Gift Giving

I remember reading one of those newspaper advice columns about wedding gifts. This particular columnist was opposed in principle bride and grooms’ gift registries. The way she put it, the newlyweds are asking you to do their shopping for them. I’ve not forgot her advice over the years, and have to admit I’m conflicted. Often these bride and grooms to be are friends from years ago, and often one or the other is completely unknown to me. I’d rather get them something they want and can use, instead of the 5th of 7 set of steak knives they receive. On the other hand, why am I gifting someone I don’t know well enough to have any idea what they want or need?

I’m lucky enough to have some very good friends who have recently given some wonderful gifts. One was a copy of the book “Jayber Crow” by Wendell Berry. Not only did my friend suggest the title, but she was so sure I’d like the book (she was right) that she gave me the actual book. I happened to be buried in books at the time I received Jayber, so it sat for a while. In my life, there are some books I just grind through, that only provide a gem now and then. Jayber was a gem from the first page to the last. My friend knew I’d like it and like it I did.

Our neighbors to the west have been friends for decades, and have suggested countless books, many of which I’ve read and enjoyed. Several have been loans from our wonderful neighbors. Every one has not been a success, but most have been. I often marvel not only at the hours of entertainment I’ve gotten from these suggestions, but how I’ve changed for the better as a person because of them. In my experience, you can listen to someone talk and almost never be swayed by what you hear, but reading a well articulated idea wrapped in a clever story can change you down to the core.

weededThe final gift idea that really knocked me for a loop came the other day. Because of everything going on this summer, the garden has more rough edges than usual. In some cases, I had to learn how to just walk by certain areas of the garden, because I didn’t have the hour I would have needed to put it right. So imagine my shock when I walked into the garden the other day, and seeing the first 5 or 6 rows completely weeded and fluffed up. I had a lump in my throat when I first saw it, and have one now several days later as I write about it. Not a dime was spent, but I received the most thoughtful and useful gift I can ever think of. Yes indeed, I truly have some wonderful friends.

One Response to “Gift Giving”

  1. marj says:

    The leaf mulch really dresses it up.

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