Silly Happy

Blogger Theresa Barker has been posting about what she sees when she looks up (and down a bit, too). We were chatting about not noticing some things that we pass regularly and how we tend to miss seeing the same things over and over. I commented that I want to pay more attention to what is up and down and in the gaps.

That made me think of those things that I actually do see over and over and continue to appreciate. These are the things we miss when they go away.

For years I’ve been passing a house with a big cactus out in the big front lawn. It might be an organ pipe cactus. In the Sonoran Desert where we live, it can sometimes freeze at night in the winter. We usually get warnings, and then we have to cover all our flowers, flowering bushes, and cacti with sheets or other covers. Because this cactus is so large and has so many stems, there are many tips that can freeze. When I first saw this cactus it was in the winter, and each tip was covered with a styrofoam cup, which is the usual remedy.

Then the owners decided to put Santa hats on the tips, and my life was enriched. I love driving past the cactus that has been transformed into many little Santas. My face opens into a big grin.

Last year the house was vacant and being remodeled. I was worried that with a new owner, the Santa hats would be gone. It’s funny how empty I felt when I would drive past the house, thinking it was the end of an era.

But then last week the hats were back. Actually, these are new hats, not the same ones by the previous owner, and I like them even better.

I wonder if the owner realizes how happy people have been made with this simple and whimsical twist on a necessity.

Is there something that you have no control over that you see every week or every day that makes you happy? Something very small that seems to make life a little better.



Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Arizona, Flora, Garden, and Landscape, Inspiration, Writing

38 responses to “Silly Happy

  1. The santa hats are a great idea!

  2. I’m amazed how I can drive down the same street over and over and one day suddenly spot something I haven’t spotted before. It reminds me I need to open my eyes more. Be more in tune to the wonderful things around me.

  3. That sight would make me silly happy too! I did not realise you lived in such an exotic locale Luanne – You’ve made me think a neighbourhood post or blog hop might be a really fun thing to do………. In my somewhat run-down inner city urban area I love to see old houses being renovated. It shows a turning of the tide…… and if it’s happening on my street, that makes me really happy!

  4. Cute and practical. I didn’t know the cacti were vulnerable to frostbite. I didn’t think it got that cold down there. Love the Santa hat idea.

  5. I’m happy the hats are back!

  6. How fantastic, those would make me smile every day 🙂

  7. What fun, Luanne! Thanks for making me smile. Hugs.

  8. Those Santa hats are so sweet, they would make me smile each time I saw them, too! There is whimsy here and there in my neighbourhood – I would miss the trees that find themselves decorated in shiny balls each year and the large bronze laughing statues down by the sea dressed in their Santa hats if they disappeared, these small acts of whimsy enrich our worlds!

  9. My daily dog walk takes me along a creek path and I never tire of the woods it flows through or catching sight of a cardinal in the winter or ducks puddling with ducklings or even the murky brown water slowly flowing towards a bigger river downstream. I’ve seen a coyote on the path (eek!), a great blue heron fishing in the creek, clouds of starlings and crows rising from bare trees like smoke. I’ve seen branches coated in ice after an ice storm and listened to the crack of branches breaking. It never gets old. Just like a cactus in Santa hats!

  10. What a delightful sight, Santa-hatted cacti! Loved reading about this, Luanne. What makes me happy is to see sooo many cars parked at the trailhead for the Sun Mountain climb that begins just 7 minutes from my house. Every day, I see that the hike (that’s a chapter and also, represented on the cover of my guidebook) is being enjoyed by my fellow Santa Feans. What IS silly? The thought that people discovered the hike because it’s featured in my book. They would doubtless be hiking it regardless, but the thought of being the inspiration is fun.

    • Oh, what a beautiful sight, Elaine. It must be hard though knowing that you’re still healing from your accident! But think of all the people you made happy with your book!

  11. I like the observation in your last paragraph, Luanne, and how you made a simple story show something it’s good to remember.

  12. I love this story, Luanne! Little Santa hats on each arm of the cactus – I would never have thought that would occur! My dad lived in Phoenix – actually they were out in gated Gold Canyon – and in the last year or so of his life I went and stayed a few times. On my daily walks around their (planned) community I really enjoyed the variety of cacti. The landscaped areas had a ton of different kinds, the vacant to-be-built-on lots not so much, but I decided to enjoy the landscaped ones anyway. Prickly pear, saguaro, barrel, cholla – and others I couldn’t name.

    Was thinking today about how lovely and engaging your stories are. I really look forward to them. You have a gift for relating an event or a memory that makes it come alive. I was thinking of your storytelling to see if I could do something similar in a piece of writing I was doing. It didn’t end up being quite the same, but the inspiration of telling a tale that lets readers into your life made my written piece a bit better than it would have been otherwise. Thanks for being inspiring!

    Also thank you for the call-out in your blog post to my blog, very kind. I loved this response to our conversation in comments about looking up (and down)!

  13. Makes me grin, Luanne. What a sweet sight!

  14. What a wonderful story and how fantastic that the new owners bought their own santa hats in to protect the plant and perhaps they themselves may have been local and smiled each time they drove past and want to keep passing the joy on.

  15. thank you writersite
    Fantastic blog
    good luck to you

  16. Both Dave and I loved the photo! It’s a great concept to focus on things that make us smile. We need so much more of that on a regular basis.

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