Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘directions’

SQUARE DANCE

Looking back — it doesn’t seem that many years ago. Looking for landmarks — reality sets in. It was an EXTREMELY LONG TIME AGO! Our youngest daughter was a toddler. I’ve always loved to dance. The opportunity arose when I learned of square dance lessons in our neighborhood. It sounded like fun. My husband agreed to try it. It was fun! We learned the basic steps, then the opportunity arose to learn more — advanced to be specific. That also was fun. The caller announced he was going to teach lessons to introduce people to calling. I thought my husband would enjoy it. He liked to play chess — my reasoning — he would enjoy moving people.

AND HE DID. The problem occurred as he became more accomplished in calling. He LOVED to call, he didn’t want to dance anymore. I became extremely good at dancing the male part. I became his agent, handling bookings, and other assorted tasks. I learned how to call line dances. And life was busy. He added more equipment and records to his arsenal. I don’t know exactly why he stopped calling. We had gotten older, he wanted to take evening classes at college, being out at night so many nights of the week was tiring? What ever the reason — he gave up calling but kept all of his equipment and records. FOR YEARS!

Recently he redid his office and moved a lot of stuff to another room. Remnants of calling included not only his phonograph, but also boxes of records and three sets of speakers. The speakers were huge, and heavy. Since his equipment was still in working order, we didn’t want to put it out in the trash. The many square dance clubs that we had known, where no longer functioning. Their members like ourselves had aged.

I thought we could donate it to a music school. Every time we learned of a person who was still calling, for one reason or another the lead fell through. Our computer ended up being a great help. My husband put in a request for square dancing in our area and learned of a new club that was only minutes from our house. They had members who were interested in learning to call. They would love to have his equipment.

For the last time –he put some records on the turntable, hooked up his microphone and enjoyed calling. He sounded terrific. But we both agreed that it wasn’t something we wanted to go back into. I don’t think my knees would let me, not to mention if I would remember more than a couple of steps.

We were VERY HAPPY to donate the equipment were it would still be used.

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HEADACHE

Our grandchildren were in the backseat of our car as we headed to church on Sunday. They must have had too much sugar because they were full of spirit. So much so that I got a headache. At church service — the sung songs were accompanied by drums and guitar, than a big bongo set of drums. My head DID NOT LIKE the drumbeat. I exited the area and went out into the great space. I noticed the trays for communion were being assembled and re-entered the main church area. After communion, the next song was announced. I LOVE to sing it, but it is high energy and my head was providing its own drum beat. Once again I exited.

A young, tall male came out into the space. He did not look well. It was very apparent that something was wrong. He stayed by himself in one of the corners for awhile. When he was ready to rejoin the assembly in church, he passed by where I was sitting. I remarked that I could tell he was upset. He confided that it was the anniversary of a friend who had passed. I shared the story of chia tea. I was making a new batch on the anniversary of my father’s passing, when I noticed a magazine article detailing the benefits of the spices used in the brew. I mentioned that his friend was in a better place but could still interact with him if he was observant. I had just made another batch of chia tea on my son’s birthday. Often I’m rather slow to notice things. Later in the day I realized that even though my father passed over in 1995, he was still taking care of his family.

Monday, I was watching a channel on PBS. I wanted to watch another station and asked my daughter’s remote to change the channel. It is a marvelous piece of equipment — when it works. THIS TIME IT DIDN’T! I tried four times before giving up. PBS was having a membership drive. Over the past few days, I had watched two different programs on health — the benefits of vegetarian cuisine. Monday’s program was by Dr. Mark Hyman. His plan was not as limited, combining both meat and vegetarian food. Since my body seems to NEED meat, I was interested. The program was followed by “The Coast Of Ireland” — seals, whales and puffins.

It probably will come as no surprise when I mention that Costco had Dr. Mark Hyman’s book “Food, What the Heck should I eat?” when I visited the store. It is also no surprise when I say that I bought a copy.

REPRIEVED

When I wrote my first book: “To Pap, With Love” — I had high hopes. I thought I would sell many copies myself. I applied for an Illinois Sales Tax number, so that I would be legal, and able to report my income. I hate to admit that I was mistaken. Since the book was of limited interest, the sales were also limited. I have learned that it has helped many people and has a life of its own, moving from place to place. It is still available on line. As is my second book, “Journey With Me.” Although of wider interest, it didn’t generate income.

