Random Acts of "Kindness"

FREE FALL

I don’t know what happened! Normally I’m very careful with money. When I use plastic, I note the charge in one of our checkbooks. I keep a running total of our Visa charge so I’m not caught off guard when the bill comes in. That is my normal accounting practice. That is NOT what happened this month.

I forgot to note the charge for our rental car when we drove to Texas. I forgot to note the charges we incurred for part of the trip. When I finally figured out how to cover those expenses, when I phoned the credit card to make sure their balance agreed with my records, I learned that the bill was $300 higher than I expected. Evidently the money I spent on the first of June must have been free because I did not record it anywhere. I found the receipts. They were where I always keep them. Why they were filed but not recorded is anybody’s guess. It is beyond me.

I know we were planning the next day to go to Central Illinois to watch our grandchildren for a week. That doesn’t explain why I would have neglected to note the charges I incurred.

The only thing that I can think of to blame was that all the traveling caught up to me and I was exhausted. Of course, I knew I was tired. I thought I was being very careful. Of course now I know that I was wrong. Hopefully that absent mindedness won’t happen again. If that is what occurs with Alzheimer’s disease I want no part of it. That I was so careless is scary.

I don’t think there is any way I can recapture my youth, but I can try to allow more days in between travel to recuperate. I can continue with my plan to try to lose weight, exercise and regain the use of more of my body parts. Thankfully my lapse involved a credit card — not the debit card and a bank balance. I don’t like checks to bounce.

DIRECTED AGAIN

I don’t look at the date when I place a thought ramble to publish. Often I have to laugh at not only the subject but the timing of the thought. I have to admit that DIRECTED was just such an occurrence. Not only is it my oldest daughters birthday, but it is Father’s Day as well. It is only with the advantage of age, and still keeping some of my memory that I can see that many, many years ago my mother was already involved in “helping” me with my life. I’m from Illinois, my husband from Maryland. We met in California were he was stationed and I was on vacation. I’m sure you can understand why the date I picked for DIRECTED made me laugh.

Wandering with Spirit often delights me. Chance encounters often help with my day, plans, or health. In Central Illinois we are at a lost. Although we often drive down, we are not familiar with the location of some needed items. Where do you get fishing licenses? Where do you buy bait for fishing? Both relevant questions when our grandchildren want to go fishing. We were at Homer Lake when I stopped to talk to a woman who was loading her car — no fish, she forgot her tackle box at home. She was able to direct me to a gas station that sold fishing worms.

My husband and I were at our daughter’s house, watching her kids while she attended a writing workshop. Although she tried to stock the house with the food we would need, we ran out of some necessary options. Talking to the clerk while she packed my purchases, I learned her son has picked the winner of the Kentucky Derby many years in a row. She doesn’t bet on the horse, she doesn’t want to jinx him. She would like to treat him to a race but the tickets are VERY expensive.

We planned to go to horse country — my granddaughter’s favorite place. I will admit that I enjoy many of the stores that are down there. In the spring, there are colts — I like to watch them play. I like to watch the horses as they run down the road, pulling the buggy’s or wagons. I guess like the woman in the store, I have always liked horses. Just never been able to own one myself.

We had only been in Central Illinois one day when I got THREE mosquito bites. One on my check, another on my ankle and a third on my eye brow. I went to the store and bought OFF but I must admit that I don’t like to use it. We were at Beeches, a store in Arthur, when I overheard a woman speaking about a mosquito repellant that was natural and worked. I haven’t tried it yet but I bought the ingredients. Combine lemon grass oil and witch hazel in a spray bottle, spray on and rub in. Hopefully it will work.

My stomach had been upset. We had just returned from Texas, I was tired when I packed — that is the excuse I’m using for all the stuff that hasn’t made this trip — I forgot to bring my tea. I brought a fresh box of Detox and Joint Comfort BUT I forgot to bring the selection that I turn to for various body ills. At the health food store I bought two boxes of chamomile mint — one to leave at my daughter’s and one to take home. At the check out counter, a woman had a bag that was orange, looked like carrots but not quite. It was dried papaya chunks, she uses it for tummy upsets — a bag came home with me also. They also had children’s chewable magnesium — it might help my granddaughter’s headaches.

DIRECTED LIFE

Although we have many conveniences at the camper, the internet isn’t one of them. My husband has a hot spot on his phone. I tried to connect to it. Unsuccessful — three times in a row. I gave up and said I was going to the Laundromat. There are a few places at the campground that you can connect to the internet. The Laundromat is one of them.

