Little things that can be big things

Pondering seems to be something that I do while sitting on the back porch, always amazed at the world God has given us, from the green grass to the blue sky. While doing just that the other day, I too considered the people He has sent into my life and the kind things some of them have done for me. Little things. And, yet, things I won’t forget.

My sister, Nancy, just spent the month of June with me, traveling all the way from Colorado. This spring, her daughter’s high school band was fortunate enough to make a trip to Hawaii, where they spent about five days.

Nancy brought me several very nice gifts from that paradise state, but there was one I treasure a bit more: A small, pure white piece of coral. She knew I have only twice been to the ocean – and never to Hawaii – so she tucked away that piece of coral and brought it back to me. When she saw it washed up on the beach, she thought of her sister back home in the mountains. That small gesture on her part – a little thing – touched my heart more than she knew.

My sister-in-law, Darlene, lost her father about a year ago, her mother having passed several years ago. To Darlene fell the task of cleaning out the home place and deciding what to do with so many treasures she found there.

In doing so, she brought to me a small ceramic pitcher and lid, painted with daisies, that she had made for her mother. She said she wanted me to have it. Just a little thing that sits on my back porch table each summer now with a dainty flower of some sort, blooming and reminding me of Darlene’s kindness. The flower this summer is called “Fantasia”, bearing small pink blossoms. I think of her every time I look at it and the fact that she thought of me.

My neighbors across the way, Bill and Terri, are of the very best kind. They come from large families, and to them falls the celebration of holidays on their patio. There’s always quite a crowd, with Bill in charge of the grill.

They know, of course, that I am widowed and cook for just me. Already this summer, during their family cookouts, they have delivered meals to me on four different holidays -and even added two dinners to the delivery while sister Nancy was visiting!

It may seem a little thing to them, but it surely is more than that to me. In the middle of their family get-together, they take the time to prepare me a plate. How neighborly is that?

This next kind gesture really was a bit more than a little thing perhaps. Neighbor Joe and I are garden buddies, a relationship originally established between Joe and my husband before he passed away.

This year my garden efforts were running late; I knew things needed to be in the ground. I really panicked when I looked out one morning and saw Joe tilling his. I hurried up my inside chores, headed for the back door, and stopped dead in my tracks. There was Joe, in my garden, with his tiller, churning away. And not only did he go over it once, he did it twice, just to be sure. How do you thank someone for a “little thing” like that?

In the middle of my back yard stands a Lombardi poplar we planted about 25 years ago. I have always hung birdfeeders on its limbs, and my husband, Bob, and I used to sit and watch all the different birds come to feed, including, at times, a surprise visit from a male woodpecker.

I read that they prefer suet and mentioned to him that I needed a “shelf” in the tree to put a suet tray. When I came home from work one day, he led me to the back yard, and pointed at the poplar where a rough “shelf” was positioned in the fork of the two main limbs.

It was nothing fancy, just three pieces of old lumber nailed together, but he had taken the time to make it for me among the many other things that he had to do that day. The tree has grown and crowded out the shelf, pieces of which fell to the ground just a few weeks ago. It had been there for at least 15 years. It was just a little thing . . .

There may be little things you have considered doing for someone, but you thought them coincidental, unimportant. Think again. They may mean more than you realize. After all, it seems to be the little things that make the biggest

impression.