Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for July, 2015

LESSONS LEARNED

LESSONS LEARNED

I don’t know what keys I pressed this time that changed the size of my print font and put the type into bold. It will be extremely interesting to see how this thought ramble appears on my blog. I started this thought ramble yesterday but ran into so many problems that I abandoned the ship and exercised instead. I thought that was the reason for the problems, reminding me to exercise, but today they are still here and I have already exercised.

Sadly my right leg is still causing pain. Sadly my weight is still the same. Whenever the pain in my leg gets better, I move the wrong way and undo the healing. I can truthfully say that the pain decreases my energy.

Recently I had cause to remember one of the lessons I learned years ago. I was leaving the grocery store when I saw a mother trying to free the leg of her young son which was stuck between the bars of the grocery cart. Somehow he got his leg out of the space that is reserved for legs and got it into the narrow space between the bars. I had just bought 2 boxes of Imperial margarine. I reached into my bag and extracted a box, removing a stick. I handed it to the mother and suggested she butter her son’s leg. His leg slid right out of the narrow space. Years before, Mabel, our chocolate lab puppy, got her leg stuck in the fins of our radiator. I poured olive oil on her leg in order to free it.

When we were in Hawaii, the curator of an art gallery suggested I take a photo of a painting that is a family favorite. I could transfer the photo to canvas and add a few touches to personalize it. It sounded like a great idea. The original painting of a ship coming out of a storm was done in shades of blue, about 25 years ago. The ship on the canvas is in shades of purple. After searching through my house, I finally found my oil paints. I tried a few colors to match the colors of the original ship and it worked EXCEPT the ship on the canvas is purple. I had decided that the first copy would go to my oldest daughter and her favorite color is purple. Purple was not a color that I used when I was painting regularly.

We stopped at a craft store today. I asked if there was anyone on duty familiar with paint colors and explained my project. I was referred to a person at the frame counter. Luck (?) was with me, the person manning the counter normally works more than 50 miles away but is there to help out since the person who normally works the area has a broken arm. The woman had embellished photos on canvas and recommended acrylic paint and helped me find complimentary colors. I haven’t tried them yet. I must admit it has been twenty five years since I have painted and am afraid I will damage the canvas. Normal for my life : Today at Mass, the homily concerned the storm, and the offertory song was “Be No Afraid.”

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TORNADO UPDATE

TORNADO UPDATE

Entering the gate at Woodhaven Lakes, the world looked normal. Taking the first road to the left, going down the hill, the land looked the same. Turning the curve brought the present. Trees down, trailer’s destroyed or damaged — the destruction that an F2 tornado caused. We found our motor home right away. A double trunk tree fell on top of it, making it the poster child of the tornado. It has been on the front page of two newspapers. Many people stop on their way to take a picture. We got spray paint and wrote bye bye on the door. As I write this, three weeks later, it is still on site. The insurance company has not had it removed even though we have made many phone calls.

We could not see the damage that was done to our park model and room addition until we circled the many fallen trees. We were fortunate, a tree fell on the trailer, landing on the roof over the bathroom but only did minimal damage which my husband was able to patch temporally. Part of our deck was destroyed. A tree hanging by our room addition stopped before doing damage. I’m still not sure how many trees we lost. Our lot used to be shady, that has changed. Thanks to our children and their spouses, most of the downed trees and branches have been cleaned up.

We had to get professional help for the tree on the motor home. If the motor home was pulled out with the tree on it, it would have damaged the electric box. Thankfully the professionals knew what they were doing and although expensive, it was money well spent. I can’t praise Foremost and Farmers Insurance enough. They were on property and quickly appraised the damage. An important item is that they plan to continue to insure property at Woodhaven Lakes. I have heard that is not the same for all the insurance companies. I’m not happy with the company that insured our motor home. Although I’m tempted to name them, I’ll abstain at this time.

The southern half of the park — over 700 acres — was damaged. Three sections were completely closed except to property owners who were guided on site. Just recently I was able to tour those areas — all I can say is that it is heartbreaking. We were extremely lucky. We are able to stay, comfortably on site. My birdbath was undamaged, even though a tree fell on either side. My shepherd statue laid on its side but was undamaged. A little boy angel, holding a puppy, surrounded by green fallen evergreen, peaked his head up from the branches but was undamaged and our statue of Our Lady was in an undisturbed area. The antenna for the TV is still standing.

The employees of Woodhaven Lakes can not be thanked enough. The little park across the street, although damaged, has had the fallen trees removed. Although most of the equipment was damaged, kids can safely play on the remaining swings. As I write this, work is progressing to clear the nature trails of fallen trees. Many volunteers have come to help, as well as volunteers whose property was untouched. It will be a long time before most of the damage from the tornado will be removed. It will be a longer time before new trees are planted and grow.

Thankfully there were no fatalities the night of the tornado and just a few minor injuries.

Sadly, the aftermath of the tornado will cause many people to abandon their property. God and his angels were very busy that night. They still are very busy helping as people work to clear their property of damage. I have heard and experienced too many signs of angels at work to list them. THANK YOU!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER

I don’t remember very much about my brother. He was two years old and passed with my mother in a fire when I was four. In my youth, it wasn’t wise to let on that you had extra talents — psychic or ? Listening to many gifted people over the last few years I’ve learned that many hid their talents and that has made me realize that whatever talents I had, I probably hid them. It was safer.

