Thoughts On Thoughtfulness, 10-5-23

My view in October – beans are out, 53 degrees, but I just can’t give up sitting on the porch quite yet. And this is what I’m thinking about this morning – thoughtfulness.

Thoughtfulness can be such a small gesture or it can be huge but whatever the size, the recipient is surprised to imagine someone thought of them. Norma brings this to mind. Sending a card is a small thing to you and me but just think how Norma is going to feel when she gets your cards! At 96 she’s going to realize she hasn’t been forgotten – she hasn’t disappeared into the care center system where her days must be long and sometimes boring.

Sending a card is a big deal – you have to consciously think about going to the store to buy the card – it doesn’t matter how much the card costs. Then you have to write the message in the card and address the envelope, all the time while thinking of the recipient. You have to find a stamp and physically put the card in the mailbox. The recipient is going to know you have thought about them.

Let me tell you about my friend Susan. I got a box in the mail yesterday and when I saw it was from Susan my heart did a little leap. Could it be……? I hurried to the house and opened the box. (She has sent me boxes in the past.). Yes, it was chocolates!!! And dog and cat treats. Have you ever bought a box of lovely chocolates for yourself? No, never. None of us would indulge in such frippery as to purchase an actual box of candy to eat all by ourselves. Not just a candy bar or a bag of candy – a BOX of delicious sweetness. And since it’s a gift you have permission to eat those chocolates one by one. And you won’t need to feel guilty because it’s a gift from a friend – they said you could eat them! Haha!

Another side of this act of friendship is that it came from another woman – not a husband or boyfriend. Someone wrote that they GIVE gifts on their birthday – at our age who needs more stuff? But a box of chocolates? Forest Gump said it all when he told us that life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.

The final side to receiving this box of goodies from SUSAN is the cost and effort of mailing the gift. She had to find a box, put the goodies inside, seal the box, take it to the post office and then pay the postage – which is a major deal these days.

And these are my musings on this gorgeous fall morning. The next time I see boxes of chocolates in the store I’m going to buy several and mail them to unsuspecting friends. And I will continue to mail cards – it’s such a small effort on my part and it says “I’m thinking of you.”

83 thoughts on “Thoughts On Thoughtfulness, 10-5-23

  1. Debra J Oscarson

    Amen! Well said, Mary. Thoughtfulness and gratefulness go hand in hand. My card to Norma is on its way. So happy to send her one. Keep on inspiring us. We love you

    1. Margie Braaksma

      Just took a break from my garden clean up and wrote a note to Norma. Thank you for asking us, a good reminder to slow down and see what’s important!

  2. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    What a wonderful friend and gift! Yes, cards are wonderful gifts also and these days so often not sent. Texts seem to be what everyone does nowadays and somehow it’s not the same. Thank you for writing your thoughts and reminder all of us to be more thoughtful.

  3. bobbie rumler

    this was the sweetest message this day in October from a site I read daily…..thank you for such a nice note to fill my day…

  4. Bonny

    You captured the essence of the action beautifully! Ever so much better than a text, altho even that is better than nothing.

  5. Sally

    Mary, I love your thought process today! Thankfulness. The fact that I would never buy chocolate for myself but would love to receive a box, says it all. You are correct in saying it takes time to gather the ‘gift’ all together for mailing…and then actually doing it! Bless you and your thoughts today. PS…I hate giving up my porch too. 😉

  6. Celene

    Good morning and thank you for just making my day! What lovely thoughts. As a former pastor said to us, “That’ll preach!” Keep making our days brighter with your kind words and musings.

  7. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Mm… thinking about that chocolate before my breakfast/lunch/brunch! Sounds delicious!
    Your photo showed up on my email AND in the blog, I think you’ve conquered the demons! Could it be chocolate was what you needed all along?!

  8. Debby Krzyston

    Good morning Mary, Your porch looks like a wonderful place to relax and watch the day go by. With everything you do to keep your farm going…you earned “me time.”
    I recently sent a summer hat that I added some stitching to, to my SIL in California. I wrote her a note, picturing her sitting near the ocean wearing her hat.
    It wasn’t chocolate, it was a thought full gift.
    Have a fun day sewing or relaxing on your porch.
    Debby🐝 Wisconsin

  9. Bobby Sutton

    Thoughtfulness: Mary, I feel like you think of us all each day you post on your blog, whether it’s to an individual or the whole group. It’s a daily gift.

    Bobby in MD

  10. Suzanne in Massachusetts

    Chocolates! I’ve been wracking my brain what to give a friend for her birthday. She loves chocolate. I’m off to the local candy maker and getting her an expensive box of handmade chocolates. What a treat. Thank you for the suggestion.

