Random Acts of "Kindness"

MUSCLES

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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