Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘directions’

THE VOICES

I wrote this as an exercise for Creative Writing. We were supposed to write in a different style. My life had already changed considerably. I received more “help” than I ever dreamed possible. My “friends in high places” as I was beginning to call them, often woke me up at 4:00 AM. When my father was alive, he thought he could think better at that time of day. He even set his alarm so he would wake up. His sister Connie often got up that early. She had become another of “my friends in high places.” I thought getting up at seven was early enough. To make matters worse, an itch developed on both of my ankles. Scratching it felt better than eating chocolate or ice cream. Imagine if you will, three or four angels sitting around, conniving. The events are true. The dialogue is fiction. Or is it?

“She is awake. She should be up.”
“How are we going to get her out of bed? Nothing is working. She looks at the clock, rolls over, buries her head in the pillow and lays there.”
“It is after 6:00. Time is flying. She is wasting the day.”
“She ignores all the ideas we give her. Tells her brain to shut up, go back to sleep. Rolls over. Lays there.”
“I made her pillow lumpy. It didn’t work. She rolled over.”
“The dogs want to sleep too. I tried to get them to tell her they wanted to go out. They ignored me. They don’t want to get up this morning. ”
“It wouldn’t do any good anyway. He closed their bedroom door when he left.”
“If they barked or whined she would get up.”
“But they didn’t get up. They can sleep; she is the one who has to get up. How are we going to get her up.”
“I know! I know! I know how we can do it.”
“You’re so smart. How?”
“We can make her itch.”
“So we make her itch. She scratched, then she lies there.”
“That’s because you’re not doing it right.”
“What do you mean I’m not doing it right? There is not a right way and a wrong way to make someone itch.”
“Oh yes there is. I can make her itch so she gets up.” Oh yeah!”
“Yeah.”
“So smarty. How are you going to do it?”
“I’m going to start with just a little itch. She will scratch it, just a little bit, then roll over. I’ll wait a couple of minutes; let her think the itch is gone. Then I’ll make it itch just a little more. After she scratches, I’ll take the itch back for a couple of minutes. Give her a false sense of security.Then I’ll make her itch again. This time I’ll make a bigger spot itch, and maybe add another place. Spread it around a little bit. She won’t notice that the itch is growing. She still wants to sleep. This time I won’t wait as long after she scratches to make the itch come back. She will only be scratching her ankle. Now I’ll add her calf, just one spot, along with her ankle. I’ll make it feel really good to scratch, so she scratches longer, really gets into it. Now I’ll wait only a second before adding her foot to her ankle, along with her calf. Itch, Itch, Itch. She won’t be able to lie there. She will have to get up.”
“Go ahead and try it. What have we got to lose? She is just lying there. She will lie there all day. She doesn’t have a job, she doesn’t think she has to get up.”
“She never lays there all day. We have seen to that.”
“All right, so she won’t lay there all day. Just until 7:00.”
“She is awake. We woke her up. We gave those people something to say right outside her window at 5:00.”
“We made those tires stick to the road so all they did was spin and squeal. We made her listen to the traffic on the street. Made her think there was a lot of snow on the ground.”
“She didn’t get out of bed to look.”
“But we woke her up.”
“Now we have to get her on her feet. Out of bed. In motion.”
“The itch will do it.”
“You think so.”
“I know so!”
“Try it. What have we got to lose?”
“Told you so. Told you so. The itch did it. Not even 15 minutes. She is up. She is dressed. She is in motion.”
“Did you watch carefully? Take notes. So we can do it again tomorrow.”

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DEBATE

This morning I had to laugh when I opened the bible to Job 40:25 “Can you lead about Leviathan with a hook.” I DON’T like opening the bible to Job. It usually is not good. This chapter Job had been arguing with God and God was responding with questions for Job to answer. I was reminded that I had been questioning the need for me to continue to write. Yesterday I opened a cookbook that I put together. It not only contain recipes that I make often, but verses of songs and poems that are meaningful to me. First I opened to a poem that was given to me when I sent To Pap, With Love to a publisher. “Never forget — Your presence is a gift to the world.” Next I opened to the Song THE SUMMONS. “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name.”

Okay, I understand. I’m being reminded to write. BUT I NEED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT! It is not like I’m ignored by spirit — on the contrary — my life IS ALWAYS interesting. But I’ve grown accustomed to receiving help. I don’t get into the car without asking for “help” with my driving. As a matter of fact I’m usually asking for “help” many times during the day. It’s not that it is commonplace, except for me it probably is and I don’t note all the occasions.

Since the concept of my rambles is interaction with spirit I try to keep that the theme of my rambles.Since we spent the summer and part of the Fall in the country, I’m still trying to get caught up. No writing ideas, and I need three ramblers for the next three weeks. So I argue and receive “directions.”

