Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘GIFTS’

STILL HONORING THE MAN

I knew my husband was a man of honor. This morning I opened the bible to Job 30. Normally I DON’T LIKE to open to Job. It usually alerts me to rough water. Today was different. “I wore my honesty like a garment.” Christian song early morning reminded me that I am loved. I am extremely fortunate in many ways. Our son moved home more than eight years ago to help his parents. I am not alone in the house. Yesterday it SNOWED. More than 3″. He took care of the steps and the sidewalk. I had started on the steps with a broom — only to quickly discover that there was too much snow on the steps already. I had planned to go to a Veteran ceremony but the snow changed my plans.

My husband enjoyed helping others. He was quick to give away stuff he was no longer using. I’m sure he is happy that the insulin he no longer needed has been given to a couple of people whose finances made getting insulin difficult. His clothes are also going to a couple of out reach places.

I have over 30 photo albums and piles of photos that never made it into an album. I found an album that I had put together using a photo service. I planned to send it to one of my husband’s sisters until I looked at it closely. I made the album when my husband and I returned from a trip back to his home in Maryland. We visited with three of his sisters, enjoyed a visit with his childhood friend and experienced more than a foot of snow arriving on the day we were scheduled to come back home. The pages are full of my memories of the trip. Since it was one of our last trips together, going through the pages with my notes — “A fellow at breakfast told stories of bear hunting. I was concerned that we would be in that area. The fellow told me not to worry. A note on one of the pages not only told the short story, but mentioned the bear hunting checkpoint sign.”

I’ve mentioned that I’m aware that I walk to a different drummer. I’m aware that I receive “help” from my “friends in high places.” I was wondering why I hadn’t noticed “help” from my husband. Sorrow does strange things. This morning I not only remembered my daughter needing a new battery in her car before she returned home. She had used her car with NO PROBLEMS taking her father back and forth to the doctors. She had moved her car in front of the house to make packing easier. She learned a new battery was needed when she planned to leave.

I’m an early riser, soon after my husband passed, I took my pens and books and calendars into the kitchen closing the door to not wake those who were sleeping downstairs. When I went to retrieve my pens they were gone. I remembered I had pens in a valentine box given to me by a dear friend. Opening the box, I found a red silk pouch containing a message. “This represents a: Life, b: Endurance, c: Hope, d: and Change.” It had a drawing of a butterfly and a personal note that I’ll keep private. It accompanied a butterfly magnetic pin. Last present and note I received from a special man.

HONORING THE MAN

It is with great sadness that I share the news that my husband of more than 55 years has passed over to the other side. We learned in September that he had pneumonia, then the mass in his lung was small cell cancer. He survived time in the hospital, kept his humor and quality of life. Chemo and having to wear oxygen began to take its toll. He did not like to wear the oxygen. He did not want to be a burden on me. He did not like the sore throat. He did not like that it hurt to eat. His favorite food became oatmeal with lots of butter, potato soup with lots of butter and chicken noodle soup with LOTS OF BUTTER A friend shared that her sister with cancer liked POTATO SOUP WITH LOTS OF BUTTER.

We applied for and received a handicapped parking placard. We submitted a form for handicapped parking. HE DID NOT NEED EITHER.

Although his body was responding to the chemo, masses were shrinking in his lungs, other parts of his body said this is enough. He passed over in the hospital at 1:18 in the morning. Both my son and daughter were there. They are having trouble sleeping in the one o’clock hour. Nights can be difficult. It depends on the track m y mind wants to take.

At first I was ANGRY. “Why did you leave me?” Then I realized I was being selfish. He DID NOT WANT to be handicapped. HE DID NOT WANT to be a burden on me. HE DID NOT WANT TO have to wear oxygen.

These thoughts and more in the same vein have helped during this time of “PROCESS.” Many things have been delayed. I’m not going to list them. I have been aware of “help” from the other side for many years. Now my husband has joined the team. Is he adding to the merriment. It is hard to tell. The Saturday when our daughter was heading back home, her car wouldn’t start. Although she used her car for trips to the hospital with out any troubles, she NEEDED A NEW BATTERY.

