Notes from Jan

Holy Doorknobs

February 22, 2020

It looked like any old storm door handle in this condo complex until  yesterday.

Night had fallen and I hadn’t, which is always a good way to end the day. I’d gone about my usual bedtime routine, turning down the heat, shutting off lights, except for a lamp or two and locking up.

On windy days the storm door sometimes flaps a bit in the breeze so, each night, I open the front door to double check if the storm door’s secure.

It was but something hung from the handle, moving just enough to pique my curiosity.  After steeling myself for a blast of cold, I reached around to retrieve the dangling particle.  (Hope no physicists are reading this.)

Not a flyer advertising something I didn’t need, nor an announcement from the condo association but a gift.

A gift, blowing in the breeze, no name attached!


That’s the kind of neighbor she is.

The kind of neighbor I wish to be.

She reads my blog and still chooses to be seen with me in public.

The gift?

Happy clips.

A set of four wooden clothes pins, the kind Mama and I used to hang Monday’s wash, back when life seemed more ordered.  Sundays were for church, Mondays for washing clothes and Tuesdays for ironing.

These clothespins were painted and each came with a word, suggesting how one might designate a stack of stuff  other than: Keep, Toss, or Giveaway.

They came as a set of Happy Clips:





No need to sort and sob with so much for which to be happy, thankful, blessed and grateful, especially for a neighbor who reads more than words.




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  • Reply Shirley Westrate February 22, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Oh, yes. This one went straight to my heart!

  • Reply Randall Mathews February 22, 2020 at 1:12 pm


    The gift from your neighbor, Beth, reminds me that it’s not the size of the gift that counts but the thought behind it! It is obvious that you are appreciated by your neighbors.
    The next time that you see Maggie and Kate, tell them that I have found another “hugger” at our anglican church. Eli, six years of age, enjoys giving people warm hugs during the passing of the peace each Sunday.
    Blessings, dear friend.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg February 23, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Happy for the hugger and the hugged.

  • Reply Nancy Sheys February 22, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    One of God’s greatest gifts is a good friend! I, too, want to be that kind of friend!❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply Dale February 24, 2020 at 8:30 am

    “Good friends (not fences) make good neighbors. Just when we wonder whether people notice, we are reminded they do. “Back then,” we knew all of our neighbors, now we wonder when they will bring in their garbage cans!

    Glad to be your neighbor (in love), Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg February 24, 2020 at 9:47 am

      Near or far, friends/neighbors always.

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