I was reminded that many years ago I wrote The Voice. I was still learning the ways that spirit interacts with my life. Taking a writing class, our instructor asked us to write something different. I did, I LOVED IT and he wasn’t impressed. This mornings events reminded me.

Next week — for your enjoyment I will republish THE VOICES. It is in my book Journey With Me.

SEWING MACHINE

I thought it would be EASY to fix a pulled seam on my husband’s shorts. It should have been. It should have taken me one half hour tops, including taking out the sewing machine and setting it up. The reality was that it took more than three hours. During that time I had to call on my husband two times for HELP!

Okay, first I’ll admit that I haven’t used the sewing machine in years. To tell the truth, I don’t remember how many years it has been since I last used it. I made Christmas presents — not sure which present it was. I used to use the machine often — square dance clothes, Halloween costumes, tote bags. It was my friend. Together we accomplished many things. The memories of those times kept me trying to get the machine to work right.

First the pressure foot didn’t seem to hold the material. I thought the machine might need to be oiled — first call to my husband. He knows how to oil machines. Thankfully we had oil that would work. I still had the instruction book that showed which parts needed to be oiled. A little bit of oil and the pressure foot held the fabric and moved it through. SUCCESS!

For a minute. Then a needle broke. I FOUND a new needle! The instruction book showed the steps for threading the machine. The newly threaded machine broke the thread. MANY TIMES! I could NOT figure out what I was doing wrong. Time passed. It had been a rainy day, then the sun came out. Opportunity’s to go out — Rib Fest — Blues Fest — beckoned.

EXCEPT — Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn. I did not want to put the machine away in pieces or not working right. I DID NOT WANT TO GIVE UP. Time passed. The thread traveled through the machine the way it was supposed to. Then the bobbin thread started to bunch up and tangle. I didn’t do anything to the bobbin thread! WHY? Taking the bobbin assembly out of the machine has NEVER been easy for me! SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE.

Finally — machine back together, I adjusted the stitch length and it WORKED! Fixed my husbands shorts, fixed a pair of my own, and a blouse and a rain coat. SUCCESS! Of course it was too late to go out and play. Truth be told — my legs were sore from the day before. I had such an enjoyable time at the Blues Fest — there was no way I could repeat it.

I was able to put my friend — the machine — away in good condition. I always acknowledge that “I have friends in high places.” Evidently it was best for me to stay home and they “helped!”

MADE MY DAY

I suppose it is no secret that I LOVE MUSIC . Even though Chicago has hosted the Blues Festival for 35 years — most of the early years was held without me. My husband DOES NOT LIKE CROWDS. He does not LIKE to go downtown so for the many years when we were raising our family, I didn’t go to any of the festivals in Chicago. One year I came to the realization that I could go by MYSELF. And so I did. And I continue to go by myself when we are in town. Sometimes he will go with me but not often.

We were scheduled to be in town for the 35th Blues Fest. Recently it moved from Grant Park to Millenium Park. Exact reasoning is yet to be determined but the city is able to provide more security for the event. In this day and age that is not a bad thing. In town — I planned to go. Rain was predicted for the Festival but I thought that if I wore a raincoat and limited the stuff I was carrying, I would be alright.

I noticed that the Festival was honoring Bob Koester for the 65 years that his record company, Delmark records, played an important part in the blues and jazz of the city. The Koester family lived down the street and around the corner from us. My middle daughter babysat for his children, my youngest daughter was good friends with their daughter. I stopped at the Delmark both to inquire. I learned that the entire family was present. BUT WHERE? Millenium Park was a smaller place, but thousands of people attended the Blues Fest.

I stopped at Southwest airlines to spin the prize wheel and won a canvas tote. I stopped by the stairs to reorganize stuff. The gentleman that I just talked to at Delmark records walked by. He asked if he had just talked to me. When I said he had, he told me where Sue, Katie and children where. I didn’t waste any time — they were sitting by a table at the restaurant. I had no idea who I was looking for so I looked for children. I asked a young mother if she was Katie AND SHE WAS! Happy — understatement! I phoned both of my younger daughters and they ANSWERED their phones. They both got a chance to talk with Katie. Made all of our days!

I enjoyed the music but I was HUNGRY. I hadn’t brought enough stuff to eat. I decided to find McDonald’s since I knew I could control the sodium level. If I turned right after leaving the park, McDonald’s would have been right there. Instead I turned left and walked FOREVER. After getting something to eat, I decided to keep walking over to State street. I knew there was an elevator by the Library stop. An elderly couple looked confused, I asked if I could help. Easy, they wanted the Red Line — subway train that was on the block we were on. At the Library, I made it up to the mezzanine — connecting platform between North bound and Southbound trains when I encountered a man who also needed help. No one there to help him find the Blue Line. Taking a couple of minutes to think, I was able to give him directions.

