20 April

The Nicest Thing At The Mansion: What Matters Is That You Show Up

by Jon Katz

I’ve learned in my almost four years of working at the Mansion that it doesn’t matter so much what you do when you come. What really matters is that you show up.

Maria came to my reading workshop with me today, we took turns talking about our life on the farm, our life together and we each read stories from special books for the elderly.

They had a grueling year, they love fresh faces and new stories.

Health regulations permit only a handful of residents to attend, but each one thanked us for taking the time to come and read to them. I think when all is said and done, it might be the nicest thing I ever do.

I love going there, reading to them, watching their responses, answering their questions. Zinnia comes in, greets everyone, and then goes to sleep.

The reading sessions usually last an hour. On Thursdays, I teach a meditation class.

We were both touched by their gratitude. “Thank you so much,” said one, “for coming to see us.” It does feel like the nicest thing I do.

This Friday I’m going to Bishop Maginn High School to meet with Pan, a refugee from Myanmar who is struggling through the violence there after the military coup.

Many of her relatives have fled into the forests to escape the military. I’ll write about her next week.


Tomorrow, Maria and I co-host our new radio format, “Katz And Wulf on Animals,” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on WBTNAM.org. You can stream it live here.

Our focus remains on dogs, of course, but Maria and I share a life with animals, so we will talk about that also.

You can stream the show, or call the show: 802 442-1010 or e-mail me [email protected] or Maria – [email protected] with questions. Check us out, and thanks.


  1. “It doesn’t matter so much what you do when you come. What really matters is that you show up.” I can hear my dad saying (by his actions), look for opportunities to support others and follow through. It’s such a two-way street.

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