Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘TIMING’


I hate to admit it but my zest for life is hiding. I can easily sit in a chair or lay on the couch and watch the world go by. Many people are using this “stay at home time” to clean their house. Get rid of clutter. Catch up on projects. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! I used to enjoy cooking — always looking for new recipes to make. That is another task that is on the side. I know it would be in my best interest to paint. I have the supplies but not the desire. A friend has counseled me to have patience with myself. This month will make 6 months since my husband passed. AND I VERY COMFORTABLY SIT HERE AND WATCHED THE WORLD GO BY!

I know that I want to spend time at the camper. I’m not afraid to stay out there by myself. Cleaning up the back yard, walking on the uneven terrain was challenging. It reminded me of the uneven terrain at the camper. Will I be able to walk out there? The last time I cleaned up the back yard, I took a cane. IT HELPED.

Staying home, not shopping uses up the stock of food in the house. The day finally came when I had to go to Wal-Mart. I have been putting off that shopping trip because of the virus. I made my list — it was lengthy. I wanted to go early, before the store got too crowded. I looked at the temperature on my phone and it registered 27. I forgot to check a detail and looked at the temperature again –102. WHAT? HOW? WHERE? I must admit it stopped my thinking IMMEDIATELY. DEFINITELY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION. Researched revealed it was the temperature in Rajasthan, India? That reading bubbled in my mind for a while. Then I remembered that I had thought of checking my temperature before I went to the store. It was normal. Was I being reminded to do that before I left?

I wore a mask and had plastic gloves on my hands. Thankfully there was NO LINE waiting to get into the store. There were long lines in the cashiers waiting to get out. I headed for pharmacy, shoes and dog food and the rest of the groceries. My cart was LOADED. My KNEES were YELLING. I WANTED TO SIT DOWN and luckily I found a chair. I took the opportunity to check the list on my phone and discovered one forgotten item. THANKFULLY there was no line waiting to check out. I told the cashier she was going to get a break because it would take me awhile. IT DID.

LESSON LEARNED: I have to regain my stamina if I wanted to SAFELY STAY BY MYSELF at the camper. Sitting and watching the world go by was NOT IN MY BEST INTEREST.

I have a collection of exercise DVD’S and picked a Classical Stretch to begin working on my body. The exercises were EASY but the next day my knees as well as my back hurt. DETERMINED — I was going to exercise anyway. The DVD player WOULD NOT WORK. My son managed to get it working but I decided to take the day off. On the other side — My MAN IS STILL LOOKING OUT FOR ME.


I don’t know if my life would be easier if I received messages from “my team” in written word or in voice. Since neither occurs in my life I felt like Hanzel and Grettle — searching for directions and reflecting back, look for the meaning.

Confused? Let me explain. When I went to replace my driver’s license on Tuesday, I decided to get gas in my car so I’d be ready to meet our daughter, pick up her dogs, so their family could go on Spring Break. I decided to go to the Costco up North. The lines for gas were shorter. While I was there, I stopped in the neighboring Aldis and picked up potatoes, onions, milk and some fresh vegetables. I noticed that they had a cane on special and a cart that was able to climb stairs. I looked at both items but left them on the shelf. Since we would have extra dogs in the house, I wanted to make sure our pantry was well stocked.

Leaving Aldis I decided to stop in Costco. I didn’t have trunk space for water but I decided to get a 5 LB bag of small potatoes. We discovered that they worked nicely for breakfast hash in the morning.

Arriving home I mentioned the cane and the cart to my son. He thought both would be a good purchase. The cart would be useable when I was in the country, I would have help getting the purchases from car into camper.

Wednesday — I remembered that I needed to get an emission test for the Escape and renew the license. There was a facility near Wal-Mart so I took advantage of a dry day — got the test for the car and license, picked up more supplies at Wal-Mart and returned to Aldis to get the cane, cart AND a deck bird feeder.
I decided to get a feeder for the deck rather than a stand alone because I thought it would be easier to fill.

Thursday — I met our daughter to pick up her dogs along with their dog food and leashes. Our yard is fenced in — I DID NOT PLAN to take them for a walk. Luna is a black Lab — young, full of energy, full of love. Her favorite toy is a ball which she has to take to bed with her. She is most insistent that you play with the ball with her — OVER AND OVER –ALL DAY. Tessa is a small King Charles spaniel. They are bred to be lap warmers and she takes her job very seriously.

