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What I learned from dying: Joys all around

Dave Taylor

By Dave Taylor 

I’m blessed. I’m blessed far beyond anything I could ever imagine or deserve. These were my thoughts as I drove home from Louisville Monday after dropping off some parts to the guy who’s working on my 54 Beetle.

I’d just come from seeing the progress he’d made on welding up my rusty Bug and I was thinking about how just seeing the newly massaged body was beautiful to me and how it was one of life’s little joys.

Then I realized there are lots of small joys in my life if I pay enough attention to them. Some are big, some are little, some are serious and some are silly, but all bring me joy.

Hearing my wife sing her little made up songs is one of my favorite things. She’ll sing about going to the store or waking up in the morning and every time it brings me joy.

Although it’s very rare, I love it when my turn signals sync up with the beat of the song I’m listening to. I wish that would happen more often.

When my dog falls asleep on his back and his little paws are stuck up in the air. It’s undeniably cute.

The feeling of perfectly centering the ball on the bat and hitting a homerun. This one doesn’t happen any more, sadly.

The sun setting over the Ohio River, as seen from the bridge. No matter how bad I’m feeling or how jaded I am by the world, driving over that bridge and seeing the river below is always a joy, especially if it’s lighted by the setting sun.

Almost any building by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, especially the Edith Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill. The use of glass and steel and long, flat roofs gets me every time.

When the toilet paper roll is perfectly round and perfectly balanced. It makes me want to unroll the whole dang thing.

The feel and look of leather as it wrinkles under my touch. I’ve been a fan of leather ever since I was a kid when I begged my grandmother to make some leather pajamas for me.

The smell of brand new electronics. I don’t know what it is about it but it just smells like something good is about to happen. Followed closely by the smell of new carpet and the smell of new shoes.

Steam as it rises off a body of water early in the morning. I don’t know what it is about watching the steam get burned off the water but it makes me want to stand there and watch it all morning, which I never am able to do.

The loving look of a lifelong friend. I’m very thankful to have seen this a lot lately because I’ve had lots of lifelong friends who have made it a point to spend time with me and invariably we share some kind of short, but meaningful, look that says they care about me. It’s so nice.

Sitting under a metal roof during a rainstorm.

Actual high speed internet. I never see this in Hancock County but I’ve experienced it elsewhere and it always sends me into fits trying to download everything I can and testing how long things take to open.

There are plenty more but I’ll spare you the list.

Life is beautiful. It’s full of love, beauty and joy. Take advantage of it while there’s still time.


  1. Sandra McKeehan on July 13, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    This has touched me more than any other. Isn’t it odd that we enjoy life more at the end. We find pleasure in the smallest things. I am a former student of Regina Catlett. Odd to say since I am 62. I’ve been following you for months now. Thank you for seeing the beauty of this life from someone who has a hard time seeing those same things even in Florida. You, my new friend, have found your purpose. Thank you and God speed.

  2. Melynda on July 15, 2022 at 12:08 am

    LIVE THIS, Dave.

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