For over five years I have filled out the State Sales tax form. Some years I have had no problems. Other years, a phone call was needed. I was happy last year when I noticed the number was expiring. Then I received a new license. It was renewed! WHY? I’m not making any money, no sales to report, no tax to share. I wrote another reminder and put it in my calendar.

The first week of January, I went on line to fill out the form. I had limited success. I found the correct form. But I was unsuccessful in filling it out. Then the page closed and I couldn’t get it back. It was the weekend. I decided a phone call was in order.

Today was the day to fill out the form. I found the page to log in. My name and the password didn’t match. I wasn’t sure where the problem lay. Did I use capitals in my name? How about spaces? I requested that my user name be verified. On to the password. Still no luck. I asked for a new password. Then I found a note where I had changed my password. By this time, the computer locked me out. Too many attempts had been made.

Thankfully I had a phone number to call. The recorded announcement said my call would be answered in two minutes. Sounded good, didn’t live up to the message. But I stayed on the line. Thankfully I did. When I explained my problem to the live person on the phone, she asked if I wanted to cancel my license.
DID I? You bet. She cancelled it as of 2016. No forms to fill out this year, or next year. YEAH!

Terry helped me with my query. I had high hopes when she answered the phone. And I was RIGHT! I ALWAYS ENJOY “HELP”!

ABBEY

My youngest daughter invited me to go to a woman’s retreat hosted by her church. I have attended a few over the years and totally enjoyed each one of them. It is a chance to take a break from my life, spend time with my daughter and see if there are any messages that haven’t gotten through because I’ve been too busy.

Normally the retreat is held in September, this year, it was later, almost November. Cooler weather — winter coats anyone. Thankfully I had already switched my summer clothes for Fall. We had been at the Abbey before, but I had forgotten all the stairs involved in getting from place to place. In the warmer weather, we had just exited the building, walked through the grass and entered where we needed to be. Not wanting to carry a coat around, that wasn’t the option this time.

Thankfully my knees have improved. I don’t know how I would have managed if the retreat was held during the summer. Arriving at the Abbey, before dark, the parking lots were already full. Eight hundred woman had signed up for a refreshing of spirit. My daughter parked close to the spa. And we entered that door. It was building three of five — all of which are joined by hallways and stairs.

I had a pleasant surprise. It had been a four hour drive and since my daughter has an SUV, my knees didn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t need the adjustment time that normally occurred when I had been sitting for more than an hour. Our next car might need to be an SUV.

The distance from where we had entered to the front lobby was interesting. Made more interesting when we decided to help a fellow member who was loaded down with luggage, bags and a cooler making her way to building five. We offered helping hands. Many hallways and flights of stairs later we arrived at the lobby, helped by the lobby signs pointing the way. Only to learn that our room was on the first floor, near the spa, in building three.

I was VERY GRATEFUL that I had been taking Arthocin for three months. I hate to think how I would have managed if my knees were still as painful as they had been in the summer. I have to admit that I shared my experience with the Arthocin with many of the woman at the retreat.

I won’t bore you with the minute details — just the highlights. The theme of the weekend was Grace Overflowing. And I noted many times that Grace was Overflowing. It started on the way to the Abbey. We stopped at a Barnes and Noble in Rockford — just to break up the trip. I found a mystery book by Donna Andrews that has given me many hours of laughter — two books in one, at a reduced price. I was unfamiliar with her books and plan to investigate further.

During the opening prayer, I closed my eyes and had a vision of many rosaries — the whole screen filled with strings of beads. Many people praying for not only the retreat but family members, our world and other concerns. The room assignment near the spa gave me signs to follow getting back to our room. We decided that since the car was parked so close to our room, to leave it there and eat at the Abbey. The food was excellent.

I opened the bible on Saturday morning to Psalm 107:21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Snow showers during Saturday morning. I attended a session on the importance of taking care of your body and soul. The importance of celebrating the Sabbath — taking time to refresh, restore. I talked to the person who was leading the yoga and decided my time would be better spent in the pool and hot tub.

