We’ve often spoke of our love of community, not just the one that we found in Sharon Springs when we moved here, but all the opportunities we have in our daily lives to find good “neighbors” – online, in the Mercantile, sitting next to us on an airplane….wherever.

Recently one of our neighbors, Carrie, who runs Black Willow Pond Farm with the help of her two young sons, shared an inspiring story of community with us. We asked her to write it down so that we could share it with you. 

When you read it, look to the person nearest to you and think of something nice to say to them, even if it’s only a “hello”.

Carrie’s farm:


And her boys:kids

Carrie’s story…

Not sure how to begin  this – other than with a huge THANK YOU to an unknown person who spoiled me with something I would have never splurged on for myself. I sit here reflecting in awe and amazement of the outpouring of blessings from so many during this difficult year.

From people sharing their valuable time assisting me by watching my boys, work my table at the local farmer’s markets or help me in a variety of ways on the farm.

To those who have helped financially to keep my head above water or my car running.

To those who have dropped off gluten free meals and or left bags of GF groceries at my door- to “fatten” me up!

To my amazing customers who purchase meat and eggs from my little farm.

To those of you who have listened and allowed to me vent, breakdown and wiped away my tears.  And to so, so many of you, who have lifted the boys and I up in prayer….I will never be able to thank you!!!

I have never been so humbled. I can only hope I can pay you all back in some way, somehow, but be sure I will continue to “pay it forward” helping and reaching out to others, as so many of you have taught and encouraged me to do.  My faith has led me through this storm but your kindness, love and prayers has kept me going!

All these examples of kindness, leads me to share the most recent amazing story of kindness.  A few weeks ago I shared on my Facebook page a fabulous pair of cowboy boots embroidered with wildflowers that were being featured in a giveaway from an online store called Country Outfitter.  As a nature loving, country farm girl, I stated on my status: “Do these boots say “Carrie” or what?!?!?  So me!!! So ♥ them!  But the price tag is so not for this frugal girl!!! What an evil email to open this morning! But a girl can dream!”

Well the other day a package was delivered to my house. You can imagine my shock, as I opened the brown box to discover the amazing, wildflower boots. Yes, in my exact size.

My seven year old, stood there with me as puzzled and filled with questions as I was. Being the realistic, tad bit melancholy person that I am – I quickly searched for a phone number to call the company. As I spoke with customer service, explaining my “dilemma”, I questioned “did I win these boots?”

The representative asked for the packing number.  A short pause. He came back on the line.  “Well I pleased to tell you that those boots are indeed a gift. The person indicated that they wished to stay anonymous. The boots cannot be returned unless they do not fit and then they must be exchanged for the correct size.”

“Well,” I exclaimed, “they fit like a glove!” The representative laughed with me and told me to enjoy them!

While I may never find out who purchased this extravagant gift for me, I can make the promise to this person that each time I wear them I will remember the struggles, the pain I have experienced – BUT I will smile at the beautiful wildflowers stitched on a simple pair of cowboy boots and FOCUS on the new season of life and happiness my boys and I are entering!! How’s that song go…”these boots were made for walking?” ….Well I hope these boots get to walk, dance, and skip down the wondrous path laid out before me! Big hugs and blessings from the bottom of my heart!!!


You can see Carrie and all the goods from Black Willow Pond Farm at the Sharon Springs Farmers’ Market on Saturdays


by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

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Nicole LeMere

I live no where near Sharon Springs, NY and even I think this a fabulous idea! It’s definitely a tour I would take, as a farmer’s wife in Northeast, WI.

Janan Willoughby-LaDeaux

My father in-law had an expression that is etched in my heart and mind. “Do good and good will come to you.” He used to tell me to never expect good from those you are good to, but when you least expect it, someone, somewhere, perhaps someone you don’t even know will come along and do something extraordinary for you. Carrie’s story will stay in my heart for a long, long time. BTW, the boots are gorgeous!


As much as I appreciate this story, I am slightly saddened that in this day and age this simple act is so out of the ordinary and unexpected that we are amazed by it instead of just expect neighbors take care of neighbors.

Growing up in the Western Pennsylvania countryside my parents never had much, but we were taught that you always share what you have with those who have none. This was ingrained into us and as I grew up it just became what I expected of myself. Sadly, today it is a rare thing to see people reach out to others in special ways. It has become the rarity versus the norm.

I am thrilled to see country charm and caring for our friends still exists. Maybe this gift will keep on giving there in Sharon Springs.

