Relationships

11 Feel-Good Reader Comments

dogs

We’ve been on the lookout for all the pick-me-ups lately, from cheerful songs to what readers are wearing at home. So, without further ado, here are 11 comments on heartwarming moments…

On a helping hand:

“I went into labor early with my second child while my husband was out of town for work. We had recently moved to a new state and had no family nearby, so I called the retired couple next door to see if one could watch my son and the other take me to the hospital. Not only do they rush to my help, but the wife ended up staying with me throughout the entire labor, helped deliver the baby and spent the night on the awful sleeper couch in the room. As soon as my husband walked through the door the next morning, she smiled, picked up her purse, said congratulations and left, knowing we would want to spend our first minutes reunited as a family alone. I tear up just thinking about how wonderful they were in such a crazy situation.” —Stefanie

On new indoor routines:

“Every morning, I get up at 7 a.m. I take the dog out, then open the blinds in the living room and lie down on the couch, wrap myself in a blanket, and wait for the rays to hit my face and the leaves of my nearby jade plant. I get an hour and a half of quiet with my dog, appreciating the sun, before my husband wakes up. It’s a beautiful way to start the day.” — Allison

“I do so many things to feel better during quarantine! Among them, drinking and smoking weed on the weekends, adding to my spring playlist on Spotify, organizing random areas of my house (spice shelf, tupperware drawer, etc.), sexting with my FWB, cooking in general (especially slow, methodical things like risotto and caramelized onions), making lists, putting on eyeliner before any Zoom interaction (an Indian woman needs her eyeliner!), occasionally treating myself to random sh*t I don’t need (Madewell jeans, gourmet condiments, perhaps a new cookbook), watching ‘The Big Family Cooking Showdown’…the list goes on!” — R

“I’ve become OBSESSED with nature over the last five weeks. I watch hummingbirds outside my window while working, and spend time on the front porch observing squirrels forage and fight. Oh, and the stars are the brightest they’ve been in 20+ years due to the reduced traffic pollution. There’s something deeply comforting about earth and its creatures carrying on as usual, and it’s humbling to recognize all of the beauty I never took the time to notice before.” — Em

On things that make us chuckle:

“Once I answered the phone at work with ‘Hi, this is Jen’, and the caller said, ‘Oh hi, Joan,’ and I said, ‘No, this is Jen,’ and she said ‘Oh hi, Karen.’ I gave up after that, but then, just for fun, I started answering the phone as Karen once in a while.” — Jen

“About 10 years ago, I was in line at Target, having a stressed out/overwhelmed/cranky kind of day. I noticed the cashier was singing as he was checking his customers out and thought, ‘This guy’s nuts.’ He sang through my purchases, then looked at me and asked, ‘Why don’t seagulls live by the bay?’ I looked at him blankly. ‘Because then they would be called bagels!’ he stated. I couldn’t help but laugh, and with a simple joke and a momentary connection that cashier turned my whole day around. It made such a huge impression that, 10 years later, all my husband has to say to me is ‘bagels!’ to make me smile.” — Summer

On things that make your heart flutter:

“When I was leaving the laundromat, I overheard a guy in the car parked next to me say, ‘I’ll be right back, okay?’ and I thought to myself, ‘Is he leaving his child in the car??’ I looked over and there was no one there but his dog sitting in the passenger seat. He was talking to his dog! I just about DIED.”
Beth

“My three-year-old daughter takes my face in her hands and gives me a kiss on each cheek when she says goodbye, sees me after we’ve been apart and sometimes for no reason at all. I have no idea where she learned it, and those two pecks are like a blessing.” — Anna

On making errands special:

“My sister-in-law took me to Costco with her and let me take full advantage of bulk deals. We talked about so many important things that couldn’t have been adequately discussed with everyone else around. We even sat in the driveway afterward until we got cold. Dates are good for marriages, children and family relationships!” — Lacey

On serendipity:

“Ten years ago, in Oklahoma, I got a call out of the blue on my office line from a bookstore in Minnesota, and it turned out to be an acquaintance from high school calling about a book. There must have been a catch in my voice because he asked if something was wrong. This unsuspecting guy from a lifetime earlier had happened to call moments after I’d found out I was being laid off! I spilled, and he was so nice and encouraging about it. We lost touch again until a few years later and, well, that time I married him.” — Le

On perfect moments:

“My favorite song played at our wedding was definitely Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s my 85-year-old Cuban grandpa’s favorite song (he calls it ‘Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia’ because those are the only words he knows). Everyone sang along and the joy on his face while dancing with his grandkids is something I’ll cherish forever.” — Jenn

Have any more moments to add? We’d love to hear!

P.S. 15 funny reader comments and the best reader comments of all time.

