List the gifts you want to give to others through actions, words, and what you can make:
- About a year ago, following up on an idea presented by my friend Kathy, I started writing a timetable of my life. Not memories, exactly, but dates with places and events. For instance: I was born in 1952; my Grandpa Ted died when I was in the first grade; I attended Bishop Kelley School from first through eighth grade; I first moved to Beaver Island, with my husband and two young daughters, in the fall of 1978; my Dad died in August of 1998; my mother died in August of 2011. That’s just a sketchy idea of my intentions. For those times, long after I’m gone, when my daughters might wonder when it was that we lived at Corner 16, or what year we moved to East Lansing, or any other detail that might not otherwise be readily available. It was a good plan a year ago, and it is still a good idea, though – after an enthusiastic start – it has been completely neglected. I’d like to find time to finish it.
- Along the same lines, I’d like to put a book of memories together for my brother and sisters, my daughters and their children. I actually have most of it already written. I did it in 2016, when I was writing a blog every day. I divided my childhood into random sections, as we’d always lived in the same house. My young adulthood was easily divided by going from one address to the next, and writing about the memories attached to each place. Now, it’s just a matter of putting those posts together, editing for clarity, and having it printed.
- I’d love to finish the crocheted slippers I started – last year – for my grandchildren. Thankfully, at least they are done growing!
- Some of the best gifts I’ve received in my life have been gifts from the kitchen. Friends and neighbors have brought me jars of honey, jelly and homemade maple syrup. I’ve treasured jars of stewed tomatoes canned and presented to me by each of my parents and my Aunt Katie. With that in mind, I enjoy giving gifts of edibles: cakes, cookies and homemade granola, mostly. When I visit my sister Brenda, I have the rare chance to prepare meals for others, and I enjoy it immensely.
- When I have over-abundance from the garden, I like to share the bounty. I’m sure I get that from my father.
- I like to share good books, movies and other media. It’s difficult, though, because not everyone likes the same things. I have a dear friend who I would say is very much like me. I think we share many of the same ideas and tastes. However, when I’ve tried to share movies and programs with her, I have fallen flat with some of my absolute favorites. Amelie, she couldn’t tolerate subtitles; Billy Elliot, the accent made it impossible to understand. Recently I showed her the pilot for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which I think is brilliant, witty, and some of the most touching humor out there. She asked, “Is it always so depressing?” She just bought a book,based on my recommendation. I have my fingers crossed that she’ll like it!
- I used to give gifts of my artwork to friends and family. If I know it’s appreciated (not just accepted out of courtesy), it brings me great pleasure to do it.
- I love to give honest compliments. It’s an exercise (not difficult) in looking for the good, and saying something about it. It’s a gift that I can give to strangers as easily as to friends, and that is always appreciated.