Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for June, 2014

SUNSHINE

Rain, rain, rain — go away. Too many days — gray skies — damp, cool, wet. Finally a day of sunshine. I ran away from home to the Botanical Gardens and so did the world. I knew I was in trouble when I got off the expressway and entered a long line of sitting traffic. Barely moving, we inched our way to the entrance, resting every foot or two. Many cars turned around. I wondered what my options were. A shopping center was near by but I really didn’t want to be in a store. I WANTED TO ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!

As I approached the entrance I said a prayer that I would find a parking space. I repeated the prayer many times before I gained access. I asked a person directing non moving traffic if there was still parking. I asked another person at the gate about parking also. In fact, I asked which lot might have the best chance. As I drove up the entrance, I saw cars parked along the drive — I was concerned and said another prayer.

The first lot I drove into — I saw people heading for a car. I staked out their parking spot only to have a van with handicap plates pull in behind me. As I waited for the car to load and pull out, I noticed I was blocking another van that was ready to leave. I tried to send hand signals to the car waiting behind me — there are two spots. I didn’t know if they got the message so I tried again. The car I was waiting for pulled out — and I parked. The car that I was blocking — pulled out and the handicapped van parked also. They had a child in a wheelchair. I asked if they understood my hand signals. “Not at first, ” the woman replied. “Then we got the message.” I told her that I had been praying for a parking spot, I was glad they got one too.

The last time I had been at the Garden was during the week, this was a weekend. Daffodils had been in bloom, crab apple trees were waiting. Now daffodils were done, so were the crab apple trees. I was sorry I had missed them. The roses hadn’t started. The garden was waiting for sunshine — warm temperatures. I WAS TOO!

No sense crying for what I had missed — time to enjoy what was there. A man and his son each had an expensive camera, taking pictures of the same scene. I asked if they were having a contest. I didn’t see the swans but before leaving I found the blue heron. Redwing blackbirds sang, robins sang also. I found many photo opportunities. An older woman sat in a wheelchair, pushed by her daughter. I asked if they wanted me to take their picture. Thankfully their photo turned out well. Although I take many pictures, sometimes they are fuzzy — not clear. I don’t always take the time to let the camera focus the shot.

Since I’m by myself, I kibitz with strangers all the time. Thankfully this time I edited my comment before it left my mouth. An older boy pushed a baby stroller with a doll in it. I almost asked him where the missing child was when I noticed that the boy might have been challenged himself and it was his doll.

Right place — right time — all day.

Sadly — the forecast for the next week is RAIN — EVERY DAY! But at least I enjoyed the sunshine for a few hours.

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GLASSES

Sadly my eyes are showing their age too. I received hints that I couldn’t see as far clearly but I ignored the hints. The face of the priest celebrating the Mass at church wasn’t as clear but I didn’t notice a difference in my sight when driving. That is until I drove a long distance and my eyes kept watering. I found distant glasses in an old purse that were prescribed a few years ago which I preferred not to wear. They work fine for driving now. Then I noticed my eyes watered when I was reading. I made an appointment to get my eyes checked.

No surprise — I needed new glasses for reading too. Since I don’t wear glasses all the time, I just got a new pair of glasses for reading. My first solo shopping trip, I wore my glasses for driving. I remembered to take them off and exchanged them for my new reading glasses — and got dizzy. My vision navigating the store was definitely affected. I wanted my old reading glasses which, of course were at home.

If I forgot to take off my driving glasses, I couldn’t see to read the labels for shopping. Gradually I became more accustomed to putting my driving glasses on before leaving the garage or parking space. I became used to changing glasses once I arrived at my destination. I traveled with two pairs of glasses in my purse, one in our car.

Then we went to the camper. I ALWAYS wear sunglasses when I’m riding my scooter. Sun glasses have always restricted my vision. Now that problem intensified. Looking for a solution I thought of buying a pair of sunglasses designed for reading. I found a pair of sunglasses at home that might have worked except they didn’t have an adjustment for distance. Still searching.

My husband had a spare pair of glasses in the car that adjust for sunshine that he had stopped wearing. They were his last prescription. Since he wears his glasses all the time, they are bifocals. He planned to take them to the eye doctor and have the frames fitted with his new prescription. UNTIL I TRIED THEM AND ADOPTED THEM!

I found that his glasses are comfortable to drive in, as well as shop. Since they are tinted, they work as sunglasses also. Problem solved for the moment. As I become more accustomed to wearing bifocals while I’m driving or shopping, my next pair of glasses might be bifocals. Then I wouldn’t have the constant hunt for my glasses.