(Photo by Samantha Gehrmann/Stocksy)

  1. Linda L. Copas says...

    Whenever I see a mother with a special needs child, I always make it a point to say, “You must be an exceptional mother because these children only go to those mothers with very loving hearts. I know because my mother and brother were so loving.” My brother was born several weeks premature and doctors advised her to institutionalize him and forget him. She did not, and Michael was a blessing to us all. We all participated in all of his care, and won his great smiles and giggles. He had a terrific sense of humor and was quite a prankster. After delivering my message to another mother with a loving heart, I think about the gifts Mom and Mike were to me.
    The nicest thing anyone ever said to me was my son. College was never in my windshield, and I thought occasionally about what opportunities it may have offered me to do for my family. My son graduated from college at the top of his class and Phi Beta Kappa. I don’t remember what prompted his comment, but one day he told me, “Mom . . . college would have been a snap for you”!

  2. AC says...

    So after reading those, this is really superficial and I am sorry but I was having a really bad day with depression at work and suddenly an email from a resident pops into my work email and there is a Starbucks card attached to it saying “for all you do”. Just that little thing, somebody thinking of me made me tear up as silly as that sounds. Coffee is my life blood and I work at an apt complex for seniors on a fixed income so the fact she was willing to spend any money at all was very kind of her.

    There is still plenty of kindness and goodness in the world, we just have to look for it sometimes.

  3. JN says...

    On things that made me chuckle:
    I’ve been teaching virtual piano lessons from home during quarantine which has been an interesting experience. I usually go to my students’ houses to teach so for some younger ones, they don’t totally realize I have a life outside of our piano lessons. The other day I was teaching one of my 7 year olds via FaceTime when all of a sudden he stopped me and said, “whoa, whoa, whoa. Where are you right now???” I replied that I was at my house, sitting at the piano. He was completely shocked and said, “What!? You have your own house? You don’t just go to students’ houses?” He truly thought that I just appeared at his house for one hour a week then went the rest of the week hopping around to other students houses all day long. I love the way the minds of kids work. ?

  4. Carly says...

    I have an 11 month-old dog, and I talk to him constantly! I can’t imagine not talking to him, even though I know he doesn’t understand what I’m saying (though he certainly understands his commands). Using a soothing voice is one way I have to communicate my love to him. It’s interesting to me that talking to one’s dog would strike anyone as notable.

    • Carrie B says...

      Same! I ALWAYS talk to my pets. I bet they’d feel lonely if their owners didn’t!

    • AC says...

      I do that too with my cat. I even tell him about my day etc. I probably look crazy but I don’t care. I like that I can just vent and he just stares at me with sleepy eyes. Animals are the best!

    • Ha I came to the comments to say Beth must have never had pets. I feel like what he did was really commonplace, no? Like who doesn’t talk to their pets? I have a hamster and both me and my SO still talk to her daily.

    • Kayla Koterbay says...

      My husband and I constantly talk to our two cats as if they’re just other people in our house. Sometimes from the other room I’ll hear him say something in a pretty normal tone, and I’ll be like “what did you say?” and he’s respond “nothing! I was just talking to Scout (the cat)”.

  5. Tara says...

    The other day my 6year old son was chatting away during our 1/2 mile walk to the mailbox. He went on and on about dandelions being his favorite flowers because they are “hardy“, “strong“, and “not fancy”. Fishing for some love, I said, “huh? kind of sounds like your mama.” He paused for a breath, turned to me, and said, “well, Mama, you are like a dandelion physically…. but, not-so-much emotionally.”
    Wow.

    • olivia says...

      oh. my. god. this made me laugh (and snort) out loud.

    • Rita Martins says...

      Eheheh so cute

  6. Allison says...

    I grew up in Lancaster, PA and my 4 year old daughter is very familiar with seeing the Amish horse drawn carriages when we go back to visit her grandparents. Last night my husband shared their bedtime conversation- “Daddy, I know why mommy had horse and buggies everywhere when she grew up. It was olden times.” The logic of a 4 year old!!! I promptly went upstairs to apply some eye serum.

    • Erin says...

      When my son was 3 or 4, he thought the fact that I was born in what he called “the nineteens” meant I must be at least 100 years old.

  7. Thami says...

    About the “saying ‘be right back’ dog story”:
    When my grandpa from out of town visited us, he would bring his dog with him but would have to leave the dog home whenever we went out. However he was really attached to the dog and felt bad leaving her alone, so before leaving he always said: “don’t worry, grandpa is going to church, he’ll be right back.” But we were never going to church!! We were going out to a restaurant or the beach.
    We think his rationale was either that if the dog “thought” he was going to church he would be forgiven for leaving her alone or that he felt bad about having fun while the dog stayed home alone.
    The whole family loves this story, and it is only more memorable now that he started to lose his memory due to Alzheimer’s. it show’s how caring, in his own way, he could be.

    • Suzanne says...

      I also love that he is “grandpa” to the dog!! Not “dad” or any other moniker because in his heart he *is* grandpa. Love!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      suzanne, that is such a sweet observation!!

  8. Eliza says...

    My kids inherited a fish from their cousin who is moving which was a real pandemic pick-me-up; they set up a book with pictures by the tank and turn the page twice a day for Nebula George (the fish) to have something new to read.

    • Anna B says...

      Makes me laugh! So cute.