Friday — Chicago’s mayor announced schools would be closed starting Tuesday because of the virus until April 7. Illinois Governor issued a message that people should stay in their homes. I went to Costco to pick up a couple of items that were on sale. The parking lot was impossible — too many cars. I waited and got a parking place. Costco was overrun with people. More than 50 people were in one lane waiting to check out. I decided I didn’t need anything that bad. I stopped in Trader Joe’s. Once again the parking lot was full but I waited and got a space. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE SHELVES SO EMPTY — no milk, eggs, bread, crackers. Some fresh vegetables but not a lot. Most of the meat was gone.



February is a hard month for me. First — it is colder and cloudy. The excitement of the holidays is over. Usually the decorations for the season have been put away. This year is an exception for me. It still is extremely cloudy — the sun has taken a sabbatical. Our memory Christmas tree changed into an Angel–Valentine tree. It might morph into a Mardi Gras — Easter tree but I doubt it.

Add to that the sadness of my husbands passing. I spoke to a woman who has been a widow for 6 years. She shared that it still isn’t easier. On top of that it was my husbands 81’st birthday. Followed by the anniversary of my father’s passing and soon my father’s birthday. That explains why the Angel tree is still sharing its light in a darker room. I did Tai Chi next to it this morning.

I have noticed more presence or “help” from “my team” on holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. This week has been no exception. My note from my husband’s birthday said I had a contrary phone. My sharing of his photo was blocked. On the anniversary of my father’s passing I stopped at the grocery store for a needed item. A woman noticed my problems walking and told me she used to have the same problem. She has been taking raw turmeric twice a day, ground in her food processor and her knee problems have ended. The product was usually available at the store. On order, it was coming in the next day. Looking for something for lunch I also found lamb chops and petite steak at half price.

Our youngest daughter told me that a friend of hers was taking turmeric liquid twice a day available at Costco. Stopping at the store I found it on sale and put a box in my cart. One of the sample ladies I talk to on a regular basis mentioned that she tried the liquid turmeric but it gave her diarrhea. She also had experienced the same problems that I was having. She switched to a product designed to increase her collagen. She also is no longer having the knee problems. I put the liquid turmeric back and found the collagen powder.

I planned to go to the grocery store and buy fresh turmeric. When I arrived, the product had not come in. A woman heard me asking for it and told me of a store that carried it. It is now in my possession but I haven’t been taking it long enough to notice a difference. I’m going to give the turmeric a week or more to see if it helps before trying the collagen.

Today we have sunshine. The vitamin D pill that I normally take rolled off the floor and is lost somewhere. I guess I’ll have to go outside to get some fresh Vitamin D. I was interested in a cookbook that was advertised on the computer. Suddenly it was blocked, covered up by more advertisements and disappeared when I tried to get it back.

ENOUGH. My children say I need to walk more — I’m going outside to get some sunshine.


I don’t cry easily. I wish I was able too. I would have LOVED to dissolve in tears when my husband passed. I’m sure there have been other times in my life when I had the same desire. Probably with the same results. I know people that cry at the sadness of a good book or a movie. Some cry for happiness — at a wedding. My eyes tear up, become a bit moist, might even relinquish a tear, but not a deluge or even a sprinkle.

So why the title of this thought ramble? We have just celebrated my husband’s 81st birthday without his physical presence. Facebook gave me a picture from 2017 in which we celebrated his birthday with our grandchildren in “horse country.” I recognized the photo right away. I have part of the image on my laptop. Both of the kids are there with their ice cream. The only thing I can see of my husband is his arm. I didn’t remember when the photo was taken, or what he was doing. The photo showed me we were celebrating his birthday, and included his humor — he was saluting the camera. I think he was the one to post the photo on my laptop, which why his body and face were not included.

I shared the photo with my family and friends. My middle daughter had an image of wings. My grand daughter was flying back to Florida. She posted an image from the plane in flight, mentioning this was the closest she could get to him right now. Our youngest picture posted a lovely picture of herself getting a hug from her father. MY EYES MISTED, to be honest — they are misting as I write this.

I’ve acknowledged that I am EXTREMELY LUCKY. Not only to have had him for a husband but to have our four children and grandchildren that I am proud of, who also miss him very much — who feel free to share their feelings. Since my father passed 25 years ago and confirmed that there is life after death, I know my husband is free from pain and able to enjoy being of “help” to me and others.


I admit that I have many “friends in high places.” Although I’m sure that they protect me from many things, they CAN NOT PROTECT me from everything. Nor do I expect them to. And I’m also sure that there are many times when they are involved in other things. Exactly what occurred on Monday I’m not sure. I had taken advantage of a snow free day to get some shopping accomplished. I left before noon, went to Wal-Mart, then Aldi’s and arrived at Costco in time to pick up my prescription. I’ll admit that I was tired. I don’t know if that was to blame.

