the kindness of strangers

Yesterday was one of those days.

I felt overwhelmed and close to tears for so many reasons.

The hours dragged on and I felt less than productive.

Lets be honest, I was PMS’ing like a boss.

I asked Mike to stop in at the post office (I miss the daily arrival of mail, I must say) to pick up a week’s worth of mail.  My spirits lifted when I saw the big yellow envelope which clearly held more than a lame old bill.  I wasn’t expecting anything so was a little perplexed.  Inside I found some DVDs, two bamboo USB sticks and a kind note.  The UBS sticks are filled with the River Cottage (I have and adore this cookbook), Not Easy Being Green, and Grand Designs;all British television series to “…get us through these grey days…”.

I know there are folks out there who don’t understand blogging or why I would put so much our lives out there.  There are also days I wonder why I put so much of myself and effort into it.  Sometimes, when I lose focus it drains me, but most of the time it energizes and inspires me.  It keeps me creative and accountable.  It stretches me to new dimensions and helps me articulate jumbled thoughts.

And then there are the sweet and simple connections like this.  It is easy to forget that you touch lives when you write.  Sometimes the words and experiences you share enter someone’s life on just the right day, at just the right moment.  Of course, this goes both ways.  The path less traveled can be a lonely one, but with a large online community of like-minded folks it is lessened and re-affirmed.  The online world of texts, cell phones and social media can be a cold place, but it can also be used to create a warm new place our grandparents didn’t have the benefit of learning from.

Over the course of my blogging years the kind words in my email and comments have been astounding and staggering.  These kindnesses are never lost on me and every time it happens I am ever-humbled.  I try to reply to each email and comment left for me, though my inbox is getting a little busy these days.

So thank you kind new friend (I hope you’re reading this) for sharing a wee piece of yourself with me and my family.  It made my week.


P.S. Feel free to share your own stories of blogging connections and friendships in the comments!  I would love to hear the magic.


go gently + be wonderful


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  1. Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm by mel | Permalink

    you deserve every word and thought of sweetness sent your way Erin! I totally echo and amen your heart in this post – it’s why I blog too – and love it as my daily ‘rhythm’. Ben watched these episodes straight a while back – he’s a fun chef eh?
    needle and nest

    • Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm by erin | Permalink

      I haven’t mastered a daily rhythm with it still, but it is a nice constant for sure.
      How are you feeling love?! Getting close.
      He is quite entertaining and I think it is the perfect thing to watch in the last long stretch of winter to get us pumped for spring :)

  2. Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm by Meryl | Permalink

    So very true! I started blogging just to record things, but I love the tribe of online friends I’ve made along the way.

    • Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm by erin | Permalink

      It is a great way to log the days too!
      It is amazing how many of my facebook friends are from blogging days.
      Let me know if you’d like to do a guest post sometime this month! I would love to have you do that :)

  3. Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm by Bea_OT | Permalink

    Yes. Cyberspace can be cold, but also filled with the kindness of strangers. As a new mom of a child who suffered a stroke, I was devasted and isolated. The online community of strong mothers and even stronger children are helping me heal and stay positive.

    • Posted February 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm by erin | Permalink

      I am so sorry you had to go through something so hear twrenching, but I am glad you experienced the warmth and support I speak of.
      A perfect example.
      Thank you for taking the time to write!

  4. Posted February 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm by Stephanie K. | Permalink

    I hear you…I’ve eaten M+Ms and potato chips for two days straight after eating “clean for almost a month”…yes, it’s PMS.
    Blogging kindnesses…overwhelming! My camera broke and I couldn’t afford another. A kind blogger in the states sent me one in the mail, to get me through till I can afford a “good one”. Another blogger mailed me six crocheted toys to give to my kids for Christmas this past year, and last year a generous blogger friend gave me a gift cert. to Nova Natural toys because I was, yes, broke. Their many kindnesses brought tears and joy to my heart.
    I have a dream of knitting socks for all my blogging friends, and having them get them in the mail in the middle of winter. You’re on the list! :)

    • Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm by erin | Permalink

      It’s so funny you wrote this just as I finished writing an email to Mike asking him to pick up horse radish to go with our organic roast, potatoes, sweet potatoes, coleslaw and corn AND begged that we break the rule for PMS purposes…something along the lines of a deep and delicious chocolate cake. Nasty, but so effing good…I ate it with organic strawberries from last summer 😉
      Those are some pretty incredible examples of kindness. Wow!
      I love your idea of knit socks, and I won’t lie, I am so pleased to be on that list 😉

  5. Posted February 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm by cindy baldwin | Permalink

    I was just telling someone yesterday how continually surprised I am to realize how many dear, close friendships have come from people in my community stumbling across my blog and reaching out to me as a result. I have a number of close personal friendships that have sprung up this way!

    • Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm by erin | Permalink

      I am actually amazed at how many “local” people are reading my blog since beginning in my new space!
      It is so exciting and I think it would be fun to have an annual get together :)
      So great.

  6. Posted February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm by melanie | Permalink

    Mine isn’t a blogging-kindness story but shortly after my 2nd daughter was born I was out with them and after getting them into the car I slammed the door on my finger. I thought it was broken and it certainly looked awful and the blood was going everywhere. Basically I just stood there crying and thinking about how I was going to drive home while bleeding all over the car (I was in shock) and two guys came by and helped me. One sat me down while the other ran to the drug store and they bought gauze and ibuprofen and all kinds of things, cleaned me up and then one drove us all home while the other followed behind in their truck. Later on that day I realized I didn’t even know their last names but thankfully I ran into one in a store a couple weeks later and he almost seemed embarrassed when I started thanking him. It was, however, a really kind thing for these guys to do – they were on their lunch break and used it up to take care of the girls and I.

    • Posted February 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm by erin | Permalink

      Wow! What kind men.
      Gives me a warm feeling that there is still so much kindness in the world.
      Thank you for sharing!

  7. Posted February 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm by Desiree Fawn | Permalink

    Lovely! I’m completely honoured by all of the folks who have reached out to me and my family online. It’s incredible <3

  8. Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm by hari | Permalink

    I have been making it a point this year to increase my kind acts towards strangers! I have experienced first-hand how a kind act by a stranger can change the trajectory of ones mood for weeks even. A lot of my motivation has been inspired by an amazing documentary project I have had the great fortune to work on called American Bear. It simply a beautiful exploration of the kindness that strangers exhibit in this country. The couple who made the project went around the country for 60 days relying on the kindness of strangers for shelter each night and documented their experience. The insight that they shed on this underexposed subject is so powerful! Check out the website here:

    There is also a section on the site where you can submit your own stories:

    And you can also check out the facebook page here:

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