A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Be nice. Just do it.

I bought a new sewing machine almost two years ago.  I bought it from a Viking dealer within a Jo-Ann Fabric Store and it was a nice enough machine that it came with two classes to teach me how to use it.  After my first class (January 2012), I was waiting near the door for S to pick me up when I overheard a young man asking about Mason jars.  Anyone who knows me, knows this perks my ears up. I heard the associate tell him that they did not sell single jars (they do now, but did not at the time), and that he could go to Wal-Mart to buy a case. He explained that he needed only one, to which she replied that she could not help him.

Me, being me, I walked over and offered to help. I called Shane and asked him to check the trunk of the car for a quart jar before he came in to get me and my sewing machine. I know it sounds silly, but there is always a chance there are jars in my car.  On this occasion, there was not.

The fun part of the story is WHY this young man wanted the jar...

You see, he really liked a certain young lady, and was working on his plan to woo her. He was hoping to give her "cookies in a jar" to which I believe he intended to attach a poem or note of some kind. I loved his efforts and romaticism, so he and I made arrangements for me to get him a jar.  He was to be driving by my office the next day, so we made a plan and he stopped by to pick up his treasure.

I brought him both a regular and a wide mouth jar with brand new lids and rings, so he could choose which would work best. I included a recipe for my favorite cookie: Double Chocolate Espresso.  I wished him luck, added him as a contact in my phone, and asked him to keep me posted on how things turned out.

A little over a month later, he texted to tell me that she had agreed to a date...on Valentine's Day, no less!

In February of this year, I was leaving work, and something about the salt on the brick walk outside the building made me think of the day that Tim came to the office to pick up the jars.  I wondered to myself how things were going and if his romantic overtures had been rewarded.

Two days later, Tim sent me another message to let me know they had gotten engaged!  I was overjoyed to have been able to help him in his quest to prove his love for her.

I got curious again recently about their situation and sent him a note to inquire.  Much to my surprise, there was further news... They've gotten married! :-)  I can't wait to check in with them again in a few months to see what the latest news brings!

I just had to put this story in writing to document and share it. There is an important lesson in it for us all; helping someone else out can bring great rewards. Call it random acts of kindness or whatever you like, just be deliberately kind to someone today. Then do it again tomorrow, and the next day. It doesn't have to be a huge gesture, or cost any money. It will come back to you in so many ways, and it will encourage the people around you to do the same. That'll get you doing something "social" that doesn't involve a phone or computer, just human interaction and appreciation.

I'd love it if you'd leave your most recent or favorite random act of kindness in the comments! It's great inspiration for the rest of us.


  1. LOVE this :) It definitely put a smile on my face and made my day!

    Thank you for sharing!!!!

    1. This is Shawn Bengel by the way. LOL

    2. Thanks Shawn! I am honored to have been a part of their story. It seemed too fun not to share it!