Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Welcome Gift!

 Two kinds of gratitude: 

 the sudden kind. We feel for what we take,

the larger kind. We feel for what we give.

               Edwin Arlington Robinson

Seeing all the red decorations this time of year reminds me of a gift that was so unexpected, and how it changed one family’s outlook. It reminds me of just how much a simple gift from a stranger can have such a long-lasting effect. A gift that will never be forgotten. The gift and the timing of it were perfect.

 We were living in that cold old farmhouse, I still did not know very many of the neighbours and we were dreading the impending winter ahead. I was feeling down and sorry for myself when the phone rang. It was the "Lady on the Hill", a woman I had waved at many times on my travels but had never really talked to. She had a farm too, so I guess our paths had never really crossed. She asked how I was doing, and asked if I would be offended if she offered us a carpet she no longer needed, as she was replacing it with a new one. She had heard from others that things were not always that warm on the farm and she also had known this to be a fact, as she had known the old farmer that used to live here. He used to sleep in the barn.

 I told her I would not be offended at all, and her generosity was much appreciated.

The Lady on the Hill showed up with her pickup, and we dragged that roll of carpet into the old house and placed it in the corner. I thanked her very much. I am sure she had no idea how much this meant to me.

 My Hero came home from work, I was all excited. We finished the chores in the barn and I could not wait to roll it out. We unrolled this carpet; it was the most beautiful shade of red I had ever seen. We cut around the old wood stove and laid it in our living room. It fit perfectly, just like it had been made for that old living room.

 M was so excited; she was about two years old, she started rolling around on it loving this soft gift that was covering the cold, torn linoleum floor. Her smiles and giggles were infectious we were all so happy. M knew that this carpet was going to keep us warm through the winter; she would be able to sit on the floor if she wanted too. It was like she sensed her Mom would smile more, and was not to face this next winter worrying. Her Mom would know people (strangers) really did care. All this from a piece of red carpet, that someone was thoughtful enough to offer to us, rather than throw in the dump.

 We used that carpet for many years; we even dragged it over to the new house a couple of years later to be used on the plywood floor. A gift, that lasted for many, many years. The memory of that generosity will never end.

 A gift that did not cost any money but it was like a million dollars to someone. What are you holding on to, or going to throw out? If you think someone will need it, just ask you may be surprised at the need people hide. What is the worst that could happen? They will say no thank you.

We will never forget you and your generosity during that time. "Lady on the Hill".



  1. Why are we so afraid to offer help, as well as to ask for it? Great thoughts!

  2. Wonderful post, Buttons. How thoughtful of your neighbour! And I'm glad you didn't feel too proud to accept the gift.

  3. Great post Buttons! We have a bench outside our little local library. When I have extra things ...can goods or clothing I just set it is gone by the time I check out my books!

  4. A heart(foot)warming story!

    It is amazing what many people waste. I am so glad your neighbor shared.

  5. Love it! And love the way you write too. It feels like we're in the same room. I got carpet from my neighbor once too. I needed it. She didn't. That carpet stayed in my downstairs play room/bedroom/den whatever for probably 15 years! And I was so grateful! And red to boot. I love that! Sandra

  6. What a heart warming story. Love it.

    Cindy Bee

  7. The gift of the Magi -- this is what your story reminds me of. Loving this! :)

  8. What a lovely generous neighbour you had. Thanks for sharing this story.

  9. I love stories like this, where someone sees that another has a need and offers to fill it. God moves in such situations, although often we only see the kindly neighbor.

  10. once again, you brought tears to my eyes. a gift from so many years ago, still gifting today... :)

  11. As much as the media would tell us otherwise most human beings have big hearts and a desire share and help. We are so much more alike than we are different. Great story!

  12. What a great story. What a generous- hearted woman to offer it to you. Some people would be afraid to offend by offering. Glad that was not the case here. I hope she knows just how much you liked it.

  13. what a remarkable story. a simple and kind gesture that meant so much, and taught your daughter valuable lesson in how to treat others. beautiful...

  14. Obviously a much appreciated and useful gift. A thoughtful gesture by your neighbour!

  15. I love that photo of the birdhouse!!! I hope you and the lady on the hill were able to talk more, and share your lives, after that gift of the carpet!!

  16. oh buttons, that is the most tender story - esp. how your little one could play on the floor in the winter! And I bet she knew you appreciated it very much - how sensitive she was in bringing it to you - and how wonderful that you were also given the gift of seeing your neighbors in a new light!

    Your advice is very wise also - in Broadus there is a little recycling shed by the fairgrounds, and we take our recyclables and cans there to donate...but even better is that one corner of the shed is where you can drop off things you dont need anymore, and pick up things you need (so MANY BOOKS! :) I like the fact that even though I dont need an item or piece of furniture anymore, it doesnt get junked but brought to someone elses home(its worth the 40 mile drive in!) and theres no cost. the ultimate recycling plan...

    Great advice, friend!

  17. Another beautiful story! Living where I do, in a country with great wealth but also great poverty, we are never at a loss with finding someone who is able to put to good use any of the things we no longer need.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.