In Harmony with Humans

This past week has me thinking a lot about friendship. There are many benefits to living the lifestyle we do at Our Little House, but I think one of the most unexpected is that it has helped me in harmony with those in my life.

When I was younger, I didn’t value my friendships as I should. I know in some cases I wasn’t as good of a friend as I could have been. There’s been friends whom I know I’ve hurt and another who quit speaking to me although I never learned the reason. There’s been some who have hurt me. However, since moving to Our Little House, I’ve learned to take life – and my friends – more at face value.

Two things happened in the past week that reminded me just how important friendships are. In the mail last week I found a check from a friend and with it was a note. She wrote that the check is for all I do and she wanted to help with Lucky Chloe’s maintenance. When I recovered from the shock, the gesture made me cry. Her check was a welcome relief at a time when we just learned Chloe needed more treatments for worms she picked up somewhere along her unsettled journey between the shelter and rescue.

We also welcomed my Godbrother, Mike, and his wife, Charlotte, at Our Little House this past weekend. It was a celebratory weekend for them and thanks to a new writing gig for me that allows Dale to finally eliminate his part-time job, it was a celebration for us as well.  We had such a good time, we didn’t want our friends to leave, also making me once again value the relationships in our lives.

Life in the suburbs seemed to be all about us, and working to attain more. It was as if our natural ability to fulfill our role in community was out of sync. On the other hand, life in the country and in our little house heightens my awareness, it makes me take stock of everything I have, both physical and emotional.

As I sat on the deck in the sweltering heat after our guests left on Sunday afternoon, I closed my eyes and listened to the cicadas humming their song to their own kind. Soon afterward, two birds began singing to each other. I realized then that there is an inner-connectedness inherent to each species, if only we stopped to listen and nurture the song.

When we do, it’s pure contentment.

If you’re living a more simple life, how have your relationships changed?

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21 Responses

  1. I love this sense of people/place combined … and, is it just me, or does one of those birds look a lot like the Twitter bird?

  2. Good morning Kerri. I too, was moved to tears when I read your heart touching post. It was right-on. You came into my life when I needed someone and I hope we continue to be friends through many seasons.

    Mary Nida

  3. Kathleen Winn says:

    I too neglected friendships in my younger days, and often took for granted the people who cared about me. Also, when I was younger, I had a much wider network of friends, many of whom were more like acquaintances than true friends, people to party and go out with.

    But, in these middle years, I value the connections that I have with a small group of people who I can truly call friends. They are the ones that I know I can pick up the phone and call if I’m stressed, angry or sad, the ones who will listen to me and not judge, the ones who nudge me when I need motivation to write (or who will edit an article at last minute with no complaint :-)and the ones who are there to pick me up when grief or sorrow overwhelms me.

    Just today, I got a call from a hair dresser I went to for over fifteen years. She moved to Chicago a couple years ago and I lost touch with her. She said that she remembered the wonderful talks that we had when she did my hair, and that she always valued my advice and humor. She is now in a difficult situation in another city, trying to figure out what to do next, where to go, what decision will be right for she and her daughter. I was completely surprised that our conversations while waiting for hair color to set held that much meaning for her, and that she’d actually kept my phone number these past two years.

    You never know when a new friend will enter your life or an old one reappear, but Kerri you’re right, we are all connected to each other and it’s important to listen for and nurture the song that is sung from one soul to another.

    • kerri says:

      So glad for your comment, Kathleen. You reminded me that my former accountant in KC, now disabled and unable to work, called me a few months ago. I, too, was surprised that my twice annual visits talking about our mothers and our old neighborhood in Turner meant so much to her. You prompted me to call her to see how she is doing. Thank you!

  4. K9 Coach says:

    In my 20’s and 30’s it was about more, more, more. In my 40’s it is about less is more. I’m MUCH happier.

    I could run a huge dog training company if I wanted (and did) with all the overhead and worries about what was out of my control. Produce more etc.

    I love training dogs and changing people’s lives for the better. I work for myself and take on enough to allow me to spend time with my beloved life partner (who has taught me much about less is more), and my own dogs. Its just me and we my clients, their dogs and myself are much happier these days.

    I have time to write now. Which is coming back to me by getting articles in places like Runners World. I have my own training e-books and I get to live what I teach. Stay within your means, enjoy the moments in life (like dogs do), do as many new activities as you can to stay fit and get outside, use what you already have, eat good food, mostly plants and not too much! 🙂

    • kerri says:

      It sounds like you’ve gotten it down, K9 Coach! There is so much we could learn from dogs, too! 🙂

  5. Alexandra says:

    What a beautiful post! Moved me to tears.

  6. Heather says:

    Friends are indeed precious. I, too, had a best friend that quit speaking to me and I had no idea why. I wish I had probed more, because she died without me knowing.

    Relatives that are also friends are priceless. Good thought-provoking post, Kerri.

    • kerri says:

      That’s very sad, Heather, that your friend died when there was something between you. I did try very hard with my friend, emails, texts, voice messages and even a snail mail. I apologized for whatever it was and asked her to get in touch. For whatever reason, it was obviously time for her to move on. We did connect at a time when we both had suffered a couple of losses in our lives, so maybe the purpose had been served. Thanks for the comment, Heather!

  7. V Schoenwald says:

    My apoligies for the typo’s, I have a case of the “misspell virus”…cure, more tea or coffee or a chocolate treat.

    • kerri says:

      I vote for all 3, V! 🙂

      • V Schoenwald says:

        I forgot to mention that my cats LOVE the hummingbirds on the monitor this morning, they wanted to swat at the movement, and thus almost spilled my tea.
        The hummingbirds are kitty-approved by my klan.

        • kerri says:

          That is too funny, V! The other day, my pittie, Sade, saw her reflection in the monitor and started barking at it! She ran to the other side of the desk wondering what happened to that strange dog she saw! These 4-legged kids provide us plenty of entertainment! 🙂

  8. V Schoenwald says:

    Great post today, Kerri,
    Our relationships with friends really changed. It has been many years, (over 25) and when I decided to slow down and move back from Denver, every relationship that I did have, though not many totally came to a halt. When I decided to quit spending money, buy clothing, go out, etc, I was labled and that was it, no more contact, no anything.
    I came to realize that you try so hard to keep up with the Jones, that you run yourself into the ground, to keep up with the Jones, and its still not enough to do so. And that some people, in order for you to be part of the “A” list with them, you have to do the “hafta to this, hafta do that” if you are to be seen with these people, well I discovered I don’t hafta to anything but be myself, which I did, and it was not a cost, as these people I knew, were not true friends, or for that matter, true enemies, just road blocks to what I needed to get back to.
    We all seek the same paradise for our own simple life, sometimes though, we have different jungles to cross. And the special people that we have here in our little community that Kerri brings to us shows me that there are special people here who are not our judge, jury, and executioner, but truly friends through a very large cyber-community, that I treasure each and every morning, with my morning tea. All are very special to me, true friends.

    • kerri says:

      >>just road blocks to what I needed to get back to<< So true, V. That reminds me of that saying that people come in our lives for a reason and sometimes just a season. When we've grown - or they have - it is sometimes better to move on. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad Living Large brings a sense of community to you each morning. I too, consider you all friends!

  9. Frugal Kiwi says:

    Lovely post. Congrats on the new writing gig and hopefully happy househusband.

    • kerri says:

      Well, thank you, Frugal. Although I should clarify. The hubby will only be quitting his part-time job. He still has a full-time job! I am sure he would love to be a househubby full time, though. 🙂