Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘transportation’


I know it is our civic duty but I REALLY DID NOT want to attend. My name was on stand-by and the location was in Chicago’s Loop. Not difficult for me to get to BUT I was following a NEW DIET PLAN. The idea of being on a jury, not having access to my refrigerator DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY. Maybe, I thought, I won’t be needed. WRONG. The list of names not needed started FIVE letters from ours. NUTS!

Two days after receiving my invitation, my husband received one too. His court was located in a distant suburb, not easily reached from our house. He is older than myself, and no longer needs TO DO JURY DUTY. A quick phone call and he was released.

Tuesday, I walked through the electronic detection devices, setting them off. It was my jewelry this time. I took the elevator to the 17th floor and checked in, receiving a panel number. Seating choices were a line of chairs or a table. I chose the table and quickly realized that I didn’t belong there. The other three people sitting at the table were world travelers. The gentleman was studying French in preparation for his trip to France. And then there was me. They were highly educated and involved in their projects, not interested in talking.  Sometimes I’m at the right place, at the right time to help someone or be helped in return. Not this time.

I had learned that I could buy packages of sliced apples from McDonald’s. According to my eating plan, fruit was the snack of the day. I was set until lunch. Thankfully before lunch time arrived, my panel was released. We weren’t needed and I WAS NOT disappointed. On the train downtown I realized two things. First, it was Tuesday. Second, the novena to St. Anthony would be said at St. Peters after mass. Maybe that was why I was downtown. Before checking in, I stopped at the church only to learn that the next Mass would be at lunch time. Leaving the courthouse, I knew if I hurried, I would reach the church in time for Mass. If you are curious as to why I remembered the novena, I wrote about my involvement with St. Anthony in Who Is that Man, published July 7, 2012.

After mass and before heading home, I joined my son for lunch. Then I wandered to Macy’s — just to look around. I figured I was safe, I left my credit cards at home and only had a small amount of money with me. I stopped on the seventh floor and totally enjoyed a fashion display. Fashion designers had used paintings from the Art Institute for inspiration. If I said they were incredible, I would not be exaggerating. I wished I had my camera.

As I rode the escalators, admiring the displays, I remembered that I wanted a microplane zester. I decided to try the lower level and see if  one was in stock. Looking at the displays of kitchen gadgets, I didn’t see one. I waited for one of the sales clerks to finish with a customer before asking a question. She looked at the same display that I had previously checked out. Then she offered to check the stockroom. I was concerned that even if one was found, I wouldn’t have enough money to buy it. But you see, I have “friends in high places” — the clerk found THE LAST ONE and I had enough money to buy it, with a dollar left over.

/Every once in a while, I have picked up an artists paint brush and applied paint to canvas — oil, watercolor or acrylic. I have a feeling that I’m being nudged to do so again. I went to the Botanic Garden yesterday where an artist faire was in the process of setting up.

In case you are wondering — I’M EXTREMELY PLEASED with my weight loss. Not finished with the 28 days, haven’t lost 20 pounds, but I’m planning on taking a break, eating potatoes and cheese, with a glass of wine — then starting again. I don’t know what my goal weight will be but at least I won’t look more pregnant than my granddaughter who is expecting her daughter in September.


I have received “help” from the other side for years. But I was not aware of it. My mother and brother passed over when I was four. I’ll credit my mother as the primary force but I have no real information to back it up. I thought I lead a rather normal life until my father passed over and shared the secret. Looking back, I remember when I was in the country, driving on a lonely back road when my tire went flat. From nowhere, a young man pulled up in a truck and stopped to help. He had no trouble jacking up my car, and getting the tire off and the spare on. Luckily it had air. The young man wouldn’t take any money for his assistance and remarked he was a member of a race crew when I complimented him on his ability to change the tire so quickly.

Another night, driving out to our camper alone in the winter, the road turned to black ice and I lost control of the car, ending up in a ditch. Another man in a truck stopped to help, borrowed a chain from a nearby farm house and pulled me out.

I’m sure other things happened when I was traveling while my father was still alive. These two stick out in my memory. When my father’s memory deteriorated from Alzheimer’s disease, there where many instances when I received help and even became more or less aware of it. Learning sometimes comes slowly.

The past week I attended the wake of my son’s ex-mother-in-law. We live on the North side of Chicago. The wake was at 193rd street and Wolf Road. Far on the south side. I took the expressways to the funeral home but at 2:30, traffic was already a challenge. There was no way I wanted to take the expressways back home.

Since we live on the North side, I’m able to wander with some confidence on streets or expressways depending on the trip. I was lost on the South side. So I asked for help. Luckily there was a person who was knowledgeable and offered advice on an alternate. When I mentioned my planned route home, the husband of the deceased expressed concern for some of the neighborhoods I would be traveling through. “That’s alright,” I remarked. “I travel with angels.” And thankfully, I do. I was amazed at the words that had come out of my mouth. I just don’t always remember. Which is why I’m sharing with you.

At the funeral, I searched for the person and thanked him. It had been a pleasant drive, through the forest preserves, stress free,  — about 2 hours — but it wasn’t bumper to bumper traffic.

Short postscript: I shared this story with my middle daughter. She was concerned that I had received a warning and did not pay attention. In my defense I wish to mention that I’m not extremely brave, I don’t depend on my friends in high places to keep me from harm . I try to use common sense to the best of my abilities and am thankful for their assistance when challenges occur.

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