On the beat

What makes you happy and smile?

By Jim Bucher

Have you ever heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression? Well, it seems to happen every year at this time. You know, grey and gloomy skies ‘til around May.

So, to compensate for this disorder, what we really need is a generous dose of good news, fun thoughts and things that make us happy, if you will.

Just think, if we could wrap ourselves up in all the happy things in life, we’d turn the winter blahs into cold weather ha-ha’s.

Let us begin …

You know what cheers me up is a delicious, mouth-watering steak from the Pine Club. People come from all over to savor a meal at this longtime Dayton tradition. It also makes me happy. And a Pine Club burger to go is a guaranteed warm feeling and a smile.

Skating at Riverscape MetroPark Ice Rink is a surefire picker-upper (unless you can’t skate, and it’s a faller-downer). What a great way to melt that freezing cold feeling than to glide along on freezing cold ice. No, I mean it. It’s a great feeling of freedom with not a care in the world, especially when it’s not too crowded.

Another thing that makes me happy when it’s “baby, it’s cold” outside is a hot, blazing fire in the living room. The problem is, I don’t have a fireplace. Seriously, a fire going, some jazz music while writing my weekly Dayton City Paper column and my dog Ella and cat Tinkerbelle snuggled next to me. It doesn’t get any happier than that.

It’s the little things, too, like a hot bowl of soup or a Cassano’s thin crust deluxe pizza.

Speaking of, people that haven’t grown up here – folks from Chicago or New York – can’t understand how we Daytonians love the thin crust pizza cut into squares, especially with the deep dish types they’re used to. Well, all I can say is, it’s a Dayton thing and if you haven’t called the area home for a bit, then there’s no way to explain it. But if you are locally grown, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Makes me happy, how about you?

An old “Three Stooges” black-and-white film is always good for a smile and a laugh. No offense to Shemp, but Curley is funniest.

Buy one/get one coupons in the mail, online or via text, for anything and everything, are always good.

Filling up the gas tank right before it goes up 30 cents is always good for some smiles.

Around Christmastime my credit union offers a “skip-a-payment” for my automobile loan. This is pure joy.

Making all the traffic lights on the way to school or work always brings a sense of happiness. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s awesome.

Watching old movies on TV is another good one for me.

The French fries in the bottom of the sack. You know, when you’re still a little bit hungry after eating your meal and you get those as an added bonus. That’s always good for a smile.

Tax refund checks – this is more of a euphoric feeling. I know, I know … the experts tell you to withhold more money from your paycheck because the government just holds on to it, but there’s nothing like receiving a refund. Pure fun.

A sense of accomplishment after cleaning the house, when it has that clean hotel smell and a freshly mopped, sparkling floor.

A pet’s unconditional love.

The kids coming home from school with A’s and B’s on their report cards. This is good for many, many smiles. (Alas, it doesn’t happen too often, though.)

Talking with an old friend, catching up and picking up the conversation where you left off six months ago. Even though you don’t stay in touch as much as you would like, a smile is always there when you do.

I still get excited when the mail comes, especially if a check shows up.

A “refreshing of the soul” feeling after leaving church. This is not so much a smile, but you just feel good.

Watching it snow outside while you’re inside a warm and toasty home. Seeing an old home get rehabbed is a sure smile. New jobs coming to the area are yet another smile. Emceeing events, which always brings a smile to me and – hopefully, if all goes right – to the audience, also.

Seeing a show at the Victoria, Schuster or The Loft makes for a smile. A great lunch with friends always makes for lots of laughs.

Counting my blessings, which I should do more of, always brings a smile or two.

Getting my Dayton City Paper column in on time. (Wait, this is more a smile on the face of my editor, Kyle. Well, that counts, too.)

So, let me hear from you. What makes you smile? What gets you in a great mood like no other?

I hope your list of things includes my column, right here every week.





P.S. Kyle is smiling now ‘cause it’s in on time.

For more than 25 years, “Buch” has been a local television icon. Known and loved by thousands in the Miami Valley, his followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and a role model. When it comes to promoting your business, Buch has the ability to grab your customer’s attention. Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.


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Jim Bucher
For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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