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Monday Musings and Motivations — Part Thirty-Nine — Ah-h-h

I normally write these weekly posts focused around a real word, not a sound.  So many slang words have made their way into our culture, dialect and even Webster’s, but not ah-h-h.


Not a great ah-h-h.

I did Google it (seriously is there anything you can’t Google) and I found a few definitions. The Dictionary of interjections, defines it as understanding (Ah-h, yes I understand).  Urban Dictionary defines it as “the sound made after receiving sex/food.”  Another example is the sound you make when the doctor tells you to — “Open up and say ah-h-h,” whilst shining a tiny flashlight in there.

My meaning is the feel-good one (surprise, surprise) the sound you make, the feeling you have when all is right with the world.  At that time, in that moment, it’s so right and so wonderful, you emit a soul-satisfying Ah-h-h.

Things That Make You Go Ah-h-h

Ah-h-h, it’s involuntary most of the time.

A cottage in Nantucket. With an ocean nearby and an outdoor shower. Ah-h-h.

A cottage in Nantucket. With an ocean nearby and an outdoor shower. Ah-h-h.

Sometimes it is great food or sex as Urban Dictionary defines.  Or a fine wine.  Being published for the first time.  Sitting on a beach and looking at a clear blue ocean while listening to some tropical-sounding music that made me feel as if time was standing still.  Our trip to Nantucket.  Marrying hubby.

A butterfly in Woodstock, New York. Groovy ah-h-h.

A butterfly in Woodstock, New York. Groovy ah-h-h.

Then again sometimes, it’s the simplest things.  When I was on my own for a few years, I was intent on having my own stuff.  Things that were just me.  School, traveling and buying my own place were at the top of my list.  Each accomplishment brought me closer to discovering who I was, what I wanted out of this life.

Beach posts, Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Unexpected, warm and humid balmy ah-h-h.

Beach posts, Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Unexpected, warm and humid/balmy ah-h-h.

When I bought my home, I was thrilled.  That was during a time when I was so busy going to school and working, I barely had time to stay home but it was a big a-h-h moment for me when I signed those papers — when I had something that was solely me, mine.

I’d scour flea markets buying second-hand furniture and refurbish or repaint it and just delight in making my house a home.  Two sawhorses and a door became a desk.  A rickety bench, tightened, then scraped and painted a bright blue would become a sitting place near the front door.  I’d unscrewed the seat and recovered the worn material in a funky fabric.

I’d continue to pick up things here and there when I could.  One day I spotted a cast-iron  tub — the real deal — the heavy, hundred-pound kind with lion’s claw feet.  I haggled with the seller and got a great deal and with the help of the friend who’d come with me, loaded it into a truck and brought it home.  Where it sat in my garage.  I vowed one day I was going to redo my bathroom and put it in there.  I never did.  It sat in my garage and each time I’d go out to my garage to pull my car out, there it would be.  I’d sigh imagining how wonderful it would look and feel inside my home.

It looked kind of like this only it was in my garage. Anticipating ah-h-h.

It looked kind of like this only it was in my garage. Anticipating ah-h-h.

After finding out just how much it would cost to redo a bathroom, I knew I wouldn’t be able to swing it anytime soon.  My garage had four windows, across the top of it.  I made curtains for the garage door, secured a rod over the top of them and hung them up so that when the garage door was closed, there was no way any one could peer in.  A backdoor led out to the backyard — I curtained it too.  I bought a rubber bathtub stopper.

I heated water on my stovetop and pot by pot, splashed water into that tub until it was full, putting bubble bath in so that I could do it up right.  I plugged in a portable stereo (this was the 90s before iPods), brought a glass of wine out to the garage.  I had a little table, within arm’s reach, next to the tub.   The wine, books and candles lined the surface of the table.

The first time I did this, it was truly an ah-h-h experience.  I know what you’re thinking, but seriously — don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  It felt old-fashioned, glamourous, kind of artsy.  Ah-h-h.  And yeah, okay, I took a few more baths in my garage.  Don’t judge me.

I eventually sold my home and the tub.  But to this day, that memory makes me smile and I loved that me then, that woman who took risks and if she couldn’t do something one way, she’d figure out another way.  It was fun.  Bold.  Adventurous.  All kinds of ah-h-h.

