Our residents went to the Arkansas State Fair today. They had a great time and each brought home several freebies from the booths. Just a minute ago, as I was sitting in the office working, one of the residents came in and was very excited. He said he had been trying to wait until Lowell was here too so that he could give a present to both of us, but he just couldn't wait any longer. He proceeded to hand me a bag of "gifts" he got for me and Lowell today at the fair. I thanked him and set the bag on the desk and continued to work. He stood there and waited and I realized that he wanted me to open it now. So I did.
He gave me a play-by-play and description of each as I removed items from the bag:
1) "a pretty picture book" (actually an Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Region brochure)
2) "a poster book" (actually 2 identical Arkansas South Visitor's Guides)
3) "a road map" (this is actually what it was)
4) "a church book" (this was a small Gideon New Testament - but wait, it comes with Psalms and Proverbs!)
and saving the best for last:
5) "a book for your trips" (this was the 9 Myths about Safety Belts for Truck Drivers - it even comes with a "Safety Belt Pledge" on the back for truck drivers to sign. If anyone wants to know what the 9 myths are, I can go into more detail if necessary.)
One of the other residents came in shortly afterward and "read" to me from the "church book" - she "read from John Lucas 3:17" and talked about the reasons it's okay to die - the main one being that when everyone is dead, there will be nobody left to cook for you.
There's no need to wonder why we have a hard time getting things done around here, what with all the gift opening and philosophical chatter. But then I realize that if the residents are wanting to bring us gifts and discuss eternity with us, then we are building relationships. And that just may be the best gift of all.