Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘dogs’

CELEBRATING ANOTHER YEAR

I wish I remembered the year I started writing these thought rambles. I think it was in May that I was enticed to write. My youngest daughter told me about Word Press and that it was free. The name I picked for the blog was open. The name was accepted and ready or not I began. Now if you have read many of my thought rambles, you can understand that I really don’t think it was my decision. I was led to share the happenings of my life with others. My life becomes more interesting than I want it to when I haven’t written.

I realize that I’m extremely fortunate to have “help” from the other side. We all have a purpose in our life and evidently mine is to share that there is existence after death. I can’t comment on it further because I have no personal knowledge of the other side. I’m very happy to know of its existence and have the “help” of my team.

I don’t know the makeup of my team. Just guessing I would say that it is made up of my mother and brother who have probably been involved in my life since their passing. Joined 25 years ago by my father and recently by my husband. My mother and brother kept their involvement quiet. I didn’t really know that I was receiving “help” from the other side until my father got Alzheimer’s disease. Looking back at that time I was able to detect “help.” Thankfully my father let me know when he passed that he was fine. My father has helped me with many aspects of my life including writing. My husband has improved on this. He “helps” me with my phone and the television. Since my father didn’t mess with those things I know when my husband is around. And I am EXTREMEMLY happy with his involvement EXCEPT when I’m prevented from doing something I want to do.

I was also given the gift of seeing a deceased dog run through our house the night she was put down. I don’t know if she is on my team but I know that there are a few paws that are. After one of our dogs passed, many dogs that I didn’t know that I was their best friend. I have to credit Cuyler for that.

I’m also sure that friends and relatives of mine “help” out from time to time. I might actually be asking for their “help” when I have a project that isn’t going well.

My sharing my experiences before was possibly helpful. I’m hoping that because of the deaths caused by Covid 19, my thought rambles might help more who were unable to be by their loved ones side when they passed.

CORONA 19 BREAK

Our daughter had reservations to go to Mexico for Spring Break. The big question: Should they Go? They decided that the area where they were going was free from the virus. They had their plane reservations. I understood their concern, their questions. I do what I always do — I bombarded heaven with prayers for a safe trip and return.

I was extremely happy that I had stocked up on fresh food when I went to the store last week. I’m no longer young — I’m at an age when the virus is more dangerous. When I replaced my driver’s license, I stopped at the Senior Center to tell them I would be skipping art for the next two weeks because of the dogs. While I was there, I learned that the Center would be closed because of the virus. That night a friend phoned to tell me their assisted living dwelling was on lock down.

Crowds gathered to celebrate St. Patrick’s day at the bars. Our mayor announced all bars and restaurants would be closed. Food could be order for take out and delivered. Both zoos in our area closed. Our state held its primary election on Tuesday but thankfully I voted early. The Botanic Garden announced they would be closed until April 30. Woodhaven was open — but there was no way I was going out with three dogs and an open yard. Department stores were the next to announce closing. I listened to the news — concerned that my family would be able to leave Mexico and return home.

Wednesday I phoned to see if our neighborhood Chinese restaurant was open. I was VERY HAPPY to learn I could place an order. Since we live close by, my son went to pick it up.

Woodhaven announced that it was closing all comfort stations. Gas could be pumped using a credit card for payment. Access to the store was restricted. Main gate was open and security would continue to patrol the grounds.

The best thing that happened that week was the birth of my great grand son on Friday. The second best thing was I learned that my daughter’s family was in LA. They would be flying home on Saturday. They planned to stay overnight to celebrate my grandson’s birthday. They didn’t know that they would be sequestered in their rooms.

All churches are closed. Our Cardinal celebrated mass at the cathedral. “We are like the blind man. Can’t see what is coming. Have to trust in God.”

Luna and Tessa were MISSED. My daughter planned to drive to Chicago with her kids to get them. She didn’t want me to take a chance on the drive. They stayed by the garage and I stayed on the porch. Their dogs had been enjoying our bed. I didn’t have the heart to make them get off. As a parting gift, on Monday, I WOKE to be pinned by a black Lab washing my face. Laying straddled over my body.