    • Abbe says...

      Love this!!

      Max, our toad–who came out of his winter hibernation just in time for quarantine–is getting similar attention from my three young kids right now.

      My daughter (8) even made Max a spider costume out of construction paper and Scotch tape and expected me to somehow get it on him. That was a tough one to break to her.

    • AC says...

      That is so cute same with ABBE. Kids can be so funny and sweet.

  9. Rusty says...

    I’m having a crappy ol’ time. I literally haven’t had the time, even late at night, it’s after midnight here in Western Australia, to read CoJ.
    And OMG I made the time to come here, to my safe place and all of these comments have grounded me.
    Thank you CoJ and all you people, for being in touch with your humanity, reconnecting with nature (that is always, always there amongst the so kmportant, not, busyness). xxx

    Mother Earth needs us to stand for her when this threat to us, we humans, passes. Because, our home, our planet, nature is under threat … from us.

    MAYBE WE ARE THE VIRUS that is trying to kill Mother Earth by our greed and selfishness for more…bigger…better?!

    Please, as we edge our way out of this, let’s not go BACK to the way we were. Let us GROW FORWARDS and evolve to love and care for nature and the Earth that gives us all we have.

    • AC says...

      Agree my safe place too. What part of Australia do you live in? My family is from Queensland. Its gorgeous. One day I want to take my husband to visit.

  10. Emma says...

    I was taking one of my leisurely sanity walks a few Sundays ago and two girls on a run ran past me. One shouted behind her to me, “you have beautiful hair!” and I immediately smiled and said, “OMG thank you, that is so sweet.” She said, “it’s true! Have a good day!” and it was one of the nicest things that made my whole day. I hope these small, sweet gestures are what we remember most from this time, years down the road.

    • JN says...

      Oh my gosh, the sweet little human interactions during these times are what’s keeping me going. More people seem to be smiling or waving from their windows as others go by. Thanks for sharing this adorable moment. ❤️

    • Kayla Koterbay says...

      This reminds me, the other day I was also taking one of my leisurely sanity walks through the park. And there were these two little girls (4 or 5) tearing it up on their tiny little scooters. As they were both trekking back up a hilly portion, to turn around and go back down, the one littler girl screamed to the other and said “I’m having the best time!” in which the other little girl responded “Me TOO!” Which just about melted my heart.

  11. Erin says...

    yes if i’m leaving my dog in the car for like a minute (Never in the summer though, I always tell her I’ll be right back.) It’s just a weird humbling thing to say hey, I’m not just leaving you here.

  12. Jane says...

    When we go for our daily sanity walk, my 4 year old son often asks me to slow down so he can smell different flowers. We have nowhere to go and nothing to do, and I love that he reminds me to pause for the beauty around us. It feels especially important when everything else is so exhausting, scary, and intense.

  13. Robyn says...

    On a Tuesday before Thanksgiving I was in Trader Joe’s. It was so crowded and the shoppers appeared to be very irritated. In the veggie section I saw a little girl dancing with utter glee to “The Rhythm is Going to Get Ya”. It was so sweet and funny. It made my day. This has been several years ago but I think back to that little girl every time I go to TJ’s.???

  14. Liz says...

    I was 8 months pregnant in the middle of a hot Texas summer, swollen , sweaty and generally uncomfortable. My husband and I were shopping at the grocery store and this random woman stopped me and said “I can tell you are over this but you look beautiful, you are doing just GREAT, and you’ve totally got this”. I burst into tears, it was the kindest thing a stranger has said or done to me. I try to pay the same thing forward when I see pregnant women with that same “look” of misery.

  15. Erin says...

    I am a hospice social worker and it has been so strange to not be able to hug or shake hands or physically comfort people. Recently I was visiting a patient at home and his little dog jumped up and put his paws on my knee. When she got down the patient reached over and gently dusted the paw prints off my pants. It almost took my breath away as I realized I hasn’t been touched by anyone besides my husband in weeks…it was such a touching and poignant moment .

    • AC says...

      Bless you for doing what you do! I once wanted to volunteer at a hospice but only got as far as volunteering in the office. The strength it takes to work with the patients is amazing.

  16. Elizabeth says...

    “On Serendipity” needs to be a movie! I want to know more about all of this!

  17. Karolina says...

    Why wouldn’t he let his dog know he would be right back? Leaving him without saying anything would be plain R.U.D.E.

    • Em says...

      Hahah! Yes, exactly right :-)

    • Cait says...

      Right? My dog gets an “I love you, be a good girl, I’ll be right back.”

    • Rusty says...

      I talk to my dog all the time! ?
      At home, yeah, no problem…but I walk her around the block kost days and because she’s a bit (okay, sometimes a LOT) anxious, I’m always rabbiting on with “You’re okay. Great job! Good girl. Very nice walking today, Rosie.” She likes to “read the postcards” from other dogs and I’m saying “Not too much missy, you’re not going to inhale so much that you catch something.”
      Really?! I’ve become a dog lady!!!! Hahaha ?

  18. anna says...

