WHEN THE MAIL CARRIER arrived at my door on Friday bearing a package, I was surprised. “I didn’t order anything. Who’s it from?” I asked.
“Looks like it’s from a relative,” he said.
And then I remembered my sister-in-law’s quick phone call several days earlier requesting my address. She was running errands and had no time to chat. This box with her return address solved the mystery of that call.
Inside, I found several sweet surprises—a pillow, a book and a clutch of notecards.
My 10-year-old niece crafted a yo-yo pillow for me. Fifty-six yo-yos, tiny circles of fabric gathered at the edges and sewn into circles stitched to a pink flannel pillow. Yo-yos were, Beth wrote in an attached note, popular during the Depression. Women made them from scrap fabric (oftentimes from old clothing) and then stitched them into quilts.
As much as I appreciate the pillow, I treasure even more the words Beth typed when she entered the pillow in her county fair and then the North Dakota State Fair. She earned two blue ribbons for this 4-H project. Here’s the part that especially touched me:
I made it for my Aunt Audrey’s birthday. She loves funky stuff and vintage, so I think she’ll like this pillow.
Beth’s wrong. I don’t just like this pillow; I love it.
And I like that my dear niece and her mom, Rena, know me so well. I do, indeed, value funky and vintage.
That leads to the second gift, the book Men to Remember: How 100,000 Neighbors Made History by Kenneth D. Ruble. Land O’ Lakes Creameries, Inc. commissioned the volume published in 1947. Perfect for someone who grew up on a dairy farm.
The last item in the package—a collection of rural-themed notecards—is a fitting gift also. The cards feature the work of Michigan, North Dakota, photographer David Paukert. Titled “Spatial Odysseys,” the photo cards showcase fields, a church, a barn and more from Paukert’s “Visions of the Prairie” Collection. Prairie. That reflects me, rooted in the prairie.
These gifts from Rena and Beth arrived at the end of a difficult week. They didn’t know this, of course, because the presents were originally intended for my birthday two months ago. But the timing of the delivery couldn’t have been better. Rena and Beth blessed me not only with the items they made and chose for me, but also with their thoughtfulness, love and care.
My sister-in-law also included a quote from Mother Teresa: “…do small things with great love.”
This week, please consider ways you can bless someone. Call a friend or family member who needs your support and encouragement. Listen. Avoid “hearing without listening.” Send a card with a heartfelt handwritten note. Or a gift. Volunteer. Be kind. Show your love. In whatever way you can.
Check back tomorrow for another “blessings” post.
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling