the TAO of CHANGE

a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Sami Grover, Carrboro, NC

Sometimes I feel so lucky. Not only did I get a chance to celebrate my recent green wedding to my beautiful lady, on a goat farm, with good folks all around, but when it came time to give us gifts, we realized that our friends really know us. So many people spent both time and love thinking up gifts to celebrate our marriage in ways that made sense. Many items were handcrafted, others local, and many were even created by the gift givers themselves. Two gifts in particular stand out, both for their originality, their appropriateness and their downright sweetness.

The first of these I will touch on only briefly, as I am sure that Jerry and Tracey are heartily sick of the attention that they are receiving for their decision to further offset my honeymoon flight (having already purchased a TerraPass) by foregoing air-conditioning for the month of June. As Jerry says, it feels weird to get noticed for doing something that just makes sense. Nevertheless, given the fact I had previously sworn I would never fly again and then finding myself in love and in North Carolina, I was supremely grateful for Jerry and Tracey’s loving and thoughtful gift. I’m now considering asking them to forgo eating for the next year so I can buy that Hummer I’ve always wanted~

The other gift that stood out as being ‘so us’ came from Jenni’s sisters, Sarah and Laura, cousin Jessica, and Sarah’s boyfriend, Andy. We knew they were spending a day building something for us, but what that something would be we had no idea. Then it arrived – a 3ft x 4ft wooden cage, with ‘crack house’ scrawled on the side. At first I was a little mystified – was this the groom’s new sleeping quarters? All became clear when I noticed the baskets attached to the back of the structure. They’d made us a chicken house, and had even bought three little chickens to live in it. Both Jenni and I have secretly harbored dreams of owning chickens one day, but had both been putting it off until we got our own place (at least that was our excuse). This gift spurred us on to take the plunge and what a joy it’s been!

Henrietta, Agatha and Martha are now firmly entrenched as part of the family. They are yet to start laying, though they should reach ‘womanhood’ soon. They are already providing a steady stream of future compost, and an endless source of amusement. Even Bela, our cat, loves to sit near them and keep them company (he licked his lips a few times when they first arrived, but he’s never really seen them as lunch). And in terms of hassle, we never should have worried. They roam free in our yard, coming in at night to their comfy coop. We occasionally fill their food and water bowl and throw out a few scraps from the kitchen to supplement their diet. They’re not exactly the geniuses of the animal world, but there’s something calming about watching a chicken scratching around for bugs. I had wandered what I’d make of chicken-keeping, but I admit that I’m definitely hooked. Maybe we’ll get a goat for our anniversary…

Anyhow, as I say, sometimes I just feel so lucky. Getting someone a gift is so often thought of as just ‘going shopping’ – we’re so pleased to know folks who can think outside of the box and beyond the basket.

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5 Responses to “”

  1. phyllis diehl Says:

    dear sami, i love your article about thoughtful gifts. it must be fun to have chickens, i am very happy that your friends thought and got you a gift that is so personal. my son jerry gave me a gift along time ago. that i cherish with all my heart, he was going to unc and little money, what could he give me for mothers day,, that would be the best gift in the whole world…..are you guessing, it was a federal express (you know the card board envelope) letter with words about being a good mother to him. he really knew me, like your guests knew you. isn’t it fantastic to receive a gift that spells love. thank you for your thoughtful article. thank you for reminding me of the most precious gift i got from my son. . phyllis (jerry’s mom)

  2. Sami Grover Says:

    Thanks Phyllis,

    I couldn’t agree more. There definitely is something wonderful about a thoughtful, well created gift – almost more so if it involves little or no cash. I’m not saying I don’t like to receive the occasional fancy present, but I never fail to be amazed by the creativity of the people around me.

  3. phyllis diehl Says:

    dear sami, thanks for responding to my comments. i just wanted to add that the gift meant so much to me, besides the creativity, and thrift it was a son expressing his love to his mother. that truly was the most important gift of all….LOVE. what more could a mom want. phyllis

  4. Ben Says:

    I feel obliged to make a contribution.

    Life is short, times are hard, here’s your happy wedding card.

    Cheers.

    Ben

  5. The Tao of Change » Blog Archive » Bratwurst AND a Better World Says:

    […] I feel so lucky… wait, that’s how I started my last post here. Well, I guess it must be true then. So what’s got me counting my blessing this time? […]

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