Good People

We had a bad thing turn turn into a blessing the day before Easter this year. Let me rewind a bit. Last March Chris and I got an Air B&B place so we could stay near Lauren and CJ for a bit when our grandchild was born in early August. It was ideal. — only a five-minute drive and a half-hour walk from the young adults (and Zeb and Bri). It had two bedrooms so other guests could stay with us, too. Lovely.

We paid for it and happily moved on until we got an email the day before Easter. The hosts cancelled on us, and the only local options now available were quite a bit more expensive. I was quite stressed, but by Easter morning had realized that it was a first world issue.

1. We didn’t need to stay as long.
2. We could stay in housing for about the same original price if we drove 20 minutes – not ideal but doable.
3. We were lucky our work schedules allowed us to go at all.

Then we heard back from a place I petitioned (from a Facebook Marketplace listing Lauren found on that Saturday), and long story short, we got a place with a guest room just a few houses away from the kiddos for an even more affordable price than the original housing situation. This one even came with a BBQ, deck, Jacuzzi and two mountain bikes 🙂

The woman who owns the place wrote me a message saying: I felt it all out and it felt good for me to pick you. This apartment has a story, it was never to be a business just to help out friends and family. I totally do it by feel. I just felt you needed it.

She also said we could come whenever we wanted since nobody knows when babies happen. Little did we know at the time, but we wouldn’t be coming early for the baby, but we would be early for the wedding of our middle son 🙂

I asked for more time and inquired about pricing for the extended stay. It was suggested I quote a price, which I did, and the couple counter-offered my suggestion with an even lower amount! Who does that in this day and age? Amazing people. That’s who.

Then I realized I messed up the date of the wedding and had to write again to see if we could come a day earlier. This made me cringe. One of my biggest frustrations in life is dealing with people who push and push to get just a little more… and here I was, becoming my own nightmare.

When I got a response, it started with, “At this point…” and my heart sank. I thought I ruined all the communications and abused the kindness. Then I read on. The full response was:

At this point I feel fine with you staying as long as you want between the 1st of July to Sept. 4th. With out me charging you anymore.

Say what?!?!?! I had to read that a few times. And my heart was so full.

This felt like a good story to share since it’s a reminder that there truly are good people in this world. People who go out of their way to help others. And sometimes when we think terrible events are happening, something amazing can be right around the corner. What a miracle this turned out to be for us. I’m so thankful.

Kind People Running Coffee Shops

When I visit Europe, it somehow seems magical. Although I know that the people there are the same as the people here, the parks, restaurants and homes seem to have a bit more enchantment. As a result, I am now deliberately seeking similar spots here in the United States. To my delight, I’m realizing that it’s not too difficult. Charming places abound — such as this great little coffee/bagel spot we found in Oakville, Ct. The kindness of the people there was inspirational, and I’m also thankful for the experience.

Chris and I had to kill a few hours while our new-to-us car was getting touched up, and the mechanics at the dealer recommended a place up the street where we could work and grab a bite to eat. We headed up the road, past an old mill  that seemed steeped with  history.

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Shortly after that, we stood on a bridge to watch some geese swim. Locals have clearly been feeding them since they all started swimming towards us as soon as we stopped.

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We made it to our destination and were welcomed like family. The food was freshly cooked, and the Internet was strong. Sometimes when I work at a place of hours on end, I feel a bit intrusive. But at this place, the woman who was running the place actually came over to us and thanked us for working there. She told us that it was so nice to see the place being used like that (then she offered us free coffee–isn’t that amazing?).

As the hours drifted on, we ordered lunch there as well. Equally as good as breakfast. They even has fresh old-fashioned-style ginger beer.

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People drifted in and out — each person welcomed sincerely. Some brought gifts such as fresh herbs from a local farmer’s market. The small-town “let’s all work together to make each other’s life better” vibe was certainly strong.

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The woman running the place stepped out with a patron for a moment, and they graciously posed for a picture for me.

If I’m ever back in that area, I know I will be stopping in at Baked and Brewed.

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Larry Boy Greets my Boys

PISTACHIO - VeggieTales.Box ArtThe other day I woke up with a VeggieTales song stuck in my head. Since my kids are 15+, this is not a common event anymore. It was a great way to wake up, though, and reminded me of one of my favorite interviews.

Years ago I interviewed Mike Nawrocki (VeggieTales co-creator and voice of Larry Boy), and he gave my kids a special greeting at the end of the interview. Although they are quite a bit older now, it’s still a family treasure:


A year or so later, he allowed Hudi to interview him (Hudi’s first official interview). Really great guy. Another reminder that a little kindness can make a great impact on others.

Here’s the song I had stuck in my head: