Random Acts of "Kindness"

Archive for May, 2018

GARDEN CALLING

I’m sure, that by now you know that I LOVE to go to Chicago’s Botanic Garden. In fact, for Christmas, I asked our son to renew my membership for a present. As much as I LOVE going, I hadn’t been there this year. The weather had been cold, or damp. On the few good days we had, other priorities had my attention.
Daffodils were in bloom, but I missed them.

The forecast for Tuesday promised sunshine and warmer temperatures. We had just returned from the camper where crabapple trees were in bloom. Crabapple time at the Garden was one of my favorite times of the year. I put ALL of the “have to” on hold. Grabbed a hat and my camera and headed for the GARDEN.

Absolutely perfect day. I knew my knees were acting up, so I looked for a parking space close to the entrance. I FOUND ONE. THANK YOU! Hat tied down on the head, camera in hand, water bottle in the other — I started off. The bells were ringing twelve when I entered. Stopping in the bathroom, I noticed a beautiful oriental woman with long braided hair, wearing a long peach dress. I restrained myself — didn’t ask if I could capture her image on my camera. I hoped I would meet her in the garden but she must have been on her way out. I didn’t see her again.

Roses were still “ladies in waiting”, as were the crab apple trees — buds on the branches but not open. The fountain in the lagoon hadn’t been turned on yet. But the fountain in the Rose Garden was. I’ll have to come back. I spied a magnolia tree above a brick fence in the Old English garden — BEAUTIFUL. I might have missed it since it was hiding behind a wall. The poppies were already in bloom.

I was very happy when I heard the sounds of the water from the waterfalls. I took the opportunity to sit in the shade and enjoy the cascading water. The cherry trees, a gift from Japan, were in bloom. The oriental woman when I first arrived and the cherry trees reminded me that I wanted to walk the Japanese garden. I have many photos of Spring in the Garden from my many visits. That doesn’t stop me from taking new pictures of the day. I was very glad that I walked the Japanese Garden, many picture taking opportunities.

I normally visit the new island, I love to walk the path that is sheltered by the crab apple trees but my knees were yelling. Since the daffodils were finished, I decided to retrace my steps, stopping at the Woodland path on the way out.

By the time I reached home, after making a couple of stops on the way, I had over 11,000 steps. Not too shabby for sore knees.

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SHIRTS

Finally, after months, weeks, days of cloudy, chilly weather — a sunny weekend was forecast. My husband and I plus dog –” Robin”, planned to go to the camper. Our son planned to come out on Saturday. My cell phone rang Friday night. My son was very upset. I had taken his NEW shirts, seven in all to be dry cleaned. We have an old house — over a hundred years and the water is leaving a residue on our clothes when they are washed. Our son DID NOT want to wear spotted shirts on his new role.

On Tuesday, I had taken seven shirts to be dry cleaned. He stopped to pick them up on Thursday but they weren’t ready. We left for the Camper Friday morning. Friday evening the dry cleaner still didn’t have his shirts. To say that our son was angry would be an understatement. Not only did he not have his shirts — they were brand new. He would have to BUY MORE! Plans for the camper were CANCELLED!

Saturday morning the cleaner found his shirts. They had been there all the time, just were miss filed. But it was already late in the day. He was still going to stay home.

Saturday afternoon, Robin heard a noise behind a folding table in our room addition. She barked and scratched and raised such a fuss I asked my husband to pull the table away from the wall so she could investigate. NOTHING WAS THERE! He took her outside so she could inspect that too. They didn’t find anything. All day Saturday, Robin was camped out under the table. Waiting, watching, listening — BARKING, SCRATCHING. Making a ruckus.

Saturday night — Robin didn’t find anything, but she was DETERMINED — she was protecting us! She stayed on guard to capture it. She didn’t stay on guard quietly. My husband locked her in the camper part of the trailer. Instead of resting, going to sleep, it made it worse. ALL NIGHT — the barking, scratching continued. FIVE in the morning, I gave up, stayed up. Got dressed. Robin and I went for a walk. My husband laid down for a nap. I kept Robin outside until almost 10. We went for a long walk, we went for a drive. I had coffee with friends — we went to visit other friends. Every few hours I returned and left a note as to where we were going next. My husband got a few hours of sleep. Sunday afternoon I laid down for a nap. I was VERY GLAD our son had stayed home.

Sunday evening, at dusk — I saw a round, low to the ground being waddle across our lot. It was very round — tan and white. My husband thought it was a possum with babies in her pouch. I hoped it was leaving in search of a new, quiet home. Sunday night we got a quiet nights sleep. Robin was still alert, on guard but she also was tired. Ready for SLEEP, helped by an allergy pill.

