Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for November, 2016

ALONE

The morning sunrise promised a beautiful day. The weatherman warned of an approaching front that would bring cool weather. We have been extremely fortunate — November and the temperature was still in the 60’s. We all knew that the summer weather couldn’t last, even though we were hoping it would. I asked my husband if he wanted to go to the Botanic Gardens, and I wasn’t at all surprised when he suggested I go by myself.

Since the Gardens is close to Lake Michigan, I knew the temperature might be cooler. I wore my hooded sweatshirt from Hawaii, topped with a yellow fleece vest. The vest had zipper pockets. I could travel without a purse, and still have room to safely carry my cell phone and wallet. Have camera, will travel! I was off.

Even though it was a beautiful day, the Garden wasn’t crowded. I parked closer, realizing that my knees might be problems on my return. The garden was already preparing for colder temperatures. The table in front that highlighted flowers was gone, but the front was ablaze with colorful purple mums. The entry arch’s were highlighted by yellow mums. The fountain in the lake was already off. I wondered about the waterfall. I was surprised by the roar of water. Looking for the source, I saw water bubbling up in the lagoon. Asking various garden workers, I learned they were emptying the fountains so the pipes wouldn’t freeze.

Although there weren’t as many blooming plants, I still found enough to catch my interest. Maybe I was paying more attention. At the camper, we had a plant with very interesting leaves. I bought it after the tornado, but if it had a name, I hadn’t written it down were I could find it. When we returned in October, the plant was covered with lovely daisies. At the garden that day, I learned the plant was Montauk Daisy, aster family, from Japan. One mystery solved.

Fall flowers were in bloom, Christmas lights were up and in some cases on. The leaves sported fall colors. I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures. The waterfall was still cascading down the hill. I stopped for awhile to enjoy the sound. I have to admit that I stopped more often than normal. My knees, although not screaming, were making their presence known. I’ll also admit, that I didn’t let them dictate my path — I walked my normal route — and the carillon bells were still ringing on the hour — although they were still on daylight saving time.

Crossing the bridge, I stopped to watch and photo a female mallard whose head was tucked under a wing as her feet continued to paddle. A tall gentleman was across the bridge standing near the waters edge with his camera focused. I wondered what he had found of interest. He showed me his photos and asked if he could take my picture. I now have two photos on my computer. The gentleman was from China, in our country 14 years. Chicago reminds him of home, it has the same four seasons.

I finally admitted I was hungry and headed for the cafe. They had a quinoa salad that I had been tempted to try. I bought a salad and picked up a plastic fork and a napkin, before heading outside. I found a table near the roaring water, put the salad, napkin and fork down before sitting down myself. THE NAPKIN AND FORK WERE GONE! WHERE? Not on the floor, not on a chair — not visible anywhere. I checked my pockets — empty. It wasn’t windy or even breezy — ?? I went back into the cafe to get another fork. I really don’t care for plastic utensils. There was a long line by the plastic utensils. I noticed they had metal silverware at another station. I’m STILL PERPLEXED! Where did they go? I was alone, wasn’t I?

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PACKING

I’ll admit it. I was worried. My knees have continued to give me problems. They were better — meaning I wasn’t in continuing pain. BUT .. and it was a BIG BUT — I had trouble getting out of the car after we had driven a distance. I was having trouble getting up from a chair, the toilet .. in other words my body wasn’t working as it had in the past. And we were planning to drive to Lookout Mountain, an 11 hour drive away. I didn’t think we would make it in one day. My husband probably could, I knew I COULD NOT! And I was afraid I WOULD NOT be able to get out of the car.

So I began packing for a short stay, including an overnight in a motel. I thought two bags would work out well. One for the extended stay, one for overnights. I forgot that in all of our recent travels, we were staying at places that already had some of our bathroom supplies — toothbrushes, paste, etc. Then I remembered our preferences for drinking and eating. Okay, the bags increased to three for me. My husband was on his own — not only his medicine but also his ham radios. Oh, then I had to add a cooler for his insulin. He remind me that he didn’t have a truck.

Just in case I would forget things, I had help from the other side. My knee hurt, more than usual. Remember the various creams and ointments to help with pain. I had trouble sleeping. REMEMBER TO TAKE SLEEPING AIDS. I was warm in every outfit I put on. I had packed the summer clothes away, putting out the winter wear. WHAT WAS THE EXPECTED TEMPERATURE? Summer 80’s was forecasted. Luckily I had tee shirts and clam diggers still out.

I don’t snack a lot, but while I was packing I was EXTREMELY hungry. Time to buy some snacks and
water for the car. I remembered my tea, my husbands sugar, peanut butter and jelly…. instant coffee and small bottles of wine. Apple cider vinegar was a challenge but I found small glass dressing or wine bottles. Crackers for munching. I was trying to stay with healthy options, so no chocolate.