We crashed a party on Saturday of some of my daughter’s friends. The restaurant was completely booked, they had reservations for thirty five, not including us. The manager found a couple of chairs, we became a party of thirty seven and totally enjoyed the buffet of crab legs and prime rib.

Sunday morning, I opened the bible to Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” And I laughed.

MEDICAL ALERT

The house phone rang at 3:00 AM. It was ADT. “I have a medical alert call from Diane McDonald. ”
“This is she, ” I answered. “I was sleeping. I didn’t phone you.”
She asked: “Do you have a pendant?”
” No!,” I answered.
“I’ll try to cancel the ambulance.”
Okay. I was awake. Listening for the door bell — scanning my body parts. I have friends in high places, was something wrong that I didn’t know about. ??? Thankfully no ambulance came. Both my husband and my son had messages on their phones but they were turned off. Nothing appeared to be wrong. I didn’t have any more or any less pain than when I went to bed. Of course it was over an hour before I was able to go to sleep.

It was Saturday. My plans were to go to Body, Mind, Spirit Expo, and I proceeded with my plan. I enjoyed the Expo, visited with many of the vendors that I know. Most of the people are more talented than I am but I’m comfortable there. The last workshop that I attended was by Dr. Michael Chapman. He had been told by God that he had a job to do, and after resisting, he finally agreed. When he told his story, Dr. Chapman said that at 3:00 AM stuff happens. I had to laugh. Good Morning!

He singled out many members of the audience, then he came to me. “What do you do?” he asked.
I replied, “I’m Retired.”
“No — your not! What do you do?”
I admitted that I write a blog: Wandering With Spirit.
At which point he said: “Keep doing what your doing. Your readers will increase. Those who read your blog will feel the spirit.”
He might have said more than that, but it was at the end of the day and my mind was tired.

Sunday morning I was at Mass. We have a new pastor whose homilies contain words that have more personal meaning. The gospel pertained to a Canaanite woman who wanted Jesus to help her daughter. Father emphasized how important it was for us to reach out to people of the world, not only people of our faith. Songs at Mass continued the message: “Precious Lord, Take My hand” and “Be Not Afraid.” Both songs have meaning for me! ” I get the message! KEEP WRITING!”

Medical Alert?? Still confused or did “they” just want me to know that I’m not alone? Always questions — no answers.

WOMAN AT THE WELL

I’m a practicing Catholic. As I write this we are in the middle of Lent. Last week at the church in the country, the gospel revolved around the Samaritan Woman at the well. How she went into town and asked her town folk to come listen to Jesus. I’m rather familiar with the story since Peter, Paul, and Mary had a song Jesus Met The Woman. They are a favorite of mine. The pastor at the church in the country reminds me of the way our religion was practiced in times gone by. Saying the rosary, fasting, set prayers, preparing for Easter were all mentioned.

Today’s gospel revolved around the restoring of sight to the blind man. Today I was at our church in the city. The focus was on the upcoming Parish Mission and Stations of the Cross. The gospel homily reflected modern times. The contrast in the styles of the different homilies caught my attention. Now you are probably wondering why I’m spending time and energy writing about this. If you have read my last thought ramble titled OLDER, you might remember that I wrote about being confused — wondering just what I am supposed to do. Knowing that a message is out there, I just haven’t been able to decipher it. I had surmised that part of it concerns Angels as Playmates, another part concerns the importance of my family. I’m often at the right place, at the right time to share a story: Pap and The Pancake Turner: my father let me know that he was fine when he passed. Or the story of Shanae’s spirit running through our house. Recently I gave a copy of my book Journey With Me to a woman who had lost her only son and was trapped in grief.

My morning reading often refers to being chosen — the question is often asked “Who can I send?” So I’m wondering if I’m the woman at the well. If my thought rambles are meant to share information of life after death with anyone who wanders onto my page. This morning’s gospel: “blind but now I see” is interesting. I know that many years ago I crossed a bridge. I have a better understanding — I know that I’m never alone. I was blind, but now I see. I like that knowledge. My father passed over more than 25 years ago. I’m sure that he is often around. It is interesting how often I meet someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s in their family. My mother was able to hide the fact that she “helped” me. Looking back, I can see times when I received “help”, especially when my father’s Alzheimer’s intensified. Since I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places” — my experiences might help you to recognize the “help” that you receive.

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.

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