Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for December, 2016

WISDOM

I can not take credit for this. I recently discovered that my age is affecting some of my decisions. I had to buy a new pair of boots. Last year’s pair of boots had heels that were worn, not badly, just bad enough that my knees and hips were being affected. Buying shoes regularly is bad enough. Buying boots is even more of a challenge. I’m really not concerned about the fashion. First, they have to fit over my SLENDER? calves. Next they have to be warm. Since many of my hours spent outside are spent walking a dog — I NEED my feet to be not only dry but warm. Next they have to be reasonably priced. I was surprised when the first thing I did was to turn the boots over and look at the tread.

The first pair that I looked at had a sole that was rather smooth. The next pair was better — the sole wasn’t smooth, the tread was evenly spaced, and zippers on the sides would make putting them on easier. The last pair that I looked at had a much better sole, tread looked like it would be safer on slick and icy surfaces. They had laces instead of a zipper — roomier, I would be able to wear heavier socks plus they were designed for colder temperatures. Only then did I try the last two pairs of boots on. I bought the pair with laces and better tread. For a change, price was not my guiding issue.

I was surprised that the tread on the sole was my guide, not a fashion statement, or the price — my age is showing. I told a friend about my experience this morning. She said it wasn’t my age that is showing, I’m using my wisdom.

I like the sound of that.

Recently I was invited to a Christmas breakfast. I don’t remember when we first started this gathering. It was quite a few years ago. The ladies were still living in their own homes, now they live at Resurrection Senior apartments. The oldest of our group will soon be 95 at Christmas time. The hostess is a young 92. I’m probably the youngest. When she phoned with the invitation I was most grateful that I had the day available. In fact I arrived a bit early, just in case she needed some help. For the most part, the table was set, the casserole was in the oven and the tomatoes were cut. She was making coffee. And that is when I was able to lend a hand. Her coffee pot had issues — the filter blocked — coffee and grounds everywhere but in the coffee pot. Exactly how it happened we couldn’t tell, but it was a mess — all over the machine, and her counter. I was able to clean up the machine, the counter and the pot. I couldn’t figure out how to put the machine back together but soon coffee was perking again. Three walkers lined up in her bedroom, one an expensive Rollator — I was one of the most able bodied in attendance and I was happy to lend a hand.

Other gatherings might have surfaced in my memory, maybe that is why I was early. I might have remembered that my assistance was helpful before. I don’t know but I was happy that I was able to attend, grateful we could all get together again. And maybe that experience, and seeing their walkers helped guide me to pick out the safest pair of boots for this winter.

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TUESDAY

I would have thought it was a Monday — starting a new week — unexplained things happen. But it was TUESDAY — ALL DAY. It began when I was trying to go back to sleep, somewhere around 3:00 AM.
I don’t know if I was asleep or beginning to drift off. I SAW a man running through our back yard with a black mask on, wearing yellow stripes. He reminded me of a BEE? The sight woke me up — it took awhile before I realized that the alarm was on, the front and back gates to our house were locked. We were safe, no one was running through our yard. ??

I was still trying to sleep when I heard this repeating noise that kept getting louder. Car — I thought, but I got up to investigate. It was a good thing that I did. Our son left for work but forgot to turn off the alarm. It’s a Monday — masquerading as a Tuesday. I wash clothes on Monday, but the day before was too busy, so I was washing clothes. When I went to put the clothes in the dryer I found a balled up mess. Somehow, the string from my joggers caught under the fin and since it couldn’t move, it wrapped everything it came in contact with into a ball. I have washed many loads of clothes in this washing machine. I have washed many pants that had strings hanging and NEVER have I had that happen to me. It took awhile to unravel the ball.
New question — Did I want to go back to bed and start the day over?

The forecast promised a lovely day — temperatures in the 50’s and sun. My husband needs to renew his driver’s license. I thought it would be a lovely day to go downtown to the express facility. THEN I looked at the letter, actually read it and realized that going downtown would be a wasted effort. He had to take a driving test.

Okay — maybe it is Tuesday and I don’t need to go back to bed. When we went to the VA in November, I realized my husband had only one refill left for his insulin. My husband has both a doctor that is not affiliated with the veterans administration and one who is. The VA doctor has to prescribe the insulin order. I sent the VA doctor a message asking if he needed an appointment to get a refill. I received a return message from the VA doctor reminding us that she needed to be updated by the outside doctor when my husband had an appointment. I sent his outside doctor a copy of her message. It was still Tuesday — a lovely day and the doorbell rang. A UPS driver had a big box for my husband. The box contained 3 months of insulin refills. ?? I’m not sure how this occurred but “Thank You” is not a strong enough word.

SCAMMED

ALMOST!

I received a call from the bank alerting me to a questionable charge on my credit card. Press one for more information. I hung up!

