The Things I Love

I love walking in the woods on a warm spring day, searching for edible mushrooms.


I love my wife’s awkward smile when she’s been paid a compliment she richly deserves and doesn’t know how to respond to it.

I love reading a book from the library that both takes me to another place and teaches me something new.

I love my oldest son’s rapidly growing sense of humor.


I love watching people stretch their bodies and minds when they compete at a sport.

I love when I can make someone unexpectedly smile.

I love my daughter’s boundless creative impulses.

Hat and scarf being modeled

I love my parents’ endless giving nature.

I love the smell of lilacs.

I love the way my infant son cuddles in against me when I hold him.

Baby boy

I love seeing the faces on my closest friends when they’re thinking – or when they’re laughing.

I love the view of a winter landscape, especially ones with a trail or two of footprints across them.

There are so many things about life that I love dearly, that bring me so much joy. Almost all of these things come to me for free. Why do I need to spend money or time on accumulating more things when there are so many wonderful things already at my fingertips? Simply put, I don’t.

Life gives us more things to cherish and enjoy and love than we can ever possibly experience, and most of those things come to us with little or no cost. Step back and enjoy them instead of looking beyond them and chasing something you can never quite reach. Look at what you already have before desiring what you don’t

A few days ago, I tweeted something that I think is a very appropriate way to close this article:

Life is beautiful. Don’t ever give up on it, even when it doesn’t look all that beautiful to you.

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  1. Great point. And great photos! The happiness research tells us that we should be spending money on experiences rather than things, because the memories of great experiences are more valuable and lasting than the temporary “high” we get from “stuff.”
    -Heidi (

  2. krantcents says:

    You are describing the things that are really important in life. It certainly isn’t the things we spend our money on. It is family, memories and experiences. Most,if not all is free.

  3. Lance says:

    First off…beautiful family!

    And this post, and the things you love…well, it’s landed upon my soul today.

    Life is amazing and wonderful…especially when we take the time to really see the amazing and wonderful all around us…

  4. Tara C says:

    Cute kids!! I loved this post. As they say, the best things in life are free – hugs from my sweetheart, puppy licks, smelling flowers bloom in the springtime, watching sparkling snowflakes swirl around us in the winter. I have come to realize my true needs are very minimal.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Oh, I have to go up to my in laws place this spring to morel hunt. Yummy.

  6. Gal @ Equally Happy says:

    Great post Trent, thank you.

  7. Lex says:

    I love just hanging out with and having fun with my husband, I love eating lasagna and drinking tea and I love indian food. I love walking in the park on cold winter days and strolling on empty beaches. I love big cities and the shops and the lights. I love reading a book on my balcony as the sun sets. I love my guinea pig.

  8. mare says:

    A lot of people may find this in poor taste and offensive, but my dad and I will be clearing house now that mom has passed. It’s tough looking at all the *stuff* that fills the space when she is once again the size of a newborn; cremains fit in a shoe box.

  9. Bill says:

    @ #8 mare
    I find the thought of ‘clearing house’ after a loved one has passed is not offensive, rather a good idea. Stuff is not the person or love you had for that person, it is stuff. If someone has a actual connection to an ‘item’ give it to them and move on, the rest needs to be sold or donated to charity.

  10. katie (another katie) says:

    @8 mare -
    While I only imagine your exact grief, I can emphasize after suffering similarly sad losses. Of course you will be sad when you clean. That is only natural. But like Bill said, you’re not throwing out the memories or the love, just the actual items. You can keep a few reminders of your mom. And you can always take pictures of anything you don’t want to keep, but feel sad about parting with initially. You will feel better eventually. Best wishes to you and your dad as you go through this.

  11. Michele says:

    #8 Clearing house after the death of your mother is therapy, not offensive. Especially if you loved her, and you give her things to a charity that you love, or people who loved her. But your Mom’s cremains should be somewhere IMPORTANT. Either in consecrated land (if that’s what you believe) or somewhere significant, like, scattered in the lake near your house, or in her favorite garden, or a place you felt close to her. I will keep you in prayer that you will find peace with the death of your mom. It took me 15 years to find value in the loss of my beloved father. Some parents are not beloved, sometimes it takes longer to realize that there is value in loss, loved or not.

  12. My mom has passed 2 years ago and it is still very, very painful as she was a bright, positive, Sunshine lady whom everyone love. It hurts still when I find something she has written to me or that belonged to her.But I know that even if I discard things that were hers, it is what she taught me and the love she gave to to all around her that will live on.

  13. Monica says:

    @#8 mare – I am sorry for your loss, and I hope that the memories you have of your mom provide a bit of happiness in a tough time.

    My Grandma shared some insight about this recently. Her sister was well-off and had many beautiful things. But she rarely used them, always storing them away for “someday when I need them.” From what I understand, she wasn’t a hoarder, but wasn’t far off. When she passed away, my Grandma and my aunt were the ones to clean out her apartment. Instead of a difficult task made bearable by the memories the items brought, it was just plain a difficult task. My Grandma and aunt became almost angry at the waste caused by my great aunt’s storing things for “someday” — the items were stuffed in trash bags and little was salvageable. It was an exhausting task, as they threw bags upon bags of items away. My great-aunt passed away almost 20 years ago, but the task made an indelible impact on my Grandma. She has emphasized that when her time comes, she doesn’t want her family’s final memories of her to be that she has a ton of “useless stuff” that has to be dealt with. She wants people to be able to sort through meaningful things and share happy memories of her … like she wanted to be able to do about her sister. Stuff is just stuff, and it will still be just stuff when we die.

  14. Susanne says:

    Back to Trent’s post… I have copied the last paragraph and it is now taped to my wall over my desk as a gentle reminder of how precious life is and how much more thankful I need to be for what I already have!

    Heidi – thank you for reminding us of the value of experiences. I am raising my child with lots of experiences as opposed to stuff. I think she is happier than most kids.

  15. Karen says:

    Beautiful post. Your #1 son is turning into a handsome young man.

  16. donna says:

    Your children are just prescious! Your daughter exceptional! (i am partial to females) , sorry. I have a grand daughter! Yes, stuff is just stuff, it can’t love you back and any stuff we accumulate may well be a cry for “love” from our family and friends, that we cannot express? We need to learn to reach out and just love people (of course with respect)for moral values, but that is true love. Agape love.

  17. mare says:

    Hello, I wasn’t trying to take away from Trent’s post but reinforce it. The value in her and in her life wasn’t and isn’t in her possessions. Nor is it in those who survive. My dad and I have never understood her need to accumulate and so I was thanking Trent, in my way, for a timely posting. We have to purge my mom’s belongings and it will be therapeutic; we just wish there was so much less…that she had not put so much value in stuff…

    One of the first things I did before starting was take a video of each room as it was the last time she was in it. Someday my day will like those.

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