'I just got back from the gift exchange,' she said.
'Did someone give you something you didn't want?' I asked.
'No. Not at all. I got more than I thought I would,' she replied.
'So you had too many gifts?' I asked.
'Oh, no. You could never get too many,' she said so seriously.
'Then, I'm confused. You were returning a gift that you received and didn't want because you had more than you could use, but never enough of whatever it was," I said. Of course I had no idea what I just said, but it was what I heard.
'No. I was not returning anything. I was giving it away,' she said.
I felt like I was watching an episode of 'I Love Lucy' with Ricky Ricardo and Lucille Ball.
'Let's start over. Where were you?' I asked.
'I went to the nursing home. I volunteer to visit people there,' she said.
'You said you went to the gift exchange.'
'Oh, I see your problem. That is what I call it, the 'Gift Exchange' - I go to the nursing home to spend time with some of the most fascinating people. I'm only in my 40s. These people are in their 70s, 80s and older. They have so much to offer. Their stories are special gifts to me. Their life experience and lessons are so incredibly valuable. I learn so much from them.' she said.
'So, that is the gift exchange?' I asked.
'Yes, I give them my time, they teach me about life.'
What an incredible way to look at it. All these years that I have been writing, all these people that I have met along the way were all a part of the 'Gift Exchange.' Why not join us. Take time to speak to someone at the Mall today. Make time to stop and say "hello" to someone in your neighborhood. Attend a church function and meet new people. Visit a local nursing home. Phone someone. You have so much to give and so much more to get.
The 'Gift Exchange' is open 24 hours a day.