What brings you joy?

Sherry, President of The Change Companies, talks fondly about her girlhood memory of visiting Aunt Janie and handing her two clothespins at a time. Aunt Janie would pin the sheets, work shirts and other freshly washed items against the blue Oklahoma sky. The sunshine and the westerly winds would do the work, and the soft flapping of the drying clothes provided a peaceful backdrop to conversations about puppies, pancakes and other summer delights.

How can a modern clothes dryer compare to such a memory?

Why do some changes seem so cutting edge, yet disruptive to the little pleasures that define the joy of daily life? Do remote controlled toy helicopters really capture a child’s imagination any more than snub-nosed paper airplanes? Do you miss giving directions to lost motorists that include white picket fences and old red barns? I do.

Right before going to sleep, I often reflect on what makes me feel whole and happy. I conclude that it’s the same things I enjoyed when I was 10: throwing and catching a football, reading a good short story or gently rubbing the ears of a sleepy dog. This isn’t to say that all great things are antediluvian, but perhaps we all focus on changes that appear as progress or success when they bring us little additional joy. We trade something precious for something faster, slicker or easier.

What little things inspire joy in your life? Are there places or smells or activities that bring a quiet glow of serenity to the rush of your day? I’d like you to help me make a list.

And if you’re ever driving through Washoe Valley on Old Highway 395, don’t be surprised to see the billows of Sherry’s shirts and sheets hanging out to dry.