SMART

I don’t know how many times I have heard someone remark that animals are dumb. That person is probably so wrapped up in their own life that they don’t pay attention to the animals around them. Anyone who has watched a squirrel for any length of time as they conquer the contraption that has been set up to stop them from getting food knows how much ingenuity they use to accomplish their mission.

Many years ago, when I spent a summer at our camper, a bird knocked on our window to alert me to a squirrel on the bird feeder. The bird was hungry, it wanted to eat. A different bird knocked on the window when the feeder was empty.

Taking advantage of a warm day, we went to the country to pick up my husband’s 1954 Lincoln. Our mechanic shared a story about his golden retriever. His dog does not want birds in her yard. One day he looked all over for her — when he called, he noticed her head sticking up from top of their pine tree which rises above their house. He told her to come down, which she did, but as he was standing there, she climbed back to the top again.

We were at our daughter’s recently. She has a wireless fence but Robin doesn’t wear the needed collar. We have a long lead that is attached to a stake. It is long enough to allow her to run with their miniature poodle and their golden retriever. Maggie, the retriever, has had a long winter — she has put on weight too. Tired, she stopped Robin from running by sitting on her lead. Robin is younger, she has energy to spare — later Maggie held the lead in her mouth to stop the activity.

All the time we were at our daughter’s it rained every day — there were some dry hours but mostly non stop rain. The sky was cloudy when we left to drive home but rain was forecast. I noticed that Robin was moving around in the back seat, not settling down to sleep. We stopped at the first rest stop, to give her an opportunity to do any business — settle down for the trip. It was a good thing we did — not more than 5 minutes back on the road, the rain started and didn’t stop until we reached home, over an hour later. Thankfully, “my friends” take care of our whole family!”

On a different note — a waitress at a restaurant that we frequent shared a happening with me. (I have shared my stories with her over time so she is aware that I walk to a different drummer.) A few months ago her boyfriend passed over after a long illness. She had not visited the cemetery but was planning on going that day. I told her that he wasn’t there. She replied, “I know but he keeps asking me why I haven’t gone.” Her comment caught my attention. I asked if he appeared to her in a dream. “No,” she said. “While you were awake?” I asked. To which she replied, “Yes. This was the second time he came. So I’m going.”

I can truthfully admit that has NEVER happened to me. I DO NOT SEE spirits — we all have our own talents, we need to honor them.

REFRESHING SPIRIT

It has been a long winter. Too many days of snow, cold temperatures, gray skies. As I write this, the country to our north is still getting SNOW — 9 inches. I’m sorry it is them, GLAD that it isn’t us. So now supposedly it is spring. Oh No — coldest spring in ____ years. We just had a week of rain, gray skies, cooler temperatures. To make matters worse, my husband’s cough required a trip to the doctor, which led to an EKG, than an appointment with a heart doctor — scheduled stress tests. First test he couldn’t breathe and we needed to reschedule.

STRESSED — I guess so. He passed his next stress test with flying colors. Afterward he suggested I take the rest of the day off — enjoy the warm ( 88*) day, blue skies, — visit the Botanical Garden. I didn’t argue.

Daffodils were still in bloom — tulips too. In fact, the Garden had planted 26,000 tulips to bloom for Mother’s day. The cold spring didn’t stop their flowering. The crab apple trees are forming buds, no flowers yet. As I wandered the garden, camera at the ready — I wondered what photo would capture the day. Would it be the single swan swimming in the lake? I wondered where it’s mate was. Then I heard young voices from the fountain in the rose garden. Two girls, shoes off, were enjoying the water.

I wandered from garden to garden — many flowers showed the effects of the weather, many flowers stood tall, showing off their blooms. Birds — many voices — many species sang their songs. Reminded me of ourselves — struggling through the challenging weather — doing the best we could. I passed many family groups — some with toddlers in strollers, some with handicapped people in wheelchairs, some elder couples — hand in hand — all enjoying a brief respite.

I stopped by the bubbling waterfall — listened to the water music, rested my eyes, when I opened them, I saw a flying bird with a large wing span. I recognized a blue heron and changed my path to discover its spot on the shore. My camera took a photo as the bird dived into the water for a fish — I just captured an outstretched wing.

I didn’t have the length of time to wander the Garden at my leisure. I wanted to be on the road before heavy rush hour traffic. That being said, I visited my favorite spots, took photo’s in passing and headed for the exit. A toddler, shoes off, dipped her feet in a fountain. The pair of swans swam under the bridge as I left — closing with the sights and sounds as the day began.

Wandering with SPIRIT is ALWAYS an adventure. This time the Garden was REFRESHING as well.

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