I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Have you ever had such good friends that you didn’t know what you’d do without them?  From left are Kathy Larson, Nancy Jass and Cheryl Barkema who are all neighbors, all farm wives and all go to my church.  When I sighed about needing hay, Rick being gone and a sore back (my doctor says everybody at age 67 has a sore back and I should just deal with it like everyone else!), they immediately volunteered their pickup, their hayrack, their time and their strength.  (They are all younger than me, too.). It’s because of friends like these that I try to pay acts of kindness forward to others especially at the care center.  I’m not sure how I’ll EVER pay back these friends!

Last Thursday everybody met at my place and while we were waiting for Nancy to arrive with the truck and hayrack, Kathy said it was “show mercy to those in need day” at work.  I was her person in need as you can see in this picture.

We drove to the farm where the hay was for sale and the farmer graciously pulled the rack out of the shed so we could load from his rack to ours.  They would hardly let me help!

After loading 60 bales of hay, we drove back to my place and Cheryl backed that hayrack right up to the barn door and “we” put 45 bales in a room on the east side of the barn.  I say “we” because all they’d let me do is roll the bales off the rack — THEY threw them up and stacked them.

Then we moved to another little hay shed for the last 15 bales.  Such laughing I’ve never heard!

We closed the evening with a beer in the porch.  Now I ask you — how can I ever repay these gals?  I am set for the whole winter – do you know what a relief that is to me?  I can’t even tell you.

Please share in the comments section acts of kindness you have experienced.  You know that saying I love so much – small acts of kindness can change the world.

26 thoughts on “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

  1. Eileen Mele

    You guys work hard! Feel sorry for myself having to take wheeled garbage cans to the curb! I’m an older widow living alone in a house. Lots of little chores. And I remember my neighbor dragging in those garbage cans when they knew I was unwell. People are good everywhere you go! Be grateful you have this kind of support, I know you are. Sounds like a wonderful place to live. If it didn’t get so darn cold!!

  2. Bonnie

    I was in my early 20’s. I had four of my own children ages 3,5,6 and 7. I was also taking care of my sister-in-law’s newborn 5 days a week, all day. I got a severe bladder infection and my doctor told me to go home and STAY OFF MY FEET. ( fat chance ) One of my neighbors had stayed with all the kids while I went to the doctor and wanted to know what he said when I returned home. The next morning she and another neighbor came to my front door with cleaning supplies in hand. They wouldn’t let me lift a finger while they cleaned my entire house, including the toilet!! That was 47 years ago and I will never forget their kindness.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bonnie – I love hearing stories like yours! It renews my faith in the general goodness of people.

  3. mary jane

    My husband told me a story he read in the paper or maybe even on line, doesn’t matter the story does.
    An older man came into a McDonalds (where?) and ordered but told the young man at the register that he needed help in eating his food and was there someone who could help, the young man shut down his register and helped the older man with his meal…How many would do that? I was once told when I did something kind for someone that “I just buffed my halo” I love that saying and have told many a person that after a good deed..Sometimes just saying thank you and showing how much one is grateful for their help is enough..but then so is a pan of chocolate brownies !!!!

  4. Donna Sproston

    We moved from an old Victorian in town to a loghome in the country. Two of my teaching friends asked me what was left to do. I said I just needed to get rid of 25 years of stuff in the attic but I hated to handle three flights of stairs. They showed up that Saturday and carried every box and piece of old furniture down to the driveway. I try to every moving friend in some way!

  5. Jackie

    March of 2007 I wound up in the hospital. My bowels had burst. I was in the hospital for ten days. (I was lucky to be alive.) My friend Carol and her husband took care of my home and cats. After I got out of the hospital, they continued to care for my home, my cats – and me. Carol and my neighbors took turns doing my yard work for me. I couldn’t do anything strenuous until after September. I don’t know what I would have done without them. They are such a blessing to me – my earth angels.

  6. Dianne H.

    Last month our oldest daughter, Kim, past away. Needless to say our family is heartbroken. For the last 15 years of her life, she was in a wheelchair. As I look back on that time, I remember so many small acts of kindness shown to me and to Kim. When I took her to the grocery store, her doctor’s appointments, or shopping at the mall, there was always someone that would help; by holding a door open, by holding an elevator door so I could maneuver her wheelchair inside, by putting Kim’s wheelchair into the trunk of my car for me – even in the pouring rain or freezing cold. There were many, many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness shown to Kim over those years and I am grateful for every one. Now it is my turn to show that same kindness to others and be more aware of those who need help. The man in McDonalds, that needed help with his meal, is a perfect example of how we can help others.

