By Hand — What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.

Garry and Divot
Garry and Divot

I’m not sure what to say. You mean, the lumpy ashtrays kids make in school? The kids don’t even think much of them, but we all ooh and aah over them like we have a budding Rembrandt in our midst. Because buttressing the egos of our fledglings is our job.

96-Garry-618Of course, both the nascent Rembrandt and his/her admirers know it ain’t so, but we appreciated the sentiment and good intentions.

So I’ll go with the concept of “not store-bought” as the major factor in this story.

One bright Christmas, Garry had a pictures taken of him and our two dogs, Divot and Pagan. He signed it, and had it framed. Both dogs have long since passed and Garry doesn’t look like that any more, but that was the best gift.

It captured a time and a place that would soon be gone, but because of Garry’s gift, lived with us for decades longer.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

16 thoughts on “LIVING ON”

  1. We have quite a few bits and pieces from the kids. With 4 kids (2 my step kids) it collects. It is all in the cellar, ready for the next move to be dealt with, but they are memories and we can get misty eyed going through them. Love your photo of Garry and his dog. One day I will go through my photos of Nera our big fat black cat, but still feel strange that she is no longer here.


    1. I moved so many times, most of the kids stuff and other miscellaneous vanished. I’m surprised that anything survived. Two transatlantic moves and 7 moves in the U.S. in less than 3 years. It really thins out the herd, as it were. I’m not entirely sorry. There was SO much stuff and in the end, memories are memories and you don’t need the stuff, just your brain. I hope I don’t have to part with THAT!


  2. That’s a tougher challenge than you know for me but I’d have to say the crocheted coffee cup hotplates made by one of my senior ladies during our get togethers. Nobody in our group of 6 has any money yet we all manage to surprise each other just before Christmas. Sometimes cash is the best gift if the person receiving it it hurting financially and can’t afford even the smallest gift. I did that last year and was told later by the recipient how appreciated that cas gift meant to her self esteem.


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