Random Acts of "Kindness"

STICKERS

Owning a car has many advantages. If you are able to drive, the car expands your opportunity to travel. If you have a dependable vehicle, your options increase. We have a dependable car — it is just older with many miles. Getting a newer car was in my husbands plans. My knees have become a problem. He wanted a car that was easier for me to get in and out of. We decided not to get rid of the older car. That meant we now had two cars. Living in the city adds another expense. We need to help with the cost of the roads, therefore having a sticker on the windshield.

Since my husband is a senior, we get a break on the cost of the sticker. We wouldn’t get a reduced cost on the second car. But I’m a senior also. Taking advantage of my age, we got a reduced cost.

We DID NOT know that the city allows 30 days to purchase a sticker. Sadly we were over the 30 days. BUT since we are SENIORS, we received a reduced cost for that.

I normally go down to city hall to purchase the stickers. I knew I needed my husband to go with me. I thought he might get a reduce fee since he is a veteran. I learned that there was a satellite office near our house. We could drive rather than take the train.

Driving turned out to be an advantage. The lines to purchase stickers were as long as downtown. My husband stood in line while I sat in the car. No parking signs were all over the neighborhood. The office is close to a large terminal for the train. Parking for residents would be a premium if it wasn’t for the restrictions. A bicycled policeman rode through while I sat in the car waiting.

In order to purchase a sticker for the Escape, we needed to have the bill of sale. Thankfully we had the car. Thankfully the paperwork was in the car. The lady who waited on us told us not to wait in line again. If we had the needed paperwork, to come right to her. One more task checked off the list.

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CRABAPPLES

The crabapple trees were in bloom in the city. They reminded me of the pathway by the lagoon at Botanic Garden, planted with pink crabapple trees. Absolutely beautiful when in bloom.

Our cool, wet weather had delayed the blooming of flowers and trees. Normally the trees were in bloom by Mother’s Day. Sun was out, temperature hinted at seventy. Visit to the garden planned.

I could NOT find my membership card. Luckily our old car was back in the city. It had a membership sticker that would allow access to the Garden. I called the Garden to request a new sticker for the new car and a replacement for my missing card. I DID NOT ask if the crabapples were in bloom.

Traffic to the garden was light. Since it was one of the first sunny days in weeks, the parking lots were full but I found a place by the walking path. My knee had been acting up in the morning so I planned a shorter walk, maybe sit at more places.

Entering the Garden, I overheard a child pointing at a turtle underwater. The turtle was huge, reminding me of turtles in Hawaii. I tried to capture it with my camera but it was too far away to get a good shot. Stopping to sit at a bench, I noticed a woman using walking sticks and asked a couple of questions. Two years younger than me, she shared my paternal grandmothers name. She uses the sticks for balance, finding them more useful than a cane.

I decided I would confine my picture taking to flowers that I might want to paint. In the next Garden, I noticed a woman taking pictures with an I-Pad. She was having problems. Stopping to talk to her, I learned that the crabapple trees were not in bloom. They would need another week with warm temperatures.

Thankfully the waterfall was running. I stopped to rest on one of the benches and noticed another woman walking with the walking sticks. She shared that hers had a spring on the bottom which made them easier to use. I don’t know if I’m ready for a cane or walking sticks. But gathering information never hurts.

Sadly my knee started acting up again. I decided to cut my walk short, and get something to eat at the cafe. The salad that I had enjoyed was sold out, I would have had to settle with a pasta salad. The lines made me reconsider. Shortening my stay at the Garden I headed back for my car.

15 minutes to the Kennedy the sign announced when I was driving on the expressway. I was glad I left early. I only passed a couple of exits when the traffic slowed to a crawl. I exited at the next exit. Turning on the radio, I heard a truck had smashed into a bridge, taking out two lanes of traffic. I was very glad I had left the Garden early. THANK YOU!

UNPREPARED

I think I mentioned that our daughter bought a new car for us. I know that I was shown were the lights and windshield wipers were. I know I was shown how to access the automatic pilot. I FORGOT!

