Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tarheel Tavern #69: Reciprocity, the joy of giving

Well it's time again for an early-Sunday-morning visit to the Tavern. Who'da thunk that here, in what's referred to as the Bible Belt, we belly up to the bar every Sunday morning? Well, there it is anyway so pull up a stool and join in the fun!

This is Tarheel Tavern #69, and between my dirty mind and the recent events surrounding my decision to walk in the AHA Heart Walk, my theme is Reciprocity: the joy of giving, and receiving in return.

A big part (the good part) of my motivation in naming this theme this week was the response I've gotten to my decision to join the Heart Walk. It's been a blessing, and I've truly taken great comfort and satisfaction from it. I won't add a lengthy blurb about it, I figure most have you have already seen the post at the top of my blog and read along long enough to know the story regarding my son and his heart defect, but because Abel requested that I post the link, I'll add it here.

I have to admit that, because I tend to rely on my (rather "bawdy") sense of humor during difficult times, and this being the 69th edition, I had intended to make this a mildly naughty edition, speckled with double entendres. But as my inbox filled with submissions, and I read through each post, I realized that the subject was too serious to twist that way, and that most of you truly thought about the theme and those that submitted on theme put far too much effort into it for me to cheapen it with silliness or dirty mindedness. I'm oddly thankful to have had my little private joke ruined. It's been a pleasure to read your submissions and see just what my theme meant to you, and how you each applied it within your lives.

First, I'm going to start with one of our newest Taverners, Stephanie Robinson. At Seasons of the Soul it says:
"The process of creating art turned out to be a reciprocal process for Stephanie E. Robinson. As her artwork evolved, it served to remind her of the cycle of life and conflict and how, like seasons, we move through them and evolve."
Since receiving her link, I've contacted her about buying a copy of her print "Seasons of the Soul" and can't wait to get it! With the most cliched comment of the day, I say, "It speaks to me.

Another New Taverner is Spirit. His name says it all, and his blog "Spirit Blog" has an open-minded view of various religions, philosophies and spiritual concepts. His post, titled Grace, gives several instances that define Grace.

A son to eat lunch with.

Anger turned toward compassion.

Sacrifice for something greater than one's own needs.

Tears shed for hurt and loneliness, assuaged by a loving spouse.

His post definitely fits the theme, and I'm honored to include it.!

Next up is Ron Hudson from 2Sides2Ron, who epitomizes the concept of a giving spirit. He's always has someone else in mind, be it his family, his community, or one of his many friends. His post titled Reciprocation, he tells a story of how a poundcake brought unexpected results, in which he says
I could not possibly replace the feelings that were inspired in them to have settled a mystery, nor could I replace the gratitude for my friendÂ’s act of reciprocation. A while later, I shipped another poundcake to Los Angeles, and in return, I found a cooler on my doorstep containing gourmet pasta, organic pasta sauce and a huge chunk of fresh parmesan cheese from a high-end shop in the LA area.
His poundcake story is exactly what I was looking for with this theme: an instance in which an act of giving, made with no ulterior motives, inspired someone else to give back. Thank you Ron!

Laurie, who blogs at ...slowly she turned, is, as I've said before, truly environmentally conscious. As far as I'm concerned, her entire blog is about the beauty of a reciprocal relationship with nature. Her submission this week, called "Cherry Picking at Levering Orchard" is a perfect example of that. She tells of a recent trip:
The Levering Orchard is 98 years old. Frank Levering's grandfather first planted the cherry trees here, and Frank and his wife Wanda Urbanska took over the operation of the farm in 1986, a move that they wrote about in their book Simple Living.
No doubt that there have been generations of giving to the earth to have enabled the orchards to reciprocate with such a huge bounty of fruit. Just look at the size of those cherry trees!

The next entry is from Marcus at Fixin' Healthcare. The post he sent is titled "The thorn in the Lion's Foot" after one of Aesop's fables, which definitely entails the benefits of giving with a pure heart. The post addresses the improvement of the American healthcare system, in which he says:
Why not design a new system for health promotion and primary and secondary prevention? If well done, the results would be amazing.
Sounds like the way to remove (or better yet, avoid) the thorn to me!

I learned tonight, just now, that Jude, of Iddybud fame, who so recently lost her mother, has just this week also lost another important mother figure in her life. She takes this opportunity to share her tribute to Sandy and the giving and generous way she lived her life.
This past week, I lost a treasure in my life. Her name was Sandy. We first met when she and her family moved next door to my childhood home when I was only six years old. Her husband worked with my Dad at the same company, General Electric. My mother and Sandy became immediate friends. My mother has always had an intuition for people and she knew Sandy was genuine in her feelings. That's what made them the best of friends for such a long time.
God bless Jude, you'll be in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your family's story with us in the Tavern this week.