  11. Chris

    You are so right, Mary. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way. And both the recipient and the giver benefit because it feels good to bring or send someone a special treat–even if it’s a container of fresh baked cookies. The thing is sitting alone and feeling lonely can be easily cured by reaching out instead of waiting to ge touched by someone.

  12. Barbara Firesheets

    Mary, Thank you for the great reminder to be thoughtful. It really does mean a lot when someone sends a card or package in the mail to brighten your day. In this age of technology we really have lost that personal touch we all need from time to time. If you can’t mail something, even a personal phone call is nice. Enjoy those chocolates while sitting on your beautiful porch!

  13. Brenda Furlong

    I agree that your blog is a thoughtful gift everyday. Thank you so much! And I was also able to see the text and photo today on my email.!

    1. Suzanne in Massachusetts

      Brenda, I’m going to Furlong’s candy shop in Norwood or Walpole MA to get a box of handmade chocolates for her birthday. Any relation? I’ve been going there for at least 70 years.

  14. Carolyn Howard

    What a nice way to start the day, reading a thoughtful musing from you. A gift, whatever it may be, flowers, candy, homemade cookies, bread, whatever, is always appreciated and it makes two people feel good, the giver and receiver. It is a beautiful day here in Fayetteville, GA which is south of Atlanta. Thank you for your “gift”.

  15. Lois Ann Johnson

    Such a lovely and thoughtful blog this morning! I loved your ideas on buying chocolates for yourself or for a friend. It is a very nice gift to receive as well as to give away. At my age, I certainly do not need more “stuff” sitting around, but a nice card or a box chocolates? You bet! Today the blog looks like it “back to normal” once again. Oh, how we all hate updates! Ugh!

  16. Lee bowers

    Mary…. Fun story about chocolates
    My good friend in Va sent me a box of chocolates and ordered them from Amazon. Here’s where the story gets good. The picker at Amazon saw the box with the name of the chocolates. But instead of opening the box they sent me the whole cardboard shipping box . Well, the box comes and I FaceTime my friend and we both commented how large the box was. Opened it up and there are six individual boxes…. Five more than she ordered. I had a lot of chocolate. Instead of sharing I could share boxes to friends. We had such a crazy laugh fest!!!
    Have a sweet day. Lee from NC

  17. Carol L

    Another wonderful blog to read, enjoyed it greatly. Cold here In the NE panhandle, freeze warning tonite and hard freeze Sat. nite, good-bye garden. More time to quilt!!!! Take care ,

  18. Robin Boggan

    My Mom said one day that I should send a note to my Grandpa and I said I haven’t been doing anything very exciting. She said that don’t you like to get a note in the mail? 😊 Yes, we all like to get something in the mail big or small! That is something for all of us to think about.

  19. Nancy Ann Phyllis Poole

    Mary I’m getting your posts again with all pictures. The story about Norma sounded so much like my mother. She had been raised on a farm in southwest Minnesota. But she became a hairstylist with several salons. We moved to California when I was 10. I know I missed out on small town growing up and all the memories you often write about.
    I always love the pictures of the animals and fields.
    Thank you.

  20. Rhoda Ebersole

    I love mailing cards and always keep a stash on hand.
    And to receive chocolates in the mail how fortunate you are! You are loved!!! And for all the good you do for others you deserve being loved.
    We are much further north than you but that cold has not reached us yet.
    Am almost packed up and going to make choc chip cookies now.

  21. Robin in Kelso in Washington

    You are right. It is a amall act with such wonderful with a great reaction for the person on fhe other end

  22. Jan Hebert

    I think there are going to be a lot of boxes of chocolates in the mail – I love that idea! I wonder if Lee Bowers friend was charged for the six boxes of chocolates?! I hope not! I have a friend who just loves chocolates, I think I know what I’m doing once I get over this cold! The weather here in MA has been so nice this week but I really haven’t been out to enjoy it much. Have had a darned cold and just don’t feel like doing much. I did sew a pumpkin head doll! When I finish her I’ll send a picture, Mary. I think she will be cute! Jan in MA

    1. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 🥰

      Yes, would love to see a picture of a pumpkin head doll!😻🥰

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Pamela – where did the comment about a pumpkin head doll come from? I can’t see who may have mentioned it which makes me worry that I missed something.

  23. Peg in MO

    Kindness & thoughtfulness matter so much! Chocolate matters, too! Haha. Thanks so much for sharing this story!

  24. Sunflower from Michigan

    Beautiful sentiments today. Sent a card to Norma in todays mail and it made me think of my older relatives in nursing homes. I’m going to send both of them a card now, too. Bet it’ll cheer their day.
    Yesterday I visited my dad, 89, in the senior home he’s resides in. And then I visited my nephews home as they had a baby just a week ago. In one day I saw the whole spectrum of life and when you think of the number of events from one to the other, it’s humbling.
    Have a great day everyone.🌻

  25. Beamer's Mom

    And I have been blessed many times by your thoughtful cards. And, just the other day the time you spent with me on your front porch. Thank you, Mary.

