Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘GIFTS’

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.

THANKS DAD

I have learned that usually I am in the right place — at the right time — to either help someone or be helped in return. Sometimes I notice it more when it is a birthday, or a holiday. It doesn’t matter if the birthday is on this side or on the other. I knew my father’s birthday was approaching. Except when it arrived, I thought it was the next day. OOPS! It was only when I arrived home and looked at the date, I realized my error. and I have to give credit where it is deserved.

We journeyed South to our daughter’s to watch their children and I stopped at Wal-Mart to get some needed supplies. While there — I spotted a lovely dress with a lace over shrug. The price was right, they had the dress in my size but I didn’t have the time to try it on. While at the store I picked up a sleeping aid. A heavy woman was in the same aisle taking advantage of their driving carts. We struck up a conversation and I shared the brands that I have success with. She shared that her arthritis pain often kept her awake at night. It was only after I left the aisle that I remembered an essential oil roll-on that gives me success. Returning to the aisle, I shared more information.

I returned to Wal-Mart a few days later and was surprised to see that they still had the dress in my size. In fact, they had two different colors. This time my husband was with me. He liked the white lace better. Trying them on, they both fit. I’m have a short torso so Junior sizes fit me better. Even if I’m successful and lose weight, the dresses should still fit. My husband thought I should get both of them and for a change I listened.

I picked up a four pack of Merlot to enjoy a glass of wine at night. The check out clerk asked to see my ID. I was THRILLED! Really, I actually look young? (Of course it is the stores policy to check ALL wine and beer sales.) But then the warm feeling spread. When she saw my age she told me that the date must have been wrong — I couldn’t be that old!

When I returned to our daughter’s and saw the date, I knew where those roses came from. “Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks.”

Our granddaughter’s birthday is in the same week. We stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch before going to a place of amusement. She was wearing a brand new, sparkly shirt and wasn’t at all happy when mustard spilled on the shirt. “Mustard stains!” She was in luck, the woman in the booth behinds us shared her Tide to Go stick. Four hours later when I soaked the shirt in cold water and used soap, most of the stain washed away.

A Tide To Go stick has to be one of my wandering companions.

When “my editors ” approve of what I have written, the thought ramble saves quickly. Today’s delay reminded me that I had EXTRA “HELP” this morning. I planned to go to the store but all of a sudden my tummy started acting up. I realized that I needed to take a time out before going. It was really a good thing that I did. On Sunday, the grocery store was featuring Paczki, a Polish treat only made once a year — before Lent. I bought a box to treat our grandchildren. They liked them so much, I planned to get more today. When I arrived at the store, the table was bare. When I inquired, I learned that they had just finished baking and were being packaged as we spoke. THANK YOU!

IMAGES

I have been told many times that I have talents that I don’t use. No hints have been given as to what those talents are. I just keep muddling through — trying to do the best that I can. I have shared that I try to meditate, but only on a very rare occasion do I get an image or connection. Exactly what is supposed to occur when you meditate? I don’t know. Sometimes I will get an image, sometimes I will see light — blue, yellow, clear. Most of the time I have a blank screen where nothing happens. But sometimes I get a surprise.

I was at Botanical Garden — enjoying the sunshine, the breeze, the day. It was cool — jacket needed, I was glad my hat could be fastened. The daffodils were still in bloom, crab apple trees waiting for warmer weather. The waterfall was running. I stopped to catch my breathe and listen to the running water. Before I sat down, I read a note about the cherry trees that the Japanese government had given to Washington DC and also The Botanic Garden.

Sitting on a bench to rest, I closed my eyes and watched as a gray image dressed in ceremonial garb came towards me. The image stopped within touching distance — too close if it would have been an actual person. I was surprised by the image, and although I tried to discern more about it — the image disappeared before I could tell if it was male or female, and what the garments actually were. I just had the impression they weren’t normal American clothing.

From the waterfall, I wandered to the Japanese Garden. I usually try to stop and watch with closed eyes (meditate?) at one of the secluded areas but the Garden was too busy to try. As is my practice, I wandered over to the island, crossing the bridge through the wooded area, visiting my favorite places, talking to others and taking pictures.

At the end of the wooded area, in the sunshine, protected from the wind, I stopped again on a bench — closing my eyes. I was amazed to watch many gray figures wander past. I don’t remember most of them, but one was a farmer in overalls with a woman walking with him. They were proceeding down the path, heading for the entrance. I watched for a minute, then decided that maybe it was time to leave.

I stopped for a bite to eat at the cafe. Since it was a beautiful day, I wanted to sit outside. An oriental couple were leaving as I looked for an empty table. “Thank You” my response to my world. I saw a young woman looking for a place to sit. Everything was taken, so she sat on the bench by the fence. Since I was alone, I asked her to join me. SURPRISE (not really)– the woman was Japanese, a teacher who taught the Japanese language to her students in a high school.