    Nothing I love more than a random act of kindness or unmerited grace, so i’ll share mine:
    About a year ago I was a college senior home on my last spring break. I didn’t have a car so I’d borrowed my mom’s to go to the thrift store. Her car is not my favorite to drive, for some reason; it just feels really bulky and cumbersome to me even though I’m used to driving much bigger cars.
    When I was pulling out to leave, I tapped the bumper of another car as I tried to pull forward. I’d NEVER hit a car before and was freaking out, so I walked back inside and told an employee what happened so we could find the owner. I couldn’t reach my parents even though I was calling and texting like crazy. As I stood in the store, I picked out the one person I didn’t want it to be: a very tall, very intimidating older man. Of course, that’s who it was. His wife told him what happened and initially he was really angry, but when we went out and saw the damage (I only cracked the casing on the light next to his license plate) he calmed down and told me he tows trucks for a living and can just take the spare casing off a car he scraps. They told me not to worry about it and just be careful. I ended up sobbing the whole way home and am so grateful for the completely undeserved kindness they showed to a very stressed 20-year-old :)

    • Cynthia Miller says...

      That’s a wonderful grace story. I have several like this. The time I “kissed” the brand new bumper of someone at my kid’s school. I waited to tell him and make sure there was no damage- and because I did that, he was very gracious. The time I backed into the neighbor’s brand new truck! He was exceptionally gracious, too. Now I try to be gracious when people do this to me. I’m not very good at it, though.

  19. Neely says...

    Ok, R, I relate! Thank you for sharing your fun pandemic habits. All the stories and shares about the importance of eating more kale and meditating more… that just stresses me out and makes me roll my eyes. Give me my favorite Spotify playlist and a vodka cranberry — that’s how I’m staying happy at the end of my work/parenting day.

    • elena says...

      same!

    • Angela says...

      So much pot smoking! It is medicine after all ;) And it goes so well with music and making playlists and baking and nature walks and all the other simple joys during this wacky ass time.

    • Samantha says...

      Fruity Pebbles cannabis every night as prescribed by my dr

    • R says...

      Hahaha, glad you can relate! I go hard in terms of work and single parenting all day every day, thus I’m so happy that I can still get my vices on in limited doses during the weekend (I’ll have to look for the Fruity Pebbles!). Yay for baking and nature walks too!

  20. AmyJ says...

    This YouTube video I saw yesterday was just incredibly beautiful and resonant about how we might view all of this in hindsight. I hope you all enjoy it.

    https://youtu.be/y1XtWIpNjts

    • May says...

      I loved this! Thank you so much for sharing :)

    • Kristen Waas says...

      Wow, this video actually made me cry. Thank you for that, Amyj!

    • Rusty says...

      W.O.W!
      I just sent that to soooooo many people.
      Thank you! ?

    • Mary says...

      So beautiful – thank you

  21. My neighbor has started hosting bedtime stories for my kids. She’s a single mom with a teenage daughter is home from college due to COVID. Every Monday night my small kids drag their sleeping bags across the street, lie down in their front yard, and my neighbor and her daughter sit on the porch to read them stories. My kids love it, and my neighbor texted me to say they spend the week thinking about what stories they will love (recent hits include Walter the Farting Dog and Shel Silverstein). I am so thankful for a few minutes of childcare, but even more thankful for the feeling of being connected and in community right now.

    • Naomi H says...

      What a creative, kind and loving neighbor, I am sure this memory will stay with your kids forever!

    • becca says...

      This is making me teary-eyed. Such a sweet gesture!

    • Molly says...

      How sweet!! They’ll all have such lovely memories of this time! xoxo

    • Kristie says...

      This is so delightful!

  22. Michelle says...

    I keep laughing that I’m going to have to re-introduce my girls (5&3) to civilized society when this is all over. They’ve slowly, and then quickly slid into feral territory. Always eating, rarely clothed, usually dirty. This is the kind of mom I thought I’d be but the busyness and anxiety built up over the years. We ride bikes after dinner, eat lots of ice cream, and they fall asleep freshly bathed, tired and a little pink way past bedtime. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but I love it.

    • Christina says...

      Michelle, this sounds like a dream!! What a great mom you are. <3

    • Molly says...

      Beautiful!! xoxo

    • AC says...

      That sounds wonderful! They must be very happy. Good job!

  23. Kat O says...

    I always tell my dog I’ll be right back if I have to leave her in the car! Sometimes I’ll even let her know how long I’ll be: “I just have to run in and return this, I’ll be back in a few minutes. You’ll be fine.”

    • Neha says...

      Me too!! He’d be appalled if I didn’t. ?

    • Nat says...

      I do too! If I don’t tell him, how would he know?:)

    • Rusty says...

      A friend of mine commented loudly, “Do you realize what you just said!?” I’d said to a group of wild Magpies that I feed each day, “I’ll be right with you in a minute” as I finished sweeping the verandah.
      Hahaha! Why not?! They’re feathered people!
      Ha!

