Sunshine makes people happy in many areas of the world, and it's usually in short supply during the winter months in the North Country. However, there are other elements that are known to cause happiness, and the Tri-Lakes has them in abundance.
I happened to be talking to a friend who said she read that there were three things that attributed to happiness: living near water, living in a small town and socializing.
If people who live by the water are happier, well, I guess having 3,000 lakes fits that bill. Water has a calming effect, and it is also a great source of recreation.
Living in communities with a population of 5,000 people or fewer also makes you happy. Again, all three local villages are in this category. Being in a small town has its advantages. "Where everybody knows your name and they are very glad you came," is the "Cheers" theme song, but could very well be ours.
An example of how small this town is happened this weekend. I had written out my shopping list, and off I went, running around, picking up what was on the list. By the time I got to the supermarket, I lost my list and had to use my feeble memory.
The next day my daughter said, "Are you missing your shopping list?" I was surprised that she knew; she then explained, "I found it on the floor at Rite Aid." Apparently she had recognized my handwriting and picked it up.
A similar incident had happened years ago. I mailed a letter with no return address or postage, and it came back to me. I walked over to the post office to inquire how they knew to return it to me with no name on it. The postmaster said, "We recognized your handwriting." Being a lefty has its advantages, but living in a small town trumps even that.
Living in a small community makes any challenge manageable. Everyone knows everyone, and if there is a question, a need or a problem to be solved, the community comes together with the solution. The great sense of community is something you can't get in the larger towns and cities. The more people, the more lonely you can be, until you feel invisible.
Not so in our three communities, where we do a lot of socialization. Just look at our calendar in the Weekender every Thursday. It is chock-full of events such as craft fairs, films, lectures, concerts and more.
So stop thinking it's greener on the other side because it doesn't get much better than this, to be happy right here in your hometown.