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  • Giftz by Karen

Connecting Across the Miles

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Once again Karen has written an inspiring blog on keeping in touch across the miles. A great follow up to the post I authored for her. The art work and photos are all created by her as well. We hope this helps to make the distances between you and those you love smaller.

This past year, we have all had to find ways to keep in touch with family and friends from a distance, whether they are across the world or down the street! For some of us who live far away from family, the distance will continue beyond the pandemic and we will still rely on creative ways to connect across the miles.

Here are some creative ways that I have found to keep in contact with others! I hope they are inspiring when you need to connect.

Heart Drops! I have always loved doing this — the idea comes from author, Karen Ehman. “We can become skilled at tuning our ears to the heart-drops of those around us and then responding with a thoughtful gesture. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift. It can be a kindly spoken word. A handwritten note. A loving text or encouraging comment left on social media. A shared heart over a cup of coffee. A brief moment where we put ourselves to the side for a moment to pause. To notice. To respond.

  • I dropped some flowers and a little note at a friend’s front door for Valentine’s Day, who had lost her husband a couple years ago and her son wasn’t able to drive home due to the snowy highways.

  • I paint cards and send them in the mail as a surprise. I also donate handmade cards to a local Senior center, hoping to brighten someone’s day.

  • I sent trivia card decks to a couple of friends for their family to have fun at the dinner table.

Read Books Together! This has been a wonderful way to connect and create discussion.

  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I read this with my mother and we would chat on a video call after reading each chapter. It’s a wonderful journey of a woman’s observations of the different stages of life.

  • Focus: How One Word A Week Will Transform Your Life. I am reading this with a dear friend – one word per week and then each month we reflect on the words and questions through a video call.

Family Trivia Game! Our family on the other side of the world moderated a trivia question competition where family teams from various places participated through WhatsApp chat. This was super fun — friendly competition, lots of joking and laughter!

FaceBook Groups. I found wonderful watercolor painting tutorials through a company called Let’s Make Art. I joined the FB group to share paintings, learn from and inspire others from all over the world.

Nature Journaling: Sketching in the field and noticing the details of nature has become a a passion and a great relaxation activity! I joined The Nature Journal Club FB page and have met other nature enthusiasts from all over the world — learning, sharing and supporting each other!

  • I made bird seed ornaments and dropped them off at a couple of neighbor’s doors for the kids, hoping to inspire them to observe the birds and ask questions: what kind of birds visit, how many, how close can I stand to them without them flying away? With all of the remote learning on the computers, I hope I inspired them to take a nature break!

  • I volunteered to teach an introductory nature journaling for relaxation Zoom class to our local community. I think it will be a great way to inspire others to get out into nature and I look forward to meeting more residents in our area!

I hope you got some new ideas to connect with the loved ones in your life! I’d love to hear in the comments how you are keeping in touch with family and friends.

Warmly, Karen

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Karen Houlding
Karen Houlding

Thank you, MJ, for sharing this blog space & journey with me!

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