Giving comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. This week Sean and I received a surprise gift from some folks who visited the retreat back in March. In my column on March 19 I wrote that Romeo and his three lady friends came all the way from Iowa to see Arkansas Snow. Our friends had only thought they were getting away from the snow because just as we were heading out to the waterfall it began to snow. You know what they say about the best laid plans. The gift we received was a lovely card and a gift of tea. You just never know when a small act of kindness shown can mean enough to someone that they remember you months later and thank you for that kindness. Sharing of our abundance is something so simple to do and we are humbled when it leaves an impression on others to share of their abundance with us. We hope to see our Iowa friends again this next year with our without the snow.

It’s been awhile since I’ve given an animal update so here it is. We welcomed a new family member to the retreat, Stuart, is a possum that our cats have accepted as part of the family. Just like in the movie, “Stuart Little,” where the mouse is adopted into a human home, our Stuart has been accepted by our cats who have somewhat grudgingly shared their food with him. We also have an abundance of turkey’s that we’ve seen and not just the frozen kind either. Just one big happy family! Well that is until my dreams of having Sean push Santa off the roof, thus becoming the next Santa and me getting to be Mrs. Clause were dashed away like a runaway sleigh! After petting a “pet” deer who wandered into the garden beds Sean had an allergic reaction and ended up sleeping away the afternoon after having taken a few benadryl to get the swelling around his eyes to go away. My favorite Christmas movie is the “Santa Clause” with Tim Allen. What a great thing to grow up to be, Mrs. Clause, but only if Sean isn’t allergic to reindeer that is.

We ended the week with company. Our company started out as a guest, became a friend and is now part of our family. We enjoyed the conversation, some movie time, sharing of meals and plenty of hugs. Everywhere I go I see people hugging one another. Maybe not the best thing to do during flu and cold season but a universal way of showing we care. It’s a magical time of year. It remains to be seen if I’ll ever be the next Mrs. Clause but one things for sure, as Dr. Seuss says, “Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” and “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, means a little bit more!” Merry Christmas to all!

If you’d like to visit our family, have a heart warming story to share, a thought or word of inspiration, would like more information on how you can make a difference in your community by giving to seniors call, 501-253-4716, email, text or message me on Facebook through The Dirty Farmers Community Market page.