Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for October, 2014


By now you have probably realized that I write my thought rambles in advance — schedule them to publish when life is busy and rearrange my publishing schedule as life dictates.

I awoke to a beautiful sunrise in the country, so beautiful they captured it on the morning news. Including the forecast for the coming week, we will have 10 days without rain. The last time that this stretch of dry weather occurred was in 2012 — two years ago.

This morning the Jewish community is celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Robin and I have just returned from our morning walk — a little over 4 miles of gently rolling hills. The steep ascent is easier for me because Robin assists in pulling me up hill. On our walk I thought about my legs which were protesting. Yesterday we visited a state park — steeper hills and totaled with my morning walk, I had walked over 9 miles. I knew why my knees were hurting but Robin is young — she wasn’t stiff and tired so we walked.

The past Sunday, we visited our youngest daughter’s church. I noticed a very heavy woman sitting in a large motorized wheel chair. Once upon a time — I was very shy — only spoke when spoken to — but times have changed. The members of my daughter’s church are very friendly, but this woman was sitting all alone — so I took the opportunity to chat. I learned that Sharon was very happy with her mobility chair – until it arrived in February, she was a prisoner of her abode because of our snowy, icy winter., only able to go out to the doctors. “I can walk”, she told me. “But not for long — the pain in my feet and legs becomes severe.”

With her new chair, she was not only able to visit the doctor, but had a day out — shopping at a treasure store, a bookstore and stopping for coffee. Freedom, something she hadn’t had in a long time.

After yesterday morning’s walk I talked to a man who was fishing, wearing a brace on his leg. He had knee replacement surgery but an infection had developed — the new knee was removed and now concrete blocks were implanted to fight the infection.

We stopped at Farm and Fleet today to pick up a few things. Both walnuts and pecans were on sale — I bought both . A heavy man whizzed through the store on his motorized aid. I could tell that he shopped there often from his familiarity with the store. When I left the store, I was surprised to see a huge, black 3/4 ton Ford truck with its handicap designed drivers door open, the lift resting on the ground. Even though we were in a small town, thieves are every where. As we drove around the truck, my husband suggested I look inside. A German shepherd was stretched out — reclining on the back seat. His truck was perfectly safe.

Wandering with spirit, SOME WEEKS ARE LIKE THAT.


Sometimes I make a decision that actually works out. Reality — that doesn’t happen often. Sometimes my plan works. Usually it is delayed or changed.

OKAY — we are having FUN today. Someone is playing. Is someone on the other side receiving a lesson? What appears in print is not necessarily what is happening. I type something, and I get a duplicate. ?? I have now lost my train of thought. SURPRISE? As if I wasn’t already having enough trouble, the phone rang — a sales call.

About two weeks ago — back in town, I attended Mass at our city church and noticed a number of people sitting in the last pew on the West side of the church — normally occupied by Joe and his granddaughter. One and one quickly made two and I realized that something had happened. We just attended his memorial Mass and I gave his daughter and granddaughter a copy of JOURNEY WITH ME. The book contains my early lessons on “help” from the other side. (If my early lessons would be of interest to you the book is available at Amazon.) And as you have probably noticed — more than 15 years later, it continues.

Back to DECISIONS. Every once in a while I receive a “gift”, a vision or an unexplained feeling. It doesn’t happen often and always is strong enough that not only am I surprised but I remember it. Our youngest daughter had not started school, I was sitting on the back porch stairs and saw myself walking down the stairs with white hair. My older self was slender. Even though I’m older, my hair IS NOT WHITE YET, nor sadly am I slender. After my husband retired, I was walking down a main street close to our house and felt like my feet were rooting into the ground. I understood the messages to mean that we shouldn’t be selling our house and moving.

Recently, “I” planned that we would spend a couple of weeks in the country. The weather changed — we had an early fall — rain, cold temperatures. We stayed in town. “I” planned we would attend the Field Museum and see the reimagining of the 1893 Worlds Fair. The exhibit CLOSED the Sunday before our visit. Instead we saw BIOMECHANICS — a nuts and bolts look at the Natural World. Both my husband and I totally enjoyed the exhibit. I like animals, some of my favorites — giraffes, wild cats, and elephants. Giraffes wear compression stocks to help with their circulation. I’m not tall but my legs are long and sadly NOW I NEED compression stockings. Cheetahs use their long tail for stability when running — Robin has a very long tail, she runs in turbo speed. Elephants use their ears as a fan to cool off — I don’t have big ears. The Field had a rough winter too — two restaurants are no longer there — replaced by fresher, more expensive options. Picnic anybody?