ANGEL TREE

It is the middle of February and our Christmas tree is still taking center stage. Well — not exactly our Christmas tree. Most of the lights and ornaments were retired at the end of January. I planned to take the whole tree down. But just as it often happens to my plans, things changed.

First I went shopping and met a woman who has kept her Christmas tree up, decorated for 10 years since her husband passed. First — she LOVES her tree. Second — she LOVES the ornaments that are on the tree. Third — her tree is twelve feet tall, and old and she is afraid that if they take it down they will NEVER be able to get it back up again.

I shared the idea with my children. THEY WERE NOT IMPRESSED! But one of my daughters suggested I make it into a Valentine tree. Of course, she was only joking. BUT the longer I thought about the idea, the more I thought about turning the tree into an angel tree. My husband’s birthday is in February. The anniversary of my father’s passing is an February AND my father’s birthday is also in February.

Over the years I have been given many angels. Soon after I wrote TO PAP WITH LOVE, I had a dream in which I was a pilot on a Blue Angel plane. I didn’t tell any of my children about the dream but that Christmas I received three sets of angels. One set of three are about 4″ angels playing a long flute. The second set of three look like icicles playing instruments. The third set is angel wings.

When I was young I bought a small set of six angels playing instruments. The year after I received the three sets of angels there is what I refer to as an angel skirmish. When I placed an angel on the tree they fell off. Over and over again. I’ve was NOT HONORING my older angels. Placing the new ones on first. I’ve learned my lesson, THAT NO LONGER HAPPENS.

Over the years I have added to my angel collection — four dogs and one cat. I have not gone back in time to add angels for all of our pets that have passed. At times I have added an angel to remember a friend that passed. I bought a motorcycle for my husband this year.

I won’t bore you with a list of all the angels that are on our tree. I don’t know if I found them all but I just counted 16 more. We added red and white miniature lights. Seven red roses are spaced in various places.

A friend suggested I do a tree with masks for the celebration in New Orleans. Leprechauns for St Patrick’s day. Eggs for Easter. Firecrackers and flags for Independence day. All great ideas but I think the tree will come down after my father’s birthday.

BEFUDDLED AGAIN

I admitted that I finally realized that I walk to a different drummer. Over the last 25 years, since my father passed, I learned that I have crossed a bridge — I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK. Remembering when I was young, I wanted to be normal. The scars from the fire were very prominent and I had a hard time making friends. I don’t know if I ever was normal, I know I’m not now. AND I’M EXTREMEMLY GRATEFUL.

Over the last 25 years, I have received “help” from “my friends in high places.” I have become better at acknowledging their “help.” The second book I wrote JOURNEY WITH ME contains 29 stories of the lessons I’d learned. I have been writing this blog for over 5 years. Well over 400 thought rambles, each describing a “new” experience.

Why am I going on and on about this? Good question. This time I have an answer. January 6, Epiphany,
“Little Christmas” I planned to meet my youngest daughter at the airport to transfer her dogs who had kept us company for a week. I phoned the airline, actually spoke to a person because the computer could not find the flight. Disconnecting from the call, I checked to make sure the cell phone had kept the phone number. A message crossed the screen: “Jesus calling. I am Your Lord! Trust me. ” There were a few more words to finish the sentence but they disappeared quickly and I COULD NOT FIND THEM AGAIN. “AMAZED. BEWILDERED. DUMBFOUNDED.” There are no words to express my feelings. HOW? WHY? WHAT?

To say that it made an impression on me is an understatement. Since my husband joined my team at the end of October, my life has become even more interesting. Evidently he learned that I REALLY need “their help.” And he is up to the job. As much as I’m trying to be strong, I’m floundering.

Yesterday, I discovered a black and white cutout of a picture of my husband and our dog resting on his chest, on top of a purse. ?? Where did it come from? I was happy to find it.

Today from a stack of CD’s, I randomly picked “Alone In IZ World.” Brought back good memories. My first trip to Hawaii and Kawai was with my husband. We went to Pearl Harbor. His oldest brother was on one of the ships, thankfully surviving the attack. At 4:00 AM a rooster woke me to greet the sun. My husband got sea sick sitting in a restaurant watching the waves. I discovered IZ’s world. His songs have greeted me each time I have returned to Hawaii. The album contains “Over The Rainbow.” It also contains “In this Life I was Loved By you.” Popcorn tears! The album ends with IZ’s reflection on how important oxygen is to life and his embarrassment in connection to the tank.

