Friday, October 17, 2008

OCCASIONALLY, I AM SERIOUS. SORRY, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE OCCASIONS

UNEXPECTED GUESTS AND GIFTS FROM THE HEART:




Recently, when the hurricane was threatening New Orleans, an old friend called to tell us he was evacuating N.O. Since he, his dog, and two of his friends needed shelter, we invited them to stay in our home. (Whew! Glad this one didn't hit like Katrina when people had to stay away from home forever [just kidding Kenny, Byron, and Richie]). These three and their cute dog were no trouble at all, and we really enjoyed having them in our home (most of the time anyway!).

I was reminded of their visit when, my daughter was looking through a basket of children's books at our house last night, and found "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. Inside the book, one of our refugee guests had left a lovely note. The guest, Byron, had shown me the book while he was here. He had brought it with him as one of the items he wanted to keep safe from the storm, because it had so much meaning to him. Have you ever read "The Giving Tree"? It is a wonderful story with a great message. This "find" by my daughter brought tears to my eyes. How humbled I am that Byron wanted to leave this cherished possession with us.





This is such a meaningful story for children and adults.

Kenny (our friend who brought these crazy N.O. guys into our lives) had noticed our collection of quilts and had asked about them. Of course, you would have to be in a complete stupor (which these guys were some of the time) to not notice our quilts-they are everywhere!

Our guestroom is filled with quilts!


Now, our quilt collection is another story (I know, with me everything is ANOTHER story!). I love quilts and started collecting them before they became so expensive. When we drove anywhere, my husband used to try to divert my attention if he saw a sign that advertised quilts. He didn't want to stop to hunt for yet another quilt. Then, the price of quilts skyrocketed, and I knew I had purchased my last quilt. (After all, I AM a bargain hunter, and I ONLY buy bargains.) All of a sudden, my DH became a quilt collector! I now have to divert HIS attention when I see quilts advertised! (It seems we are usually on different wave lengths -- women from Venus, Men from Mars and all that stuff). Obviously, I am a little better at distracting with chatter than he was-I always have something to say, but my poor dh (having become accustomed to not being able to get a word in) does not have that "talent" of talking about nothing (and he probably doesn't appreciate that "talent" in me).

Okay, okay, I know, I need to get back to the subject at hand. After seeing our love of quilts, Kenny left his grandmother's beautiful hand-stitched quilt as a gift for us! He too, had brought this wonderful memory of his grandmother with him to Arkansas, to keep it safe from the storm. Talk about bringing tears to my eyes...when I found the quilt, neatly folded on my bed the day they left, with a note from Kenny tucked inside...well, let me tell you, it's been a long time since I was so touched. I just sat on the bed with tears rolling down my face.

Isn't this needlework beautiful?
And look, the flower of each state has been stitched into each square.

One night, these three men (I'm using that term loosely, since they don't always act like adults), cooked dinner for us, and Richie completely cleaned our kitchen after we went to bed (I'm not talking about just cleaning up the dishes--my stoves have never sparkled that much-before or after Richie was here.

Oh my! Will my kitchen survive this?

We enjoyed their visit to our home, and we certainly did not feel that we deserved gifts from them -- especially gifts that meant so much to them. We will cherish these gifts and think of these special friends every time we look at their gifts, given from the heart.

Just when you thought you knew what my blog was about, I pull out this sappy posting. I hope you don't mind. I just felt a need to share this with my cyber friends. So many times, it is easy to start feeling that we live in a selfish world. I just wanted to spend some time thinking about kind people in this world-people who will share some of their most important possessions with others. Byron, Kenny, and Richie helped me to remember that those wonderful people are still out there, and I hope this story of their kindness will help you remember it too. laurie (bargainhunr on RMS)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laurie, what a sweet post! You were so unselfish to take them in! I'm sure they had a ball in your home, and to leave such wonderful gifts! What a lovely gesture! You can be serious anytime, funny or serious, you're Laurie! Love Ya! Connie

santamaker said...

Oh, Laurie, you are so kind hearted... I just know that they felt a tremendous relief to be in your warm inviting home . You are such a great role model for your children and grandchildren, heck...everyone.
I have an award for ya at my blog with your name all over it, hon. Come pick it up!!

decorator101 said...