  24. recently i started to grow sourdough pet and one day it really doubled its size and I was so happy and kept showing the jar to my husband saying how beautiful it is.
    and then my 8 years old came: let me see. where is her face? why is it beautiful?
    omg……

  25. love the comment about the 3 years old girl :)

  26. katie says...

    My sweet Mom-Mom would always repeat to our Sparky dog “Back in a minute, back in a minute, back in a minute” when she’d leave after a visit. Always made me wonder how she spoke to us when we were toddlers :-)

    • Rusty says...

      I don’t have children and I often hear my mother’s voice and loving comments come out of my mouth as I talk to my dog. ;)

  27. Lisa says...

    My husband and I have been working from home full time with a two year old and a four year old, so it has been … intense. But my babies have been so sweet, particularly the two year old. Earlier today I went through to the kitchen and she took my cheeks in her squidgy hands and said “how are you doing? You ok?”
    So empathetic

  28. Agnès says...

    That was such a wonderful thing to read. Also, i’m going home tomorrow after 2 months of super strict quarantine and on monday we can officially go out. I am so excited to see people again. SO happy. I know it s not over but oh the joy of seeing someone i know…

    • Agnès says...

      From France.

  29. P says...

    My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for several months. We’ve thought how it’s probably insane to try right now with everything going on, but as it’s our first we don’t know how long it will take (am I infertile? does everything work ok? etc.)

    Yesterday we found out I’m pregnant. :) It’s still extremely early so who knows what will happen, but it feels special to have something to celebrate right now.

    • Hannah says...

      Congratulations!!!!! What a wonderful reason to celebrate now and always!

    • Heather says...

      Congratulations!

    • Pamela says...

      AHHHH!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    • Johanna says...

      Congratulations! I’m a baby nurse and while I know it’s nerve-wracking time for expectant and new parents, the joy of welcoming a new baby makes the world seem like it’ll be ok. Lots of love and well-wishes on your pregnancy.

    • Joy says...

      Congratulations!

    • Diana says...

      Congratulations! I‘m so happy for you :) greetings from Germany!

    • Georgie says...

      Congratulations!

    • Elena says...

      Congratulations!! What wonderful news!

    • Cynthia Miller says...

      Congratulations! It’s always a good time to affirm and celebrate life. I thought it was insane to birth a child into the world that was post 9/11 and Iraq war, and 17 years later I have a gorgeous, smart daughter who is WOKE and will change the world.

    • Karly Stilling says...

      Congratulations! I’m in the same boat. My husband and I had been trying since November and it seemed silly to stop – because who knows how long it could take? Well, turns out quarantine worked for us – found out we’re expecting 10 days ago! :)

  30. Laura J says...

    Of course you need to tell the dog when you’ll be back! I also tell mine, “You’re in charge” when I leave him.

    • Meghan says...

      I have 2 cats and I always tell one that he or she is in charge when I leave! Then I remind the other cat to listen to the one who was left in charge. And I switch it up. So no one gets left out.

  31. shannon says...

    Please, someone in film, buy the rights to Le’s story and make it into the movie it deserves to be. Chills!!!

    • J says...

      I know…love that!

    • Mariana says...

      Yes!!

    • kath says...

      + 1 I mean, what?!?!

    • HH says...

      YES! Oh my goodness, I was reading it and it hit me… “Le” (not her name!) is MY SISTER!

  32. J says...

    Hi,
    During my drive home from work (essential retail) I have been singing
    Louis Armstrong’s “ what a wonderful world “. The lyrics are soothing.

  33. Nora says...

    When my daughter was around 4 (she’s now 7), one day while tucking her in at bedtime, she told me, “before I was born, before I was in your tummy, I picked you… yeah, that’s how it works, mama — I picked you as my mom.”

    I was floored. If that’s really the way “it works”, just imagining her and God, looking down from Heaven.. Him asking “which one would you like?” and her pointing, saying “I pick her” among the billions of people… touched me like nothing else. Even if this isn’t the way it works, her words are probably the best thing I’ve ever heard. They’ve carried me through. And if this IS the way it really works, oh my heart, my everything!

    • fgb says...

      I love this. When my now 14 year old son was about that age he said the same thing. He was so firm on it and I remember thinking (still do), boy, what an incredible honor that you picked me!

    • Laura F says...

      Oh, holy cow, my son (now 26) said something like this at age 5! I was tucking him in, story time, chatting, and I told him how lucky I always felt that I got to be his mom.
      Well, he explained (he has always been a 100% earnest person): before I was born, I got to watch a TV show about some of the mamas I could pick, and I liked you the best.
      He does not recall the conversation, but I tell you it forever changed the way this planet orbits beneath my feet.

  34. Miriah E. says...

    I came into an empty living room after holing myself in the “home office” to finish a work deadline. There was classical music playing and I looked out the window to see my husband and three boys, all shirts off, having a water balloon fight in the backyard. I couldn’t hear them, but with the classical music, it was like a modern, male-only ballet. It was beautiful.

    • Alex says...

      this is such a lovely picture you’ve painted!