  26. Sharon Geiger

    I enjoyed your thoughtfulness message today. This would be such a great sermon and it would be short and sweet.

  27. Dot in NC

    I think you’ve made all of us more thoughtful, Mary, with today’s post. And, I was able to view the picture on my iPad and iPhone! It is a JPEG, not an HEIC like the troublesome photos. I don’t know whether you changed your iPad settings or whether Word Press got its act together. Good news either way! Hope you enjoy your day today. It’s beautiful weather here in coastal NC, and nothing’s brewing in the Atlantic!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dot – had to be WordPress – I’ve done nothing except pray.

  28. Mercy

    My male cousin in Cleveland–I live in Virginia–sent me and my family in Miami huge boxes chocolates during the Covid lockdown. It was an joyful and touching surprise! What a boost during a difficult time.
    This weekend, I reconnected with some cousins I hadn’t seen in 30 years, and they brought us special candy too. We have been munching and reminiscing! Chocolates are the language of love.

  29. Marilyn Miller

    I so enjoyed this random post today. I am a sender of greeting cards and sometimes I make my own trying out some watercolors. While it is a small gesture, it is something that has gone by the wayside like so many of the pleasures of maintaining friendships and relationships with loved ones. Who among us, of a certain age, prefers a text message to a phone call? A message of condolences by email?? I prefer personal connections and receiving a wonderful box of chocolates, or a simple hand written note in a greeting card with a signature continues to be the best.

  30. Teresa in Indiana

    I live your view from your porch. Enjoy it as long as you can. It’s not the same from inside.
    It’s nice to be thought about by a friend. I received a call yesterday from out of the blue. It brightened my day.
    I’m so happy that your blog seems to be back to normal again. Thanks for the message today. My card to Norma is in the mail.

  31. Susan Moore

    I love your post on today I send cards to shut ins, and this Sunday is pastor appreciation Sunday, so maybe we can all get a card for our pastors.
    I enjoy your blog immensely and talk about things you write about to my friends, I refer to you as my friend in Iowa. We did meet briefly at the country, living craft fair in Columbus, Ohio.
    Susan in Ohio

  32. Janet Easley

    Well written, Mary! ! Thoughtfulness is such a boost to the recipient. Somewhere down the line, and often unexpectedly, the giver will be rewarded for their kindness. Do unto others.
    My card to Norma is going in the mail today. I loved her smile in the picture. 🙂
    Jan E.

  33. Kim from Wi

    Today’s post is just what we all need, kindness and thoughtfulness are much needed. I have often bought a whole box of chocolates for myself, and why not. Life is short and one must be kind to oneself. I sent my card and I hope all of our cards let Norma know she is not forgotten and that we value her.

  34. Jeanine in Iowa

    I, too, enjoyed this post. Our pastor has a birthday this Sunday, so we are having a card shower for him, and then on the 22nd, we will have pastor appreciation Sunday. We are so thankful for he and his wife. My card to Norma is in my mailbox today. We all need to be more thoughtful of others. A box of chocolates will probably go to my sister-in-law at her next birthday. Like several have said, at our age we do not need more “stuff”. Your porch is so inviting. So glad your blog is back to normal. The picture showed up online like it used to all the time. Enjoy this last nice day of weather here in Iowa!

  35. Paula S.

    Your post today is spot-on. Like I’ve heard many times, “it’s the little things” and that’s true with cards and gifts. Especially chocolates! Enjoy porch-sitting while you can. The snow will be flying soon enough.

  36. Linette Stewart

    Mary I think this is the best post you have ever written. I am one of those that still sends cards and I will definitely be mailing a birthday card to Norma. Thanks for today’s blessing!

  37. Gail in Ohio

    Thanks for your thoughts on thoughtfulness – spot on!!! I need to do better….

  38. Sheryl K Harrison

    After Valentine’s Day, I was in the checkout line at Dollar General and noticed Valentine candy on the end of an aisle for a crazy low price…maybe 90% off. I bought myself and mom a couple of boxes of candy for less than the price of a couple of candy bars.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – well, that says to me that I’d better be watching the after Valentines candy sale!

  39. Patty Turner

    Mary- I loved this post on thoughtfulness! I have a special notecard to send to Norma. It was delightful to see how much we had in common. I’m a DeafBlind Specialist; my dad spent summers in Iowa on a farm; my daughter went to college in Iowa; and I own 2 farms in Illinois! Thanks for sharing her info!

  40. Mary

    Thank you for sharing your musings on thoughtfulness! Can’t agree enough. Enjoy your chocolates!