Next up is Ken from Colonel Corn. He's been writing blog posts that find their way to's blogs, so congrats on that Ken! Now the post doesn't exactly fit the theme, but the fact that he's writing for the WCNC site does. You see, he's doing it without getting any extra pay, and I have every faith that he'll find that in the future, he'll definitely get repaid for it! Now, on to his post! In Robbery on Race Night he tells about covering a story about a robbery near Lowe's Motor Speedway on race night.
Beep Beep. An electronic summons came from the black Nextel phone hanging on my belt. Before I could pluck the device from its clip, a female voice blasted from the tiny speaker embedded on the phones cover. "Are you almost finished editing your story?"

Oh boy. Here I am laying the last edit to my story and quitting time is less than a half hour away. I look down at the black box in my hand wondering if I should lie. When the assignment editor wants to know if you are close to handing in your finished product, it means she is looking for a lens to send to breaking news. Time for some OT.
Congrats on getting on the ebsite Ken, I'm amazed at the fact that you could get there so quickly, find the employee/interviewee, and get the goods! I just hope that eventually, we learn what was so important about that bag!

etbnc of Another Blue Puzzle Piece, one of newest players, (and next week's host) took the theme to heart, and his post left me thankful that I've been blessed in my lifetime to see what he calls "a support economy." It also left me feeling thankful that someone so thoughtful has joined the ranks of the Tarheel Tavern carnival. His post titled Finding Value in Giving says
I'm pleased that we have an opportunity to remember how satisfying it is to participate in a support economy. I'll be even more pleased when we create--actually, recreate--a support economy. It really isn't far removed, even now. My grandparents fondly remember when the cheerful (and reciprocated) support of neighbors was a routine part of their lives.
Thank you etbnc, for joining with such a well written and thoughtful piece. I hope that all of the Taverners take this chance to read this, and properly welcome you into this little thing we call the Tarheel Tavern.

Dave, the ever thoughtful and usually amusing Dave, of Anonymoses, writes a poem, and though I think, at least in the beginning of his post, he tries to start out light-hearted, by the end, even Dave the Funny had to take it at least a little seriously, even if he did go and get cryptic on me. In A few thoughts on gifts, the gifted, gift-economies, and the psychosociopathology of gifting Dave says:
Time to start all over.
Rejecting the humbug. Inventing afresh.
An interesting, introspective and ever-changing piece of poetry Dave. Thanks for that!

At this point, Blogger ate the Tarheel Tavern... just as I finished it up and hit post. ARGHH!!!! Thank GOD I'd saved it as a draft several times as I went along. Haha! Blogger, you've taught me not to trust you!

Justin at View from the Cheap Seats thinks he submitted off-topic with his submission The Kids are All Right. The way I see it though, kids are a life-long exercise in reciprocation. Most everything they do, even when it's something we don't like, tends to be a regurgitation of what we as adults have taught them. In this post, Justin reacts to an article by Bob Parks entitled "The Anti-Christs Live Among Us" with a letter, in which he says:
Mr. Parks,

I came across this article "The Anti-Christs Live Amongst Us" as it was reprinted in "NC Rumors"; and I'll have to say that when I first read it - I was pretty angry. It seemed like yet another, tired, "those darn kids these days" rants.
He goes on to make point after point proving that not only are kids not neccessarily the "Anti-Christs" that Mr. Parks makes them out to be, they're often our heroes. See, as humans, we tend to be more aware of our own faults and short-comings, and as adults, find that looking at a kid is a lot like looking into a mirror. Justin just manages to remember to look for the good things about the young people around him. Thanks for that Justin, I'll try to remember that trick, the next time my 17 year old is being sarcastic and stubborn, I'll try to remind myself that those qualities are the humor, intelligence and strength I'd hoped he'd learn as he grew up!

