The September 22 challenge

By day, she is mild-mannered cancer survivor, wife, mom, grandma, hospital volunteer and frequenter of gyms for 6:30am work-outs.

But once she detects the slightest sign of distress in anyone, she dons her Porch Fairy cape—very similar to the Wonder Woman cape—and stealthily leaves all manner of comforting items on front porches. Stealthily. (Actually, I caught the Porch Fairy as she was driving up today. Which was probably a good thing because my new home has no front porch. But as you can see, the rocks work quite nicely.)


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You may have followed our adventures with the Porch Fairy last fall as cancer was carrying Hubby away from me. The Porch Fairy left gifts of hot soup and breakfast breads and chocolate. Mismatched socks. Toys to keep Hubby entertained. Beautiful bouquets of flowers; equally beautiful bouquets of fall leaves. And daily 7:30am hot beverages as Daughter Summer and I kept watch over Hubby.

Delivered even in snow and ice. Left on our front porch without ringing the bell so as not to disturb Hubby. With always a quick electronic message admonishing me to check the front porch.


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That was last fall. This is today. I was told to bring a designated driver to a procedure that involved a needle sticking into my neck for about 30 minutes. The Porch Fairy was my designated driver. Which is how she knew of my distress, which really wasn’t all that distressful. And how she knew where my new front porch (read: collection of rocks) was located.

So how do you pay someone back who has shown you the most amazing of kindnesses? You don’t. You can’t.

Which reminds me of this John Bunyan quote:

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

But what about paying it forward? Which brings us to Hubby’s birthday. Our anniversary. September 22. (OK, OK, if you must know, I didn’t know Hubby’s birthday when he proposed—because he proposed on our first date—and so I picked September 22. And he seemed pleased.)

So, this September 22 will be our first anniversary/his first birthday not together. And it would do my heart so much good to read about front porch deliveries done in his memory.

Is there someone you know—a friend going through a struggle; a co-worker who just took in an aging parent; a neighbor with a new baby—who could use the encouragement of food? Or some other thoughtful gift?

Let your creativity kick into gear.

For example, there was a gift bag of yarn and knitting needles left on our porch last fall. Signed: “With love from the Knitting Fairy.”


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In November, our front porch hosted a pumpkin pie, Chai tea and these cool, pumpkin-shaped glass votive holders. This electronic message: “The Marketing Fairies have landed.”


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And in December, this incredibly beautiful wreath was left on our porch, hand-crafted by a co-worker.


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Be thinking about whose porch you might want to deliver a gift to, and what you might want to leave. And don’t forget to take a photo and post it to my Facebook page on Hubby’s birthday/our anniversary. I’d absolutely love to see photos and read about what, who and why!

P.S. If you found this blog interesting or helpful, please share, pin or tweet.


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  1. Krissy Kinney

    Marlys, I love that you’re honoring your Hubby’s birthday/anniversary with something so special. I’m marking Sept 22nd on my calendar. 🙂


  2. Courtney Suhr


    I love the porch fairy idea. I know someone who is currently somewhat confined to the home and it got me thinking…
    Unfortunately, I cannot show you a photo as my phone/camera had run out of battery!
    I put together a vase of fall colored flowers and a book that acts like a calendar/journal. It has inspirational quotes and a space for writing for each day of the year.
    I can only hope it left her smiling. Things like this make my heart so happy.
    I hope you are well.

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