  41. Sharon G.

    Lovely post today, Mary!
    Enjoy the candy.
    I mailed a card to Norma today.
    Take care everyone.

  42. Sandy

    Hi Mary, one Christmas l made dog biscuits, put some in a little gift box for a friend’s dog. Her husband decided he should help himself to a biscuit, not knowing they were for the dog,we waited to see if he would start lifting his leg on the furniture! It’s been a family story for a long time, miss little Bentley, but not the husband so much!
    Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy -oh, how I chuckled at your story about the dog biscuits!

  43. Kathy in western NY

    I have always been a card sender and keep a good stock on hand for many occasions so it’s natural for me to mail. I poo poo what my family would rather do as I know what I LIKE to do. My nature is that someday we might be in the same situation as someone and you will need some tender loving care then so learn it now. I took an 89 yr old lady friend to the dollar store Tuesday as she wanted to buy her Christmas cards already. I had a chuckle as they were out so she bought handfuls. Our new pastor rode with us too as she felt this is how a small town community takes care of each other.
    Been outside this afternoon enjoying the 85 degrees emptying the flower boxes and the rain coming will wash some of the containers for me to put them away till next season.

  44. Vicki Ibarra

    Thoughtfulness and gratefulness are two things we need to practice more of. I send friends cards: Thinking of you cards, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, along with birthday cards. They all have commented that I am the only person they know who still does this. I have fun picking out the cards to match the person. One friend says when she gets a card from me, it is time for a cup of coffee to sit and read the card and note inside. So, that is like us sitting down to read your blog in the morning (or any time of day). It is a brief respite into a world of thinking of others and our blessings.

  45. Kathy Hanson

    I LOVE that! It is such a wonderful thing to do – I do send a lot of birthday cards and I know that the folks appreciate being thought of!!!

  46. Bea knight

    Dear Mary
    I agree about the cards and gifts!!!

    I love sending cards and my mother in law when she was alive never ever forgot my birthday or our wedding anniversary
    Also she got a special card that said daughter in law. I will never forget the time she put into those cards.
    I really miss her❤️😘

  47. Marcia

    We had an abundance of tomatoes this year. We gave 4 dozen or so to my son in laws 86 year old aunt. She thought they were ‘gold’. She in turn shared several with her friends who live in independent/assistant living places. She was so appreciated for her thoughtfulness. They loved them because they were so flavorful-something we take for granted this time of year.

  48. Mrs. Goodneedle

    You are so right! This post gives me all the warm, fuzzy feelings. ❤️ Thoughtfulness is a priceless gift.

  49. Joan

    Such a thoughtful, beautiful message this morning. Thank you for taking your time to make our time special.

  50. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 😻

    Great post Mary and spot on 😻! Love your porch and am envisioning you sitting there with Gracie and Greta, eating chocolates and enjoying your view! Thanks for your posts and your friendship with us all! Hugs!

  51. Sharon

    Evening Mary,
    I agree. I hope when I am 96 someone out there shares this same thought, and may I then receive cards in the mail, too. Love the idea of sharing a box of chocolates….will do!

  52. Marlene Leonardo

    Since I rarely, almost never, am gifted a box of chocolates…YES! I do buy a box just for me about twice a year.

  53. Marlene Leonardo

    And yes, when I buy a box for myself I buy boxes for my friends and family also.

  54. Kathryn in IL

    Mary, What a wonderful message from you today on thoughtfulness. The little things we do for others shows them we care and it also helps the giver realize that there is a great feeling in being thoughtful. During Covid I wrote 1 thank-you weekly to a local business , police station, fire department etc. to thank them for what they are doing. I’ve actually decided in the last few weeks to start that thank you note writing again. It’s time to start recognizing the wonderful people who we come in contact with while out and about or to friends.You and Jo from Country Threads both had thought provoking blogs today. Thank you!!❤️

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathryn – what a nice idea to write those thank you cards to local businesses!!

  55. Jean

    Mary! WHAT a great blog! How insightful and warm today’s message is. Thought provoking.

  56. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary, for a blog about nothing you definitely give us all a wonderful message of love and friendship! You r awesome!

  57. Nancy

    I lost my youngest son 4 years ago….I live with this pain every day of my life….I work at the local library and an anonymous person periodically puts cards and little gifts in the library drop box for me letting me know they are thinking of me. This kindness …I have no words….it is a hug to my heart….

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy – oh my! Isn’t that just the sweetest thing and doing it anonymously is the best. Am so sorry you lost your son – so tragic and I myself cannot even imagine the pain.

  58. Fran Dixon

    I am right there with you on kindness and thoughtfulness. A handwritten note is just precious.

    I am just home from a 4 day retreat and need to get a little note in the mail. Lots to catch up on around here. The heat is on. What a big dif from last week!

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