Thursday, December 20, 2012

Caring and Sharing

Maybe it's because I got such an early start on Christmas this year. Maybe it's because Thanksgiving was early.  Maybe it's because I'm so organized.  It's probably some of each, plus the good fortune to have been able to stay healthy.  Whatever the reason, I have had the luxury of changing pace for three days at the end of the week before Christmas.

Yesterday we took our time getting up, running errands, and picking up a few gifts.  I wrapped all of the stocking stuffers and Tom wrapped the two remaining gifts.  I had time for a short walk in the morning and a ten mile workout on the stationary bike in the afternoon.  We read and watched TV in the evening.

Today was set aside for visiting.  I packed up some cookie tins first thing this morning.
Later in the morning I went next door to visit Maxine and take her a tin of cookies.  Maxine has been our neighbor forever.  Her husband, with whom she did everything, died two years ago.  She is 86 and still doing quite well, but her friends are dying off or getting sick, and she is frightened and lonely.  We sat at her kitchen table and had a great conversation for over an hour.

I need to find time to do more of that.

This afternoon we drove into the city to visit my Aunt Evelyn.  She is my mother's sister, and the only member of the family to live around here.  She has two children, my cousins, who are managing their lives and hers now that she needs special care. Evelyn is recovering from hip replacement, and also suffers from dementia.  Her husband, my Uncle Bill, is in the end stages of Alzheimers. 

We visited her at the rehabilitation center of The Hearthstone, in the Green Lake area of Seattle.  We took her a tin of cookies and had a great conversation for well over an hour. It felt great to be able to bring joy to her.  While short term memory is a problem, she loves to talk about the old days, and we shared stories of remembrances from our different perspectives.

After we left her, we walked across the street to enjoy a brisk half hour walk in the cold, windy air along Green Lake.

Today proved the adage that it is better to give than to receive,  especially if the giving is of yourself, your time and attention, and things you have lovingly made yourself.

I'll be giving out those other cookie tins tomorrow morning at breakfast, one to our waitress who takes such good care of us every Friday morning, and the other to a friend who was unable to come to our tea because her husband is terminally ill.

And speaking of cookies, I got this photo yesterday via e-mail.  
They spent their first day of Winter Break wearing their pajamas all day, and making gingerbread houses.


  1. No better way to spend the day.. This is a lovely reminder of what the holidays are and sharing..Michelle

  2. Such beautiful grandchildren... and following in your footsteps from the looks of those gorgeous gingerbread houses.

    You are truly giving the BEST presents of all....your time and loving attention. We will follow your example this weekend and visit Art's cousin in the Care Home. I can just imagine how wonderful your cookies are too!

  3. sounds just perfect and so appreciated by the lonely ones in your life...happy holidays!

  4. Sounds like you have the right spirit, Linda. Keep it up. That's a cute picture of your grandkids! What's not to love about your life?

  5. You have a wonderful life, Linda. And it's wonderful that your share your joy with others. I'm glad to know you. :-)

  6. What a sweet post! It is always easier to give stuff than to give time. It is wonderful that you have made other people's lives happier this season!

  7. Well done for your caring attitude to others Linda. As we get older and outlive our friends we need someone to care about us - Dave


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