That’s what I’m working on now.  Determined to experience as many ah-h-h moments as I can because seriously that’s what makes life worth living, don’t you think?

* * *

When’s the last time you had a nice ah-h-h?  (Be nice 🙂 ) Was it a place?  A person?  An event?  An accomplishment?  Becoming a mother/father?  A job?  A puppy?  A thing?  A sunset?  Think about it and please share.  

About Brigitte



86 thoughts on “Monday Musings and Motivations — Part Thirty-Nine — Ah-h-h

  1. This is why I come here, Brigitte — you’re my monday zen.
    About to buy a house myself; when that happens, it will be my ahhhhh moment. Perhaps a little different than your ah-h-h…

    Posted by mabukach | March 11, 2013, 9:32 am
    • Glad I could help you out there, M. I recommend a garage bath to celebrate the momentous occasion. Ha! Seriously though, that house thing for you and Marti — it’s the best — good luck, you two deserve such wonderful things. Happy Monday.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 9:35 am
      • As much as I like the idea of a garage bath, and how creative that is, I’m not going to tell Marti, because she will seriously want to do it, and make me fetch the water. 🙂

        Posted by mabukach | March 11, 2013, 9:37 am
      • Oh c’mon, live dangerously every once in awhile.

        Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 9:39 am
  2. This is going to sound corny — but I do get a nice ahh moment when I read your posts–

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | March 11, 2013, 9:40 am
  3. Hey, great to find you. Just love this post and my latest ah-h-h moment was finnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnalllly submitting a really tough assignment that I’ve worked my mind, heart and butt off to get done to my satisfaction.
    It is about celebrating every moment ~ whatever the context. You are more than right.

    Posted by socialbridge | March 11, 2013, 10:00 am
    • Hi Jean, welcome and thank you!! Your blog looks very warm and inviting. Those ahhh’s are some of the best — the ones you work so hard to get and are so worth it when you do. Hope you’ll visit again soon. 🙂

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 10:03 am
      • Oh I’ll definitely be back. What’s the words of the song ~’now that I’ve found what I’m looking for ~ oh, I’ll have to google that now!!!

        Posted by socialbridge | March 11, 2013, 10:05 am
  4. This weekend my partner and I helped our friend redecorate. We finished the wallpapering and moved the two new settees into position, lit candles in the new fireplace and sat down to admire our work. The place looks amazing and so relaxing. The effort really paid off. That was an ah-h moment for all of us, until me and my partner realized that our friends place looks better than ours now! 😉

    Posted by hannah meiklejohn | March 11, 2013, 10:40 am
  5. I LOVE that you used your tub in the garage! You made it work for you. How great is that? My latest ah moment? Right now. We are driving down the mountains while the sun is peeking out and it is snowing… ahhhhh,,,

    Posted by susielindau | March 11, 2013, 10:56 am
  6. I am not that much of a free spirit so I am in awe of your bathing in the garage. You go girl.
    I am having more of a waaa waa moment today. 😦 and pulling my hair out.
    But a simple ahhh moment this weekend would be having college girl home and my home full again. (smile)

    Posted by unfetteredbs | March 11, 2013, 11:20 am
    • Yes, well that was some time ago, but still. I’m sorry you’re having a trying day, Audra — I hope it gets better! Don’t pull your hair out, that sounds painful. I hope your daughter gets to come home this weekend and you have so much ah-h-h you can’t stand it. And some before then too. xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 11:48 am
      • She was home and we took her back yesterday,it was a splendid three days. 🙂 full house always makes a mom happy 🙂
        as far as my hair– ugh. Excel spreadsheets, arbitrary budgets..need I say more? oooh the agony of defeat and tears. (dramatic, yes? haa)

        Posted by unfetteredbs | March 11, 2013, 11:51 am
      • You sure you’re not Southern? We’re big on the drama.

        Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 11:52 am
      • 🙂 naa I am too much a scrappy yankee. but now if you want to talk hormones…. laughing. Thanks Brigitte for the smile. I needed it.

        Posted by unfetteredbs | March 11, 2013, 11:57 am
  7. Brilliant! I love those old tubs!

