Last year for Christmas, our friends gifted us a subscription to Cook's Illustrated magazine. I like the recipes just fine, and the cooking tips are marvelous. If I renew my subscription, however, it will be for the superb editorials by Christopher Kimball, a fellow Vermonter. When the first issue arrived on my doorstep, I opened it to find Kimball's "Bliss List." In the essay, he describes several of the handful of moments of absolute and perfect happiness that he has experienced in his life. That got me to thinking about some of my own blissful moments. I'll include just a couple of those here.
* It is early in the year 1978, with South Dakota in the midst of a historic winter. I open my eyes to see nothing but white outside my window. Tugging the blue quilt close around my neck, I wiggle my toes and listen. The wind rattles the window next to my bed, and the branches of the mulberry tree scratch the glass. In the middle of the night the sound would leave me paralyzed with fear, but on a weekday morning it sends a hopeful smile spreading across my face. My mother listens to the radio in the kitchen as she makes breakfast. Over the clatter of plates and pans I hear the announcer begin the school closings. Thankfully, Mother turns up the radio. Near the end of a long list I hear “Yankton Public Schools closed.” No school today! I wait for the call to breakfast and gaze at the snowflakes while I contemplate a day of snowdrifts and hot cocoa.