy in singing for me is in praising God and ministering through music.

5. I love music. Now, this is different from #4 because #4 deals with the specific act of getting up in front of people and sharing my talent. #5 here deals with the fact that I can get lost in listening to music. I love all types, as long as it’s joyful, loving, kind, and uplifting. I love thundering rock anthems; screeching, speed-burning guitar solos; soaring orchestras and weeping concertos; silky R&B or smoky blues; I love it all, honest. The only caveat I have is that the music must be uplifting, meaningful, honest – in short, it must have a good attitude. That does eliminate a lot of music for me, but that’s ok, there’s plenty left on the “right” side to enjoy.

6. Reading a good book. I usually do my reading at night before I go to bed. I go curl up in bed, prop up the pillows, and read to my heart’s content, and often to my detriment, since I’m usually up far to late for my own good. I’m a sci-fi junkie, but very picky about my sci-fi. I’m currently going through all of Peter Hamilton’s books. I don’t like fantasy – yucko – but I prefer hard sci-fi, with spaceships and lasers and aliens set in a distant future. I also enjoy political thrillers and the occasional scary story, a la Dean Koontz or Steven King. Religious books are also a favorite, such as book I recently finished titled A Scandalous Freedom. Reading the different ideas about Christianity, how different people view it and put it into practice is usually good food for thought.

7. My parents. I try to go to breakfast with my dad once a week. He turns 80 at the end of this month. I get so much out of talking to him. We usually try to solve all the world’s problems over eggs and at least 2 pots of coffee at Denny’s. We’ve been doing breakfast pretty regular for about 5 years now. I know he looks forward to it, and so do I. The true beauty of seeing each other so often though is in knowing I’ve said everything to him that I’ve ever felt I needed to say. One day, in the not terribly distant future, my dad will pass away. I’ll have no regrets.

I’ve also gotten to know my mom much better. She’s also getting older, and the same concerns loom as for my father – in the not to distant future, she will pass away. But we’ve gotten to talk to so much, and told each other so many things that again, I’ll have no regrets. I’ll miss them terribly, of course, but I’ll be OK with it when it happens. They have both been the bedrocks and foundations of my life, and because of them I’ve always known the meaning of unconditional love.

8. This goes hand in hand with #2 – camping and fishing. Now, I’m not a “good” camper or fisherman yet. I’m still experimenting with tents and campgrounds and equipment, but I love getting outside and enjoying the semi-wilderness. I usually camp in developed campgrounds in the Sierras, or along the California coast. I love SLEEPING outside in my tent. My favorite part of the day while camping is crawling into bed, and (see #6 above) reading the book I always bring along, for as late as I want. Curling down in my sleeping bag, bundled up against the cold, I usually sleep like a baby. I haven’t gotten to GO camping in recent years as much as I’d like, but I plan to remedy that.

9. I used to take simple attendance at church for granted. Since for the last 4 years I had to work Sundays, I don’t take Sunday’s for granted anymore. The simple joy of sitting down and worshipping with fellow believers is a privilege I won’t ignore again.

10. Coffee. I love the smell of coffee brewing. I love coffee in just about all forms – as a drink, candy, ice cream, rolls, whatever. I just love my coffee. The best part of coffee, though, would be someone to wake up in the morning and share it with. The Good Lord will work on that in His time, but until then, I’ll keep the second cup clean and dry.

Hmmm.. .I had more to say on that than I thought!

5 comments:

Nic said...

Great list Mike! I love to read other's simple pleasures b/c it makes one see what others enjoy and recognize that in their own life. Thanks for participating!!!

sage said...

You have a good list here. I just posted my at the request of someone else. I miss the Sierras--I just read a book by Paul Willis titled "Bright Shoots of Everlastingsness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild." As one who worked several years as a guide in the SIerra's and Cascades, his writing took me back to some of those favorite places.

Mike J. said...

I might have too get ahold of that book!

Nettie said...

I totally agree with number one-most people take it for granted, eh?

Buddy Larsen said...

I loved what you said about your mom and dad and your kids.