I'm sure you all had a ball while they were there. It was so nice of them to cook dinner for you on their last night.. The memory of their stay will live on eternally through the gifts they left for you..I think you know some pretty remarkable people.. Thanks for sharing such a moving story..
hugs ~lynne~

Happy To Be said...

Oh Laurie...this one made me even cry girl!! how very special to have men friends like this and for you and your DH to open up your home and be apart of a family with them...and Girl to give you such a treasure is just wonderful..now I need to stop wiping my tears on my old red robe...thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gloria

Tomarie said...

Oh my gosh Laurie! I can't believe these sweet guys would leave such a precious gift AND clean your kitchen! Wow! It really does make you realize there's still a lot of kindness in the world! And I loooooove "The Giving Tree"...one of my all time favs!
Love the way you write!

Bo said...

Hi Laurie...I am so glad I finally found your blog...You left sweet comments for me before at http://blinksnwinksfrombrowneyes.blogspot.com and I couldn't find you on RMS, so now I can respond. What a lovely story about your N.O. friends...and I love the fact you are a genuine bargain hunter. LOL
;-) Bo

Glenda said...

My DH is a notorious enabler also. Something may start as an interest of mine, but before long he is as deep in the mire as I am in the mud. But I am just as guilty as he; I do everything I can to help him indulge his interests.
Love this post. As long as there are caring and generous people in this world, all is not lost.
The way I see it is, a blessing was shared by all involved.

lvroftiques said...

Oh Laurie this story brought tears to my eyes!! What a wonderful thing to do on your end. Give shelter to those who really need it. And what a wonderful giving gesture on their part. As a quilt lover myself (are you surprised?....thought not! *winks*) to give to you a quilt made by their grandmother? That's about as good as it gets! And what an amazing quilt too! And the sweet book as well!.....I'm blowing snot (sorry) it's all so touching and lovely, I can't help myself *sniffle hiccup* Vanna

Lynette said...

Laurie - that one brought tears to my eyes, too!! My dad and step-mother, Ruth are in Baton Rouge, where I was born, but Ruth's mom and sister live right outside of New Orleans. They had to flee when Katrina struck and stayed with Dad and Ruth for a while, a long while - I remember calling dad and asking him if "it" was as bad as the news was making it out to be - his reply - take what I was seeing on the news and multiply it by 10. He said it was "awful"!! You are a dear friend indeed to take in your friends at a time when some people did not have anywhere to go!! Enjoy your memories and the quilt - I'm sure they would have it no other way.
Lynette

ann said...

Wonderful blog today.Yes,there are so many wonderful people on this planet.You my dear,as all-of us know are one of the best.But I can't believe the treasures they left you.What an honor.They know you will treasure them as they have....Ann

Anonymous said...

Laurie, you've wondered what in the world you were doing starting a blog.. It is true you are one busy lady, but here you are and boy are we glad. Each post reveals another layer of this most wonderful person we are all so blessed to know. This is such a touching, extraordinary story. It doesn't surprise me a bit! Love ya, Cindy

imjacobsmom said...

Well, I didn't know you had a blog....This posting is so sweet, it brought a tear to my eye. To leave you with such precious memories.....Robyn

Carrie said...

Wonderful, touching post!

Pam said...

Hi Laurie, I just found out you have a blog. What a nice surprise! I will be checking back often! :)
Pam (pc25)

Lynette said...

Laurie - I was given the "Kreativ Blogger" award today and would like to pass it to you today. If you'll come over to my place, I'll have it all nice and wrapped up and ready for you.
Thanks and Happy Sunday -
Lynette

xinex said...

Oh Laurie, I am so touched by this story. I know I am late in reading but I do not understand what happened. I had saved your blog in my favorites but everytime I pulled it out, there wasn't anything new written. I went to Lynne's blog today and she had your blog address there and I clicked on it and to my surprise, you have had so many more than what is showing on the site that I saved. Did you replace the old one? Anyway, how nice of your guests to leave you such precious gifts that are dear to their hearts. But you know, I am sure it is because they believe you and Danny deserve them, after all you were so gracious to welcome them into your home. That's what friends are for and it is wonderful!....Christine

Anonymous said...

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Kristen said...

What a touching story. That was so kind of you to open your home. For those guys to leave behind such meaningful gifts was amazing.