This ‘simple-minded’ girl enjoys life’s simplest pleasures

Published 9:25 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

Maybe, I’m just simple minded.

That thought came bubbling up to me as I was getting the dishwater ready. ­­

I squirted a glob of Joy into the dishwater and a hundred bubbles, not much bigger than a pinhead, came floating up and simply filled my heart with — ‘joy.’

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I stood mesmerized as the tiny bubbles of rainbow colors popped, one by one, until there were none.

My son came in the kitchen and caught me smiling to myself.

When you get to be my age, you have to be very careful of the things you do. If you appear a little odd and repeat yourself too many times, well, they have places for folks like that.

“I was just smiling at these soap bubbles,” I said realizing as soon as the words came out of my mouth that they had not come out the “right” way.

My son glanced at the dishpan, nodded very accommodatingly and made his way out the door.

I could have told him about blowing soap bubbles through the lid of a Mason jar and the joy of Mama buying me a bottle of soap bubbles with a magic wand at the dime store. But, then, he would have thought that odd, too.

A friend gave me a wooden carved plaque with a little girl hanging by her heels from a tree limb. It reads, “Remember how simple life used to be.”

I think of that often when I have the urge to lie on my back in the middle of the pasture and watch the clouds float by or the stars twinkling at night. Or, when I want to take off my shoes and walk barefoot along a sandy road or catch tadpoles in the shallow water of the fishpond.

It’s been a long time since I made a mud pie or a frog house or took a ride on a little sapling’ tree or sipped the nectar from the honeysuckle vine or dusted my nose with a buttercup.

I can’t remember the last time I made a sandcastle or whittled a stick away or dug a tunnel in the dirt or wrote my name in the dirt. But I remember doodling a bug and tying a string on a June bug’s leg and catching lightning bugs in a jar.

As I stood there washing the dishes, those memories stirred so familiar in my mind, it was as if I were a child again, pulling back that sapling, straddling it and then lifting my feet and flinging myself into the air.

I put down the dishrag, grabbed a “table spoon” and walked out the door because another memory was beckoning me. How long had it been since I’d dug for worms or hunted under rocks for crickets?

I dug around in a shady spot until I found a wiggler, not a big one, but a wiggler nonetheless. Under a rock, I found a cricket or two. That was barely enough to satisfy my childhood fantasy. But, it would have to do.


I was driving along a sandy country and spied, for the first time this spring, a stand of Billy goat grass. I slowed enough to see that it wasn’t the thin stringy kind that’s so bitter it will turn your mouth inside out, but the fat juicy kind that is nature’s own “sweet tart.”

I couldn’t help what my leg did. It did a knee jerk and my foot came back down on the brake and Maybell’s bumper nosed up sand.

There I was on that lonely stretch of dirt road and the only sounds were the cawing of a crow and the chatter of finches. I bailed out of the car and searched for the fattest of the fat pieces of Billy goat grass, broke them off, pulled off my shoes and sat there by the roadside wiggling my toes in the sandy road and chewing on the sweetest Billy goat grass this side of heaven.

The simply things in life are the best things in life. At least, that’s the way I see it.

And, if anybody saw me sampling the simple things, they might think it odd that I would do such a thing. That worries me a bit because there are places for people who do things like that.

Jaine Treadwell is features editor of The Messenger. You can reach her at