THE VISITOR

I love to hear stories. Especially if they are real. Especially if they have feel good themes. Our world is so negative at the moment, our weather is so snowy and cold — not Spring, that stories that have a good theme or outcome are lovely.

I have two to share. The first concerns a visitor — a spirit — a person from the other side. His passing was a surprise. He was in his 80’s and his health was a challenge. In fact, he was in the hospital when he passed. His condition had improved, he was walking by himself with his walker. He was scheduled to be released the next day. His wife had gone home to shower. With his walker, he went to the bathroom, and upon exiting, he fell, hit his head and passed over.

Of course, his wife felt VERY BAD. She had been with him for the past few days. Walking with him when he got out of bed. Because he had improved, she took the opportunity to go home. Because she wasn’t with him, he also took the opportunity to go HOME.

Of course there were many questions about that accident and they are considering a lawsuit. Meanwhile the wife is puzzled by his fall. Why did he fall? He had his walker, he was scheduled to go home. WHY? The questions continued.

A couple of months passed. She was considering selling their home, moving in with a daughter. She also had aged and her health wasn’t that good. She was sitting in the chair in her bedroom when the scent of Irish Spring soap filled the room. Her husband ALWAYS used that soap.

She called his name. Then asked what happened? “What caused you to fall?” AND SHE RECEIVED HIS ANSWER. (I didn’t ask if she “heard” it or if the answer came into her mind.) He said that his robe got caught under the wheel of the walker and he fell backwards, hitting his head. I didn’t think of asking if they had a longer conversation. I did tell her that often the person who is passing takes advantage of the opportunity when their loved one isn’t there.

It would have been easier to use their names in the story. I know her well and decided to protect their privacy. Writing about her experience has provoked a few questions. I want to hear more of the story.

The second story is also an answer to a question. My daughter was driving and was puzzled about a story she was writing. There was a problem and she couldn’t think of the solution. While her mind was occupied by the traffic, the solution to the writing problem flashed in her mind. She thought I would enjoy her story.

I have mentioned that I often send questions up — and receive the answer. It doesn’t matter if the answer flashes in my mind, or is heard from another person or on the radio or television.

IRISH MORNING

I have to admit that I have never been to Ireland. I don’t know if the opportunity to visit will ever come. My mother’s father was from there. I have finally learned the county that he was from but since I don’t know his birthdate or any other pertinent information, and his last name was very common — I’m not trying to learn anything more. I’ve titled this thought ramble Irish Morning not because the day reminded me of Ireland but because I was having lunch with a dear friend. She is not only Irish but she came from across the water. For years she lived on my block, went to Mass with us on Sunday. But time passes and our bodies reflect the passing. She had trouble walking up and down the stairs in her house. She moved to a Catholic senior residence. Even though she is on the third floor, they have elevators.

She phoned a few days ago and invited me for lunch. Of course, I accepted immediately. Then she fell, and we postponed the date. Then the snow fell on rain drenched stairs and I didn’t like the crunch as I swept the stairs. And we postponed it again. The day finally came, cold but with sunshine — blue skies. If I gave serious thought to the meeting, I wouldn’t have arrived empty handed. Ooops!

Her residence has many opportunities for a person to stay busy. I passed a room where art work decorated the window. I recognized the name of a friend and stopped to take a photo. A woman passed by with her son and asked if that artwork was mine. I admitted that it was a friend’s, I wasn’t a resident. She had recently moved in and was having trouble adjusting. I had to share a story of my recent painting experience and a photo of the finished art work. She didn’t paint or draw. She used to sing but has lost her voice. I suggested she just sing to herself inside her head. She was on her way to therapy. I was navigating the halls, looking for the building were my friend’s apartment was.

SUCCESS! We had a pleasant visit but more snow and rain was in the forecast. I really didn’t want to get stuck out in the weather. I learned that she had had a stroke a couple of years before. Somehow I missed that information. Her son used to live on our block and shared information about his mother. He rented their house a couple of years back, and moved to an apartment. I no longer receive current news. She is doing well now — in her late 90’s. Not bothered by the aftermath of her fall.

Going back down I shared the elevator with a woman who had a lovely accent. When I asked, she admitted she was from Ireland. Walking down the hall with her, I voiced the question of a bathroom. Two gentlemen going in the opposite direction pointed to a sign on the wall. I told my companion that I’ve noticed that when I ask a question, I often get an immediate answer. I wondered if the same thing happened to her.

Leaving — I met the same woman I saw when I first arrived. She hadn’t slept well the night before and was heading to her apartment for a nap before supper. I mentioned that it must be hard, giving up her house, her car and living in a new place. There were people there from her parish but the friendship is just starting.

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