    • briana says...

      I love this

  35. Melz says...

    I’m turning in to the true- blue hippie that lives deep within my spirit.
    I’m an online teacher & my students love me everyday! I’m feeling closer to nature, myself & my family!

  36. Elizabeth says...

    I’ve had a real roller coaster week. On Monday, during a virtual meeting, I happened to click on the newspaper of the city where I used to live. I’m too cheap to buy the on-line version but I always check the headlines. This time, I saw the headline that the husband of a good friend died suddenly of a heart attack on Saturday. He was a prominent academic and public activist — very effective, respected, and beloved. The university where he worked will have a public tribute later which I hope I can attend. I have always kept in touch with this friend and I would never bother her at this time (I sent a note, though) but none of my former co-workers or friends have reached out to me even though I want to badly to commiserate. My heart just aches for her and her children. My loneliness in all this is nothing compared to what she is feeling but it hurts. Reading that headline was a terrible moment.

    An exciting moment was hearing from the relative of a woman that I’ve been researching for about 15 years. My new correspondent has filled in many missing gaps in her life. This was my first foray into Ancestry.

    My good moments are checking the small nest of a wren tucked between the wall of our house and the downspout. She’s usually there — flies away if we come too close — but returns quickly. An attentive mother-to-be! I hope so much that soon we will be able to see the tiny heads of her young ones peeping over the edge of the nest. Her presence is a tender mercy.

    And finally, I stumbled upon these words from Utah Phillips, the last lines of which bring me to my knees every time I read them:

    “Everyone needs a nice place to live in, and good food to eat that’s not too expensive, and clean clothes with no holes or patches. A doctor to call, an old friend to visit. A way to get places, parties and music. A street to walk safely, and benches to sit on with shade in the summer, and warm friendly places to be in the winter. Some work to do that’s useful to others and doesn’t get boring. And someone checking so no one’s forgotten. Money to spend that’s given and taken without feeling guilty. Love without pity. Pride without anger. Everyone knows what everyone needs. But programs, laws, city councils, commissions, agency bureaus can’t give it to us. All of us need the best in each other. And if we can find it, and if we can give it, the rest will soon follow. If we all stick together, we’ll get what we need”. — Utah Phillips, 2007

    Thanks for listening, CUP friends.

    • Louisa says...

      I wonder if you lived where I now live – we lost an amazing colleague, academic and advocate here in Boise on Saturday. Sending love.

    • Alexis C. says...

      I’m sorry about your friend’s passing. It’s so difficult to absorb the shock and grief of loss without being able to throw our arms around the ones we love and mourn with in the ways we are used to. Sending hugs from NYC!

      Also, thank you for sharing these beautiful words from Utah Phillips. I especially appreciate the idea of “love without pity”. I’ll use them as a guide as we build our new world.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Yes, Louisa, we are talking about the same person. Devastating. Thank you for your kind words.

  37. Jo says...

    During this lockdown period, Ive been working from home, facing a window from where I can see the 2 neighborhood kids playing. They are always on their drive way, cycling/chalk drawing etc.
    This morning I saw their grandma (who lives with them) zipping up and down on the grandkid’s scooter. Made me chuckle :)

  38. Lauren says...

    I loved reading these. One moment that makes me chuckle from my own life:
    My daughter was going through a phase where she would say, “you’re not my best friend!” when she was mad (she was 3). I was putting her to bed one night and she said it to me (I think she wanted her dad to put her to bed?). I said that was ok, that even if I wasn’t her best friend I’d always be her mom. She replied with a very angry, “AND I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA!!”

    • Erika says...

      LOLOL!! ?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha

    • Katie says...

      This made me laugh SO hard ??? thank you sharing

    • Shade says...

      Hahahhahaha that’s amazing and hilarious <3

    • Bhumi says...

      Omg I am howling hahaha

    • Kerri says...

      This is amazing. ?

    • This is too funny, haha! The things they say when they’re that age! When my son was around that age his favorite when he was mad at me was to say to me “I’m never going to snuggle you again!”. Only ever lasted about 5 minutes. :)

    • Rusty says...

      Made me think of rebirth! ☺

  39. Twyla says...

    The ‘I’ll be right back’ story reminded me of a hilarious story a friend told me years ago. She was sitting in her car in a parking lot and noticed the woman in the car next to her was covering her face and sobbing. She went over to ask if she’s ok, and it turned out the woman was laughing so hard she was crying. She said that she was on the way to a Doctor’s appointment and had to bring a urine sample from home. With nothing to put the urine into she ended up putting it in an old empty whisky bottle. She had to dash into a store quickly, and when she got back to her car she found the bottle had been stolen!

    • Laura says...

      I just chuckled out loud!

    • Sarah says...

      Hahahahaha just laughed and shared with my husband!?

    • Katie says...

      HA that’s awesome

  40. Emily L says...

    My cat was diagnosed with Diabetes about 5 months ago, shortly before we were moving out of state. It’s been a rough road trying to get it under control, but I am grateful that while I am working from home I get to be with her. She had a seizure 4 weeks ago and I was right there when it happened. She’s 17.5 and I realize our long term time together is limited but I get to have this unexpected time right now.

