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John Eggers: What makes you happy?

Have you noticed the myriad of energy and health drinks in your local grocery store? I recently purchased a bottle of zero calorie Steaz and on the inside of the cap it said, “I am happy.”

If everything that we bought had a positive message on the inside of the package similar to “I am happy”, people would feel differently. That little message got me thinking about why I am happy.

I am happy that I don’t have to drive one of those huge snowplows that we have been seeing recently on our highways since the snowfall. That’s dangerous work. I am sure if I were the driver, I would wipe out every mailbox in Beltrami County. I don’t envy those people going out on snowy evenings or early in the mornings to plow our roads so everyone can get to work. Someone ought to give them a medal.

I am happy that I don’t have to wash dishes in a restaurant. That’s another group of people who should get a medal. If no one wanted to wash dishes you and I wouldn’t have the pleasure of eating out. Maybe someday they will get robots to do all of that work.

I am happy that I still have the strength and energy and will power to haul oak logs up a flight of stairs every other day to put in our fireplace. There is something about burning wood that is very satisfying. There’s nothing like good manual labor to heal a soul. I’m sorry I would never feel that way if I had to wash dishes.

I am happy that I can look out my office window daily and see lots of birds at the feeder. I am especially happy to see that my Rufous-sided Towhee is still around and has not succumbed to our cold weather. The towhee is black above and on the breast, with warm rufous or orange color sides and white on the belly. It is rare to see a towhee this far north in the winter. I hope he/she can make it – only a couple of months to go.

I am happy that we finally got some snow for all of the skiers and snowmobilers. We need a lot more to raise our lakes and ponds to their normal levels as well as to water our earth. This climate change has become a problem and deserves our attention. No doubt in the future we will see more Rufous-sided Towhees and Cardinals stay the yearround. Will that be good or bad?

I am happy to see our dog, Simon, romp in the snow. He especially likes to climb at the very top of the drifts to get a better view of things. When all of this snow melts he is going to have a fun spring wading in puddles and ponds – just what makes a golden retriever happiest.

I am happy that the football season is over. Boy am I happy about that! These sports’ seasons have gotten too long. Now everyone can get out and enjoy their Sundays without having to see another football game. I can just take so much of those ranting coaches, football players dancing in the end zone and close ups of tattoos.

I am happy that Valentine’s Day is almost here and I can make a card for my wife and take her out to dinner or maybe, make her a dinner. Valentine’s Day is a good day. I hope you get a Valentine or two or three.

I am happy to see the streets of downtown Bemidji full of cars.

I am happy to see all of those little houses on Lake Bemidji. Lots of people are having lots of fun.

I am happy to see the attention Bemidji pays to people who are ill, who have big medical bills and who are in our nursing homes.

I am happy to see so many kids involved in so many activities outside of school.

I am happy to see drivers going slow on snowy, icy roads.

I am happy to see snow covered fields and meadows and ponds and trees that make northern Minnesota look like northern Minnesota.

I am happy to see a good movie.

I am happy to see new businesses thrive.

I am happy to see students go to college and stay in college until they graduate.

I am happy to see my wife attend her physical therapy sessions.

I am happy to see that our students have a variety of excellent schools to choose from including charter schools, parochial schools, alternative schools and public schools. The same is true of our higher education offerings in this area. Let’s not forget our Tribal Colleges.

I am most happy to see so many people praying for my niece who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.

That message on the bottom side of that bottle cap was right, “I am happy.” So, what are you happy about?


JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.