As more challenges arose, I finally realized I was receiving HELP from the other side. Since we had only been home from the camper for four days before we left again. I will admit that I’M EXTREMLY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HELP. I will also admit that I was frustrated when so many things were going wrong! My husband took into consideration my traveling concerns and we stopped often. My eyes were bothering me when we left so he did the driving. (He loves to drive!) My feet were also swollen, I brought sandals for the drive. I also wore my half compression socks, only going up past the ankle. Thankfully my knees behaved, the trip was less stressful than I had feared. I could get out of the car. Both of the motels were dog friendly, but Robin had stayed home. Their breakfasts were good, one better than the other. The weather was delightful, sunny skies — dry roads, good traffic. LOVELY TIME!

MORNING WALK

Looking outside on our last Saturday morning in the country this Fall, I saw fog or rain or mist — definitely gray skies. Robin didn’t care, she was ready to go for a walk. Words of Wisdom in Queen of Heaven’s morning reading instructed “Allow yourself to belong to God.”

Not sure of the weather, I put on my rain coat and rain pants — heading for the street instead of taking the nature trail, turning East towards our daughter’s trailer. I saw one of our neighbors holding onto a large container with a hose, spraying his trees. I was curious — what was he spraying and why. I know fruit trees are sprayed in the spring to protect the fruit from bugs but why spray in the Fall? I soon learned he was spraying the trees to discourage the deer from consuming the leaves. Most of the leaves were missing from one of our young maples. So were the buds off of a flowering bush, not to mention our Hosta’s had made a tasty snack. He offered to let us use his container but I thought it would be to our advantage to get our own. Thankfully I bought the last deer/rabbit fence spray with hose at our hardware store.

I had taken our car to the hardware store, giving Robin a ride. Have car — will travel. I stopped at our neighbor’s to thank him for the information, his generous offer — we had the last container at the store. Leaving his place, I met our friend’s daughter and husband. When I inquired as to her parents plans for the weekend, I learned she really didn’t know. Her sister might drive them out to save their gas. I thought I would phone and invite them for supper if they were coming out. When we saw them last weekend –their truck was loaded to the top, stuff going home for the winter — preparation for Fall close. My husband thinks we NEED A TRUCK.

On the road again, I saw the truck of the person who does our winterizing. I asked Sue if she had called him. When I phoned her, on Friday, she hadn’t called, but when I saw John on Saturday — she was on his list. I mentioned we had keys to her trailer. He suggested that I get her keys and meet him at her trailer. He was working on Saturday because he was way behind. Sue had been having trouble with her door staying closed and he explained the steps she needed to take to keep the door locked. I told him that we would leave our furnace on when we left, he could schedule our winterizing when it was convenient for him.

Back at the camper, I phoned our friend only to learn they weren’t coming out. I’ve used up most of the meat in our freezer but I planned to go to the store if they would come for supper.

Definitely a DIRECTED morning. I’m very glad for the information received and the meeting of friends. I’m very glad we had walked the street rather than the trail.

MY PLANS

Would you like to laugh with me? My plans? I don’t know how often I make plans and God Laughs We had planned (?) to attend the exercise and nutritional class at the clinic –two weeks in a row. The first week, we received a phone call that the roofers were available to install the sky light in our roof. It had been back ordered for more than 3 weeks. The second Wednesday our car was in the garage and we were waiting for ADT to fix our carbon monoxide alarm that went off on Tuesday.

I had given myself a birthday present. I arranged to go shopping with my friend who fell and broke her hip in December. It was the first time she and I had wandered out alone since she fell. I was able to put her walker in the trunk. The waitress at our favorite restaurant not only remember us, she remembered what we ordered. We were able to get a motorized cart at Wal-Mart, finish shopping and get purchases and us safely back into the car. We proceeded to Wendy’s, where I got her walker out of the trunk. Returning, I put her walker back into the trunk only to discover the taillight on the fin of the trunk hanging in the breeze. That would never do. I did not have tape in the car. I could not push the light back onto its holders. My next stop was only a short distance away. They DID NOT HAVE TAPE, THEY DID NOT HAVE GLUE. I bought large band aids and taped the light to the fin. We asked my friend’s husband to bring tape down when I dropped her off. It wasn’t needed. I was afraid the city streets would cause the light to become detached from the electric. I didn’t tell her until I dropped her off that she was my birthday present. I was glad we went out. I discovered that I had the strength for the task at hand. We both had a MARVELOUS time. We will need to repeat before a long time passes.

Our car went to the garage the next day. Because the electric was still attached they were able to glue it into place rather than replace the part for a few hundred dollars.

We had planned to go to the country on Thursday. Thankfully we were able to proceed as planned. Evidently we were not supposed to go to the clinic on Wednesdays. Either it is no longer of benefit to us or we need to wait until our traveling is through.

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