    • Caitlin says...

      Your kitty is lucky to have such a great mom. Much love to you both. <3

  41. Maire says...

    I kind of have screen fatigue, so instead I have been spending a couple of hours on the weekend writing letters/cards to friends and family. To add to the fun, I have been corresponding in the voice of my cat with my friend and the cat that she just adopted during quarantine. Jorja and Mango, penpals 4Ever! It is ridiculous but brings me so much joy.

  42. Lee says...

    I’m expecting my first child in early August and live far away from friends and family. I knew that living so far away from “my people” would mean I would miss out on the hand me downs from close friends with kids. But I have been amazed by the generosity I’ve found in parent listservs. I’ve requested items and had people share things for free and when I’ve gone to purchase used items people usually throw in extra things I might need. I feel so grateful for this community of parents that I don’t even know, but I feel their love and support–which feels so critical during this weird time.

  43. Dana says...

    For the record, I always tell my dog “I’ll be right back” when I am stepping out of the car. My dog is my shadow and I bring her with me when I am running errands. She is the best companion in the world and needs to know that I’m coming back! Haha :)

    • Emily L says...

      Haha love it! I talk to my cat every time I leave the house. “Bye Trish, be back soon, be a good girl.”

    • Denise says...

      I always tell my cat when I leave the house, “You’re in charge while I’m gone. See you soon.” She enjoys being in charge.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg denise, so cute.

    • shannon says...

      We do the same!! “Okay Hoover, you watch the house and we’ll be back soon.” But we joke that he pouts about it – “I don’t wanna watch the house!”

    • Brittany says...

      Yeah, I mean, how else do they know when to expect your return?

    • Hillary says...

      I tell my dogs that when I’m just leaving the room…

    • Wendela says...

      I mean, doesn’t everyone talk to their dogs? I can’t imagine not talking to my dog. She’s like my third child and I love her dearly!

    • Hope says...

      When we head out we tell our dog, “We’re headed to the vet. Back soon, Lu!” It’s an errand she wouldn’t want to join. I’m hoping it’s not too terrible that we lie to our best friend.

  44. c says...

    Thank you for mentioning/normalizing cannabis. Props for not shying away from that.

    • Libby says...

      AMEN!!!!!

    • Nicole A. says...

      Agreed!

  45. Michaela says...

    My three year old daughter will press her nose to my nose, look me straight in the eyes and say “lets stay like this FOREVER.”

    My husband makes me tea every morning. He doesn’t like tea.

    My two month old pants with her mouth wide open trying to find the boob. God its funny.

    Monty Don’s weekly program Gardeners World. It is beyond soothing!

    • Liz says...

      Love this whole.comment, but how can I stream gardeners world? Monty Don is the best.

    • Melisa says...

      Hi Liz, if I’m correct Gardeners’ World is a BBC show, which means it should be on the BBC Sounds website, available to stream for free even internationally. Sometimes when I go on there it says you have to create an account to listen, but I’ve never had to!

    • Danielle says...

      I am 100% here for all Monty Don content. We’ve been watching “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” every night to wind down and get inspiration for our yard. It’s embarrassing but I always get a little misty when the music plays and they show the transformation.

      Big Dreams and Gardeners World are both streaming on Prime but you have to add on a British Gardening Channel called Inside Out ( There’s a free 30-days though). There is another Monty Don program that is streaming for free on Prime called “My Dream Farm”.

    • Michaela says...

      I stream Gardeners World on Amazon prime through a Brit box subscription. I truly cannot recommend the show enough. Pure delight!

  46. Mary says...

    These are lovely! I have been making little children’s books for my nearly 3 year old (birthday tmrw!!) for the last one, we made up a little story together and then I illustrated it (with his art direction lol) to try and get him used to wearing masks and not be frightened of them. It seemed to work and now he is asking for more Sammy Strawberry stories. It’s it something I know I will look back on and he will keep for years as a reminder of this time, and how we coped together and what he was thinking at the time.

    • A says...

      That sounds wonderful! I’m sure you’re aware of this, but in case some readers aren’t, masks should NOT be worn by children under 3 years of age. It’s dangerous for their oxygen flow Masks aren’t designed for small children and babies. The CDC strongly discourages their use for children under age 3.

    • Rosalie says...

      When I was little I made a story with my mom about princesses and she typed it up and printed it for me and made a little book out of it. I added the drawings and it’s really fun to see again now (it’s in one of my childhood photo albums). Your comment reminded me of this :)

    • Mary says...

      I actually thought it was kids Under 2 that shouldn’t wear masks.So great info!! Not that my son has actually done anything else other than try one on in past couple of weeks and he will be 3 tmrw, but still yikes, I had no idea it was different than I thought! And Rosalie that is a lovely project for you and your mum! A great memory I am sure!

    • DTIZ says...

      CDC says masks for children two or older, so three year old should wear them. Haven’t attempted yet with my three year old though!