Cell phones and computers have a life of their own. Slowly, very slowly, I’m taking care of business. I’m dotting the i’s and crossing the “t’s”. And tomorrow will be another day.

LOVE THE TIMING

My father passed over more than 25 years ago. He is still very active in my life. My mother passed over when I was four, she still helps me. I wasn’t aware of her help until my father let the cat out of the bag. I think the story is in Journey With Me. Until my father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, I thought I led a normal life. Since I have experienced their “help” on many occasions, I’m more aware.

Last Monday the large locust tree was removed from our back yard. The roots were strangling it and part of the tree had died. The loss of the tree meant that our west facing windows would be exposed to the sunshine ALL afternoon. In the summer those rooms would get very hot.

I like to shop at Aldi’s. I pick up the sales sheet for the next week when I’m in the store. I was very happy when I saw the announcement of energy saving curtains. Since we have an older home, our windows are LARGE. No matter the size of the curtains, I’m confident we can make them work. It will help keeping out the winter cold as well as the summer heat.

Also on the Aldi’s sale sheet was a pressure cooker. I have one at home and find it helpful. Having one at the camper would come in handy when the temperature climbs. Most of my cookbooks are at home. Thankfully I had just purchased a new one — Lose Weight — when we were home. I didn’t have time to investigate so it accompanied us to the camper. I have found a few recipes that I want to try.

Our oldest grandson, with his wife stopped by at the camper on their way to Colorado. They were able to spend a few relaxing days with us until they continued their trip. My radar must have been working. I spotted them fishing at the lake when I returned from town. His wife had caught 4 fish, he had caught 14. Thankfully they had returned the fish to the water so I didn’t have to clean them. Neither of them had the experience cleaning fish.

There is a new buffet out in the country — Pizza Ranch. I LOVE pizza, my husband DOES NOT! Plans were made with our youngest daughter’s family to try the ranch. I severely limited sodium that day to partake in PIZZA. Stopping in the bathroom, I was able to lend an arm to an elderly woman who was having trouble walking. I took her purse and lent her an arm until we reached her male companion.

I have said “Thank You” many times during the past few days.

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.

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.

SINGING

It is hard for me to put my relationship with God in words. To say that He/She has my respect and gratitude is a true statement. To say that I am ALWAYS GRATEFUL is also true. To say that I am obedient to the plans for my life is often up to debate. When I was young, I told God that I would have as many children as He/She gave us. I had three children born and a couple of miscarriages. I said that when the children were in school. That was it, I was done. And God laughed. Our youngest daughter was born.

Today is her birthday. All of our children have been a blessing. The job of our youngest was to keep me young and with her children, they are trying their hardest. I have to admit that I argue with God. I used to feel guilty but I read somewhere that God likes a bit of spunk, within reason. Well, I certainly have spunk.

My recent debate is my job of writing the blog. I have had a thought ramble publishing every week for OVER six years. The problem is that I always want it to have some influence of Spirit. The second problem is that my brain seems to be asleep or in hiding. I have suggested that I quit or at least take a break for a time. One of my suggestions was that I could reprint some of my earlier thought rambles. I’m not sure how any of my suggestions have been received. I have often mentioned that I neither see or hear “my friends in high places.” God is in the highest place!

Today is my youngest daughter’s birthday. I wasn’t in the mood to send her a sugary sweet card this year. I looked at many cards that made me laugh but she is TOO YOUNG for them. She told me I should have sent them anyway. I found a card that passed the sweet test and mailed it. This morning I sent her an instant message “Sing with me, ….” I don’t have a smart phone, just an old flip. I seldom access Facebook, looking at the thought of the day, not spending much time. This morning I followed suit. AND WAS AMAZED!

Just for me, balloons, music — “Happy Birthday with a picture of her daughter taken years ago when she had braids, eating corn on the cob.” Of course I sent it to my daughter.

The only words I had: “Thank You.”

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