Loading my car, I noticed white on the rear bumper of my red car. I wasn’t happy to see it and wondered where it had come from. Leaving Costco, driving down the road, a man in a car next to me honked his horn, over and over. “Hi don’t you remember me?” he said. “What are you doing here? I know you from the dealer where you bought your car. I was transferred up here to take care of my ill mother.” I did not remember him, was not interested in talking to him, but we were stopped for a red light.

“Did you see the white on your back bumper? Did you notice the dent on your front panel? How did it happen? Has anybody else been driving your car? ” I knew about the white on the bumper but HAD NOT NOTICED A DENT. “Follow me, I can fix it.” And stupidly I did. I wanted to see the dent on the front panel.

“I can fix that for you. It would cost more than a $1000 plus dollars for your bumper. I can pull out your dent.” Stupidly I DID NOT pull away from their car. After his associate did what (?), he thought I should reimburse them for the material he used. He COULD NOT take a check, he didn’t want to jeopardize his job. “Where was my bank? Did I have a credit card?” Stupidly I should have just started driving and let him jump out. Stupidly I gave him cash — $60.

When I reached home, we noticed that the front panel was coated with some sort of substance. It looked like turtle wax. There was more on the back tire. This morning, I noticed there was a film on the back panel of the car. More turtle wax?

I have to admit that I was ANGRY at myself for having fallen for the scam. I COULD NOT fall asleep that night. To make matters worse, when I looked at my watch at 5:00AM, it was black. Even though it had been charged before I went to bed, the charge was gone.

I’m wondering if they messed with my car when it was in the Costco parking lot. I’m wondering if they put white on my car. What about that dent? I’ll never know. I haven’t decided if I should mention it at Costco. I have decided that I’m going to be a bit more careful of where I park.


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.



I have the habit of using two daily calendars too try to keep track of my life. Not that it is extremely busy or very active. First I don’t have a paying job — no timetable to go to work or come home. Second, our life is not that active. We don’t belong to clubs or organizations which require time commitment. Until my husband’s health required more appointments with the doctors, there was really no reason to have a calendar. Let alone two. Of course, I noted special dates for our children and grandchildren — vacations, school performances, etc.

One calendar — My Inner Reflections is from the Self Realization Fellowship — Lovely photos, Inspirational writings by Paramahansa Yogananda. I discovered the calendar years ago at a bookstore that is no longer in business. I write my daily activities, important events.

The second calendar changes over time. A few years ago, I noted the food I consumed on a daily basis, hoping to help my weight. I have expanded the calendar to make it more useful. Now I use the monthly dates to note Dr. Appointments, scheduled events, blog titles, etc. I have been a team player for many years — single will be an adjustment.

My husband was sick in September and October — the months I normally remember to acquire new calendars. I bought my nutritional calendar at the end of October before his health took a turn for the worse. I didn’t pay too much attention to it — I wanted a monthly page and individual dates with enough space to write down my food log. Since it is a calendar that I use daily, I paid attention to where I put it. When I started using it in January, I was happy to learn that each week has an inspirational quote and a place to note things you are grateful for.

I ordered my Inspirational calendar later — in November. When it arrived I stuck it somewhere for safe keeping. It was so safe I COULDN’T FIND IT. New Years Eve it was still hidden. I don’t know why I pulled it out from its hiding place. It was not someplace I would have expected to find it. I was very glad that it surfaced when it did.

Just recently I paid attention to the photo on the cover. A single swan is swimming on a calm lake with a mountain in the distance. Swans mate for life. The photo is very significant for this year in my life. I have become a single swan swimming in a reasonably calm lake — reflecting either sunrise or sunset in the colors of the mountains and lake.


The call that I had been expecting finally came. As a matter of fact, as soon as I heard in early November, that Sally, 97 years young, had breast cancer that was invading her body, I had been praying that God would take her home. Before she passed, I learned that every 45 minutes they were giving her morphine for the pain. Four days before her 98th birthday He took her home. And my prayer changed to “thank You.”

I was at home, with a functioning car. The weather was good, I was able to drive out to the suburbs for her wake. On the way, my car signaled low tire pressure. We have a membership at Costco and I had been using their service for my tire pressure problems. I’ll admit that the constant reminder about tire pressure was getting very old. The young man discovered a nail in the ditch of my tire. The location of the nail made it possible to fix the tire. When I asked where I should go to have the nail removed, I learned that Costco could do it. I didn’t have the time but I knew an appointment was in my future.

I had looked up the location of the funeral parlor and wrote down the address and phone number. I was glad I had the information with me. I didn’t have trouble finding the street but finding the funeral parlor was another story. After I had driven back and forth three times without success, I dialed the number. I learned that I had been looking on the wrong side of the street. Thankfully although the lot was PACKED, an empty space was waiting for me.

