Joy No. 37: Strikes and spares

The little guy was safely ensconced with friends, and the big guy announced we were going bowling.

Bowling? We hadn’t bowled more than once together ever, and I hadn’t gone bowling in at least a decade, but OK! We had a couple of hours to spare — ha ha.

So off we went to Big Al’s, where we got our shoes, our lane, our beer and pizza. (All we needed were monogrammed shirts and custom bowling balls.) Both of us actually hit some strikes and spares … one of us more than the other. I lost both games.

Bowling seemed so much easier than I remembered. I think it had something to do with becoming a parent. After dealing with public tantrums and other situations, it seemed like nothing to roll a ball down an aisle and knock over a few pins.

Unrelated bonus joy: cool carrot

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Joy No. 25: Early arrival

I did away with the ill-conceived Joy Meter many joys ago and declared that joy is joy. However, I must rank today’s joy the best of the week: The big guy arrived home early — EARLY — for the first time in … well … Has he ever arrived home early? (He works in the building industry.)

Thanks to the little guy, I have a photo of him arriving home and taking off his shoes, but this was taken a week or two ago when he arrived home at a later time (note the sunset colors behind him). If I hadn’t been so dumbfounded today to see him pull in early, I would have taken a photo myself showing him with a bright sunny afternoon in the background.

Joy No. 17: Unexpected survivor

We didn’t mean to kill her.¬†But after a couple of years of benign neglect, Rosie No. 1 was looking pretty punk last spring. That’s when one of us (I’m not mentioning names, but it wasn’t me) got out the hacksaw or pruning shears or something and whacked off all the non-producing or diseased branches till all that was left was a bulbous lower trunk and a couple of stems growing out of it.

It wasn’t long before another one of us rode a bicycle with training wheels over what remained of the once glorious red-flowering bush that had come with the house and, if memory serves, had been a gift from the previous owner’s grandmother.

The hacksaw-wielder then decided that there was no future to the poor bent thing and proceeded to cut off its floppy stems, placing a flat rock over whatever remains there might have been.

It didn’t take me long to notice that what once had been a good-sized rose bush was gone, and I felt a bit bad about it. We had not served it well, and coming from good rose-growing stock, I had known better.

But I am not a rose person, and I had warned the two Rosies that had come with our house that they were on their own. I only tend things I can eat. And irises. I love irises.

After the second hacksaw episode, we all figured Rosie No. 1 was done for, but I removed the rock anyway in the belief that you just never know.

Today, as the little guy — now training wheel-free — and I bicycled past the spot where Rosie No. 1 used to reign, I happened to notice a tiny something reaching triumphantly¬†toward the sky:

Baby Rose! I was practically giddy to see her there.

No longer just a rose bush, this is a survivor with more optimism than sense. That’s a nice quality. I’ll mulch her this fall and see if we can keep her around.

Joy No. 4: A flower fest

The last time I took a photo like this was probably 1996, when I was preparing to leave my teaching post in Japan. Those photos featured lilies too, and ever since then I have associated lilies with “Sayonara.”

But those lilies were pink, and these are orange, the color of, “Hi, Sweets, I’m home for the weekend!”

The zinnias and dahlias, arrived the next night with neighbors who came to dinner. The next morning, a friend brought the daisies, mums and carnations to breakfast — a belated “happy birthday” wish.

Joy Meter=10X3