Warm Fuzzies

I’m writing this thought ramble on Saint Patrick’s day, the leprechauns were running around this morning. Actually, I think it was my mother saying “hello.” I stopped in the bathroom this morning with my bible in my hand. I planned to use the time well. My bible flew out of my hand, landing upside down, dislodging a little booklet of “Little Francis Love Notes.” I was born on St. Francis’s feast day and the booklet had completely disappeared from my memory. My immediate response was “Hi Mom”, since she has Irish ancestry.

I took Robin for her morning walk. On the way, we met a black Lab puppy. Both the puppy and Robin enjoyed the run. I will admit that I took Robin off the leash so both adults had a chance. The puppy is still too young to be trusted with her freedom.

A little later, I opened Queen Of Angels to “Angels As Confidants And Playmates”. My finger landed on my father’s memorial card. “Hi Dad!” After all, even though my father is Swedish, it is a FAMILY affair.

I don’t often know who is out and about. This morning it was pretty evident. Sadly I didn’t really get a chance to know my mother. I was only four when she passed. I also don’t know if I had any experiences after the fire that would be the cause of some of my talents or abilities. When I was young, it was dangerous for anyone to acknowledge special talents. I have listened to many authors who have explained their challenges in their early years. Thankfully times have changed and special gifts are no longer judged unfairly.

I have been told that I have more gifts that I don’t use. If I do, hopefully I will recognize them eventually. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the special things that occur and share them so that you will know that more things can happen besides pennies and dimes, butterflies and birds. While the world is our oyster, it is also theirs – they have more talents available to them.

Little Francis’s Love Notes ends with a drawing and these words: “I can’t fill God’s shoes, but I can follow His steps. I can handle one step at a time.” I can only add, “I’m trying!”

VISIT

I’ve already shared that I start the day with a reading from the bible, followed by a reading from Queen Of Angels. Tuesday I opened the bible to Jeremiah 46 — “The message which the Lord gave to the prophet Jeremiah.” I opened Queen of Angels to — “Do I recognize this time of my visitation?” Did I pay special attention to these readings? Good question — answer “NO”.

It was a shopping day — my husband needed prescription refills. While at the store I decided that I would down load the pictures from my camera, get ready for Christmas. The machine DID NOT recognize the film. Neither did the other two machines that I tried. Going back to the first machine that had been successful in the past, I put the film in, which promptly fell to the floor. The film is a micro, very tiny. Immediately I was concerned — was the film damaged? Had I lost all my pictures? Evidently the fall woke the film up, the photos loaded onto the machine — over two hundred. After I chose the hard copy photos, ordered the DVD, I learned that the photo machines were down. Copies would take longer to process. When I shared my experience to a friend at the store, she remarked, “You know what was going on don’t you?” I will admit that I wasn’t surprised when I was told the printers were acting up. I didn’t necessarily put one and one together.

The rest of the shopping trip followed suit. My husband and I stopped at Fed X to make copies of the Christmas Letter. Then we stopped at a grocery store. It isn’t my normal shopping place — I only needed coffee and flour. Four shopping bags later — not only did I have coffee and flour, I had Dreamfield elbow macaroni, which is very hard to find and other supplies which were also on sale. After all, Christmas is coming and I have cookies to bake. I’m going to have to visit this store more often.

We stopped for lunch at a fast food place — wraps were the special of the day. One of the choices was Greek. When I inquired, I learned it was a gyro in a wrap. It was delicious, it was huge, half of it went home with me.

We returned to Costco to see if the pictures were ready. They were! Walking to our car, I found a couple of evergreen branches on the pavement. I LOVE the smell of evergreens, they came home with me. We have an artificial tree.

We stopped at the pet supply store — they had a new flavor in a brand that I buy for Robin — Merrick Great Plains Red Recipe — Robin LOVED IT — out of the bag, no cheese added.

We stopped at Trader Joes. I mentioned to the person running the samples that I looked for Fried Mushrooms with out success. As I was standing in line, he came out with two bags of frozen mushrooms, that had just come in. One was my fried mushrooms — it came home with me.

Arriving home, I was greeted by a huge poinsettia plant on the table, a gift from our neighbors.

Did I have a visitation that day? I know so!

STILL COUNTING

It dawned on me after I posted COUNTING that I left out a part that was of “help” to me this holiday season. I LOVE to cook — not gourmet — just plain, family style fare. After cooking almost daily for more years than I wish to count, I’m running out of ideas. Of course, the food would also have to be stuff my family would eat. Not as easy as it sounds.