Susan Knight

What a heartwarming story! Reminds me of a similar experience I had recently and, indeed, I pay it forward whenever I can. Congratulations Carrie. You are no doubt a worthy recipient.


The best things happen when we are not expecting it! People love to give when they know you really, really want something but would never ask for it, and would never spend money on it that needs to go on more practical things like utilities, insurance, gasoline, groceries, home and car repairs, and our children’s needs. We all know what that is like. The budget doesnt deem it necessary, but our heart does. That is what makes it all the more rewarding to help someone else get something they love and dont expect to ever have, because sometimes it is those things deemed impractical that give us the extra spark to keep on going, and the uplift we need. It is a gift for the recipient AND the giver. God bless both!

Lee Ann Hasty

It is acts of kindness and love just like this that keep so many of us who are struggling feeling blessed. May you wear your beautiful boots in good health and be careful in the barn yard (!).


What a great story. With the support of her neighbors, those precious boys, a beautiful farm and kick-a** boots, Carrie is a rich woman!


Carrie God Bless you and your beautiful sons. God bless that person who will remain anonymous for granting you your wish. I am looking forward to visiting your little farm in the spring/summer. I hope when I visit I will recognize you because of the beautiful boots you will be wearing.


Caroline Myss says that if you knew how powerful you are, you would never leave the house. This is a beautiful example of the power we have to energize and elevate others with a small thoughtful act. The butterfly effect… pass it on.

Centralia Heart

Those are the most beautiful boots that i have ever seen! Wear them in health and happiness. Centralia


As a former New Yorker living in Arizona and someone who now has a newly found appreciation for south western attire I must say, those cowgirl boots are pretty awesome! Life is indeed a journey, and Carrie you are blessed to have beautiful children by which you will leave your mark on this earth. It truly is amazing to know there are countless of selfless people in this world; deservedly so you have experienced it first hand. Best wishes to you and your family.


Carrie, You deserve *all of this!* Thank you for all that you do for all of us in the greater Sharon Springs community! I’ll see you Saturday 3/8 at the Sharon Springs Farmer’s Market. Josh & Brent, thank you for sharing her story and agree with several here that tours of her farm — and other local farms — could be a lot of fun for Harvest Festival 2013!


I have those boots & they never fail to lift my spirits! I saved for months! Carrie, every time you look at your feet you will smile and feel warm and happy!

Linda Schnell- Leonardi

I have met you many times over the past couple of years, while I have been a visitor to Sharon Springs. You deserve all things good in life, for you and your sons. There will be a day, someday, that you will look back at these tough times, and say, hey, we made it. We got through it, and here we stand. Life is good, and with the help of those friends who you consider to be like family, you will survive, and you will thrive. Continued Blessings Carrie, you are doing a great job!

PJ Bishop

“What goes around comes around” is so often used to express a negative thought, but sometimes it means that someone has been doing good things and receives something good that has no direct connection to their deeds.
Wonderful story.

Cindy McCallister

Wow!!!! I’m moving to Sharon Springs. Not because I want something for nothing. But because everyone seems so happy and at peace. I’m sure you’ve all worked very hard for what you have. This town is so generous and kind. This is the way the whole world should be. Beautiful scenery!!!!

Bev Nan Murphy

That sweet lady is doing everything right. NOt only is she “brightening the corner where you are” (old Baptist hymn) she has created a jewel box with her farm for the two shiniest,her great little guys (who look JUST like my grandsons). Chicks in her fingers and flowers on her toes and she will share her sweet song wherever she goes. Love you,Carrie, sight unseen.

Denise LeVasseur

Met Carrie at Harvest Festival 2011 – “rubber chicken purse met chicken”. She is fabulous!! Thank you to the individual who sent her those boots. I also attended Harvest Festival 2012 and have a reservation for Harvest Festival 2013. Is it possible to tour Carrier’s farm, similar to the Beekman Farm tour, while at Harvest Festival 2013? If so, sign me up!!

James Carton

Good things happen to great people! Nothing better than for a teacher to see how well a former student can handle challenges and be successful at her chosen career. Your story brought a tear (O.K. a couple) to my eyes. Hold your head high, wear those boots with pride and know that so many people are proud of you, your determination and accomplishments.


Dear Carrie: Your boys are beautiful. What a beautiful example you offer to them of not only your hard work and sacrifice to provide healthy products but also your grace in accepting tis gift of love from someone who clearly knows and loves your heart. You are a rich woman and I feel blessed just to hear your story. Thank you for sharing! XO


What a lovely story! I am very certain that you, my dear Carrie, have given of your heart and your farm every day of your life and your ‘family’ is grateful to be able to return the gift.. I am so very happy that you are experiencing the special grace of receiving the gratitude of someone in your life. You are a very special person, Carrie to be loved so much. You are a very rich indeed! Many hugs!