Sally was from Ireland, and had 10 children. The funeral parlor was overflowing with visitors. I didn’t stay very long. Before leaving, I stopped in the office to thank them for the directions.

The weather on the morning of the funeral was sunshine and blue skies. I didn’t park in our church’s lot because I thought the lot would be overflowing with cars. I didn’t plan to travel to the cemetery.

I had gathered some of my husband’s food items to donate to the open pantry that our church supports. Finding the location to drop them off became its own challenge. The space where the donations were stored was occupied by the Nativity. Asking a few people didn’t give me the answer. Thankfully I found the space in a room where the lecturers gather.

Sally’s sendoff was fitting for an Irish lass. They had arranged for bag pipes to play before and after the Mass. The priest who said the Mass had received very good stories from the family. He remembered Sally from the years he had served at our church in the 80″s. The songs were well chosen, the man who sang the Ave Maria had a beautiful voice.

Two days later, the frames for my bifocal glasses broke. Thankfully they had a similar frame at the eye doctor’s office and were able to fix them that evening. The broken frames reminded me of all of my husbands glasses and I was able to donate them at Costco when I arrived to have my tire fixed.


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.”


I planned to write a new thought ramble and thought of the title Learning The Ropes. I saw that it had already been used. So I read it. It deserves to be reprinted. The fun I had when my friend passed deserves to be shared again. My husband has joined my team on the other side. My husband was involved with ham radios. My CD player WOULD NOT play a CD I chose. When I was able to listen to it, I understood why. That same day I was NOT ABLE to change the TV to a program I wanted to watch. Giving up, I went out to fax a copy of his death certificate. Returning home — I was able to change the TV to that station. I won’t bore you with all the FUN I’m having. This Saturday we are gathering to celebrate my husband’s life with music, stories and fun. More than four days since he has passed, he has learned the ropes. LET THE FUN BEGIN.
Mischief is afoot. I would raise the white flag but I know it won’t do any good. It took me awhile to become aware that someone was in training. But I’m a bit slow at times. Christmas is coming and my life will be busy. Not necessarily with parties and celebrations but baking and decorating the house seems to take more time and effort than it used to. I refuse to admit that it is because I’m heavier and older. I can’t do anything about being older but wouldn’t you think I’d be able to do something about the weight? I needed a few ideas to write a ramble about so they would publish during the time I was occupied with Christmas. My friends in high places are happy to oblige.

Anyway back to training. My friend Dorothy passed on Tuesday. My favorite knife DISAPPEARED on Wednesday morning. I have searched and searched without success. I remember putting it in its holder on the sink — GONE! I think life was relatively calm from Wednesday to Sunday but then my memory isn’t what it used to be. I know I should keep notes of the happening in my life but I don’t unless my attention is drawn to a happening — like my knife disappearing.

Saturday we celebrated Dorothy’s life. Sunday got my attention. Did she have time to rest, visit with those on the other side and was now ready to expand her knowledge. I don’t know but Sunday got my attention. It started with my husband’s poker game floating face down in the toilet. When did it go for a swim? Good question. I went to Mass and let the rest of the household sleep. I walked and it started to rain as I entered church. The gospel was the same as the reading at the service on Saturday. Our music director was late and a cantor with an excellent voice lead us in song.

On the home front, my husband’s day was interesting. Vitamins and pills had a life of their own — falling on the floor and spreading around the desk. He mentioned other happenings but I don’t remember. We decided we should take life easy and go out for breakfast. The restaurant was so packed we left for another place. Everybody must have been out for breakfast, finding a parking spot at the restaurants was impossible. I won’t bore you with the search just let me say five restaurants later we finally stopped to eat. Thankfully the food was very good.

Returning home, I wanted a cup of tea. Eight boxes of tea cascaded out of the cabinet all over the floor. I often switch to herbal teas early in the day and I have an assortment. I was reminded of all the flavors as I picked up the boxes and tried to get them settled again. Sometimes one or two boxes will fall — as if someone is helping me with the choice — but eight??

I wrote CELEBRATING A LIFE. Evidently some of my writing didn’t pass — the computer refused to save it. I deleted and changed a few thoughts. The ramble was saved!

I wanted to print something off of the computer and used the computer in my husband’s office. Trouble, trouble again. The computer had issues, when it finally let me access my e-mails — they were all gone. I was reminded of the fun my family experienced after my father passed and was learning how to mess with electronics the day of his wake. Our son and our daughter’s boyfriend each had different computer issues on that day.

Four days to visit and rest — that is about right.

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