THANK YOU!

LITTLE BY LITTLE

Celebrating the first holidays without the man of the house has been difficult. I will acknowledge that I am extremely LUCKY. I know I have “friends in high places” that “help” me with my life. I also know that my husband has joined the team. He “helped” me with my Christmas shopping. The present I found for my son was right on target. My son was VERY HAPPY when he saw the charger that works not only with electronic equipment, it also starts a car.

Before Christmas I traveled to our daughter’s house in Central Illinois. I took Robin with me. She cried when we stopped at the first rest stop. It was finally open after being closed for over a year for remodeling. I don’t know if she was tired of riding in the car, really had to go or hoping we would find “her man.” I stopped in to use the facilities and talked to the woman in charge. She had a major problem and I didn’t know how to help her. Her sister had lived with her for many years and recently passed. She had a blood clot in her lungs and was on a high rate of oxygen. She died without a will, insurance or having added her sister to her bank account. Her sister was responsible for paying the bills without the resources to do so. I suggested she try to get help from the minister at her church or the elected officials in her town. I was EXTREMELY glad that I wasn’t in her shoes.

As is my practice I stopped at Wal-Mart . While I was waiting in line to pay for my purchases, a veteran wearing a Desert Storm hat got behind me. As is also my practice — I started talking to him — I thanked him for his service and must have mentioned that my husband had recently passed over. He shared that he lost his wife eight years ago. “You know she is with you”, I replied. “Yes”, he replied. “She turns off the television regularly on me”. I really hoped “my team” hadn’t overheard that. When we returned home, I was watching the public station in Indiana. John Legend was soon talking on the program (??) Without my help the television changed to a regular channel, a program awarding individuals for their world wide service. I told the story to a friend of mine and she replied “You know who was ALWAYS changing the channels for you.” And she was right. My husband often watched more than one program at a time. “Thanks, honey.”

RECOGNIZING SPIRIT

RECOGNIZING SPIRIT

Loss is a hard feeling to deal with. Especially when the person who has crossed over is very close to your heart. I am EXTREMEMLY LUCKY. When my father passed over more than twenty years ago, he sent me a message that he remembered me. I was alert enough at that time to recognize it. And that has made all the difference. Now I’ll admit that my mother has probably been active in my life for many years. But she was skilled in her activities. My father is skilled too, BUT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HIM THAT HE LET ME KNOW HE WAS FINE.

I wrote once that I’ve crossed a bridge. Over the years I have received many lessons from my “spirit team.” I have detailed many of those experiences in my book JOURNEY WITH ME. In fact I was reminded of the book recently when I sent an e-mail to my family, giving them homework — to read a chapter a day or a week –to remind them how spirit interacts with our lives. Their grief was very visible.

Thankfully my husband also sent me a message after he passed. Thankfully he is often with me at home and when I am out and about. I recently crossed paths with a gentleman who is 102. He was shopping at the store, not using a cane or a motorized cart. He wants to live to be 105. That same day I met a woman who is taking care of her handicapped husband. They watched a movie together and he laughed. He thanked her. He was glad that he could still laugh. We talked for a short while. During the conversation she told me she saw her deceased father sitting in the back of a car. I saw the spirit of a dog who had recently passed run through our house but I don’t normally see things. I don’t “see” things when I meditate either. My daughter confirmed that I’m not visual.

I like to have presents under the tree for my family for Christmas. They don’t need to be large or expensive, just a little surprise. I wanted a present for our son. Nothing called his name when I was looking for a gift. He had already announced that neither of us needed anything. And he is right! That doesn’t solve my problem! Until my husband went shopping with me and I found the perfect present. It would have been perfect for my husband if he was still alive. Hopefully it will be perfect for my son.

When my husband was alive, shopping was NOT his favorite activity. Especially when I wanted to visit many stores. I don’t know if his feeling for shopping has changed but I love RECOGNIZING HIS HELP.

QUEST

I love Christmas. I love decorating the house — over the years we have had garlands hanging from many places. Our tree has so many ornaments it is hard to see the branches. Garlands with lights wind their way up our stairs. I added garlands to our front porch., wreaths to both our front and back porches. I added ornaments to the back yard.

