A Gift of Time by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1Lately it seems as though I am simply surviving. I move from one task to the next with little ability or energy to plan beyond the next deadline or responsibility. I have been sick the last week or so, a cold that just won’t go away, but it’s more than that. I’m the one who plans for holidays and birthdays weeks or more in advance yet this Valentine’s Day I shopped for a little something for my daughter the night before. I don’t like living from one chore to the next but I can’t seem to get caught up enough to shift into a more thoughtful, intentional mode.

This issue has nagged at me for a few days because one of my closest friends, Jodi, had a birthday yesterday. We are celebrating together today and I want to do something to let her know how important she is to me. We met at the public pool when both of our daughters were around four or so. We clicked immediately and moved beyond the pool to having play-dates. It quickly became clear that while we were becoming friends, our daughters were not as compatible, so we ditched the kids play date but have made it a mission to have breakfast or lunch together one day a month during the school year. We’ve been doing this consistently since the girls started friendshipkindergarten, so it’s been about eight years.

Jodi is awesome because she supports me in everything I’m up to, gives great advice, and knows we can disagree on certain issues (mostly politics) without having it be personal. We both have busy lives and just knowing she’s there for me, as I am for her, is all we need. We don’t chat on the phone or spend lots of time together, but we know if we need anything, help, support, understanding, or just someone to say it’s okay, the other will be there – no questions asked.

For my birthday in September, Jodi made me a bag of gifts based on a blog I wrote. She filled it with several different things that she really enjoys and wanted to share with me. I was touched that she had read the blog but also that she put so much thought and effort into my gift.

And this leads me back to my issue of moving from one task to another. I want to do something as thoughtful for her as she did for me. CIMG1630This isn’t about a competition; I just want her to feel as special on her birthday as she made me feel on mine.

We are meeting at a French restaurant we like for her birthday lunch and I have purchased a few things that are “her” but they don’t feel special enough. I wanted something that was thoughtful and was a gift of effort as well as a “thing.” Then I knew what to do.

Yesterday I spent a good part of my time making home-made yeast bread. I used the recipe my paternal Erin_18AUG1977_Youth_Fairgrandmother baked almost every weekend and which she passed on to my mother. I earned “Best in Show” with a loaf I made from this recipe at the county fair when I was in High School. One of my best childhood memories is the smell of this bread baking in the oven. My own daughter loves this bread as much as I do, and can’t wait for it to cool before cutting a thick slice and slathering it with butter.

So, I am giving Jodi the time and effort that I used to make her something that’s both tasty and a piece of my history. I know she’ll appreciate the gift for all that it is and hope that it conveys what a gift she is in my life.

Some friends are just worth the extra effort.

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13 thoughts on “A Gift of Time by Erin Farwell

  1. Erin, this is so special. I see you have a couple of stories for the anthology I’m editing. Short stories are okay. This is so touching, plus I’d love to see the story of your journey into parenthood. the anthology also is asking for a family recipe. I know your feelings. Sounds like you have a touch of SAD. You are blessed. I too have a friend like Jody, but lately either she or I have been sick, so we haven’t met for awhile. Thanks for the thoughts. Cher’ley


    1. Thanks, Cher’ley! I may have a touch of SAD. I hadn’t thought about it so thanks for the suggestion. I would love to submit something for your anthology. I’ve been so busy with freelance writing deadlines lately that I am afraid I’m out of the loop. Can you send me info on the anthology? Thanks,Erin


  2. Reblogged this on L.LEANDER BOOKS and commented:
    Thought you’d enjoy this post from Erin Farwell on today’s Writing Wranglers and Warriors. Such a special thought for “those who have everything” or when you are out of ideas for a gift. You’ll enjoy this one!


  3. Friends like yours are jewels that never lose value. What a gift you have in her and she in you. The bread sounds so special and i know you will have a wonderful time, and she will love it as you believe she will.

    Time, they say as we get older, goes faster. That may or may not be true, but the demands on said time do get larger. Coupled with colder days and less sunshine, it is hard to get motivated. Take care of yourself, get well, and take some ‘time’ to be you. Doris


    1. Thanks Doris. This is so sweet! My friend and I had a great lunch and I think she liked the blog more than the bread. She is a jewel to me and one I will treasure. Thanks for your kind words.


  4. Homemade bread and a homemade blog–beautiful gifts for a dear friend.

    As for shifting into a more intentional mode–a cold drains you of a lot of energy, even after you consider yourself recovered. (The voice of experience.) Be kind to yourself.


  5. Erin, this was a very poignant and heartfelt blog post — I loved it! And, I relate to your lack of energy and feeling that you’re just “there.” I agree with Cher’ley — SAD could be part of the culprit plus your cold. We are having an extra tough winter and those of you in the East especially so, therefore, do take time to slow down, rest, and be “you.” Deadlines must be met, yes, but perhaps you can request an extension on one or two due to your illness. Thanks for taking time for this post and your friend…but do take time for you, too! We Wranglers are thankful for you and if you can send some of that bread via cyberspace, I’d love some for breakfast! LOL Take care!!


  6. That bread makes me want to start baking! I sometimes use the bread machine now but when first married and my husband packed a lunch, I made 6 loaves by hand every week. Store bought was a treat! Now homemade is a treat. What a thoughtful friend you are and it was a very emotional blog. It also made me hang on to see what you settled on for a special gift. Hope your energy comes back soon.


  7. Erin-that will be an extra special gift and I’m sure Jodi will love it. It looks beautifully browned and mouthwatering. I love a slice warm with butter – even if it isn’t good for me! I’ve been making home made pizzas for the family, since we’re trying to cut out processed foods for the little ones (and the big ones as well). I know how well prepared you have to be with bread dough and that successful dough takes time and effort (mine needs more practise but I’ll get there in a bit 😦 )
    Your photo is cute, too.


  8. I too have memories of home-cooked bread. My mom cooked it back in the early ’60s when we lived in Southern California. Loved the taste of that bread. I’m a jelly man… just love to spread grape or strawberry jelly on tasty bread or a roll.


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