    Posted by dianasschwenk | March 11, 2013, 11:27 am
  8. Ah-h-h…xoxoM

    Posted by Margarita | March 11, 2013, 11:30 am
  9. I am on to new adventures – recently sold my house that was underwater – a great weight has been lifted and moving on:) Happy Monday!

    Posted by cravesadventure | March 11, 2013, 12:17 pm
  10. “A-h-h” is also the sacred sound of creation and manifestation – used in Japa meditation. Sounds like you found ways of creating lots of a-h-h moments for yourself. This was a great one!

    Posted by notedinnashville | March 11, 2013, 12:40 pm
    • I have and continue to do so. I did some meditation this morning and it felt very ah-h-h. Thanks and so nice to see you here.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:16 pm
      • I also meditated this morning – very a-h-h indeed. 🙂 Based on the posts I’ve read, I’m not at all surprised to learn that you meditate. You exude peace and grace.

        Posted by notedinnashville | March 11, 2013, 6:35 pm
      • I try. I have my moments but I’m learning. Peace is what I pray/ask/meditate on the most! If one has peace, one has everything. Thank you so much.

        Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:38 pm
  11. The last time? Just 90 seconds ago as I bit into a succulent grilled chicken sandwich for lunch. That first bite of something you’ve been craving? Ahhhhhh….

    Though the comedienne in me wants to say “Ahhh, Bach…” with a little Radar from MASH reference. 🙂

    Have a wonderful week Brigitte!

    Posted by runningonsober | March 11, 2013, 1:31 pm
  12. Fun post, Brigitte. Definitely Ahhh should be in the dictionary.

    Posted by char | March 11, 2013, 1:42 pm
  13. The last really big “Ahh” may have been selling our last house. That was a good feeling. And reading your blog is, indeed, a “moment of zen.” 🙂

    Posted by jmmcdowell | March 11, 2013, 2:36 pm
  14. Great post, Brigitte – off the beaten path. Things that immediately came to mind, that cause a spontaneous “Ahh…” from me… The beach, most vacations, food, sex (Though it’s been awhile) sunshine on my face (notice I didn’t say on my shoulders because I didn’t want to conjure up images of John Denver) and submerging my body into any warm water; baths, pools, oceans, whatever. I’m a water girl.
    I love this post. You never fail to astound me with your endless stream of cool ideas. 🙂

    Posted by A Gripping Life | March 11, 2013, 4:08 pm
    • Thanks, Lisa. I try, I so do. Those are all such good ah-h-h’s you’ve mentioned and some of my favorites as well. I see ALL of them in your future and better than ever. I know, baths — I just LOVE them. What a lovely thing to say — such a compliment — thank you my friend. I’ll think of something and write it on a board or if I’m in my car, I keep a pad handy. Sometimes it’s just a word and I’ll come back to it later. Thanks, Lisa. xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:21 pm
  15. Hey Brigitte, please don’t hate me, but I finally acquired my “dreamed-of” claw foot tub a couple of years ago. And every time I lay back into the warmth of the water and the bubbles, A huge “ahhh” rises out of me, unbidden. I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys theses little moments! Great post. 🙂

    Posted by Jennifer's Journal | March 11, 2013, 4:21 pm
    • Oh Jennifer!!! This is the one thing I AM GOING TO HAVE one day. Rub it in why don’t you and describe the warmth and the bubbles. 😉 Thank you for sharing and yeah, I’m jealous of your big, huge clawfoot tub. Thanks so much. 😉

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:22 pm
  16. My last Ah-h-h moments were watching my youngest dazzle his friends (and their adult parents) with card magic at my book signing and hearing that my oldest (a shy introvert) was elected by his peers to be senior patrol leader for his Boy Scouts troop. Moments where you see your kids come into their own are some of life’s finest Ah-h-h’s.

