Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘FRIENDS’

SEARCH

Since the end of February my husband has been searching for a new car to replace our Taurus. The Taurus is a 2001, with over 200,000 miles. It has served us well and I’m not really ready to get rid of it. But my husband is concerned on many issues. First it is the mileage on the car. Second it is my trouble getting in and out of the car. My knees don’t work as well as they used to. It takes me longer to get out of the car.

He has been searching for a SUV. He thinks I would have an easier time getting in and out of the car. The Internet and the computer has made the search more interesting. Not only can he look up the make, model and mileage of the car. He can also see the rating of the dealer.

For many reasons I have NOT been in a hurry to get a new car. First of course is money. Our budget is already strained and car payments would not be easy. I spent some time examining our resources and really did NOT come up with a good solution. Our son suggested to his sister’s that they help us get a new car. His suggestion was picked up by one of our daughter’s and my worries concerning money ended.

Still searching my husband spoke to a couple of car mechanics whom he trusted. They shared their knowledge, removing a couple of cars from my husband’s list. Cost of repairs being one.

And the search continued. I planned to go with my husband to look at a couple of the cars he found. The day he picked to go hunting, I only had three hours sleep and I was TIRED. Our son went with him instead. He said it worked out to their advantage because they told the salesman that I had to approve the car and I wasn’t with them. Therefore no high power sales pitch.

As it worked out, I wasn’t with my husband when he bought our new car. We were visiting our daughter in Central Illinois. After shopping in horse country, I stopped at a local store to get some supplies. My husband spoke to the woman in the car next to him. She used to sell cars and recommended he talk to a friend of hers at the Ford dealership. She spoke highly of the Ford Escape which was on his list.

I was tired from shopping when he and my daughter went to look at the cars. They came home with a beautiful red Escape. I had the pleasure of driving it half way home. I probably could have driven the whole way but once again I was TIRED! We stopped at the Ford dealership to get some information. I met the saleswoman and shared information on some of the things that is helping my arthritis: Arthocin, bone broth and tart cherry juice. I also saw a flyer on the play: Sound Of Music, at a high school in their area. Our granddaughter was singing one of the songs when we visited.

I LOVE shopping with our friends in high places. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

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LOST GIRL

Don’t be alarmed. This thought ramble is not about a person who is actually missing. It is about me. I wonder who I was in the seventies.

What brought this up? You might ask. The answer is very simple. While our son was on a cruise with his sister and niece, I took advantage of the time and cleaned out the space under the stairs going to the attic. I found MANY TREASURES. So many in fact we scheduled a run to the Salvation Army store. Our trunk was completely FILLED. And now there is more stuff ready to go.

It must have been in the seventies. My father was attending a weekly auction. He also had rented a space at the flea market. He picked up stuff to sell. He stored the stuff under the stairs going to the attic. I just FOUND 3 lamps. I also found a bag of wrapped beverage glasses. The glasses are fine, the bag ripped when I picked it up. They are now waiting in a box to go to a new home.

I found a football. I found a basket ball. I found 5 rolling suitcases and a suit bag. Some stuff left. Some stuff remained. When we were in square dancing, I made many of our outfits. I found bags upon bags of material. A woman of many talents I found zodiac signs embroidered in yarn — not a complete set — 5 or 6 finished. I have NO IDEA what plans I had for them.

I also found bags upon bags of yarn. Some contained projects that were in the works but not finished — a western vest? Lovely wool! A cobalt blue sweater, with huge needles, not finished. The magazines for both projects packed with the yarn.

I also found an interesting dazzle yarn coat — fringe — tied in the webbing. The colors are BRIGHT — hot pink, orange, golden yellow, avocado green made to fit a much smaller person than I am now. I couldn’t get rid of it then, I can’t get rid of it now. I have NO IDEA what possessed me to make it. The coat is FINISHED. Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon — I have changed. I used to be very shy, not going out of my way to speak to people. I’m definitely NOT that person now. I can’t imagine myself, in the 70’s wearing that coat. If it fit, I don’t know if I would have the courage to wear that coat now!

