Shipped with Love

A box landed on my front porch. Inside was a recipe, a card, and two bags of chocolate chip scones. It was from a reader here, whose heart was touched by the suffering and struggle of Deacon Howard, our dear godfather and friend who recently passed away.

And the scones just happened to arrive on a Saturday morning. Off to vespers they went with me that evening, and as everything seems to have its own particular path, even scones, they landed in the hands of our priest’s wife, who just happened to be having Deacon Howard’s widow over for dinner.

From the hands of a warm and loving friend in Pennsylvania to a grieving community in Santa Barbara–that’s three thousand miles for love to travel, and love doesn’t seem to mind the journey or the miles.

Heartfelt

One loaf of Molasses Bread

Mixed, molded and baked on Monday afternoon.

Gave to: Well, tried to give to Sparky’s mama, but it ended up at the corner house.

We’ve lived on this street in Santa Barbara for many years now. We love this neighborhood for many reasons, and one of them has been Sparky, a beautiful and docile white shepherd who was built to gallop and lope with those lovely long legs of his. Sparky adored lounging in our neighbor’s front room, which has a floor to ceiling window that faces the street. He would peek his head out of the closed curtain and secretly watch all that passed by in his regal way.

Well, Sparky was put down not too long ago. His owner, C, loved that dog–we loved him–and it was hard to say goodbye.

My daughter said the other day, “We need to bring C some bread!” And I thought that was a fine idea. So, I baked up two loaves of molasses bread and Madeleine and I shuffled across the street to offer the bread and our condolences.¬†We talked on the front porch for a long while, but the bread stayed in our hands–turns out, like so many others these days, C’s trying a diet that’s free of wheat.

So, I promised her some kumquat marmalade (which I just made yesterday) and we scooted next door to our dear friends on the corner, who are also bread lovers and eaters.

I’m so grateful for my daughter’s heart–that she thought of this giving and not me. Shows that this idea of sharing isn’t mine alone, and that as a community we can make our little street an eensy scooch more connected, sharing our sorrows, our loaves of bread, and our kumquat marmalade– together.

Fort Collins

More than eleven years ago our family made the difficult decision to move from Colorado back to the California coast, where I was born and raised. We left a thriving community, good friends, a lovely little church, and a home we had designed and built ourselves.

So when we mapped this long road trip to Nebraska, we worked hard to find a way to stop for a night and see old friends.

Timbys, Bleems, Cormos’s, Boyds, Millers, Hardys, Olvers, Humphreys, Rickerts, Kirbys, and many more.

Fort Collins wasn’t the first place my husband and I lived. Prior to our time in the Rockies, we lived in Northern California–and maybe we were just young, but we lived a little life there. We didn’t reach into the community. We didn’t seek to make lasting friends. We lived a small, I’d say, selfish life…

We vowed, when we moved from that place, that we would make different choices in Colorado. A good and needed promise to make.

So, fast forward many years. How to see lots of beloveds when we only had a few open hours before packing back into the Chevy Traverse?

We invited them all to meet us downtown at one of our old haunts. Over ice cream, taking up half the tables, we chatted, hugged, introduced and caught up. It wasn’t near the amount of time needed, but it was a quick connection that means heaps to me. Even though I’m a writer-type, one who needs time alone to think and decompress, I understand more and more the real value in real people–real people who love you. And the real value in loving them back.

So, Fort Collins was just a quick blip on this long journey, but a memorable one.

I’m sure you have people and places like this in your own lives and I entreat you to treasure them!