A few of your favorite things

Dear lovely readers,

What makes me happy? One of you said it perfectly — reading people’s lists of things they love.

It’s been a joyful surprise for me to read about jigging for halibut, the sweet laughter from your grandkids, hiking anywhere and everywhere with your sisters, a good cup of coffee, cooking soups especially when they turn out even better than expected, brown bear tracks on the snow on a mountain in the spring, sitting with your husband on a favorite picnic rock in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, baking a pie, the smell of small wildflowers blanketing the floor of the desert in spring, the sound of the sea, drinking Earl Grey tea while watching evening snow fall, new socks, tulips emerging, and becoming obsessed with an art project.

And much to my surprise and delight, my husband Sam, who has teased me about blogging and Facebooking and twittering, came home from work yesterday with his own list. So here are some of the things that make Sam Ivey happy:

Sam Ivey on a snowy winter day here in Alaska. That's frost on his beard and along the edges of his fur hat.

  • Caribou hunting and camping with my girls — Eowyn and our two daughters.
  • Feeling connected to nature when moose hunting or when studying animal tracks/behavior on the trapline.
  • Lying in the snow on a dark night and listening to the power of the Matanuska River winds and the creaking of the trees overhead.
  • The sounds of my oldest daughter practicing her flute and singing opera pieces.
  • My 5-year-old offering to help me clean out the wood stove.
  • Late-night writing discussions with Eowyn about elements of her projects, especially plot and place. (The Snow Child was a favorite pastime.)

    Sam hunting caribou with our daughter in 2005. Notice the baby doll he's carrying on his pack.

  • The extremes of Alaska’s seasons — I love each one, but always look forward to the next.
  • Sourdough pancakes.
  • Friends and neighbors always willing to lend a helping hand, even when you need help lifting a 500-pound beam into place.
  • Singing a commonly known song with my 5-year-old daughter, using words she has invented, only to have her tell me I’m not singing it right.
  • Working on house projects.
  • Hooking a king salmon.
  • Copper river reds.
  • Cutting wood.
  • Singing in the church choir with my oldest daughter.
  • Packing moose meat out of the woods with Eowyn.



P.S. We can’t have too many happy things, so please tell me more.


  • Betsy says:

    The first cup of coffee on my deck overlooking a lake just before dawn when only the pileated woodpecker is awake.

  • Donna Braendel says:

    There’s another. Alaska guys with ice in their beards from a day in the woods in winter!

  • Nancy says:

    Working at a job I love, coming home to a place and man that I love and reading about all the happy things in other people’s lives……thanks for starting the conversation Eowyn!

  • Betty Rachel says:

    I don’t think Sam could love Alaska or his girls any more. What a touching list.

  • Christy says:

    Watching my son fish with my grandfather, sinking into the sand on the beach under a warm sun with a gentle breeze and hearing the roar of the ocean, hugs from Aunt Judy, and the light on a child’s face when they finally understand.

  • Thanks for sharing Sam’s list. I did this prompt in my teen writers group yesterday. Thanks for inspiring us!

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