Good news and a happy dance

I don't know about you, but the continual bad news of this summer is taking a toll on my mind, mood, and disposition. While I'm far from wanting to play Pollyanna, I have been craving some news that warms my heart rather than hurts it.

With that in mind, here are six happier bits of news I've been thankful for the last few days—followed by a happy dance, courtesy of Bubby:

The Olympics. When in the mood for uplifting and inspiring, nothing tops the stories of the young women and men doing what they do best and going for the gold. There's not just one good story associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics, there are hundreds, if not more. And the Opening Ceremony this evening will undoubtedly lift spirits, warm hearts—and, if you're anything like me, elicit a few tears, as well.

Miracles. There's so, so much horror and heartbreak associated with the Aurora movie-theater massacre that took place just 70 miles up the road from me; it's often just too much for me to watch, read, think about, talk about. But the incredible story of Petra Anderson, the young musician who was shot in the head but won't suffer brain damage because the bullet hit her at exactly the point of a minimal and previously undetected brain defect is absolutely worth a smile. And a fist pump. Truly miraculous.

Tickets to ride. When my grandsons left my house to return home a few weeks ago, we had no plans to visit again, which is unusual. Since Bubby's birth, there's been virtually no visit that ended without plans in the works for the next gathering—until this last time. Budgets are tight, schedules are packed, and as far as the eye could see on the calendar, even into 2013, it didn't appear I'd get any time with my boys. The other night, Jim said, "What the heck—just book it!" I now hold tickets for Jim and me to fly to see Bubby and Mac in October. THAT, to me, is great news!

Bear watching. Sure, there are lots of animal videos online to take your mind off the serious and sad stuff, but when I read of this one in the paper, it made me smile and head for the computer. Just this past week, news was that recently started live streaming footage from the high-definition webcams they set up along Alaska's Brooks River in Katmai National Park. Now folks everywhere can watch the annual rite of hundreds of black bears feasting from the largest Sockeye salmon run in the world. It's grand diversion of a different sort, so refreshing and engaging—and thrilling when you see a catch. This good news is worth sharing with the grandkids, too, who will get a kick out of the imposing bears patiently awaiting fish to come their way. (Hint: It seems to stream better when choosing the "pop-out" option.)

More streaming video. Like the aforementioned plane tickets, this one is more of a personal bit of good news. Sort of. Though I'm willing to bet someone out there is just as happy about this good news as I am. You see, Jim and I have become addicted to the (yes, rather violent) series, Breaking Bad. We've gone through the entire first four seasons in just the last couple months. Wednesday night we stayed up late and watched the final four episodes available on Netflix, then lamented being in limbo waiting for the fifth season—which started two weeks ago—to come out on DVD or be available on Netflix. We don't have cable, thus no AMC television channel on which the series airs. Then, lo and behold, I checked AMC online yesterday and, YES! Full episodes of the current season are streamed online. Very good news indeed! At least for me and Jim—and any other non-cable subscriber who can't get enough of Walt and Jesse.

Snow. Yes, I said that word again. On the very same day that I posted about snow, it appeared—in July, mind you—on Pikes Peak! Imagine that. Per the comments on that post, it's clear many of you would not consider the arrival of snow good news. But as hot and dry (and flammable and uncomfortable) as it's been the last few months where I live, news of moisture—of snow!—on the mountain overlooking my city was very good, refreshing, and smile-worthy news to me.

And now, for the promised happy dance from Bubby:

Today's question:

What recent good news—personal or public—elicited from you a happy dance?

This post linked to the Saturday Sharefest.