When Kindness Meets Humor

Preamble: The start of this post was written a month ago, on the plane enroute from our vacation, it was finished this week.

We have a pretty special thing going on. A friendship that came out of the blue. Sitting on this plane, a blanket of puffy, shiny white clouds below me, I have pondered “what is this that has happened?” Here are the words I put on it. This story is called “When Humor Meets Kindness and They Bring All Their Friends.”

I have talked about the Fentons on the blog before, after they spent a week with us in May. I don’t want to repeat too much, so here are the essential story pieces.

Russell’s friend Crystal in Nova Scotia talked about Russ at her riding barn. Carvell and his family were regular riders at the barn and based on what he heard Crystal saying Carvell sent a facebook friend request to Russell.

Carvell had questions about horse bits which he sent to Russ. Russ enjoyed answering. Carvell has a great appetite to learn and Russ loves teaching.

Messages went back and forth alot for two years before our families met in May.

It was early May when Russ and I booked plane tickets to Halifax for this fall trip we are just finishing. We agreed that although the Fentons live in Halifax we wouldn’t tell them of our plans in case they arrived at our place later that month and we didn’t like them.

I am not sure how long it took us to decide we could tell them of our plans but it was less than a day. We were enjoying them.

October 18th – I didn’t get a chance to get back to this until now. Its almost a month later. I have thought about it alot. In my mind I think I have whittled this down to the essence of what I am trying to say. It is to ponder this question, “what is the recipe for strong friendship?” Friendship seems so important to our lives, most of us can’t live well without at least one good friend. I feel like in observing Russell and Carvell develop a friendship I have observed a case study in many things that make a friendship good. Here is the list I have:

-they both value kindness above many other things

-they both practice living with humor

-they are both unafraid to ask questions, they can tolerate appearing to not know stuff.

-they each want to listen, even if they interrupt, they can find their way to listening again.

-they have interests in common

-they have a lot of interest in each others lives and each others families.

-they each have an enthusiastic approach to life.

-they each have spouses and kids that support the friendship

-they are both honest

-they both choose to be positive

As I write all this it strikes me that it takes energy to live like this. How does that energy come to a person and get renewed? As a case study I can say from what I know about Russell that this kind of friendship capability does not come from getting lots of sleep, but perhaps it comes from excessive caffeine and Copenhagen. Certainly Russell is wired to want friendship but it still takes energy and openess.

As I ponder the impact of the list I made above I find myself wondering what happens when two people meet and just one thing on the list is clear. Perhaps a tentative connection begins. Perhaps as time and opportunity reveal more a friendship grows, and starts putting down roots too. I’m saying perhaps because I am no expert on this, I have no TED talk in my backpocket, I am just going on what I observe. What I am observing is that the more boxes on this list that can be checked the more safe I feel in a friendship. By the age we are, having taken some knocks and had a few painful reality checks about the way life goes, well, that safety really matters more and more.

Getting back to our holiday time with the Fentons, we enjoy them all so much that we snuck in visits as much as we could, we had so much fun. Here are the pictures that make us smile and perhaps illumine a bit of what I have described above.

After a 5am departure from Winnipeg we were settled into our air bnb by mid afternoon. We were forty minutes from the Fentons. Why not invite them for supper? I was the princess who had a nap while Russell cooked bacon and eggs.
The next day we joined the action at Evangeline Trail Rides, the place where Carvell first heard of Russell in 2020. We got to trail-ride together.
We had a day set aside to tour with the Fentons. Here is Russell and I with Izzy in the back, with Carvell and Lynette in the front.
Russell and Carvell at lunch on the Halifax harbor. They were a bit of an attraction all on their own, these two men in hats, they were stopped and asked how they kept their hats on. A policeman stopped Russell to ask him if he had any sisters. Random strangers shouted out, “I like your hat.” People wanted to talk about the TV show Yellowstone.
At a very cool display at the Halifax Citadel. This showed the key pieces of machinery and strategy used as the D-day landing at Normandy proceeded.
Atop the Halifax Citadel.
We explored Peggy’s Cove at sunset. It was stunningly beautiful.
I knew that if Liz Griffin was with us, and I was wishing she was, she would grab a silhouette picture under these conditions. Izzy stood in and did a good picture for us. We did a “Walk Like an Egyptian” moment.
We also re-enacted the iconic scene from the Titanic movie. I am singing “near far, wherever you are……” at this fairly unattractive moment.
Russ and Carvell did their own version. I simply love this picture.
This is my favorite version of our goofy pictures. Lynette is glowing. Her sincere kindness and loving heart are bursting through.
The pals that brought us all together.
We stopped at the monument to honor those who died when SwissAir #111 crashed in the waters here in 1998. It was a sobering place to visit.
We returned to the Fentons for some amazing homemade pizza. Lynette is a great cook.
Izzy and Russ are a close pair of pals now too. Right from the start she has seemed to get Russell’s quirky sense of humor. I enjoy Carvell’s photobombing of this shot.
The written part of this post has mostly been about Russell and Carvell but clearly their friendship has enfolded their families and impacts us all. Our kids talk with lots of affection about the Fentons, even Gina who has never met them. The bottom line for me is that when I am with them, I feel seen. It matters so much to me. We were blessed with solid friendships before we met the Fentons, friendship is and has been a huge part of our life. Our friends take very good care of us. In the midst of that I am amazed at how our hearts can expand to fit more. When kindness and humor meet and they knock on your front door, you answer and life is good.


  1. jamesmarty says:

    I guess I don’t have a password for your blog. I’ll check it on FB. When are you in Oxbow to pick up jam?  


    1. kathyseeking says:

      Hi Marty, I just made this post password protected until the friends that are in it can see it and give it the thumbs up. It is very late in Nova Scotia now. Tomorrrow I will likely get needed changes done and then change the setting so that it is not password protected anymore. Sorry. About jam…..hoping for a Thursday pick-up. I will message you privately. Thanks!


  2. Izzy says:

    This is so amazing and awesome. I love you guys so much ❤️


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