Friday, December 13, 2013

Brown Paper Packages, Tied up with Strings...

What do brown paper packages tied up with strings and the Wells Fargo man have in common? 

Yes they are both from musicals (two of my favorites) and a tiny bit dated, but what are they really about?

What can make you sing about string, paper and a delivery truck? 

I think it's the thrill of the unknown.  In those delicious few moments before you open a package - especially a gift - it can be absolutely anything. That shivery excitement is almost better than anything in the package could ever be.

Evolution dictates that we have a desire to see new things, try new things, search for the unknown, and seek out mysteries - to feel that shivery excitement that is a part of the unknown.

Gift giving is part of every culture. Anyone can give big, expensive, ostentatious gifts, as long as they have the cash.  But really thinking about someone - really trying to delight them in some way with a special gift - that's hard.

Purple Poppy Mallow - photo by Alma
My friend Alma walks every day on a trail in Omaha. We both love wildflowers and she sends me photos she's taken of them.

On my last birthday she gave me the most amazing gift.  She'd carefully collected a few seeds of Purple Poppy Mallow - a stunning Nebraska wildflower that's one of my favorites, hand-made a tiny seed envelope and gave them to me in a small gift bag.  I was so delighted - it's one of nicest gifts I've ever gotten.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that "thinking" is a big part of gift-giving.  That you don't have go crazy of buy something really expensive to make it an unforgettable gift.

I hope that a gift of something from Gilden Tree will give someone as much delight as those Purple Poppy Mallow seeds gave me and will give when I plant them next Spring.  A gift that's meaningful will never be forgotten.

Our gift guides are always designed to try to inspire you, but if you ever need help - call us.  We'll try to help you figure out the perfect gift.

Then you can wrap it up in brown paper and tie it with a string, and hum as you give it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Welcome Spring and Home from BRAN!

Last year for the first time, I physically challenged myself harder than I ever have before, on BRAN, the "Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska."  It took everything I had to finish the 450 mile ride - and I have never been prouder of not giving up - even after riding into a god-awful headwind for 4 hours one day.

This year, my husband Kumy and I, our son Samir, daughter Maya and nephew James rode, with support from my brother Mark (who rode last year.)  Even though it was the first week in June again, it was a completely different ride.  Last year was hilly and hot, this year was cool and mostly flat.

What stayed the same was the challenge of waking up at 4:30 am, getting ready for another day in the saddle and then hitting the road with the sunrise.  Those moments before and during sunrise are just magical.

Along the way, we stopped and made new friends, saw beautiful parts of Nebraska just off the beaten path, met people from friendly small towns and ate way more pie than I should have.  (Ask any rider - Nebraska, Pie and Bike-Riding form a sort of holy trinity.)

What I learned from BRAN:

Whatever else you're doing these days - don't wait to take on a big physical challenge.  Push yourself to do something hard - whether it's running, swimming, walking or biking.   Train for it, be properly dressed and outfitted, but do something that challenges you physically and mentally.  You can't buy that sense of accomplishment.  It changes how you see the world and how you see yourself.