I have more friends in high places this year who also liked to cook. Are they helping to enlighten me? Good question — no answer. Recently I received three recipes that are a hit. One is for chicken in a crockpot. That recipe was on Facebook. A cookie recipe was on the afternoon news. A third for apple pie bites was on a cooking show. All three — from various sources that I don’t always frequent — were a hit with my family. I didn’t plan to get together with a friend before Christmas but suddenly I had a free day and she did too. We stopped in a grocery store where I learned that ham with a $25 purchase for other food was only 79 cents a pound. Ham is a favorite of our family. The sell date was February. I couldn’t pass up the savings. Maybe I should mention that this wasn’t the first time that I have chanced on a deal for ham. Let me say “thank you” just in case I forgot.

Very quiet Christmas morning, walking to Mass behind a family of four. The father whistled a Christmas song as he walked. By now, if you have read many of my rambles, you know I enjoy music. I enjoyed tagging behind the family. Music was abundant at church as well. I attend an early morning Mass. The music director and the cantor where accompanied not only by an organ or piano but also TWO horns, and a violin. This was their first Mass of the day with three more to follow. There were three Masses on the Eve. I didn’t expect the extra accompaniment. The church with the manger and trees with lights was beautiful. On the way home a flock of large birds landed in a neighboring tree. As I wondered who they were, I heard a crow caw. Question answered.

My mother passed over when I was four. I’m confident she has been behind the scenes for all of my years. She was smart and kept her involvement hidden — or I was purposely blocked until my father passed over and let the cat out of the bag. The house we are living in, although in the city, is perfect for us. It was only a mile away from my husband’s job. He didn’t have a long commute every day. It was in an affordable German neighborhood. The neighborhood is no longer affordable — I never dreamed I would be living in a neighborhood that had million dollar houses. It is close to shopping, the lake and I can get downtown via public transportation. It is big enough to shelter my growing family when they come to town. Over a hundred years old, it would not compete with the more expensive houses. Was my mother involved in our search for a house? Many good questions. No answers. And do I really need the question answered?

Still counting my gifts, my family tops the list. I could keep counting my gifts but this ramble is long enough already. It would probably help if I kept a daily list of the many gifts that come my way. That way I might remember but if history repeats itself, I’ll get busy, think I will remember, and forget.

COUNTING

I have trouble coming up with titles. Two I thought of for this ramble were already used. I suppose I could just start numbering them, and stop naming them but what fun is that?

Once upon a time it was easy to buy presents for me. But that was once upon a time. Now when asked what I would like — I have no answer. I would like to have health — but that is not something that can be purchased. I would like energy — but caffeine doesn’t provide it, except it keeps me awake if I drink coffee too late, sometimes sugar has the same effect. I would like my body parts to work better, with less pain — but I really don’t want an operation. Of course, losing weight would help. What am I waiting for? I surely am not getting younger.

When I wrote our Christmas letter, I noted the amount of snow we had. I also noted the amount of rainy days in the summer. As I write this, it is still 2014. This ramble will publish after the new year. I don’t know what presents will come my way this year. Christmas hasn’t arrived yet. But I have already received quite a few presents.

Last Sunday I overslept. I normally go to the Mass at 7:30 when we are in town. It is hard to do when I wake after 7:00. Rather than rushing, I decided I would go to 9:00. During Mass, our pastor apologized for the coolness of the church. Evidently there were problems with the furnace but the heat was starting to come up. The early Mass was even colder. Many people were coughing in the church. I’m doing my best to try to stay healthy. I was glad that I overslept. Thank You!

One of my favorite hymns is Ave Maria. When I was young, I was in the church choir and we sang for weddings. That hymn was one we always sang. At the end of Mass, we were treated to a lovely rendition of Ave Maria, the cantor had a lovely voice. Thank you!

It has been many days since we have had sunshine in the city. We have been wrapped in a cloud cover that was so comfortable — it didn’t move. The weather reports showed photos from other places where the sun was shining. The number of sunless days were counted and announced but I guess I didn’t like the numbers — I didn’t write them down. Yesterday morning, I noticed a tiny bit of brightness when I took Robin for an early morning walk. I wished I had a camera so I could capture my own picture of the sky. By the time we reached home, the cloud cover had closed in. BUT at 9:00 A.M. I noticed blue skies. Our older daughter called to tell me the sun had returned. The noon weather report announced 203 minutes of sunshine. To celebrate, we took Robin to the dog beach. Wrapping the present, we had temperatures in the 50’s. Thank you!

Sometimes I don’t notice the gifts that come my way. I’m too busy and take things for granted. Shopping recently, I searched for plastic cookie tins without success. I asked a person working in the department and he knew exactly where the LAST set was located. Often when I ask for help, it is provided by employees of the store or a fellow shopper walking by. I seem to be shrinking and not able to reach the top shelves in the stores.

As the new year progresses, I wish you health. May you be aware of the many gifts that come your way that can not be purchased.

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