What makes me smile

(The Best Socks in the Universe)

Alto2’s photo meme challenge to me involves three questions:

  • What makes you smile (other than Emma)?
  • What makes you sad?
  • What place/thing gives you peace?

I’m going to have to do this in three parts because I couldn’t limit myself to one photo for the subject of what makes me smile. Since I had to leave out Emma, I decided to leave out all other people in my life who make me smile.

There are a lot of things in life that make me smile. This is just a small, in no particular order, sampling. All photos are mine from the past year or so.

I started with The Best Socks in the Universe. They truly are the best socks in the universe. The first time I slipped them on my feet I grinned from ear to ear, loving the warmth, the fluffiness, the cushioning, the softness, the wonder of these socks. Working as a pharmacy tech, I was on my feet all day. Putting on The Best Socks in the Universe after a long day at work was pure heaven. They’re not actually called The Best Socks in the Universe (although they should be!). They’re made by Gold Toe Socks and I got them at their outlet store in Lancaster, PA.


Fireworks always make me smile, especially serendipitous fireworks. M and I frequently find ourselves wandering upon fireworks displays when we’re traveling. We’ve seen them in London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland as well as in all the places where we’ve lived: Columbia, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Huntington, West Virginia and southern Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Akron and Kent, Ohio. I’m sure we’ve lucked upon them in our travels throughout the U.S. too. Of course we always find a fireworks show to attend on the 4th of July. (M and I met on the 4th of July.)

(Turtle Beach)

Turtles sunning themselves by the side of our pond. There’s an area to one side and at the back of the pond where the turtles gather on sunny days to soak up the rays.

(The Purple Quit Fairy)

A friend sent this to me when I quit smoking. The Purple Quit Fairy helped me through many a craving.

(Hiking in Quail Hollow)

Hiking makes me smile. Perhaps it’s the endorphins kicking in from the exercise, but I think it’s because I love being outdoors at almost any time of the year.


Wildflowers, domesticated flowers, flowers that are considered weeds, any kind of flowers. I particularly enjoy our wildflower meadow near the pond. We scattered the seeds and were surprised to see them come up (we hadn’t had much luck with them in the past). The meadow changes from year to year due to all the birds it attracts. The birds eat the seeds and usually leave a few while they’re at it.


Snow almost always makes me smile. I hear they may finally be getting a decent amount of snow in the Bogs this year. It’s too bad we’ll miss it. The pond is frozen and once there’s some snow on the sledding hill, we could be having lots of fun zooming down that hill.

(Hot air balloon)

Hot air balloons fly over our home in the Bogs quite frequently when the weather is right. We’ve also seen them land nearby.


Piles and piles of unread books. Reading is another of my favorite activities. One of the things I’m enjoying most about this sabbatical is having the time to read.

(On the pond.)

Boat rides on the pond. Our pond is 1.5 acres. We have two boats: a row boat and a pedal boat. I’m better with the pedal boat than I am with the row boat (I tend to row in circles sometimes…lol!).


Festivals and celebrations of all kinds. When I was a child my parents used to take me and my siblings to the Farm Fair every summer. The first festival/fair M and I went to when we were dating was Serendipity Sunday.

(The Warhol, Pittsburgh, PA)

Play. I think this photo is a good representation of play. It’s the Silver Clouds room in the Warhol Museum. Seems to me that everyone who enters that room ends up smiling.

(Penguin at the National Aviary. Pittsburgh, PA)

Penguins!! Penguins always, always make me smile. That may well be why the first animal I learned how to draw was a penguin. 🙂

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa