writing prompt

6 Reasons to Smile October 2018

The only sign I ever want to see again and again.

No matter what bad is happening in the world today, it is always important to find things to be grateful for and to remind yourself to seek out reasons to smile throughout every month.

I’m so grateful for so much that happened in October.  In fact, I know I have far more than six reasons to smile but I’ll narrow it down and keep this post as short as possible.

I know I smiled big in October.  Any time I get the chance to go back to my hometown in Pennsylvania, I know I will smile nonstop.  This time was no different.  I did so many things that nobody else in my family likes to do like visit gardens…ALONE.  I walked around Longwood Gardens for five glorious hours.  A few days later I went to Chanticleer Garden and spent two hours, left to eat lunch, then went back to spend three more hours.  I stopped at anything that interested me.  I stopped when I was tired.  I stopped when I needed to eat.  And I stopped to photograph whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  No whining kids.  No whining spouse.  Pure self-indulgence.


While in Pennsylvania, I saw so much wildlife.  I saw enough animals and birds to keep a tally going.  In my backyard at the AirBnb where I was staying, I saw five Cardinals, one fox, several curious squirrels, and at least four deer.  I saw five deer another day in front of my dream house and count it as a sign that I should buy the house (not really going to but it is a dream–the interior needs work but the exterior is perfection).  I also saw a total of four groundhogs over the nearly two week stay.  Yes, you read that right–I stayed in Pennsylvania for nearly two weeks. And by pure luck, I saw a Great Blue Heron.  Many of these animals I’ve never seen before despite growing up on the East Coast.

Dalessandro’s is the place for a true Philly cheesesteak–be prepared to wait.

The food I ate in Pennsylvania was also a reason to smile.  I know I shouldn’t eat a cheesesteak, a cannoli, pizza, cheesecake, anything from a diner or a pub, or Italian food but I did it anyway and washed it down with too much wine.

But I also smiled because my sister came for a visit earlier in the month.  We had some one-on-one time which is extremely rare.  I cannot recall the last time we saw each other and it was just us girls.  We had loads to talk about–from the simple and mundane like diets and exercise plans we’ve tried to the more intense like the lack of female friendships.  To make it even more smile worthy, we went to Juniper & Ivy, a restaurant in Little Italy in downtown San Diego.  It was amazing.  I loved everything I ate there and the service was impressive.

I’m the one with the incredibly fake smile, dying to eat while the food is hot.

My sister was in San Diego for a conference and when it was over, my brother-in-law and niece joined her.  What’s so fun about my niece coming to visit is that she’s still young so I was able to do a Deconstructed Party Bag Lite for her much delayed birthday celebration.  Her birthday celebration was so delayed that it ended up being her half-birthday.  Yikes.

The biggest smile came, however, when in a surprise text, my oldest daughter’s boyfriend asked for permission to marry my daughter.  Don’t think poorly of him, he had tried to call but I had my ringer off.  So, my oldest daughter is engaged.  She was so surprised as was I!  My daughter and future son-in-law will tie the knot in a little less than two years from now.  I’m all for a very long engagement.

Finally, returning to San Diego and my girls always makes me smile.

What made you smile in October?  Leave a comment below!




4 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Smile October 2018

  1. This post did make me smile, so you hit the mark!

    You used the words “pure self-indulgence.” It felt visually indulgent looking at your wonderful nature photos: trees river, sunset. One of my favorite pictures was the squirrel investigating the pumpkin. Looks like he intends to take a big bite, but I don’t know how that will work out for him! It was also very special seeing the engagement photos. I loved your fake smile too. (I’m the same. Can’t stand to eat cold food!)

    1. The squirrel was a hilarious little guy. When he first noticed the pumpkin, he was afraid of it. By the end of the day he was getting closer, and 24 hours later, I caught him actually on the pumpkin. To me it looked like he was trying to roll it away!

      At one point in my stay, I brought the pumpkin inside. I saw the squirrel standing at the tree looking for a very long time at the spot where the pumpkin had been. It was as if he were wondering where it had gone!

  2. Almost forgot to mention. I clicked to go see your dream house. WOW. I can see why you’re saying it’s perfect from the outside.

    I cannot even imagine have 9 bathrooms. I once house sat a 4-bdrm place that had five bathrooms. They were all very nice (especially the guest bathroom off the foyer) but what it boiled down to for the lucky house sitter was . . . that’s a lot of toilets to scrub!

    1. I’ve driven by the house many times. Its listing history is interesting in that it started out at $3.9 million. It is now at $1.75 million which is a steal; however, the inside needs updating. Can’t imagine what that would cost but I know someone will do a fantastic job restoring that beautiful home. I only wish that someone was me.

      Often, I fall in love with a house, and a few years later I wonder what I was thinking. I saw this house nearly 3 years ago and it still thrills me to no end.

      Perhaps one of my former selves used to live in that house!

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