In the 70’s, I wasn’t aware of the extra gifts I possessed. My father was alive and healthy. We had four children. I was working, adding to household money. We had a camper, escaping to the country on weekends. Recently my husband realized that I have been a caretaker all my life. And he is absolutely right! My mother, brother and others were probably busy helping behind the scenes but I was unaware of their presence.

On a beautiful Saturday, I took a walk to our park. I’m still trying to increase the number of steps to be ready for Hawaii. I heard music on the air and searched for the source. A retired gentleman was playing an alto sax. A woman was standing near by when I approached and told her I was going to interrupt his playing. I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed it.

He has only been playing for 6 years. It was one of the things he wanted to learn to do when he retire. He also thought about writing. I mentioned that I was a writer, by this time the woman had joined us. She was a professional writer, writing for magazines and a newspaper. When I mentioned my crazy coat, she remembered that fringed yarn was all the rage in the 70’s. Answer — I guess that is why I made the coat?

AFRICAN VIOLET UPDATED

AFRICAN VIOLET UPDATED

This thought ramble was written and published before. Of course, I had forgotten I wrote it and was surprised when I saw the title, already used. Since I like what I had written. I decided that updating was an option.

SPRING is poking its head around the corner. The winter of 2019 has been LONG, COLD, ICY! I have been restricted to the house because of the ice. FINALLY the ice path in our back yard has MELTED. Remembering to water the African violet I was surprised to see flowers. In the past, I think it has waited until June to bloom. It is still March. Usually it might have one blossom, at the most two. This year it has SIX. Thank You Muscles. (Now you know why an addition was called for.)

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.

PUSHED

I have always LOVED to walk. As a teenager, it was nothing to walk over 5 miles in a day. I’ll attribute it to my maternal grandmother. She didn’t know how to drive, nor did she have a car. In Wisconsin, we walked everywhere unless we hitchhiked. I continued to walk a lot after we had children. I regularly walked three miles at the camper in the morning. That is until about three years ago when my knees became a problem. Since then I’m lucky if I get 5,000 steps a day. If I’m honest I’ll admit that mostly it is 3,000 or less.

Then I found a note book from 2017 in which I wrote details from our trip to Hawaii. We enjoyed walking from Waikiki beach down the ocean front, looking for turtles, back to our time share. It wasn’t unusual to log over 14,000 steps a day. We are going again this year. My son has reminded me that I won’t be happy if I have to sit on a chair and watch the world go by.

I have increased the number of steps from 3,000 — 4,000 January, February to 6,000 — 7,000 March. That is a LONG WAY from 14,000. Thankfully my knees aren’t the problem that they were. I wish I could say that my weight was down. That would be LOVELY. Because of the ice, I’ve been walking more in the house. I’ve have been trying to get at least 3,000 before going upstairs. Now that I’ve increased the total, 7,000 this week, I have had to increase the amount– trying for 4,000 before going upstairs. I was amazed when I easily reached 7,000 every night.

I try to walk at every commercial. Since most of the time I’m not watching a public channel, there are a lot of commercials. I also try to do stretches before going to bed. Once I reach 7,000, the rest of the night is mine and I don’t push. Will I get the number of steps up to 10,000 EVERY DAY? Good question — no answer. I’ll admit that 7,000 is easier than 5,000 was.

Losing weight? I wish! I write down the food I eat every day. Except for minor treats — wine, popcorn — I don’t eat junk. I don’t know if I get the recommended number of fruit and vegetables into my diet every day but I don’t fill the space with bread, or candy or pop. I read, with interest, the new recommended diet that will help you lose 40lbs in 30 days. I look at the food they recommend. For the most part, those foods are in my diet. I don’t have a lot of (junk food) to give up. Increasing my exercising hasn’t helped either.

On a different note: I am ALWAYS so HAPPY when I realize I have “friends from high places” helping me shop. Recently I was at Costco, searching for Mountain Dew. UNSUCCESSFULLY! I asked a uniform person working in the freezer but he wasn’t part of Costco’s staff. A shopper (Costco employee in disguise) heard my question and came to my aid. There was ONLY ONE CASE of Mountain Dew left, he knew where it was and retrieved it for me. THANK YOU!

