SHARING THE EXCESS: Day 6 of 31 Days of Creative Caring


A couple of weeks ago, on a visit to the blog Behind the Gate, I read my friend Gayle’s words: “Some years the tree produces more than even our family can eat and put up. This is one of those years. I gathered a huge basket, and there is still more left on the tree. A friend whose husband is unemployed is coming by soon to get a large bag for her family.”

Gayle was referring to an old pear tree that has produced fruit and provided nurture for families for over a century. As I read her words, I thought of this upcoming Creative Caring series … and made a mental note to include her story.

Sometimes we are blessed beyond anything our own family can enjoy … and then we are blessed to be able to share with others. Sometimes, as in Gayle’s case, it turns out to be someone who really needs what we have to offer.

Other times, we can actually PLAN to have excess. When planting our flower gardens, Renaissance Man makes sure he plants many more flowers than we can possibly enjoy ourselves. Instead, he intentionally plants so we’ll have plenty of cut flowers to share with neighbors and elderly friends in our community.

I have yet to meet someone whose day isn’t made a little more special when they receive a vase of flowers.

I always keep a supply of clear glass vases on hand (from Goodwill or Dollar Tree) so we can fill them with blossoms and give them away. Other ideas: take your excess flowers to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, churches, city offices. Just a little advance planning … and a green thumb … and creative caring can take place with very little effort or expense.
If you have excess fruit or vegetables in your garden, is there a community food pantry in your area that would love to occasionally have fresh produce to pass out along with non-perishables? I’ll bet there is!

What other things could we plan to have in excess  … so we can share them?


  1. I always find that everyone enjoys flowers from ones garden. I give lots of veggies away, but never thought of the food pantry…thanks for in inspiration.

  2. My favorite line of all was that we can PLAN to have excess. I love that. I tend to do little square foot gardens. I need to think bigger. This summer, I went blueberry picking with a friend at a place where the owners just can NOT share enough. The have all sorts of fruits and veggies and they are free for the picking and the conversation. It was such a wonderful blessing. Ever since, I have been trying to figure out how to do something like that on my scrawny little subdivision lot.

    I hope you get good suggestions.

    In the meantime, and because I have a black thumb, I have been in a serious give away mode this summer. I’m not talking about unloading junk. I’m talking about seriously looking at my stuff and asking God who might genuinely benefit. For one answer, he put a brand new school teacher on my heart whom I found out really wanted to build a classroom library. I can’t tell you how fun it was to go through my cherished teacher books and books that the girls read at the age she teaches and box them up. I’m sending them this week. (I would have sent them sooner, but I kept adding to them!)

  3. Sorry to blab so much. GREAT post idea!

  4. I’m a BIG PLANNER, but more than that, my thinking is ‘if one is good, two is better’. Yep, I always have excess…and my first thought when making something I love, is who would love it, too…a good reason to always make two or three or a dozen.

    Such pretty flowers…anyone would be thrilled with a vase full. A very nice addition to your Creative Caring topic.