I LOVED our Chocolate Lab and miss her daily but I know I don’t have the strength for a big dog. Robin was small when we adopted her. She had the audacity to continue to grow, taller — longer, taking up more space on the bed. I thought we should get an older dog, Robin is younger, has unlimited energy, likes to run and play — not rest and sleep. “I” guess we were given the dog we NEEDED. Thankfully I receive “help” with my decisions.



I had a mission. I wanted to find a place to store a set of pot and pans in the camper that I received for Christmas a few years ago. I needed a large pan in which to cook my spaghetti sauce. At first, I was going to buy one at the store when I remembered the stored Christmas present. It was still at home because I didn’t have space to put it.

It would have made sense to start with the closet — instead I started with the drawers. They are too shallow to put a pot or a pan in. But they held swimsuits that haven’t been used in decades. I found two sets of fins for the feet, to be used in swimming. I don’t remember buying them or anyone in our family using them. Sadly the straps were broken so I tossed them instead of recycling. I found sheets and pillow cases — some still in their original packaging. ?? Time passes, memories fade — stuff stays hidden. I found tennis rackets and badminton rackets. At least I remember buying and using them.

I also found projects — an eagle embroidery, the yarn still wound. A set of microwave dishes, bought at an RV show — never used. As well as two racks to cook a chicken and a roaster for microwave cooking. Time passed, life was busy — stuff was stored and forgotten. I haven’t made a decision about those items yet. Use them or recycle — good question — no answer.

We have had our trailer for more than 30 years — many things are hidden. I haven’t explored all the nooks and crannies. I might have made space for the pots and pans. We will have to bring them out so I can see.

I’m finding stuff hidden at home also. We were out of coffee, I looked on the top shelf of our pantry and discovered a can of Hills Brothers coffee. It was opened, the plastic lid on the can and stored on the back of a shelf. I will admit that I’m probably the culprit. I was most amazed when I discovered it. How many years has it been sitting up there? Lets not even ask. Why was it placed at the back of the shelf? Another good question. I’m guessing that it was removed from the counter when we learned my husband had diabetes and stopped drinking coffee because he used sugar and didn’t like the substitutes. But I’m guessing.

The stuff hidden at the camper brought back good memories and some questions. We have lived in our house more than 40 years. The house has many nooks and crannies — I won’t speculate on what I might find here — that is, if I have the time and energy to look.


I thought of Muscles this morning as I watered our African violet. I have to admit that I don’t remember to water it every week — hopefully at least once a month. Muscles gave the plant to me many years ago. He passed over many years ago, in 1990 at the age of 90. Muscles loved to garden — that is how we met him. He asked Terri, our youngest daughter at the time, if he could plant a garden in our yard. When my husband met him, Tom agreed.

I should mention that Muscles was a very dark African American — possibly the shade of dark mahogany. Although my children are a good mix of many countries, they look like typical Swedes — fair skinned, blonde hair. Our neighbors did a double take when they saw our children with Muscles. My husband is from the South — his family is still very prejudiced. The army whittled away at my husband’s prejudice and Muscles erased the rest. He adopted our family and we took him camping, fed him meals when he stopped by and invited him to stay overnight on many occasions. In fact, it was our house that he had a stroke that sent him to the VA.

Muscles came to mind when I was watering the plant. My grandmother loved African violets. She watered and fed them regularly. Before I received the plant from Muscles, I acquired a few plants myself. THEY NEVER SURVIVED. Here I have this plant that Muscles gave me, it blooms every year. The plant is over 25 years old. HE MUST BE TAKING CARE OF IT. If it depended on me — it would no longer be green.

I think he is taking care of the apple tree at the camper too. For many years it didn’t have any fruit. In 2012, it had ten apples. They were delicious. We DON’T SPRAY the tree. Last year, it had too many to count. This year — none. I’ve heard that the snowy, cold spring delayed many fruit trees from blooming. It was a very snowy winter, it has been a very rainy summer. The predictions for the coming winter are challenging.

I recently mailed birthday cards to our friends and family. Many are born in September and October — almost an even dozen. Muscles is part of that group — he was born on October 1st.

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