I put our dog Robin in the car and we went for a drive. There was another car in the lot when I pulled in. Before long the person in the other car tapped on my window. “Can I talk to you?” I rolled down my window. “We are new out here and my friend is in a lot of pain. I don’t know what to do? Should I call for an ambulance.”

I’ll admit that I didn’t know what to say at first. I told him that there was a hospital in the nearer big town but suggested that he go up to the gate. They have Emergency Technicians there and they will be able to advise what to do.

He immediately started his car and headed for the gate. I have no idea what the outcome was for them. I finished hooking up to the internet and headed to our camper. My husband was able to connect his ipad to the hotspot that night. When I told him my story he said I lead an interesting life.

Interesting Life continues. The reading in my Inner Reflections engagement calendar reads this week: “So long as we are on stage in the drama of life. We should play our part to the best of our ability …. We must try to understand the purpose of the drama, and why we have our particular role in it. ” Paramahansa Yogananda.

My reading in Queen of Heaven this morning made me laugh. “I thank God who bumps me and prods me and pushes me.” But this evening, as I prepared to write a couple of thought rambles — I was unable to connect to my external hard drive. I didn’t laugh — I cried! All of my thought rambles were on there. Thankfully I always print a hard copy too.

I just celebrated my fifth year writing on Wandering with Spirit. I don’t think I’m supposed to stop but then who am I?

PERPLEXED AGAIN

I’ll admit I was tired. Okay — I was more than tired. The last place I wanted to be was shopping BUT I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. We landed very early on a Saturday morning, returning from Hawaii. I hadn’t slept on the flight because I didn’t think — I had TWO glasses of cranberry apple juice — too much sugar! I had Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to recover. Bright and early Wednesday morning we picked up a rental car to drive 900 miles to Cumby, Texas. My husband’s brother had stage four lung cancer and two of his sisters were traveling to Texas also. We only stayed two days before heading home again. I wanted to get the photo’s of the family in Texas in the mail. We were only going to be home for two more days before we were heading for the camper.

I parked in the lot so I could just drive forward, not back up. I parked at the end of the lot — hoping I would remember where I parked the car. After ordering the photos, I had a lengthy list of supplies to pick up. I had three boxes in my cart as I made my way to the parking lot. I didn’t need to worry about finding my car. It was the only one there in a huge open space, that is until I almost reached it. A white SUV pulled in directly behind my car. I couldn’t believe it! The person had more than 20 spaces to pick from. Why did he want to park behind my car?

I looked at his bumper and I looked at the rear of my car. I wondered if I would fit between the two. A young man got out of the car. He asked if I had enough room, he could back up. Then he told me he had muscles, he had been working out. He offered to unload my cart. I didn’t refuse. He offered to take my cart back to the store — I didn’t refuse. Actually I was very grateful. Not sure why I had received the help, but very glad that I had.

Tuesday — I was scanning the photos on my camera. The camera kept stopping at the pictures of my husband’s brother. Each time I tried, three times in all — the same results. I gave up!

Thursday I realized it was the anniversary of my brother’s birth. Happy Birthday brother. Did you send the help on Monday?

BLOSSOMS ON THE WIND

Step by step, line by line — watch my thought rambles grow. My fifth year anniversary — 265 rambles — who would have thought I had so much to write about. Time passes so quickly, I thought this was my third year, then I divided 265 by 52. Didn’t quite believe the number I saw. Evidently I finally gave into the nudging in May of 2012 to begin to write. FIVE YEARS later my friends in high places still think I NEED to share the goings on in my life. If I don’t have a thought ramble ready to publish — I’m reminded that I have thoughts to share.

I enjoy going to the Botanic Garden in certain seasons of the year — daffodil time, crab apples in bloom, summer roses, fall asters, mums, etc. I probably would enjoy winter there as well, I just haven’t gone in a few years. I was at the Garden a few weeks ago — daffodils were in bloom — many plants were being planted — crab apple trees were waiting. After a couple of 70 degree days, I phoned to see if the crab apple trees were in bloom. The answer was negative — trees were in bloom in our neighborhood but the Garden was waiting. I phoned again this week — just starting I was told. So I waited a couple of days but rain was expected and I wasn’t sure how many blossoms would stay on the trees — how many would ride the wind. The Garden NEEDED a few more warm, dry days. White and pink crab apple trees were in bloom, red were still ladies in waiting. I still ended up taking more than 100 pictures. Trees, tulips, robins, frogs — many things caught my attention. Of course in that number I probably missed another one to two hundred photos. It doesn’t help if I remind myself that I have taken a picture of that same tree last year, I still capture the image. I will admit that some scenes DO NOT appear again. I have a lovely photo of a tree in bloom with different shades of tulips below that has not repeated itself.