    1. Mary Etherington

      I am so sorry, Diane! How you must miss your daughter – parents are never supposed to outlive their kids.

  7. Launa

    I always say WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND. Meaning anything from feeding a neighbor’s animals if they go away, taking soup to a sick friend or donating athletic equipment. It’s the little things we can do that make a day easier for someone else. Many times I heard my grandma say, “That may have been an angel in disguise” after she gave food to someone who came to her door. I knew who the real angel was when I’d find an extra sandwich and fruit in my lunch box to share.

  8. Carol

    Dianne H., I am so sad to read of your daughter’s passing. No one can understand what it is like to outlive a child.
    An act of kindness, Mary….
    My husband and I are retired, the couple next door both work and have 3 kids, preteen through college level. One night my husband, on his way to bed after a day of feeling unwell. fell backwards onto the staircase, eyes rolled back, not breathing. I called 911 and our wonderful town EMTs were at our door in a very few minutes. They got my husband on oxygen and responsive (he has no memory of any of what happened), and into the ambulance.
    The neighbors said “call at any time” if we needed anything. I called at 4:30 a.m. for a ride home from the hospital…they came immediately …. both had to get up for work at 6 a.m. but never thought of that. They only wanted to whatever they could to help me through a scary time. Best neighbors ever.

  9. Diane

    Oh you are blessed with great friends:) These stories are wonderful. In February of 1982, my husband broke his neck while tobogganing with our son’s Confirmation Class. We had two very active kids ages 9 and 11 and I worked full time half an hour from home. He was home for 8 weeks in a neck brace and could do nothing. Church friends brought food, other friends drove my kids to sports and choir practices, neighbors shoveled our driveway–the list goes on. I have tried to be a good friend back.

  10. Ann Barlament

    I bought my house back in 1984, as I was developing the land and putting in raised gardens I would often have neighbor kids interested in what I was doing. One year I let each kid plant a couple rows of the veggie of their choice. It was a great learning experience for all of them.

    We fast forward about 12-14 years, I was outside planting flowers and a car came into my driveway. A young man got out and asked if I was Ann? He proceeded to tell me he was Tyler that used to live down the street and stopped to tell me what a difference I had made in his life.

    The kindness we give to others often comes back 10-fold!!

  11. Mary Says Sew!

    I had an allergic reaction to some pain medication on a Saturday while my husband was in a day-long meeting B.C.P. (Before Cell Phones). I called a neighbor and asked for a ride to the E.R. I heard Alan take half a breath before he said, “Yes!”. I swear his car was in my driveway before I hung up the phone.

    We do small favors for most of our neighbors, and they often ask what they can do in return. I always tell them the only thing we need with help with is clearing out the big chunks of packed snow the City snow plows throw up in the end of our driveway before they freeze solid when my husband’s not home. And they almost always do.

    And in the summer, I beg my neighbors to please take the extra vegetables I leave out on my front porch. They almost always take care of those for us, too. Things left the next day go to the Green Table in my husband’s building or to the fraternity where one of my quilting friends cooks. You wouldn’t believe fraternity guys getting excited over zucchini and how many of them who “don’t like tomatoes” but now “like YOUR tomatoes”. (They’ve never had a tomato picked ripe from the garden.)

  12. Diane Deibler

    You are very lucky,Mary to have such good friends who are younger than you! Ha. Sounds like YOU are working too hard if you have a bad back.

  13. Dorothy Sheldrake

    Beautiful example of true friendship. It’s good to have friends that are younger and stronger than yourself.

  14. Rosemary

    Not your typical “girls day out”, but I know these girls can handle the task at hand. I can just image the giggling that was going on. Your sign ” a day in the country is worth a month in town” also applies to the hard work involved. I know you’ve taught these girls a thing or two about quilting, too, and I bet nobody’s keeping score. Now you can start planning the next “day away” that won’t involve work and more shopping!

  15. Carolyn Barnett

    An act of kindness done to me that i never can repay came from my quilting friend Earlean Miller. When I had to have cornea replacements at USC Medical Center , she took me and spent two days taking care of me in a hotel before I was allowed to go home. My surgery was done as an outpatient and then she had to get me in a car, flat on my back and watch over me for 24 hrs while I was in supine on my back , looking at the ceiling! Then she had to drive me to the surgeon the next day before they sent me home. She not only did this once but twice! How can I ever repay her for her kindness to me??? Love her, be her friend, always think the best, speak Truth into her life. Thank you dear friend Carolyn Barnett in So. California

  16. Wendy

    Wow – now those ladies are what I would call excellent friends. So inspiring to know there are people like them in the world. Truly an act of kindness.

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