That may not seem like an unusual request until you know this: Joy and Emily were visiting family in Texas, they live in Florida, and I’m in Tennessee.
I was elated to have them come by though I teased Joy about the detour north to go east.
Only when we were settled at Chili’s did I learn the ulterior motive for their roundabout way home. While on their trip, thirteen-year-old Emily was reading my debut novel Where Treasure Hides. Though Joy had read the story before, Emily often read it to her as Joy drove.
Emily is an aspiring (and talented) writer. She wanted to talk to me about the story, but she also wanted to give me a gift.
While visiting her Texas relatives, Emily went to an antique store and found an old backgammon set.
And she bought it.
If you’ve read Where Treasure Hides, then you may remember that our hero, the dashing British Army officer Ian Devlin with the heart-flipping grin, learns to play backgammon from our heroine’s grandfather when he visits them for the first time in Rotterdam, Holland. The grandfather gives Ian a leather “traveling backgammon set” with brass clasps.
The one Emily gave me is very like the one I envisioned in the novel–only larger.
My heart was so touched by Emily’s generosity and thoughtfulness.
At this time of year, gifts are foremost on many of our minds. What will we give? What will we receive?
This is just a gentle reminder that the best gifts aren’t always lavish and new. They’re gifts from the heart. And when they’re unexpected, they’re appreciated all the more.