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | March 11, 2013, 4:36 pm
    • Carrie, these sound like some of the best ah-h-h’s in life. Your mini-me’s growing, learning and shining. Thank you for sharing that. I can’t wait to see your son one day on the big stage doing his magic. There’s a movie coming out with Steve Carrel about magicians that looks hilarious but I’m not sure if it’s kid appropriate. Thank you.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:24 pm
  17. My ahhh moment has got to be when I sat down and realised that no mater what crap gets thrown at me, I will be ok. 🙂 thanks for sharing x

    Posted by manty67 | March 11, 2013, 5:40 pm
  18. Italy. Filled with ah-h-h moments. My husband says he enjoyed most my reaction to every new sight and sound, catching my breath, saying ah-h-h. Very nice post Brigitte.

    Posted by Honie Briggs | March 11, 2013, 5:49 pm
    • Hey Honie — nice to see you again!! I’ll bet those are some major ah-h-h’s. Ones that we want to get to. We took our first Italian class today. We’re setting the stuff in motion so that the Universe lines things up. It’s coming — ah-h-h. ;). Thank you, my friend.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:26 pm
  19. Love your story about the bath tub in the garage. You’re awesome!

    My last ah-h-h? Giving birth to my daughter Vivian via a natural, drug free child birth. AH-H-H! So worth all the ow-w-w’s that proceeded the ah-h-h moment.

    Posted by britta326 | March 11, 2013, 5:58 pm
    • Well, thank you Britta. You’re awesome. Sometimes the most “painful” experiences are the best ones and result in ah-h-h’s of a lifetime. Thank you, Britta for sharing that and it’s so nice to see you here again.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 11, 2013, 6:27 pm
  20. life without these Ah-Ha moments is a life lived in the dark.. Sorry for reading so late today!!
    Happy Monday and great post!

    Posted by free penny press | March 11, 2013, 8:27 pm
  21. This is the time of year that my market, Fairway, has dark chocolate matzoh. I also like it in fall when they have caramel coated apples. When I first see those seasonal treats on my market’s shelves I always have an a-h-h moment.

    Obviously, Brigitte, I’m a cheap date.

    Posted by lameadventures | March 11, 2013, 8:51 pm
    • V, I’ve got a Fairway pretty close to me so I’ll have to check out those dark chocolate matzohs and caramel apples. Chocolate and caramel — well you can’t possibly not have a little a-h-h. You’re not a cheap date — you just know what you want. 😉 Thanks and have a GREAT week.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 9:27 am
  22. Just now… taking the slowest stroll with my dog down one of the most tranquil roads I know near home. It’s lined side-to-side with horses–almost as many as there are trees. It was dusk (West coast) and all the after-work cars had found their respective garages. So, it was me, the dog, the horses… and the most lovely, warm evening breeze I could imagine. I strolled and sauntered and lollygagged with nearly nothing on my mind and just the softest tickle of a breeze blowing my hair around. Ahhhhhhhh! 🙂

    Posted by Swimming In The Mud | March 11, 2013, 10:29 pm
    • Wow, that sounds so nice. I love horses — to look at them. A childhood scare keeps me from riding them but they are some of the most regal, beautiful animals and it seems as if they KNOW things. Nice you have a lovely warm breeze Sue. We are having another cold snap but at least the nights are getting longer. Sauntering, lollygagging and a breeze tickling….my, my you’ve described some pretty wonderful a-h-h-h there and with such beautiful description! Thank you.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 9:29 am
  23. I knew there was a reason why I liked you, Brigitte, and your bath in the garage proves that. Who cares if other people think it’s silly or ridiculous as long as we’re getting the greatest satisfaction out of it? 🙂
    I got a big ah-h-h moment when I finally (like, after a year *shameface*) cleaned my room and my desk from top to bottom. And then when I found out I got into the grad school of my choice, that a huge ah-h-h moment as well. As always, thank you for inspiring me with your posts and here’s to more ah-h-h moments to come in the future!

    Posted by lillianccc | March 11, 2013, 10:30 pm
  24. That’s definitely what life should be about. May you have many more of these moments, Brigitte.

    Posted by The Bumble Files | March 11, 2013, 10:40 pm
  25. I think that’s great, taking a bath in a claw foot tub no matter where it was located! I just signed the papers for my home now, previously shared with my ex. I have to admit, it filled me with a bit of fear as I was focusing on all the things that could go wrong, rather than celebrating the rights. One thing that truly fills me with ah-h-h is my hammock. It’s put away for the winter and I miss it like crazy, but when it’s warm and sunny I just lay in it, staring at the sky (sunny or starry) and float. I can get lost in my head like last weeks’ musing you posted, so anything that gives me headspace is needed!

