31 March 2011

Of Gifts, TP and Tires

Gifts, presents, things-actual items wrapped and handed to you either on a special day or for no reason what-so-ever.  We don’t like to talk about gifts, so materialistic, but really who doesn’t like to receive a present?

 A few days ago a friend brought me a funny and useful gift.
We have an outbuilding/garage/pole barn (it’s big enough to fit two huge RVs in) that we keep a lot of storage in. You know the giant cases of toilet paper from Costco and other good thing like that. The guest bath was out of paper and son #2 was yelling for more. I gave him the ½ roll, the only roll, from my bathroom (they are on the same floor) and sent son #3 to get some from stash in the bathroom upstairs. He comes back with just ½ a roll. Okay, so I trek through the rain (we’ve had rain everyday for a month- it’s an Oregon thing) to the pole barn for more. OUT! I’d already been to town that day didn’t want to have to drive the 6 miles to the store just for TP. I’d been texting my friend and shared with her this funny- out of TP, because I really did find it amusing. (We can’t use nose tissues, we are on septic). Several hours later our dog barks like crazy. Son #3 goes to the door and comes back in with a packet of TP.  What a friend! It wasn’t wrapped with a bow, but with a laugh and a hug. 

My husband, years back when we lived in Nebraska, gave me a terrific gift for Valentine’s Day. And, no, he didn’t wrap it either. (How come, me, who LOVES fun surprises, often gets the unwrapped gifts?) The winters are hard in Nebraska and springtime comes with lots of rain and snow run off. The roads are often dangerous, wet or icy or coated in gravel and salt. So, he got me these amazing all weather tires for our mini-van. I’d never seen tires like this before. 5 kids, homeschooling, we didn’t exactly have a lot of extra money floating around to spend on high end tires, but he came up with it somehow. I felt very loved. Yes, the mini-van and those tires are long gone but not the feelings they generated.

Steven Covey, in many of his books, talks about building emotional bank accounts with others. I’m not saying you should buy your way into your friends or family members good graces but at times a well thought out meaningful gift can go a long way toward strengthening a relationship. 

What gift have you received that years later that makes you smile when you think of it?