Random Acts of "Kindness"

JURY DUTY

I know it is our civic duty but I REALLY DID NOT want to attend. My name was on stand-by and the location was in Chicago’s Loop. Not difficult for me to get to BUT I was following a NEW DIET PLAN. The idea of being on a jury, not having access to my refrigerator DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY. Maybe, I thought, I won’t be needed. WRONG. The list of names not needed started FIVE letters from ours. NUTS!

Two days after receiving my invitation, my husband received one too. His court was located in a distant suburb, not easily reached from our house. He is older than myself, and no longer needs TO DO JURY DUTY. A quick phone call and he was released.

Tuesday, I walked through the electronic detection devices, setting them off. It was my jewelry this time. I took the elevator to the 17th floor and checked in, receiving a panel number. Seating choices were a line of chairs or a table. I chose the table and quickly realized that I didn’t belong there. The other three people sitting at the table were world travelers. The gentleman was studying French in preparation for his trip to France. And then there was me. They were highly educated and involved in their projects, not interested in talking.  Sometimes I’m at the right place, at the right time to help someone or be helped in return. Not this time.

I had learned that I could buy packages of sliced apples from McDonald’s. According to my eating plan, fruit was the snack of the day. I was set until lunch. Thankfully before lunch time arrived, my panel was released. We weren’t needed and I WAS NOT disappointed. On the train downtown I realized two things. First, it was Tuesday. Second, the novena to St. Anthony would be said at St. Peters after mass. Maybe that was why I was downtown. Before checking in, I stopped at the church only to learn that the next Mass would be at lunch time. Leaving the courthouse, I knew if I hurried, I would reach the church in time for Mass. If you are curious as to why I remembered the novena, I wrote about my involvement with St. Anthony in Who Is that Man, published July 7, 2012.

After mass and before heading home, I joined my son for lunch. Then I wandered to Macy’s — just to look around. I figured I was safe, I left my credit cards at home and only had a small amount of money with me. I stopped on the seventh floor and totally enjoyed a fashion display. Fashion designers had used paintings from the Art Institute for inspiration. If I said they were incredible, I would not be exaggerating. I wished I had my camera.

As I rode the escalators, admiring the displays, I remembered that I wanted a microplane zester. I decided to try the lower level and see if  one was in stock. Looking at the displays of kitchen gadgets, I didn’t see one. I waited for one of the sales clerks to finish with a customer before asking a question. She looked at the same display that I had previously checked out. Then she offered to check the stockroom. I was concerned that even if one was found, I wouldn’t have enough money to buy it. But you see, I have “friends in high places” — the clerk found THE LAST ONE and I had enough money to buy it, with a dollar left over.

/Every once in a while, I have picked up an artists paint brush and applied paint to canvas — oil, watercolor or acrylic. I have a feeling that I’m being nudged to do so again. I went to the Botanic Garden yesterday where an artist faire was in the process of setting up.

In case you are wondering — I’M EXTREMELY PLEASED with my weight loss. Not finished with the 28 days, haven’t lost 20 pounds, but I’m planning on taking a break, eating potatoes and cheese, with a glass of wine — then starting again. I don’t know what my goal weight will be but at least I won’t look more pregnant than my granddaughter who is expecting her daughter in September.

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