Frosting on the cake!

HI BROTHER

I noticed this morning that I needed one more thought ramble to have something scheduled to publish for the full month of June. Hopefully we will be going to the camper where internet access while available is not as convenient. My recent experience with the heat doesn’t give me much hope for brain function.

As most of you know, when I was four, my mother and brother passed over because of a fire. Did I pass over too and be sent back? Does it matter? If I had any unusual talents at the time — in the late 40’s and 50’s, having extra talents was not safe. So I hid them and they disappeared.

Slowly some talents are surfacing, I’m sure why, maybe because of “help from my friends.” I have a job to do.

The day before my brother’s birthday, a phone call to my daughter ended in the middle of a conversation THREE times. The day of his birthday, before we left for the camper I NOTICED six iris where in bloom in the back yard. I successfully took a picture with the I pad and posted it on MESSENGER to share with my family. (I’m not skilled doing that.) I have a note that mention’s MAJOR HELP but I didn’t go into details. Sadly, I often neglect to write things down. Maybe it is a good thing I do thought rambles on a regular basis.

Are you AWARE? Has writing about some of my experiences “helped” you? What am I going on and on about? Is there a reason?

YES! This morning before going to Mass, I took Robin for her morning walk. Blue skies — not a cloud anywhere. We had a heavy rain during the night but all the clouds had moved on. Slightly chilly. I had on a light jacket that has a hood. Walking under a fully leafed oak tree, I received a shower. So heavy was the water, I raised the hood of my jacket. “Hi Brother.”

I really don’t know if he was the cause BUT who but a younger brother would tease his sister? I have MANY friends in high places, but only one brother!

LITTLE THINGS

It is the littler things that slip through the cracks!

Sunday was the feast of Pentecost — the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in the closed room and changed their lives. I find that feast significant because I realized that I am celebrating my six year anniversary of Wandering With Spirit this month. I can’t say that the blog has changed my life — but maybe it has. If I don’t write on a regular basis, if I don’t have something scheduled to publish every week, my life becomes more interesting than I want it to. More things go wrong. I’m REMINDED that I have work to do. Since I am always on the lookout for a writing idea, I might pay more attention to my life.

One of my favorite sayings is: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him/Her your plans,” I had been at the Garden the day before. I had many steps on my pedometer. I planned to do NOTHING. The phone rang at 8:10. It was I Dot — we have a transponder that allows us to speed through the tollway gates at a decent speed, not wait in line forever. It was a present to my husband a few years ago. Now I was told it wasn’t working. We would be charged a cash car rate any time we went through. Camping season is starting. We use the tollways a lot. I learned where an office was. I learned that the battery might have run out. The number I received for our credit card didn’t match. I had no idea where the number came from. The one thing I did know — WE HAD TO GO FOR A DRIVE AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM. It was an easy solution. The battery on our transponder had run out, we just needed a new one.

On the way home, I suggested we stop at Wal-Mart so I could try on some shorts. I’ve noticed that my old ones are slipping down. It is most uncomfortable. I planned to order from a catalogue, but in order to do so, I needed to know my size. I tried on a smaller size and IT FIT. My husband suggested I buy a second swimsuit for back up. I like to exercise every weekday at the camper. If my suit is still wet, it is too cold to wear again. I saw a swimsuit that I thought might work. It has to be one piece, two pieces DON’T WORK for exercising. The hanger had my size so I tried it on. I looked at the tag on the swimsuit — it was the smaller size. HAPPY!

I picked up frozen pizzas at the store. My husband put them in the downstairs basement for me — saving my knees. I found them on Friday morning in the fridge — not the freezer. When I asked him — he said I told him to put them there???? Saturday, we went to a steakhouse to celebrate Mother’s day. He drove a different way, and said that was how he always goes. ????

One plus one didn’t add up. I was becoming concerned. On Sunday — Pentecost — I said a couple of prayers — asking God to “help” my husband. My father had Alzheimer’s disease. I REALLY DIDN’T WANT my husband to be affected. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry. Hands off — God was in charge.

Walking home from church — I noticed a shiny lilac object lying on the ground. I almost passed by. Then I backed up and took another look. It was a lilac sparkling gem in a hanging earring. It had a stopper to keep it from falling out of the ear. It reminded me that the night before, I had lost the backing on one of my crystal earrings but luckily the earring had not fallen out.

THANK YOU! Enough said.

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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