At least once or twice a week, I drive past a home on a corner, not far from our house, that I always think of as “happy.”

The farmhouse style home features a soft, sky blue exterior, a dark green front door and shutters, white trim, white picket fencing, mature trees, and a happy (there’s that word again!) mix of flowers in a multitude of species and colors sprinkled around the property, plus a bronze or stone dog statue (presumably the owners’ breed?). The house simply makes me smile each time I drive by. Whether I’m on my way to the nearby supermarket or to a doctor’s appointment, no matter what my mood, by the time I reach the happy house, I’m anticipating the sheer and simple joy it makes me feel. I always take a quick look to drink in all the details, and see if anything has changed.

I wouldn’t say that the happy house is necessarily my dream house, but I have to believe that other drivers feel similarly, and I can only assume that the homeowners are, indeed, happy, if appearances count for anything.

I know that our own house, while in my eyes not quite attaining the same level of happiness as the official “happy” house, makes me happy … I keep a heart-shaped wreath, with a ribbon (currently orange and white polka dot) to match the season and holiday, attached to the front door, and a coordinating mini garden flag (which currently sports pumpkins and autumn leaves; by December, it will feature red winter mittens) and some type of container pots (orange mums at the moment) by the front steps. These little details simply make me happy, and I enjoy swapping them out, based on the month or holiday.

We may live in a fairly modest house, compared to some of the others in Fairfield County, and we might not be surrounded by woods, as I would prefer; but I can say with confidence that I’m definitely happiest when I’m at home, whether pulling into the driveway and admiring the front entrance or sitting on the living room couch, looking out the window and wondering if other passersby consider ours a happy house. I guess it’s all in how you look at it.