Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for September, 2015

SERENITY GARDEN REBORN

I found a copy of my thought ramble SERENITY GARDEN on my computer. I don’t know if I published it on my blog or included it in my book JOURNEY WITH ME. I found it interesting to read — the ramble reminded me of when the garden was created — my wilderness space removed and the serenity garden born with its bird bath, shepherd statue and 31 plants.

The tornado, fallen trees and equipment needed to clean up the mess took its toll on my garden. The seven sister rose survived, the sunrise sunset rose reduced to a few stems. A few green leaves showed were Hostas had been. Thankfully the bird bath, shepherd and angel boy holding the puppy survived. If I wrote that the garden was sad, I would be understating the fact. Too sad, I went shopping for plants and came back with a few annuals for color. Each trip ended with a few more plants for the garden, some annual, some perennial. .

Fast forward six weeks — imagine my surprise when I saw 6 roses in bloom. A couple of days later, I counted 14. Surprising me, more of the plants that I had purchased were in bloom — The shades of the garden was pink — the color of love. Most of the plants I had purchased had their price reduced, I thought their time to bloom was over. My original garden was planted for shade, because of the trees — the plants received less sun. Shade was not my concern when I searched for plants to fill up the empty space.

When we looked for a place to put the new plant, I hadn’t paid attention to what plants were annual and which would come back next year. The Hostas have regrown, and I will admit that I have added a few more. I didn’t pay attention to the space requirements of the plants — many will need to moved. Counting plants — I have 10 annuals — 10 spaces available for new plants next year or to give more room to those requiring space to grow. The Hostas have regrown, they will need more space too. We are planning to add a new, bigger deck. Some of the ground cover will need to be moved.

I will admit, if I see more plants at a reduced price, chances are they will come home with me. Fall is the time to plant — bulbs anyone?

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SYNCHRONIZITY

SYNCHRONIZE — to move or occur at the same time.

“HELP! I know I need to write. I understand. But in order to write a thought ramble I NEED a subject, I NEED a title!”

Out at the camper, I wandered down to the Center for morning coffee. The parking lot was full, the tables were full also. They were making a new pot of coffee. I found an empty chair and thought about staying to talk. It was a lovely morning, it was warm enough to take my scooter for a ride. I decided not to stay for coffee. I decided to take the scooter for a ride instead. I have to admit that since the tornado, I haven’t wandered up for coffee very often. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Before I left, I stopped to talk to a friend. I have known her for too many years to count. She is experiencing a new health challenge this year — her eyesight has diminished so much that she can no longer drive. She has always been independent, full of energy, willing to help. One of her children drove her out to the camper and friends are taking her for coffee, and shopping, and ?? She is staying busy. She had planned to stay one month, it has been three months and counting. She is considering going back home in October.

She told me that she has realized that she gets a lot of help from GOD. “There are so many synchronicities. I never noticed them before. I can’t help but notice them now.”

I replied that she has always received “help” from above, she was just too busy to notice. Now that she is challenged, she has more time to notice. Since my father passed over, I will admit that synchronicities are a normal part of my life, so much so, that many times they pass by unnoticed. Thinking back, I realized that I have been receiving “help” from above most of my life. My mother was VERY GOOD at “helping” quietly.

It is only when someone brings it to my attention like Lois did at coffee that I think about it. I will admit that most of the time when I notice I will say “thank you!” Here is my question for you — Do you notice the synchronicities in your life? Or are you too busy?

NEW VISTAS

The landscape at Woodhaven Lakes has changed because of the damage caused by the tornadoes. What once were shady tree lined streets are now sunny. A few trees have survived, mangled branches providing some shade. We have lost more than nine trees on our lot alone. It was possible to spend time on our deck in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee. Now, by eight o’clock in the morning, the summer sun makes it very hard to sit outside. We have a clear view of the street and the park across the way, no trees block our view.