Next up is Coturnix, a.k.a Bora. He's apparently been so swamped with his new SEED science blog A Blog Around the Clock, that he totally missed the deadline. Seeing that he's the founder of this thing we call The Tarheel Tavern, I felt I'd be remiss if I failed to include him. So off I ran to swipe a post. Those of you who are familiar with Bora know that he's always got a kind word, a little linky-love and/or a donation to share when he finds a worthy cause, so I wasn't the slightest bit surprised to find a post called The ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose raise-money-to-help-science-classrooms-a-thon!
A lot of us fell in love with science because of early experiences in school -- teachers who made science intriguing, exciting, maybe a little bit dangerous. But tightening budgets are making it harder and harder for public school teachers to provide the books, equipment, and field trips to make science come alive for kids. gives us a way to help teachers get the job done. A bunch of us at ScienceBlogs have set up Bloggers Challenges which will let us (and that includes you) contribute to worthy school projects in need of financial assistance. We'll be able to track our progress right on the DonorsChoose site. And -- because we like a little friendly competition -- we'll be updating you periodically as to which blogger's readers are getting his or her challenge closest to its goal.

You don't need to give a barrel of money to help the kids -- as little as $10 can help. You're joining forces with a bunch of other people, and all together, your small contributions can make a big difference.
It's definitely a worthy cause, and Bora has already raised over $550!

Now, thinking that, at this point, I was done with the Tarheel Tavern, I went off on some innocent web surfing and decided to stop in and see what Billy was up to over at Billy the Blogging Poet. Billy's another generous soul, and works tirelessly to improve the traffic going to everyone else's site. (He's been working extra hard on his new Poets 101 aggregator, for those poets of you who haven't signed up yet) and when I get there, I see a post called Another Aggregator = More Traffic For Your Blog. It's proof of Billy getting a little pay back for his generosity.
I don't know who listed on the Strategic Board but thanks whoever you are. The Board is an aggregator that has been sending me 15-20 referrals daily for about three days now. Before three days ago I had never heard of the Board. They've also got an add your blog feature so perhaps you should give them a try. As for what they allow I've no idea.
Of course, Billy completes the circle (again) by linking to the site he speaks of.

Abel Pharmboy blogs at Terra Sigillata, another SEED blog. He's also taking part in the fundraiser that Bora mentioned in his post, and I'm adding one of his posts, because not only is his participation an example of reciprocity, his post titled Wow Thank You Generous Donors! He shows exactly how reciprocity works:
Even better news is that our ScienceBlogs host, Seed Media Group, offered on Friday to give a dollar for dollar match for every donation up to a total of $10,000. I should note that this offer came entirely without any coaxing on our part, as relayed to us by Sb den mother, Katherine Sharpe:
It's true: Michael Tive walked into my office yesterday morning with the news that the people who control the purse strings at SEED had read about your challenge and were moved to be part of it.
This kind of support makes me happy that I made the decision to join Sb.
And that's how it works. One good turn deserves another.

I really appreciate all of the quality submissions I got this week. It just goes to show how thoughtful and compassionate Carolinians are. Next week we'll be meeting at Another Blue Puzzle Piece where etbnc will be playing host.

I hope all of you fathers have a wonderful Father's Day full of ugly ties, messy breakfasts in bed, lot's of love, and much (wife-and-child-condoned) couch-potato-ing! See you next week!


  1. Erin, thanks for hosting again - you're such a great soul to take everyone's work so seriously given the topic. It must take great willpower to hold back on making light of THT #69, though!

    Since I missed the deadline (as either Abel Pharmboy or Bull City Booster), could you do me the favor of posting information on how to donate in support of your AHA Heart Walk in honor and memory of Nova? On this Father's Day and in the spirit of reciprocity, I'd like to make another donation in honor of my friend who survived to be a father himself after being born with Tetralogy of Fallot in the early 1960s.

  2. haha, my dirty mind kept adding dirty little double entendres without me even thinking about it! I kept having to edit them out!

    You're a doll for wanting to donate again. The link is

    I think I'll add it to the post itself too, since it IS a huge part of why I chose the theme...

    Thanks again, and again!

  3. Anonymous3:32 PM


    Great job on the Tavern. Thanks for hosting again!

  4. Erin, What a great job! Thanks for your kind thoughts and your gracious hosting. I can't wait to start reading through this week's selections.

  5. Great Tavern, Erin! Some of us are still at it this morning. THanks for including me.

  6. Thank you for your kind words. You didn't have to say anything about the WCNC connection. Sometimes I feel like a sell out for posting with them. I hope the information I gave you works for you. If you need anything else, send me an e-mail. Thanks again.

  7. Nicely done, as always.

    Thanks for the kind introduction.

  8. Another great tavern from the deft hands of, well, you! Face it, girl! You got da touch!

    Caint wait to see what the links behold...


  9. Thanks, all of you!

    Ken? A sell out? Pffft! I think it's awesome!