    Posted by A Renaissance Glow | March 11, 2013, 11:07 pm
    • Wow, that sounds exciting and scary — but a good kind of scary. Those bring about some of the best ah-h-h’s there are, K. I’ll just bet you’re in store for all kinds of right! We had a hammock years ago and I so miss that. It feels great and I hope the weather warms soon and your mind is open to all the great possibilities in store for you! Thank you, K.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 9:35 am
  26. I was AHHHHHHHHHHH last night after Bikram Yoga….euphoria!

    Posted by Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher | March 12, 2013, 9:42 am
    • I bet that was from the relief of sweat not pouring off your body in buckets? Just kidding, I know you have found your thing and I think that’s so wonderful, Ruta. I never felt that ah-h-h with Bikram but I know plenty who have. I meditated yesterday and that was a lovely ah-h-h for me. Thank you and have a wonderful week.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 10:01 am
      • As long as we get an AHHHHH – it matters not what the vehicle is, right!

        Funny you mention sweating – I sweated more and reeked a whole lot more than I have done before (ok – it’s only my 4th session) – but that’s supposedly your body changing and releasing toxins. I can’t believe how stenchy my inner body must be 🙂

        Posted by Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher | March 12, 2013, 10:03 am
      • You are right. You are so funny. I remember sweat dripping in my eyes alot.

        Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 10:08 am
  27. I love the idea of you in the garage bathtub. I’m not judging, I’m jealous! I’m sure the price of the tub was worth every penny for the “Ahhhhhhs” you got out of it.

    Posted by michelleatplay | March 12, 2013, 11:13 am
  28. This is a great topic to discuss and especially to think about. Just the act of concentrating on a pleasant memory is good for you.

    I love the “ahhh” moment. I sometimes feel that when I slip into my office and am left completely up to my own devices. Before I had kids I had a hot tub, and I would begin my day in it. What a great way to start the day.

    Posted by Smaktakula | March 12, 2013, 11:37 am
    • That is true, a good memory does make one feel good, which is an ah-h-h in itself. Though I’m not a fan of hot tubs (too much maintenance for me), it sounds like a nice way to begin your day. Warm water in any capacity feels good, healing. Thanks, Smak.

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 12:34 pm
  29. My ahhh moment was this morning when the new lambs in the pasture to the front of our house were running around and bleating “maa-aa-aa give us mi-i-ilk”!

    Posted by Val | March 12, 2013, 11:56 am
    • Hi Val and welcome! That image just conjures up so much good warm fuzzy for me — I can’t describe it. I visited your beautiful blog — you are such an artist. I bet this very ah-h-h moment has inspired you more than once. Thank you!

      Posted by Brigitte | March 12, 2013, 12:37 pm
    • That’s really a beautiful one, but it makes me laugh because of a recent experience I had. I don’t live in the country (small town), so the other day when I walked out of my front door and saw two goats on my front lawn it was more of an “ah!” moment than an “ahhhhh.”

      Posted by Smaktakula | March 12, 2013, 12:40 pm
  30. Hi Bridgitte, The last time I had a great Ah-h-h is last night. I am lucky to live in San Diego and saw a great sunset. Love your blog! Have you seen a great sunset lately?

    Posted by segmation | March 13, 2013, 11:01 am
    • Hi Beth — that’s so nice. I’ve not been to San Diego. I’ve been to Malibu, LA and some other areas of CA, but I’ve heard where you are is very nice, as well as some great sunsets. You know, it has been awhile since I’ve observed a great sunset! Now that Spring is here and days are getting longer, hopefully we’ll stop having these cold snaps soon. Sunsets are better observed not shivering. 😉 Thanks and nice to see you here again!

      Posted by Brigitte | March 13, 2013, 3:17 pm
  31. Mmmm. This is tricky. I have to be boring and say it was the dentist. That and the births of my niece and nephew. But now they are heading into teens, they don’t really make me say Ahhhh, more Uggghhh.

    Posted by WomanBitesDog | March 14, 2013, 7:57 am

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