When we contracted to have some of the tree stumps removed, I noticed that the apple tree our friend Muscles planted is sending up new shoots. We kept the stump — hopefully a new tree will soon be growing. I noticed the crab apple tree in the back yard is also sending up new shoots. Acorns are already falling from our lone oak tree. I have found a few new oak trees sprouting in my flower garden. Decisions, decisions — should we pull them out or try to transplant them to a better location. We have ordered three new trees to be planted this Fall — a maple, a huckleberry and a red bud. Spring color as well as Fall will be different, oak leaves turn a golden brown.

While we were at the nursery, we learned that plans have already been made to plant some new seedlings. In the Fall, I always enjoyed a sunset maple tree on a corner lot. They lost not only the maple, but three evergreens too. Four new trees have already been planted. In a year or two, I’ll be able to watch their maple change colors. We are going to get our own maple, it’s leaves will change to red in the Fall.

Going for a walk on the nature trail, I spotted a tiny new evergreen and a small green leafed sprout that someone had planted. They have black circles on the ground to help conserve moisture.

The playground across the street only has a set of swings that survived. The slide and climbing bars have been mangled and roped off but children still stop by to swing. The tree stumps have been removed, the ground is safer, but less places to hide when playing hide and seek.

My serenity garden has been mangled by fallen trees and equipment. I was very surprised when I noticed the rose bush had a few flowers and more buds. The hostas that were stubs have regrown, ready to be eaten by the deer. I will admit that I have added many new plants, some that are tolerant of the sun. It will take a few years but the new growth has begun.

CHAPLAINS

It will come as no surprise when I admit that I talk to strangers on a regular basis. I just realized that within the past two months, three chaplains have crossed my path. Since June 22 when the tornado descended on Woodhaven Lakes, various teams from the Southern Baptist Disaster Ministry have been on property helping to clear the fallen trees. I have recently learned two interesting facts or theories. The first is that there were two tornadoes interacting over Woodhaven. The first stayed air born and sheared the tops off of trees. The second interacted with the first and jumped across the landscape uprooting trees and causing major destruction. They think anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 trees were affected. I don’t know where these facts are coming from but it does explain the number of trees that are uprooted. It didn’t help that June was a very wet month and the ground was saturated. The help from many people and organizations was desperately needed.

I don’t pay too much attention when something happens one time. The second time the same idea might cause me to pay a little bit more attention but when I notice the third, I wonder. I met the first chaplain soon after we gained admittance to property. A team from Southern Illinois were across from our lot cutting the trees in the little park. I wandered across to talk and learned of their mission. That was my first interaction with a Chaplain, who resides in Springfield, IL. I went to their command post on property, and signed up, requesting their help. The double trunk tree over our motor home required more equipment than the Southern Baptist had with them so we hired a professional team. Once the trees were cut, I went back to control central and asked them to take our request off their stack.

So many people asked for their help that they returned, with different teams a second and third time. I was really surprised when I saw their yellow shirts and equipment when we returned to Woodhaven after our trip to Florida. We still had trees that needed to be cut down, so I returned to Command Central to fill out another form. We have two trees down on our property that have fallen on the lot behind us. I asked the association to phone the owner requesting their permission to cut the fallen trees. Leaving Command Central, I met my second Chaplain. She lives in Sugar Grove, IL. She was part of the team that first assessed our needs, then returned to clear the trees. As she left the campground for the week, I was up at the main gate to say goodbye and thank them for their help.

The last Chaplain I met was from Houston, TX. He said that he was not ordained, and he doesn’t speak at their services. I’m regretting that I didn’t delve into this idea further. I’m sure that he is so glad that he met me since I gave him a new idea — there is life immediately after death, not only for humans, but for animals too. I had already admitted that I argue with God, but never win and walk to a different drummer. He explained that there was nothing in the bible that mentioned animals having a soul, or crossing over . To which I replied that the Bible was written by man inspired by God, but it didn’t contain everything. I mentioned that I had personal experience seeing the spirit of our deceased dog running through our house. With that he asked if he could pray for me.

THREE CHAPLAINS — I wonder, is there more to this than just meeting three Chaplains?

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