Dorothy Hayes

Love the story. It is so reassuring knowing that there are truly more thoughtful people in this world. Kind thoughtful people are quite while they spread love. Empty people make a lot of noise. Wear them well Carrie you deserve them.

Team Beekman

I would like to take a tour of Carrie’s farm during Harvest Fest 2013. Can you make it part of the weekend agenda? She sounds like a super person!

Monica H

What a wonderful surprise! It sounds like you are very deserving of them. Enjoy a little “Carrie time” in those boots…they are fabulous!

MelissaKlein Johnson

GOD Bless you and your boots for doing all the things God has planned for you and for your beautiful young boys,only the best always with much gratitude. Thank you for sharing your Blessing,Melissa

Lisa Winter

What a wonderful story. It goes to show you that there are good people who care in this crazy place we call home!

Barbara Fessler

Wonderful story. I think someone knew just how wonderful you are and deserved these beautiful boots. Wear them in good health.

Marie Chilcote

I felt your story with tug on my heart and a tear in my eye. Thanks for sharing. And the boots are, indeed, very pretty.

Joella Trull

Wonderful story and beautiful boots. You are as special as your guardian angel. Your story lifted my heart.


This is how we should ALL treat one another, with kindness, in whatever form that may take, and the World would be a much happier place.


Fabulous story. Carrie is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed talking to her during Harvest Fest. No matter how busy she was, she always stopped and said hi, waved, and asked how you were enjoying your stay in the area. 🙂

Delia D.

Beautiful story and beautiful boots. And Vitta, glad you have such caring people in your life. “Pay it forward” is a wonderful way to live.


Wonderful and heartwarming story! A gift from a being of God, are those boots ,HE KNEW THEY WERE RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOU WOULD APPRECIATE THEM! I have a smaller sized leather (embroidered flowers on it) from HSN and love it! Could barely buy that let a lone a larger one that I could get all in I need, but just to have something as unique as “leather/ embroidered, is very, very awesome! Your boots are fantastic, may you wear them in good health and good times, always! Bless you family!Bless the one who purchased them , or made that happen for you!


What an amazingly beautiful story:) There are truly kindhearted people everywhere you look:) Thanks so much for sharing such a touching story:)

Judi whittaker

Carrie is a very special lady who has faced many challenges while glowering her boys and her dream farm. No one is more deserving. Love you Carrie


What a beautiful, wonderful and uplifting story. There are many, many great people in the world today. Thanks for sharing. Reading this story made my day! I wish there were more positive, encouraging stories like this in the news everyday. Blessings to all….

Ray in Northern Kentucky

Jill Carpenter

What a beautiful story. I got a little choked up at my desk. There are so many encouraging, kind-hearted, selfless, wonderful people in this crazy world!!!!Thanks so much for sharing!!!
~Jill C.
Cobleskill, NY

Vitta Fernandez

Such a great story! My daughter and I are going through a rough patch ourselves. Fiancee left and took everything! From pots and pans to couches, etc. We are slowly rebuilding. And, I must say, that in this little town of New Baltimore, NY we are amazed every day at the generosity and kindness of total strangers. I grew up in Manhattan, and I always heard how New Yorkers don’t give a !!!! But, you know, I disagree wholeheartedly. They are the most generous and kind people we have met in a VERY long time. My daughter and I, find ourselves at a loss for words, and thank you just doesn’t cut it. It’s not enough…words are not enough to express our gratitude. So, we have decided, just like Carrie that whenever we can in whatever way possible we will pay it forward. I will write a blog about our ordeal when the time is right. Still going through all the legal stuff…there is a 4 and 6 year old involved, so the less said the better, for now, at least.

I guess, the hardest thing about all this is the effect it has on the kids. But, when they see the kindness that other have shared with us, they get a great big grin on their faces and a little gleam in their eyes — and that makes it all worth while.

Wear those boots with pride and humility!


Thank you for sharring a small part of your experience, Vitta. When you share your life here in this safe place, your pain and experience are very real to Beekman 1802 (Josh & Brent) fans. I hope you know that we hold you in our hearts. Please share your complete story, when you can. We love you and care about you.

Vitta Fernandez

Thank you so much, Robin. It makes us feel stronger every time that we are the recipients of kindness. And, yes, I will tell the whole story, after the court business is over.