My husband and I took both cars to the camper. He drove our old car, trunk loaded, Robin helping with the trip. I drove the new Escape, trunk loaded. It was a cool, cloudy day but DRY. When I first started out, I realized I had forgotten how to access the automatic pilot. Evidently I was too tired when the various parts of the car where shown to me. I have driven the car, but in the city I don’t use the automatic pilot. I finally figured out where it was but every time I turned it on, slower traffic made me hit the brake.

We met at the oasis, half way to the camper. I checked to make sure both cars had a pass to get in the gate. We had removed the pass from the old car. My husband found the missing pass in the Escape. I wasn’t ready when my husband was ready to continue. So he wouldn’t worry, I mentioned that I would stop at the store before going to the camper.

I was only a couple of miles down the road when it started to rain. I didn’t know where the windshield wipers were. I didn’t know where the lights were. The car image on the screen showed green lights at the bottom. Red where the taillights were. I thought I had turned on the emergency flashers by mistake. I managed to turn on the windshield wipers. The windows were fogging, I didn’t know where the defrost was. I was in trouble. Then the sky opened and the rain poured down. I stuck behind a truck whose tail light I could see. Reaching a rest stop, I pulled over and phoned my husband. He explained where the lights were. Not driving, I found the defroster.

As soon as I found the missing items, the rain slowed to a drizzle. I’m still not sure how to work the radio and the rest of the gadgets. I planned to read the manual and acquaint myself with the car. It hasn’t happened yet.

ELEPHANT

Spring — our son invited me to accompany him to Hawaii. My husband has gone to the island twice before but he DOES NOT LIKE the EIGHT HOUR plane ride. I can truthfully say that it is not something I enjoy, but I do ENJOY HAWAII. We left Robin at home with my husband. She is not happy when the whole family is not home.

My husband took her with him whenever he left the house. She slept with him most nights, right up against his side. He spoiled her as well as himself — cake, doughnuts, ICE CREAM. Whether he had any ice cream or not, Robin received a nightly bowl. He also shared his supper with her.

We were only in Hawaii 5 nights — short trip. About night two, I thought of Robin at home, and realized that a present was in order. We were in Waikiki, plenty of opportunities to shop, BUT no toys for dogs. I had a quest, which made shopping more interesting.

My son and I like to hang out at Waikiki beach, people watch — surfers and bathers — eat pork nachos and share. In other words, take a break from the get up and run. I asked many people if there was a place to buy a toy for a dog. In many of the shops I wandered in, I asked if they had dog toys. I didn’t get good information until someone mentioned Ross. In the park, I noticed a young dog running free. I also noticed a stroller waiting for the dog after he tired himself out. I wandered over, asked as few questions, and heard the name Ross. I saw many dogs in strollers on our walks. I also saw a woman on a motor driven chair with a dog on a leash.

Our son found the store on his morning walk. I did not hesitate, the next trip to the beach, we found Ross. I quickly located the pet department and found a lovely elephant. It is very similar to Robin’s favorite Zebra. Detagged and packed, it was ready for the trip home.

I’m happy to report that we were only home about half an hour before I pulled the elephant out of my suitcase. HAPPY, HAPPY DOG! Racing through the house at top speed for a couple of minutes. It is her favorite toy at the moment.

The last time my husband and I left her, I came home with a toy but she was MAD at us. In fact, ignored the toy for a couple of days. Thankfully this time was different.

HAMPERED

I have to admit that I LOVE and DEPEND ON the help I get from the other side. Often I don’t even realize that they are helping me.

I had two or three paragraphs written describing the events of yesterday. Right now I’m sitting here laughing — better than crying. Have I mentioned that they help with my writing. Evidently the events of yesterday are not to be shared. The paragraphs disappeared. I was left with the beginning first two sentences of the thought ramble.

I had just written that I am stubborn. I’m not sure what thought followed that but it is very hard when those that “help” are not visible. Yesterday was challenging, the events seemed to be hazardous to my health. I thought about going back to bed but didn’t give in. This morning, I was aware that “help” was happening. My son commented that I Pads were not supposed to fly through the air. Now I will admit that I didn’t throw it, in fact I had no intention of doing so. Turning it off and walking away entered my mind.