I received an e-mail from the bank with the questionable charge. I left the e-mail on the computer and phoned the bank. If I had high blood pressure it would have risen past the danger mark. The computer system of the bank almost had me hang up and go back to the e-mail. Thankfully I didn’t, I’m stubborn. The computer wanted to know the maiden name of my husband’s mother — brain freeze. The computer wanted to know the three digit number on the back of the card that I couldn’t find. The computer WOULD NOT connect me to a live person. It wanted me to LOOK for the card and let it know when I was ready. BOILING POINT! The computer didn’t care how much I yelled agent, screamed agent! Finally I was connected to an agent — since by this time I was boiling, I tried very hard to calm down and not convey my anger. I toured the country by phone — first Texas, next Tennessee, lastly Delaware.

Thankfully it was a scam. NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH EITHER OF MY CREDIT CARDS. NO EXTRA CHARGES. I learned that the security codes have been also hacked.

Thankfully I hung up when my cell phone was called. Thankfully I did not respond to the e-mail. One plus one equals two. I was convinced there really was a problem. Our credit card experienced problems before — we were alerted by the bank.

I’m sharing this story with you right away. We work hard for our resources, hopefully don’t waste them. We don’t need to give them away to people who prey on us!

My wish for you: May you have a SAFE and HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON and a healthy 2017.

ENERGIZER BUNNY

I hate to admit it! I really hate to admit it but I’ve gotten OLD. Now I know that we have had an extremely busy couple of months. We were home a total of FOUR DAYS after we closed the camper for the winter. During that time I needed to put away all of the food that we didn’t eat during the summer, catch up on the mail, change summer clothes for winter and prepare for our next trip.

We were back home a total of five days before our grandchildren came for the weekend. The weekend was lovely — we took advantage of the good weather and went to the zoo. Next, after the kids went home –taking advantage of the good weather, I went to the Garden. Then we had a couple of back to back doctor visits. No rest for the weary!

Still switching clothes and getting ready for our granddaughter’s and great grand’s visit for Thanksgiving.
And COOKING in advance for the feast. Taking a break, getting off my feet — I watched a cooking show on Thanksgiving. Now I will admit that I have cooked turkey for many, many, many years. BUT I learned something new. The chef I watched recommended taking out the wishbone for easier cutting and removing the breast from the skeleton. I’ve deboned many chicken breasts so I TRIED IT! I couldn’t get the wishbone out BUT filleting the breast, cutting the meat when it was off the bone was EASY! I didn’t have to wrestle with the whole turkey. Hopefully I will remember this trick.

Granddaughter and great grand (3 years old) arrived. The visit was LOVELY — even Robin liked both of them. More family staying at the house — more out and about. I wanted some of the energy from the children. They DIDN’T SHARE! Our granddaughter had a bucket list of things she wanted to do. During the time span that they were in town I got more than 40,000 steps on my Fitbit. My daughter told me I was the energizer bunny — just keep going and going. She is right! I took more than 500 photos on my camera. Every day I prayed for ENERGY. The day that they were leaving we stopped at the Conservatory before heading for the airport. In the room that had a slide, a four year old girl was with her family. The two girls had a lovely time, the adults were able to enjoy their energy from ground level. I had to say “Thank You”. Now I know that many things just naturally occur in life, but I have had many years of receiving “help” from “my friends” and I DON’T TAKE that “help” for granted.

The “Grand’s are safely home and I’m charging my batteries. Oh, did you just say that Christmas is coming?

COFFEE ON THE PORCH

The weatherman warned that the day would be the last 60 day temperature of the season. It was 60 degrees at 7:30 AM. I couldn’t resist. I put on a light jacket and heated a cup of coffee and spent a very relaxing 1/2 hour on the porch. I tried to meditate. It didn’t happen. Instead I watched a plane fly overhead, listened to the wind in the trees and a siren — ambulance or fire engine, I didn’t know. A large bird flew by — big sea gull or ??. In short I took a break from the day. I will admit that after a half hour passed, I made a cup of hot tea. I was chilled. 60 degrees, even with a light jacket was still not warm enough for me.

We all have different talents. Some people are very good cooks or comics or artists. Some people are very good at organizing, writing or planning. We all have our individual talents — the trick is to recognize them and use them well. One of my daughters is in the habit of having coffee with God. She tells Him her concerns and listens for advice. I storm heaven on a regular basis, problems and concerns personal to me or my concerns about the world or our country. I don’t hear with a voice in my ear, God’s response to me. But I know that I am listened to and often the answer will come through. If I’m paying attention.

Part of my heritage is Irish. Andrew Greeley, author, has referred to the Irish gift with the heroin Nuala Anne McGrail in many of his Irish novels. Does my gift come from my mother, who happens to be on the other side? I don’t think I will ever have the answer to that particular question and does it matter? My German grandmother’s birthday was on a Monday. I took Robin for a walk and met a friend of mine. I told her of the approaching gathering with my granddaughter and great grand. She had many items that would have made their visit easier. Although searching our house and talking to my daughter I learned I didn’t have to take advantage of her offer, I thanked my grandmother for her help.

Does it really matter where my gifts come from? Does it really matter if the gift is cooking, or writing or art? Does it really matter that I receive “help” from the other side. I recently picked up the book Waking Up In Heaven and read a few pages. I will admit that the book didn’t come home with me. I’m aware that many of my family, friends and four footed companions are on the other side. I’m also aware that I am seldom alone. I left the book for a person who really needs to read it.

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