The Unexpected

I am a dedicated gift giver. I love to gift things for people. My friends and staff comment that I am the only person they know who still wraps presents. I am not trying to make any political statement against the gift bag, but I like the hand wrapped present. I really think about the gifts I give people. I am not a dollar store, “just grab something and go” gifter. I plan it. Then I wrap it. I will state that I think cards with gifts are stupid and a waste of $2. A gift tag will suffice. Â

I am occasionally surprised by the generosity and thoughtfulness of people.

Yesterday I had a patient bring me a gift. I forget sometimes that, while I work “in town”, I serve a fairly rural community. In the 2006 census, Alachua county has about 227,000 residents with 96,000 living in the city proper of Gainesville. I suspect more than half of these are actually students enrolled at the university. My point is that my patient population is from the outlying communities, which are rural farming and agrigultural. I have patients that come from Valdosta, Georgia which is north. I have people that come from Cedar Key to the west and East Palatka to the east. Coast to coast. I have people who drive an hour to get to me. It is remarkable. That alone means alot and I feel honored, but then someone does the unexpected.

Yesterday, I had a long-time patient bring me these things, fresh from her land. She is about 10 years younger than me. I take care of her, her husband and their two small kids. They are very nice people. She had taken the honey from the bee hives on her property the day before. Her little girl says, “This is from the bees.” I was touched.


This honey is spectacular to look at and tastes warm and robust. I went a bought a fresh loaf of sour dough for toast with dinner.

The chickens laid these eggs that morning.


The eggs’ shells are brown, green, tan, speckled and simply beautiful.

She apologized and was actually a little embarassed to be “too country”. I reassured her that I thought she was amazing and her generosity was too.