Sometimes happy things don’t have a topic

Candace Cooksey

Thursday was the first day of spring you know. It was, by the way, an absolutely, beautiful blue-sky day, I think the kind of day we should expect the first day of spring to be.

We Texans, of course, give our springs a wide range of behaviors and possibilities. We’ve built Easter snow bunnies in early April. We’ve recorded hotter than a 100-degree afternoons that same month.

This year, I think, we are particularly ready for spring. We don’t usually use up our school bad weather days for bad weather in the winter, but this year we did. And when I say bad weather, I mean bad. Ice. Ice everywhere, slicker than a … OK, let’s just say slick. You know what I mean. I don’t need to draw a picture.

I need to get this column written because I should have written it Thursday, the first day of spring, and now it’s Friday, the second day of spring and there’s just a score of things I need to get done before the sun shines. Finishing this column heads the list.

Thursday was complicated. So complicated that if we’d had tails we wouldn’t have had time to chase them.

For starters, my son’s truck is broken down. He needed a ride to work at 5:30 a.m. and after work at 2:30. He and my granddaughter are moving to a new apartment, and so we hauled loads of small stuff in the back of my car from the old to the new apartment. (I won’t even mention that the day before the first day of spring, when bringing a load to the new apartment, a guy in a big red pickup rear-ended my car.) Yeah.

Back to Thursday, my granddaughter had track then soccer practice, one right after the other, on fields that are not near each other. I had a story due, plus this column I needed to write, which by the way, I hadn’t yet thought of a topic for.

Anyway, you get the idea, I’m sure. You’ve got your own complications, I’ll bet. The bottom line on Thursday, though, is that in our own high hope, ant and the rubber tree plant way, we got it done. Well maybe not all of “it.” I didn’t get the column written. It’s not finished yet.

But let me tell you what happened. It’s a pretty happy, first night of spring thing, I think. At 9:40 p.m. I turned the key in the lock of my apartment – the same apartment I’d left that morning at 7:30, and the dishes were still in the sink, and the mail was still stacked on the table. The day’s newspaper still in its plastic wrapping. The bed unmade. (Please don’t tell my mama about any of these things.)

Well, Todd, the pointy-eared dog, was beside himself at my return. Todd has a curly tail, so he took the time to chase it. I was so happy Todd was so happy, I joined with him for a sort of dance and prance celebration, though mine was a tail-less rendition.

We went to the dog park, Todd and I, and when Todd finished what we had gone there for him to do, we looked at the half-full moon. I stroked his soft velvety but pointy ears and let as many happy thoughts as would come settle in my mind.

Lots did, actually. Family and ability to do for one another; a pointy-eared dog with a curly tail; that careless guys with big red pickups have insurance; half-full moons; and a mama who told me things among them.

Did you know Thursday was International Happy Day? It was. A list of “happy things” would make a good column, I thought, and I began to think of a few more I could mention. I knew, though, the thing that would have made me the happiest on that first night of spring, would have been to climb in my bed and “sleep the night through,” to use another phrase of my mama’s.

So that’s what I did. Yep. Washed my face, got ready for bed and – oh, I made the bed, because, like mama also always said, you sleep better when the bed’s been made.

By the time you read this, it will be the fourth day of spring and it brings promises of a million happy things. I bet you can think of at least a hundred. I suggest you try. I’d list some for you now, but, I am happy to report, my column is finished. All I really need is a topic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Candace Cooksey Fulton is a freelance writer, formerly of Brownwood, living now in San Angelo. She can be reached at