Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for February, 2013

CAPTURE THE MOMENT

We wandered down to Central Illinois to celebrate our youngest grand-daughter’s fourth birthday. The day we drove, freezing rain, sleet and snow were predicted. Thankfully we arrived before the storm. And the weatherman was correct — freezing rain, sleet and five inches of snow fell before dark and into the night. Our grandson was unhappy — school WAS NOT cancelled. But there was still snow on the ground when he came home from school, enough to go sledding at the park. One of his classmates was already on the hill when we arrived. Our daughter joined her daughter on the sled and the fun began. I DID NOT sled down the hill. My HUSBAND did. I don’t know if I would have taken a turn if my leg was healed, if my health was better. As it was, I enjoyed taking their pictures, I enjoyed watching their fun. I ENJOYED THE MOMENT!

Central Illinois was snow starved — this was the first measurable snow that they have had this year. AND WE WERE THERE.

I have been aware of life on the other side for more than eighteen years now.  Said like that, it is a long time. I am no longer in kindergarten — I have learned MANY lessons and having learned, they are seldom repeated. Day’s and weeks can go by without anything unusual happening in my life. But what is normal for me, might be unusual for someone else.

Saturday was the anniversary of my father’s birthday. Anniversary’s are important. Unusual things sometimes happen. I try to be more aware.

Saturday was a normal day. Our grandson played basketball and we cheered him on. We went to a restaurant for lunch. Nothing unusual.

I went to evening Mass at St. Patrick’s. (Getting to early Sunday Mass is difficult.) The music was led by the teen ministry complete with flute, violin and piano. The program listed it as the Mass of St. Ann. The gospel was the Transformation of Jesus on the mountain. Father’s homily focused on the times when we get a gift — a glimpse of the other side —  how — if and when it happens, we need to enjoy and reflect on the moment. Being that I have had a few such experiences, I can definitely agree. And I can also agree that there never seems to be enough.

After my father passed, I attended a Christ Renews His parish weekend at our church. Our group sponsored the next weekend. One important part of the weekend is to give “help” letters to the participants. I decided that I wanted to make a card for each — I NEEDED a verse to go on each card. I brought many books with me to the camper for research. On my morning walk, I was GIVEN the verse: “Lord, as long as You are with me, I am never alone.” I didn’t need the books after all. (The full story is in JOURNEY WITH ME.)

After the priest’s homily on Saturday night, The congregation sang this song. FLY LIKE A BIRD! “Fly like a bird to the Lord, my soul. I want to soar like an eagle. Though I may journey far from home, I know I’ll never be alone.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! Thank You!

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IT’S BACK

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s passing. I have to admit that I didn’t remember. Lexie, our energizer Pug, woke at 4:30 – barking for assistance. I hate to admit that I didn’t come to her aid. The temperature outside was predicted to be frigid, in the single digits with zero wind chill. It was early and I could hear the wind howling. When I finally surfaced at 5:30, I had clean up to do: her blanket, her pillow and herself. Not her fault, she asked for help.

The wind continued all day — my husband strongly suggested I stay inside and for a change I listened. I took advantage of downtime and made chicken soup. I ordered a few books from Amazon. I began to pack for our trip to my youngest daughter’s to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. I pulled the bag from my closet and took out the sunscreen and other ointments — they were not needed in frigid temperatures. I have used the bag many times since our trip to the Wisconsin Dells in October. Not only have I used it many times since October but I have completely emptied it many times!

Why am I going on and on about the bag? I am still amazed. In October, I lost a cash card. Not only was the cash card lost, but the receipts for purchases that we made on our trip were with it.  It was very important to me that the envelope was found. I guess you can surmise that it WASN’T! I looked in our car, I looked in ALL the bags I had with me. I looked at our camper. I looked and Looked and LOOKED without success.

Yesterday, the anniversary of my father’s passing; the cash card and the receipts were returned. They were in the bag that I always use. I HAVE NO ANSWER! The envelope WAS NOT there before! NOW IT WAS! Thank you! THIS WILL REMAIN ONE OF THE MYSTERIES OF MY LIFE. I’m glad it was returned.

I might have mentioned that a vascular surgeon is putting a soft boot on my leg to get the ulcers to heal. Although the boot is working, it is causing other problems. The skin on my heel cracked. On my dresser, I had a couple of tubes of ointment for dry skin. One of them was Carmex healing cream. I didn’t remember where I had purchased it. But it worked. In fact it worked within TWO DAYS. I WANTED more. The pharmacy at the hospital didn’t have it, and couldn’t order it.