Growing up, I never realized that I had “help” from the other side. Looking back on my life, I can remember places that a little bit of “help” was needed. My mother was very talented, she hid her interaction well. I’ve come to believe that my brother followed her example, and “helped out” occasionally.

Soon after my father passed to the other side, I wrote a thought ramble “VOICES” in which I imagined angels (Raggedy Ann and Andy characters) playing with my body, trying to wake me up. I wrote it for a Creative Writing class, my instructor WAS NOT impressed. Later it dawned on me that one of the characters might have been my brother. Who but a brother would tease his sister or hit her on the head?

I don’t have any living brothers or sisters. I have watched the interaction of my children with each other and have come to the conclusion that my idea might have merit. Delving into the history of my family after my father’s passing, I’ve learned the date of the fire and the birthdays of my mother and brother. My uncle was younger than my mother, therefore doesn’t remember much . It was too painful for my father to talk about it and I didn’t ask.

I note the birthdays of my mother and brother in my daily calendar as well as others in my family. Recently it was my brother’s birthday. It was a normal(?) day, if there is such a thing. Except one and one made two.

We were out at the camper under a tornado alert. I was waiting for the weather report on television, it would have been on after the commercials when I did something to the TV changer. I was hoping the radar would show where the storms were. We don’t have satellite, just a box that converts the digital signal to a program that can be seen on the TV. I don’t know what I hit, I was placing a control down when something happened. We had SNOW — NOISE — more snow — nothing resembling a TV program for more than a half hour. When we finally recovered the picture ( I don’t know how) we had no sound. It took more time to get sound back. By this time the news was over as well as weather reports. Thankfully our son got us a hot spot that we can connect to that gives us computer access. I learned that the tornado watch for our area had been cancelled. My son suggested that maybe the weather report on our TV was blocked so I wouldn’t worry?????

A few thought rambles ago — I wrote a blog titled ELEVATOR POSSESSED. I had a reason to tell the story when I was having coffee with a group on the morning of my brother’s birthday. I mentioned that the Retina Specialist still stored equipment in the basement. The woman I was speaking to asked if that wasn’t the reason the elevator kept taking us to the basement. Hmmm?

We came back home earlier than my husband and I wanted to. BUT the next day was the only day of the week friends of ours were able to get together. An older friend of mine was visiting on our block that evening and I was able to drop in to visit AND we beat an violent storm home!

Happy Birthday Brother!

ALOHA

At Christmas, my son combined my Christmas and Mother’s day present by inviting me to accompany him to Oahu. We have made the trip before and had a marvelous time. The last time we were there we spent many hours hanging out at the International Market, sipping ice tea in the tree house and watching the world go by. We planned to do the same this time.

A month before we planned to travel, I met a woman in the grocery store whose children went to school with ours. They had just returned from Hawaii — they could not find the International Market. Computers are wonderful things. Returning home from the store, I looked up the International Market and learned it had closed. I have to admit that the knowledge made me sad but it was early enough that we could change the things we planned.

I wasn’t worried. Since I travel with Spirit, I knew that I would find many things that would intrigue me. I WASN’T mistaken. After experiencing Oahu traffic on our last visit, and learning the buses, we decided not to rent a car this time. We did take the bus — to the zoo, aquarium and China Town, but most of the time we used our feet.

The first day, I searched for a store that sold Apple Cider Vinegar. I have found that having a tablespoon in water before meals helps my digestion. We had wandered down the beach after breakfast, heading for the old location of the International Market. I stopped in a store that I thought might carry the product. They didn’t, but the manager told me how to find the Food Pantry. Make a right at Dukes Lane, (the alley) walk down a block, turn left and it was only two blocks away.

Imagine our surprise, we turned down Dukes Lane and discovered an off shoot of the International Market (Hawaiian flea market.) I found a purse that held my camera, cell phone, glasses and wallet that didn’t hurt my back — that I could afford. It didn’t have the tree house for iced tea but you can’t have everything. We learned a new International Market is being built, anchored by Sax’s Fifth Avenue opening in 2016. The new market sounds too pricey for me but it appears that Dukes Lane will remain unless they are forced out.

We found the Food Pantry — they had my vinegar. I would have had a lovely time buying food items but our plan was to eat out — a cooking vacation for me. The Food Pantry was near Wakiki beach., which became our new hangout for watching the world go by.

We wandered to Ala Moana Mall the next day to look for shoes. When I asked about the food store that had been at the mall, I learned it had closed. I was very happy to have found the Food Pantry. The mall now has a lovely food court — food from around the world in one space. Sadly, I wasn’t hungry.

That same week, we found another food court — not as big but with a lovely variety of places. I tried Tai Milk Tea and Vietnamese seafood noodle soup. We discovered that the shrimp truck was close to the time share and ABC store had a variety of fresh salads and sandwiches. I can truthfully say that my diet didn’t resemble the food I ate at home.

I can also truthfully say time spent at Wakiki Beach was worthwhile. Besides watching the surfers and the waves, we found many things to delight us.

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