Christmas for me is more than presents. We have always had limited funds so my purchasing reflects that. I have made many presents over the years. Since I like to bake, cookies have also become gifts.

Since my husbands passing, I’m not sure how much I’ll be doing this year. We have a Thanksgiving Memorial tree up. Our granddaughter and our Great did most of the decorating. Many angels are on our tree. After my father passed, I had a dream in which I was a pilot for the Blue Angels. I DID NOT SHARE MY DREAM. That year, for Christmas I received THREE SETS OF ANGELS from our children. The next year, there was a skirmish between my newest angels and the set of 6 small angels I bought when I was in high school. I gave my granddaughter the story of Wings to read in my book Journey With Me before asking her to place the small angels at the top of the trip. She wanted to know if I was setting her up, they had already hung some angels on the tree. I told her she was safe — I HADN’T PUT ANY ANGELS UP.

Since that day, I have added many of our angels to the tree. I remember not only friends but many of our cats and dogs. I have many ornaments from the travels with my husband. I already had an ornament celebrating his fishing. I NEEDED AN ANGEL — for him.

Therefore the QUEST. I DID NOT access the internet. In fact, although I mentioned my quest to my children, I didn’t ask them to find something for me. I attended the German Market downtown but no ornament called his name. A few years ago he had purchased a lovely red bird for me. I already had an owl.

A few years ago he renewed his love of ham radio, that was an option. Another option was an old car. He had a 1964 Lincoln Capri that was being restored. We already had an ornament celebrating a motor home that we lost in the tornado. Then I remembered the motorcycles. I went to Las Vegas for work and bought a Harley Davis miniature for him. Advancing age had convinced him to sell his bike but an a good day he still wanted to ride. Our son said his Dad was out riding a bike in heaven. And I found a green Hog for him. Is it a Harley? Does it matter?

I don’t know how much decorating I will do this year. I think I have decided to put the lights on the porch and possibly up the stairs in the house. I’ve decided that I will make a few of our favorite cookies. I haven’t put all the ornaments on the tree. Nor have I bought Christmas cards.

Since I rediscovered my thought ramble Learning The Ropes, I have changed the name of my “friends in high places” to my spirit team. I have NO IDEA who is helping me at any given moment. And I WELCOME THE HELP!

MISSING YOU

My husband is Robin’s main person. Although my son and I are important in her life, my husband is alpha. He seldom leaves for a long time without her. Except last week HE DID!

My husband spent five days with our grandson at his house so he could attend a daytime camp. His sister was at a week camp close to our campground. Because of her migraines, her mother felt she should
be close by in case she was needed. Although my husband felt I should go with him so I could cook, I declined. I stayed at the campground instead and kept our daughter company.

After my husband left, Robin took up a post by the camper door, watching for him. If she went out on the deck, she took up her post by the gate. Watching, waiting. EVERY DAY.

Robin is very particular about her food. Since my husband wasn’t home, I decided to try to make spareribs and sauerkraut in the slow cooker. The aroma must have been delicious. Robin decided she wasn’t going to eat her food until she received some of the stuff I had been cooking. When I finished eating, I pulled off some of the meat, sprinkled it on her food and shared. I had enough for two days of meals. Then I froze enough for two more meals.

I was under orders. My husband DID NOT WANT me to go out into the garden unsupervised. He was concerned that I would have trouble. For a change, I listened. I found a mystery book — one of my favorite authors and spent the time reading. I also made it a point to take Robin for a car ride every night.

Slowly, day by day the five days passed. My husband decided he would drive back on Friday night. Our grandson decided he would ride back with him.

Words can NOT describe the happiness that Robin experienced when she saw my husband’s car. Faster than the speed of light she ran. Around and around, back and forth, she sped. Then they went for a car ride together.

After my husband returned, our daughter shared a program she heard about dogs on the news. It concerned separation anxiety — many of the dogs experienced a time when their favorite person DID NOT RETURN. Robin is a rescue, she might have had a favorite person NOT return.

NOTE: I reheated one of the sparerib dinners from the freezer. Robin DID NOT eat her own food until I shared!