IMPORTANT DATES

There are 352 days in the year. For some reason, some days are more important than others. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays head the list. So are the dates of passing. Yesterday was the anniversary of the fire — passing of my mother and brother. It has been 70 years since they passed.

If I hadn’t remembered myself – the events of the week would have reminded me. If there is a better way of describing the events that occur in my life, at the moment it is hiding. One of my descriptions is BLOCKS. It doesn’t matter what I try to do, I CAN’T. I might be trying to write and can’t think. I might be trying to use the computer and it won’t work. I might be trying to cook and run into obstacles. I might have had something in my hand, put it down and it hides.

January 13, my computer would not connect to the internet. I asked my son for help and he said the internet was running, he had no problem. I tried to connect to a meditation and was prevented. I finally figured out that the BLOCKS were on. I don’t know why, I’m constantly reminded to meditate but that one is blocked. Too much time? I’m challenged when it comes to meditating. I have learned how to keep my mind blank, clear thoughts but I don’t connect.

No energy this week, I went downtown to drop off paperwork and my camera for cleaning. I stopped into St. Peter’s for Mass. I always pick up the bulletin and read it on my way home. I was reminded that fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. Bible reading today reminded me that in fire gold is tested. This is not the first time that I have heard these things. My scars are a reminder that I have been tested — but I’m not gold. It has taken many years but I now admit that I walk to a different drummer. Some talents have been discovered, many may still be hidden.

I did not know the date of the passing of my mother and brother for many years. It wasn’t necessarily hidden, just never talked about. Sadly, my family didn’t speak about my mother either — maybe it was too painful. Too celebrate January 19 this year, I took the ornaments off of our Christmas tree. Our tree is a memory tree and most of the ornaments have meaning. I knew I had four little metal angels, all playing different instruments. I found three. I usually place them in a grouping, together in the same area. I searched and searched without success.

Sunday, removing the lights, the little missing metal angel fell off the tree holding cymbals. I also found an Irish angel holding a harp. Reminded of my mother and brother, I laughed. My mom was Irish.

GIFTS ACKNOWLEDGED

Naming a thought ramble is becoming harder and harder. I even contemplated numbering them starting with the new year. Then my daughter mentioned it would be harder to find once they were written and not having a title — possibly generating less interest. A gift — constructive help in making a decision. Didn’t help with the title though. Often I receive feedback or information that helps with a decision. Often it is a gift that I don’t acknowledge.

It is easy to recognize gifts that come wrapped in paper — harder to recognize gifts that arrive on the wind or unwrapped. We received an unexpected Christmas card from a friend. Seeing the card, seeing her name brought a smile to my face. Her husband passed a few years ago, they had moved out of our neighborhood and I lost track of them. I still had to write our Christmas letter. A gentle reminder that time is passing.

Often I recognize gifts that are found in the stores — I’m reminded of product I need to buy when I see it in another cart. If the item is on sale, I’m happy. I acquired an instant pot unexpectedly when I found it on sale at Aldi’s. We returned from out of town and we stopped to pick up milk, salad and bread. I noticed the item on their sales sheet. Lovely surprise.

Often I read something that is of benefit to me. Or I hear it on the radio or television. Maybe I meet someone walking down the street or in a store whom I hadn’t seen in a while. All of these are gifts. They bring a smile to my face or laughter.

Filling the car with Gas at Costco has been a challenge the past couple of weeks. The number of cars waiting overflow the lot and wind down the street. When I inquired as to the best time to fill up, I was told before 10:00 or after 6:00. They were getting three truckloads of gas a day. My husband dropped me at the store, and joined the crowd waiting to fill up. Finished shopping, I sat at a table while I waited. A young boy was enjoying his hot dog and we talked about Santa. They left and I invited an older oriental woman to join me. I must have commented on her age and learned we were the same age. I shook her hand and she replied “you look so young.” What a gift. I wasn’t feeling very young when she said that on a cold, dreary winter day. It brought a smile to my face. A gift — forgotten except I wrote myself a note.

Maybe that is the key — write down the unexpected gifts that arrive — beautiful weather or just sunshine after a dreary day, a birds song, a phone call, or meeting on the street, a sale, a compliment — the list goes on and on.

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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