"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out -- it's the grain of sand in your shoe." That quote has been attributed to different people. Whoever said it first, isn't it the truth?

I'm thinking that the opposite may also be true. While the great elations of life are exciting and celebrated, it's the small things that make you smile that add up to happiness. We're lucky to have the Daily Press to keep the community apprised of the big stories. I'm lucky they also give me the opportunity to share some of the smaller smiles in this column.

If you've been to a City Council meeting, you know City Hall has beige walls, not a lot of light, not a lot of color. The office crew have done a lot to help by decorating for the holidays. Pink and red paper hearts dot the walls this week.

With a donation of three gallons of paint, we now have a splash of color when you come in the door. We have that same sunny green on the wall in Council Chambers. Taking the opportunity, photos of past mayors are no longer arranged in a high line-up marching down the hall. Instead, we've tried to make the photos, and more importantly, their nameplates and dates of service more accessible to our visitors. We pulled the stained, ragged turquoise chairs out of the entry - which helped a bunch!

Those who come to an event or meeting in future may never know that something changed. But those of us who live in the building pretty much every day get to smile at the update.

If you are out and about after dark in Tahlequah, you may notice that things are a bit lighter. Over time, a number of streetlights had burned out. Our good friends at Tahlequah Public Works Authority brought in crews to work after dark last week. Almost 60 lights now have new bulbs! They are going to continue working the lights, so it should continue to get lighter and brighter. Thank you, TPWA, for the smiles!

In the past couple of weeks, the Boys & Girls Club hired an individual as sports coordinator, working in conjunction with the Youth Sports League that Ward 4 City Councilor Ratliff and others have been striving to establish.

This individual has quietly started work, and the future of the Sports League is even more certain. Baseball and softball signups begin on the 17th of the month and league games will start in mid-April. Watching the efforts and dreams of this group of people develop to reality sure does make me smile.

There is so much joy in Tahlequah every day. Enjoy those smiles.

Sue Catron, former assistant vice president of Business and Finance at Northeastern State University, is mayor of Tahlequah.

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