I tried CVS by our house. They had the lotion but not the healing cream. They phoned a store that is about a half mile away. They had one in stock. Rain was forecast but I thought I had enough time. Instead of returning home for the car, I walked. Moisture was in the air and I didn’t have an umbrella. It was 52 degrees under cloudy skies. After purchasing the cream, I started for home. On the way, I found SIX PENNIES on the ground. Thankfully, the rain held off until I reached home.

PENNIES AND DIMES

It dawned on me the other day that many new people have started reading my thought rambles. Sometimes my ramble is very clear, it is evident that I’m receiving “help” from my friends in higher places. On the other hand — sometimes that “help” is hidden. And I reckon that is the reason I have been nudged to write a blog.

I have read many articles where pennies, or nickels, or dimes appear to let the person know that their family member on the other side is with them. Recently I read a story where birds appeared, not just one specie but a variety — robins, cardinals, a hawk to let the person know that the family member, on the other side, was watching over them and approved.

In my life — nothing is constant. I do not see or hear “my friends” on the other side. I have no proof that they are involved in my life. Before my father passed over and let the cat out of the bag, my mother was involved in my life. She was VERY GOOD — I did not have the faintest notion that I was receiving “help.” Maybe that is why I receive nudges and information in so many different ways. I’m aware that if I ignore the message that is being sent — if it is important — my life becomes more challenging or the message repeats so many times I can’t help but pay attention.  The nudge to write this blog is a good example. First there was the movie, Julia and Julia, after I read the book and saw the movie, blogs did not surface for a long time. Then the nudges began, slowly at first. Sisters on a TV program were invited to speak from someone who had read their blog, time passed. I paid NO ATTENTION. So things sped up — a magazine article in Weight Watchers, followed by Judge Judy on TV again. Then an article in the AARP magazine. My youngest daughter started a blog. I’m sure you get the idea. I finally did! In fact, my first post was titled I GIVE UP, on May 24, 2012. I didn’t think I had time to write or enough to write about. Just to let them know I was listening, I tried the server my daughter was using. I didn’t think I was going to start one —  wanted to see what I had to do. I have trouble thinking of titles but the first title I thought of was available.  So I began. This will be number 42.

I wish I could say that I write every week. That would be lovely — some day that might happen. Now I either write when I have the time, an idea or have been nudged often enough to put ideas in print. I hope these thought rambles are helpful to you. I hope the various things that happen to me have helped you to see the “help” that is occurring in your own life.

I guess “my friends” approved of this idea. I rarely find money on the ground, but the day I thought of this title, I found a quarter.

CROSSING THE T’S

As soon as I solve one problem, another pops up. Monday, I spoke to the doctor about the welts that were appearing under the top of my boot. The previous Monday, my appointment was in the morning, my leg wasn’t swollen from the day’s adventures; this Monday, my appointment was later in the day — leg swollen. He wrapped the leg a bit looser anyway. Problem solved, or so I thought.

Tuesday, it felt like I had a crack on the heel of my foot under the boot. Every time I took a step, I became aware that something was wrong. If I kept my foot up, things were fine. But when I put weight on the foot again, the boot pulled on the damaged area. I toughed it out on Wednesday. My oldest daughter suggested I put cream on the area. The wrapped foot prevented access. “My friends” prodded me to rely on myself and encouraged me to pay attention to my body. Listening, Wednesday night I investigated a way to gain access to my heel and applied cream. Thankfully, the heel is better today. Another issue to speak with the doctor on Monday. I’m sure he is so happy with me.

We received news that the paperwork for refinancing our home was ready. Signing was set for Friday. Thursday I received a phone call detailing the new financial data. The new payment was higher than I expected, blamed on much higher taxes. Investigating, I learned that the title company was responsible for calculating the tax. Luckily, we had received the first real estate tax bill due in March. We don’t have a fax machine, but the accounting office in our neighborhood was able to fax the document to the adjuster. Working overtime, he was able to solve the problem, coming up with a better total. When the notary came with the papers to sign, I asked if she had the corrected documents. There still was a problem. Luckily a phone call and our computer and printer, provided the corrected paperwork.

One more “T”.  I mentioned that I decided to look for boots of my own. I found some on sale, even if they are size 11, rather than share my son’s size 10. It is a good thing that I did. Outside on Thursday, after the ice, rain, snow mix — our son’s socks got wet. His boots went to recycling the next morning. I offered to share my new ones.

