The Love List

100 things I love – a not-exhaustive list.

A cup of coffee in a quiet house, before anyone else wakes up.

The sound birds make just before dawn.


A breeze on a hot day


Coming over a hill and seeing the ocean.

A crisp, sour apple. 

Lemon drops

Dark chocolate with sea salt on it. 

The brief gasp you make when coming in from a hot humid day and the air conditioning hits you

The way my muscles ache after a long walk – not exhausted, but pleasantly stretched and filled with the sense that I did something

Women vocalists

A perfectly done medium rare ribeye steak, cooked over charcoal

A baked sweet potato with butter, and nothing else

Waffle House

Carolina Beach, NC

The smell of a freshly blown out candle

The sound of the Pacific Ocean crashing on the rocks

Falling asleep to the sound of ocean surf

A date night that includes a bookstore

A Diet Coke with cherry syrup in it from Sonic

A freshly made bed

The smell of freshly ground coffee

The smell of fresh cut grass

Sitting on the front porch during a thunderstorm

A long hardwood floor hallway

Plum jelly

Strawberry preserves

A hot biscuit with melted butter dripping from it

Cats – all of them

A long, slow meal with friends

Cooking for people I love

The way my friend Brian runs his hand up and down my back when he hugs me. 

Orange daylilies

Deep burgundy roses


Any room with a wall of book-filled shelves

The act of sharpening my pocket knife. It always reminds me of Dad. 

Going for a walk immediately after a rainstorm. 

Our neighborhood

My city

The smell of lavender

Gardenias in bloom

Southern Magnolias in bloom

A good all-beef hotdog, with chili and cheese and yellow mustard.

A pond full of goldfish

Watching birds bath on the edge of a pond.

Walking into an office supply store. 

Seeing the dust motes dance in the sunlight streaming into a dark room

Button mushrooms sauteed in butter

The movie Harvey

When you go to a Mexican restaurant, and they bring you chips and salsa, and the chips are still warm.

Murder She Wrote

Pulp mystery novels from the 1920’s-40’s. 

How Renee has every card or note I have ever given her over the last 17 years


Anthropomorphic animal illustrations

Large bodies of water

The southern Appalachian mountains

Tart, cold lemonade

The way my daddy would fry potatoes and onions in a cast iron skillet

The way Dad would answer my “Hey, Daddy?” with “Hey son.”

As a small child, when I would wake up it and would be foggy, and Dad would say it was froggy outside.

Sitting in a dark quiet bar, around 4:30 in the afternoon, with a pint of draft Stout 

The sound of rain on a metal roof

Walking alone in a strange city

A long, hot shower

Implicit affirmations

Feeling known

Thick crisp bacon

Cut flowers

That people like to read things I wrote – it blows my mind, but I love it.

Sipping a Cafe Mocha while browsing a bookstore

A long solo road trip

Facebook memories (but not Facebook)

Family pictures

Watching children play

Watching birds scratch in piles of dried leaves

My sage green Fiestaware coffee mug

Cooking on a gas range

Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream

Earth-tone colored clothes

Being early

Oreos and ice-cold milk

A raucous cottage-garden flower border

Being asked for my opinion

Watching someone I trained thrive.

Being trusted with someone’s stories

Clothing without logos

Long vistas

The sound a canebrake makes when the wind blows.

Accent lighting


Handmade quilts

Boiled cookies

Live oak trees – bonus points if there is Spanish moss

People talking about things they are into

Inside jokes

A fire in a fireplace on a cold day

Me. Finally, at long last, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary – me.

What about you?

What are things you love?

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One thought on “The Love List”

  1. All of these except for chickens. I had to collect eggs as a child. Hens are very protective. As for anthropomorphic animal illustrations, here are my son’s:
    Thanks Hugh for the great list.

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