DOG SITTING

Our plans for July changed. Because of the change in plans our youngest daughter asked if we could watch their dogs while they went on vacation. Watching their dogs at our home is no problem because we have a fenced in yard. Watching the dogs in the country is a little harder. None of the property is fenced, leaving acres of open land for running.

To make life more interesting, the temperature for the week reached an all time high. Night time temps were maybe 70, daytime hit the high 90’s with humidity adding to the discomfort. Feel like temperature was in the triple digits. The air was very still, barely a breeze.

We weren’t alone. Most of the neighboring states had a high heat warning. Dangerous temperatures for the young and the elderly. My husband and I learned our lesson the year before when high temperatures made us aware that we needed to be more careful. Sun screen was advised for the dog’s paws.

We have a large fenced deck, partially shaded by a roof. The ceiling fan keeps the air moving making it comfortable to sit outside unless it is really hot.

Thankfully we have a working air conditioner and working fans. The dogs didn’t like the hot weather either. They were very happy to remain inside in the cooler air. We had two lines on the deck to attach to their collars when they needed to be outside, off the deck.

Luna is a growing black Lab who is full of energy. She likes to be up before 6 and have her breakfast. She is a good alarm clock. She also makes a good rug, sleeping by my side of the bed on the floor. She thought the bed would be more comfortable but we didn’t agree. She is too strong for me to walk her.

Tessa, on the other hand, is a smaller, lighter King Charles Spaniel who believes she NEEDS to SLEEP with us. Since she is smaller, she almost squeezed through the slats on our porch to chase rabbits. She did escape one time and had a lovely run. It was in the early evening, and I watched a black streak passing up the hill. Thankfully she returned when the rabbit escaped.

In the morning, after I let the dogs out on their rope, I served breakfast. Then Robin and I went for a walk. Next it was Tessa’s turn. Luna watched from the grass, keeping an eye on our progress.

HARMONICA

My father loved to play the harmonica. Thinking back, I really can’t remember the songs he played. I’m sure they were old favorites. My grandmother was a very religious woman — Methodist or ?. I’m sure she would NOT have allowed modern music. A music radio station played religious songs all day. Our dogs did NOT like the sound of the harmonica, it hurt their ears. So Dad did not play it often.

Why am I remembering his playing now. That is easy to say this morning. Yesterday I went downtown to the Blues Fest. I did NOT recognize any of the names of the performers. The transit worker at the train station told me that Friday had the best music. I thought I might stay later than planned.

Listening to the weather on TV before I left, I heard that it was 60 by the lake. I dressed for cool — sweat shirt and heavier jacket. I try not to carry a purse so I loaded up the jacket pockets with necessary items. I restricted myself to no credit card and only $10 in cash. My knees were yelling — Motrin and cream were necessary. This was Chicago’s 36 year hosting the Blues Fest. I LOVE MUSIC! I didn’t go for many of the years. Then I realized that the possibility of my husband going with me was slim and if I was going to go — I had to go by myself. My pins date back to 2007.

I ALWAYS have a good time. I knew that if I stayed home, I would be unhappy with myself. Sore knees, cool temperatures, I was going. It was NOT as cold as I heard on the TV. I was ROASTING! I would have bought a tee shirt BUT I didn’t bring enough money, no credit card either.

I found a comfortable place under a tent, with chairs! The sides were pulled back to let in the breeze. I did NOT recognize the performer but I was comfortable. One of my favorite sounds in the blues is the harmonica (harp). Credit goes to my father. The musician Grady Champion was a joy to listen to. As a matter of fact, when his set was over, I was ready to go home.

I decided to refill my water bottle and stop in the bathroom before the trip home. The program at the bandshell started at 5. Since it was after 4, I decided to listen a bit before going home. I had trouble understanding the words in the tent, I was hoping the sound system at the bandshell would be better. IT WAS!

Not only was the sound better, I could understand the words. My sweatshirt and jacket came in handy. I was comfortable. I got a fantastic surprise. The artist: Charlie Musselwhite was a MASTER at his craft. He played the harp EXTREMELY well. I would easily have bought one of his CD’s if I had cash or a credit card. I stayed for the entire set. Before leaving, I bucked the line to tell him how much I enjoyed his playing.

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