  47. Anna says...

    Holy cow this was so nice to read. Thank you

  48. Denise says...

    Speaking of nature wonders: this morning as I was driving to work I came upon a deer standing in the middle of a normally busy road. I honked gently at her and she just stared me down. Then the tiniest little wobbly fawn stumbled out of the brush and rushed to follow her mother across the road. She could barely wobble, struggled to get up the curb on the other side. She must’ve just been born in the thicket by my apartment! I’ve never seen a fawn so tiny let alone in the wilds of my own neighborhood. I’m all emotional about it.

    • M says...

      Oh my heart!

    • lydia says...

      that is pure magic!!

    • jane says...

      So beautiful!!
      A similar thing happened to me on Valentine’s day a few years ago: driving along a curved forested road on a hill, a fully crowned buck jumped out of the woods onto the road front of me, maybe twenty yards ahead, forcing me to stop. He paused, staring right at me while his mate caught up to him and the two of them stood together, poised and noble, staring at me for an infinitely long, fully sacred moment, then bounded together across the road into the forest. I saw them stop on a ridge a hundred yards or so into the trees and turn to stare at me – probably because I was still sitting there, in awe. At the time I hoped that was a portend of romance to come for me it being Valentine’s day and all but no, it was just a stellar love letter from Nature. It made me feel I wasn’t entirely forgotten and I still cherish it as a sign that there IS an amazing love out there for me to come.

    • marjolein says...

      Oh how wonderfull. Here (coast of Belgium), me and my daughters saw a seal resting very peacefully on the beach last sunday. We too were so emotional, just nature at it’s finest.

  49. Lili Cohen says...

    I needed this today <3

  50. Kate says...

    Every night after I tuck her in, my 3 year old daughter sings “Simply the best” to me. She came up with these part of our bedtime routine in her own and it’s the best part of my day.

    • SK says...

      It’s my three year Old’s fav too!!! It was stuck in my head post schitts creek way back when and it’s now a tradition by request!!

  51. Favi says...

    Beautiful shares!

    Small typo:
    On serendipity:

    “Ten ears ago…”

  52. Kate says...

    The comment about nature has inspired me to invite my husband to stargaze in our backyard tonight. Thank you!

  53. ll says...

    I am too focusing a lot on everything that makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. I live in Sweden, where we are not in lockdown but all high schools and universities are closed, and people who can work from home stays home. 6 months ago I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression, and my doctor said that if I had a job I would need a few months of sick leave, but because I am studying it was up to me if I wanted to continue or not. I chose to stay, but moved to as many distance/online courses as possible. Fast-forward, 6 months on antidepressants and being able to (slowly) start working out without getting an anxiety attack, I have to say that I am living a really good life at the moment even if the world is upside down. I dont know if its my antidepressants but I find that everyone is much nicer and more respectful? I enjoy being outdoors so much that I literally stop and smell the flowers almost every day. I do a little bit of yoga everyday, take bicycle rides and walk in a closeby park or nature reserve (staying far far far away from people of course). I am more creative. I have never had such a clean home ever before. And because everything school related is done remotely I have no schedule, which means I can sleep as much as I want and spend hours outdoors every day and catch up on studying in the evening when the sun is down. Nature is thanking us for cancelling flights, and I truly believe we will learn something valuable from this situation. Of course it is scary times and I respect that people are afraid, suffering and dying from this pandemic – but my little story is that this is doing wonders for my mental health.

  54. H says...

    This made my day. I loved each comment. But the “bagels” story touched me deeply. You never know whose life you can change by being kind and light hearted. And to remember it all these years later. And I want to be friends with “R”. She seems such an interesting person. I loved her eyeliner comment.

  55. Ellen says...

    Thanks for this heartwarming pick-me-up. Loved Le’s story in particular!

  56. Libbie says...

    I agree with Em on becoming more in touch with nature. Our house backs up to a small, quiet park. I’ve started breaking up my mornings and afternoons with a quick walk through it each day, and I’ve noticed so much. An owl’s nest with two owlets! A white squirrel! Trees flowering and sprouting leaves! Woodpeckers, cardinals, mourning doves and more! It’s such a relief to get lost in nature for a few minutes each day.

  57. Helen says...

    I recently started working for a smaller state senate campaign in which I do cold-calling to constituents in the district. Keep in mind I am 22, decently insecure, and hate rejection. So when 9/10 people either hang up right away, tell me to never call them again, or try to get off the phone as fast as possible, it’s hard not to take it personally. However, the other day I called what I thought was a young woman’s number when an elderly man picked up. I asked for the woman and this man replied by saying I probably had the wrong number. But then he did something surprising – he just started laughing. Really deeply and genuinely laughing. And for some reason, so did I. We both just stayed on the line and laughed for a couple of long seconds until I said thank you and that I appreciated his time. It seemed like he was truly happy to have picked up the phone and to have heard from someone (anyone) during quarantine. And it’s that 1/10 person who makes civic engagement oh so worth it!