I know what you're thinking - not only is this a long story (which I hope you read to the end), but you're also thinking I've gotten the title all wrong. Well, I really don't. There is a method to my strawberry blonde madness sometimes. I've been thinking about this story for a few weeks now and decided it's time to share. Maybe it's because of the upcoming holidays, or the devastation so many folks have found themselves dealing with after the storms in the East. Maybe it's because we've recently found ourselves on the receiving end of a generous gift which I will always be thankful for. Let me give you a few definitions via Merriam-Webster. According to M-W, the word gift is, among several definitions, "Something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation," and, "the act, right, or power of giving." Receive is, "To come into possession of : acquire <receive a gift>." Therefore, the gift of receiving is to acquire or come into possession of a gift which has been voluntarily transferred by one person to another. Following me? I knew you would. Welcome to my world.
You see, we've had a few months of Murphy's Law around here. I thought hay prices and needing to find enough to get us through winter was nerve wracking! Around the last of September we found ourselves without water due to the pump that's waaaaay down at the bottom of the well giving out. Not a cheap fix, but water is one of those little necessities, so it had to be fixed...pronto. Then came early October and we found ourselves with a broken refrigerator. Mid-October came around and the washing machine died. We were fortunate to find a nice used refrigerator and brought it home, only to find it was on it's last legs. That meant broken refrigerator #2 in the kitchen. It also meant putting what we absolutely had to keep cold back in a cooler with ice. I tried to give myself the 'ole, "This too shall pass," pep talk, and convince myself that it was like camping without the tents. Even so, it was getting a bit discouraging with the broken appliances and the thought of what we had just paid for a new well pump and used refrigerator.
Now let me tell you, Hon and I are givers, doing what we can when we can for folks, regardless of the time of year, but being on the receiving end when in need is a new thing for us. Oh sure, we've had wonderful friends help us with lots of things over the years, and we are truly grateful, but what I'm talking about in this story has to do with gifting one's possessions. I've met so many wonderful people over the years through the internet. I've even been fortunate to meet some of those folks in person, thoroughly enjoying my visits. I met this one woman on-line not too long ago, and was fortunate to meet her face-to-face in September. She's such a creative soul, and someone I have truly enjoyed sharing some time with. Now that woman saw a post I had made about all the things breaking around here, and my fussing and worrying over what to do. She also gave me a call on a Friday night and said she had a refrigerator in her garage that worked well that she wasn't using. Being a person that's not really been on the receiving end of things like this before, and being an occasional knucklehead, I told her I really appreciated it, but we'd figure something out. Besides, she lives two hours away. I couldn't help but think of the inconvenience she would have getting it here, even though she happily volunteered to bring it and visit. Well, we bantered back and forth in our conversation - me telling her it was getting dark, her saying she could have that fridge here in a couple of hours, that she didn't want us to go without even one day longer; me telling her it's going to rain, her telling me she and her other half would wrap it in a tarp... Finally I decided she was right. I needed to suck it up and take her up on her generosity. I just didn't know what to think, being offered such a gift from far away.
This kind woman and her other half brought us that refrigerator to us at night, in the rain, in the wind. I fretted over them driving in the weather, feeling guilty about it. Then when they got here with it all my worries melted away. Hon and her other half brought that refrigerator in and when I saw it I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. She even brought a little mini refrigerator for us to keep our vaccines and other livestock medicines needing to be kept cool in, since those had also been ruined.
After the refrigerator was put in place we had a wonderful visit. I had found peace of mind. We laughed and talked into the wee hours of the morning. It was a grand time! Now you're wondering why I'm telling you this story. I'm not telling you this to gain your pity, or to make you squirm and evaluate your life. I'm telling you this because of what I learned. I learned that everyone needs a helping hand once in a while and it's okay to take part in the gift of receiving. I feel good about having helped folks out, however we could over the years, with everything from turkey for the soup kitchen to furniture for families who found themselves flooded out. I truly believe every penny counts when it comes to putting money in a jar for a person or a pet at the gas station, too. We do what we can to help our neighbors, and for us, our neighbors are many. I learned that receiving that gift didn't makes us weak, but made us stronger by lifting a weight off our shoulders. It showed me that someone else out there cared enough to give up something of their own for us when they didn't have to. I am thankful that my friend helped me learn a valuable lesson.
So, there you have it folks. My story. Our gift of receiving. I could have said, "Absolutely not, no way, no how," but instead I did a head smack and realized accepting help when truly in need is okay. Sort of a heavy story, and not what I usually write, but one I've wanted to share. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.