More than blossoms have been on the wind — my eight year old granddaughter has been going through a very challenging time. Health issues have caused migraines to start. She is staying with us for the weekend. I had planned various things to do outside — GOD LAUGHED. Cold weather, storms are predicted. I found myself at Walmart, glancing at a basket with merchandise that was going to be returned to the shelves. I found a craft item that I thought she would enjoy. That reminded me to get a few new things for her. The item I found in the basket must be hiding in the store somewhere because I would not have found it. I did find a roll of stickers and an artists notebook. She loves to draw — crayons, markers, paint. I’m not ready for wet weather but I have a few things that hopefully will be fun.

THE TUB

We have an old fashioned claw foot tub in our upstairs bathroom. Over the years I have enjoyed many hours soaking in it. Sadly I haven’t been able to get in it for years. How many? I really have no idea. I don’t know if I was able to enjoy a bath when I had the ulcer on my leg. I know since it has healed I haven’t been in it. Then there is my weight, and the inner tube where my tummy used to be. Lets not forget that my knees are now a problem — if I get down on the floor, getting back up is a challenge.

So I’m sure you are wondering why I’m writing a thought ramble on the tub. It was a combination of circumstances. First I was home alone and my knees were hurting. I thought it would be an excellent idea to soak in the tub. Evidently I wasn’t thinking. I decided that I would climb in fully dressed and see if I could get myself back out.

I DIDN’T take our house phone or my cell phone in to the bathroom with me. I knew my husband would probably call and would expect me to answer the phone. OOPS! I had accidentally washed his cell phone and he needed to get the new one connected. He was at the store working on that issue.

I used our grandchildren’s step to help me get into the tub and sat down with a bang. I was VERY comfortable sitting in the DRY TUB. But I had to get out. I tried pushing my body up using my feet. My slipper socks prevented my feet from getting traction. No problem, I took the socks off. But it didn’t help. I slowly raised my back up to the top of the tub but not high enough to help. Next brilliant idea! I threw my leg over the side. Now What? — leg dangling over the side didn’t help. Thankfully I was able to get the leg back into the tub.

I was VERY COMFORTABLE resting with my back against the back of the tub. I could have sat there until someone came home. But if the phone rang, I couldn’t answer it and someone would be worried. I would get a royal bawling out. My next brilliant idea actually worked. I pulled the little step into the tub. Lifted my butt onto it and got out of the tub. I might actually try that again — later. I would like to loose a few more pounds first or get more flexibility into my legs.

AFRICAN VIOLET

My father’s mother used to grow beautiful African violets. I didn’t pay attention to the care she gave them, I just liked the flowers — purple, white, doubles, pink. I bought an African violet when we first moved into our house and it promptly died. Not giving up easily — I bought another. Then another — and so on and so on. It didn’t take many plants before I learned that I didn’t have a green thumb. I didn’t know if I watered them too much or not enough. I learned that they needed to be watered from the roots — which I did. They had access to light, not bright sunshine but filtered light. Didn’t matter — they picked up their leaves and left.

Since I have had so much success with African violets, I am AMAZED that a plant that was given to me more than twenty years ago is still not only alive but thriving. I DON’T FERTILIZE IT, weeks go by when I forget to water it. It still blooms every spring. Sometimes it overgrows its pot, a portion of it wilts and the rest recovers.

This plant was given to me by MUSCLES. I think I have written at least one thought ramble about him, and referred to him in others. Muscles was a VERY DARK, elderly African American man. He adopted our family when our children were small. He took them to many Cub games and planted a garden in our back yard. His tomato plants were taller than our garage. Our back yard didn’t get much sun, so we didn’t get many tomatoes. He planted two apple trees and a lilac bush at our camper. Sadly because of the tornado, only the lilac bush is surviving and blooming.

So why do I mention this now. Because I remembered to water the plant today and it looks fantastic. More often than not I forget to water it and NEVER feed it. The only reason it is surviving is that thankfully someone unseen is taking care of it. I’ll admit that when I see the plant, I think of Muscles and the difference he made in our lives.

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