EARLY MORNING CHALLENGE

Early Saturday morning, I opened the curtains to gaze at the icy sidewalks, still frozen from Thursday’s sleet, rain, snowy mix and saw a rabbit sitting in front of our house. He was not bothered by the ice — making his way down the frozen path, stopping now and then to listen.

Usually I’m greeted by a cardinal’s song when I open the door in the morning. I was surprised to see a rabbit.

Moment’s later, I was glad that I had a quiet start to the day. Entering the kitchen, Lexie,  our senior resident Pug’s eyes were open, I would have to put on my coat and take her out. Usually she is asleep and I let her sleep until the morning warms up. She needs a bit of assistance since she is no longer able to walk up and down the stairs. She can’t walk on the frozen terrain either.

My normal practice is to put on my coat and quickly lift her from her pillow. Thankfully this morning I had a hard time getting my arms around her. I moved her pillow instead. That is when I noticed her back leg resting on the radiator grates. On closer inspection, I discovered her toenail was inside the grating, wrapped around to come out a few openings away. Taking off my coat, I gently maneuvered the nail, finally setting her leg free. I don’t know if I asked for help before starting, but I definitely said “Thank You” when Lexie was free.

Although Lexie was able to walk, she still couldn’t navigate on the ice. Warmer temperatures are predicted for Sunday along with icy rain in the morning. The frozen pond in the backyard might become a lake.

I’M READY FOR SPRING!

GUIDANCE

February 2, Groundhog Day — a crow’s cry broke the silence of the snowy morning. Native American folk lore considers them a sign of the Creator. I hadn’t heard their voice since early fall.

A cardinal normally greets me when I take Lexie out in the early morning. It reminds me of my aunt Connie. I first heard its song this year on January 12, the temperature was 52. The weather forecast predicted cold temperatures for the next week. I told the bird that some salesman gave it the wrong information.

One of the early thought rambles I wrote after my father’s passing was titled FEATHERS. “A black feather fell as I was sitting outside at the picnic table, drinking my morning cup of coffee before leaving for church to attend Mass on the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.” I was at our camper, working on my first book:  To Pap, With Love.

Since that time birds, bird songs, and feathers have been important in my life.

I receive guidance in many ways. I don’t always look at the comics in the paper but often a strip will attract my attention. Sometimes it is reflective of my life. This week a writer was having trouble choosing a subject for her new book. At first, I thought it pertained to my youngest daughter who is crafting a children’s book. But she has her subject, she knows what she is writing about. I have to admit that my cupboard  is bare, no ideas until this morning.

On Monday, the Vascular surgeon put my left leg in a boot — plaster type wrap, gauze and tape.  He told me that I didn’t need to do anything with it. He will change it at my next appointment. Zero weather was predicted for Thursday and the rest of the week. The date to submit the paperwork for the senior freeze was Feb. 6. Taking advantage of the warmer weather, on Wednesday I journeyed downtown to hand deliver the paperwork. Last year I mailed the document and we didn’t receive the deduction. I didn’t want to take that chance again. At City Hall, the person at the information desk directed me to go to room 320, get the paperwork date stamped and receive a copy.  I was very glad that I made the trip.

Thursday my leg rebelled. Bright and early, I thought of exercising — mid morning I had changed my mind. My eldest daughter phoned, strongly recommending that I do stretches, Tai Chi, or Yoga. Nothing strenuous. This advice came before I told her about my trip downtown. I paid attention when she remarked that there is often a reason why she is nudged to phone me.

Today, Saturday, we received the most snow of the season, almost 2″. I tried to put my snowboots on. The doctor’s boot wouldn’t allow my ankle to bend. The shoes that I wear are not suitable for snow, barely good for rain. I had been concerned about snow since winter began but when I tried on my snow boots, they fit. Now they DON’T! More snow is predicted for the coming week. I knew I was in trouble. This morning I borrowed my son’s boots to take Lexie out and sweep the snow off the steps.  Wearing his boots works when he is home, but he needs them to go to work. We wandered to Target after breakfast. I found a pair of size 11 boots reduced from $35 to $11. I would have tried on a size 10, but none were available. I had the same problem with the size 9 as my boots at home. I can’t say that I’m ready for more snow, but at least my foot, and the doctor’s boot will stay dry.

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