I’m not writing on the I Pad. All of my thought rambles are written on the laptop. The keyboard is easier to use. My “friends” are very comfortable interacting with either one.

I had a feeling that I needed to write — have a thought ramble ready to publish. No subject in mind. I asked for “help”, but the title I thought of was already used.

So why am I going on and on? Because I have to acknowledge that there are times when my plans are blocked. For whatever reason, I am not supposed to go somewhere, or do something. Maybe it isn’t the right time for the phone call that I’m trying to make.

“My friends on the other side” have my best interest at heart. Even when my plans are challenged or interrupted or blocked it is in my best interest. Thank You!

ANOTHER YEAR

had told me that I would write thought rambles that would published every week for SEVEN (7) Years, I would have asked you what you were drinking or smoking. I’ll admit that this was NOT my idea. For some reason, “my friends in high places” think this is something that I need to do. If I don’t have something ready to publish every week my life becomes most interesting. My sleep is interrupted. Other things happen. It is much easier to write. I’ll admit that I “yell” for HELP. My premise is still the same. Each thought ramble should somehow show the interaction in my life with “spirit.”

Once upon a time I thought all rambles should be positive. There is enough happening in our world which is negative. Then I learned that admitting that my life is NOT always positive was a good thing and more accurate.

I remember how I protested and ignored the hints that I should write a blog. I only gave in when after many prods and messages, I applied to WordPress.com and my first thought for a name for my site was accepted. I don’t know how persistent I would have been. Thankfully that wasn’t a problem.

I remember at this time last year I thought I was celebrating five years. It was only after I divided the number of blogs by 5 did I discover my error. My father passed in 1995. My mother and brother passed in 1949. My mother was VERY GOOD at “helping.” I had no idea that my life was anything but normal. Looking back, I remember times when I might have received “help.” I definitely was aware of “help” when my father’s memory was declining. I wasn’t aware of the source, but many times I was led to a problem. My father let the cat out of the bag when he passed over. I am VERY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HELP! I have no idea how many are involved. I also am aware that “help” often comes from my four footed friends.

I hope that my thought rambles help you. Maybe you are becoming more aware of “help” that you are receiving from the other side. At the very least, hopefully you are aware that although a loved one has died in body, their spirit is alive and well on the other side.

OPPORTUNITY

In September of last year, my husband and I attended Autumn on the Prairie, at Natchusa, a nature preserve. While there, I met a group of painters. I learned that they get together when the weather is agreeable to paint in various areas in the region. I have to admit that I was interested. My family has been prodding me to get back into painting. I have a collapsible easel and a chair. I have many acrylic paints and brushes, not to mention canvases.

I planned to practice painting during the winter. As with many of my plans, it didn’t happen. Since the Fall, I have only finished one painting. I did it for my granddaughter’s birthday. When she was at St. Joseph hospital because of her headaches, I told her I was thinking of an Amazon warrior winning the battle. That image remained in my head and I actually turned it into a painting. Drawing IS NOT my talent. I was amazed when the image I drew on the canvas actually looked like a girl. The drawing of the unicorn DID NOT go as well. The finished painting is something that I’m not ashamed of — strong Amazon, winning the battle. I wouldn’t call it a great work of art, but considering the artist, I don’t think it needs to be hidden. It is hanging in our granddaughter’s bedroom.

I painted in acrylic. I used a glass for a pallet and cleaned it off many times. I also cleaned the brushes many times and renewed the paint many times. I had access to running water in our sink. I thought about the steps I took in the painting as I considered painting on location.

Our granddaughter had a set of Arteza brush pens at the hospital. The colors were vibrant and she shared her talent with many of the other patients. The more I thought about that set, the more I considered getting my own. Taking it with me with a sketch pad to an open air painting session sounded like a plan. At least for the first excursion. I can always take paints later. I can also return to the camper and using my materials convert the sketch to a painting.

My daughter suggested I take the pens and a sketch pad to the Garden and try doing a sketch. I just need good weather!

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