Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘weather’

RAINDROPS

When I first began to write this blog, over five years ago, I didn’t expect that I would still be writing. If I had, instead of thinking of a title for each ramble, I would have numbered them. Coming up with a title each week, is often VERY HARD. This title was given to me on Sunday when a break in the clouds allowed me to take Robin for a walk without either one of us getting wet. I have noticed that often when I need to be out and about, the rain stops for a little while. I’m reminded of the time when I was writing To Pap, With Love. Every time I printed chapter 4, the story of our granddaughter’s first communion, the printer STOPPED. Many rewrites later, I discovered the reason for the problems with the printing. It wasn’t in what I had written or failed to write, I didn’t realize that the rain had stopped and we had been given a beautiful day. Once I understood the change in weather, the problems with printing chapter four stopped.

This weekend, my husband and I attended a play. The forecast was for rain, sleet and snow. Just what I wanted to hear. I thought we should leave early, give us time for delays and if we were early, we could do some holiday shopping. Traffic although not clear, continued to move at a safe speed. We had over an hour to shop. We found the presents we wanted for our grandson. I had HELP from my “friends”. I wandered down a clearance aisle and found two presents for my granddaughter that I thought she would enjoy. I didn’t know it was a clearance aisle. Checking the price on a scanner I was happy!

Earlier that week, I remembered the ginger cookies and mulled fruit drink that I purchased from Ikea. A phone call confirmed that the product was in the store. That day my husband and I drove out to the store. The weather was sunny, not warm but not freezing. The traffic moved. We purchased our supplies, enjoyed a cup of coffee and drove home with clear roads. The next day we had rain and snow and many accidents on the highway.

I often hear things in passing that is a benefit to me. Something that is on sale in the store, a program on television that I would want to watch, a reminder of things that I need to do. These tidbits do not only benefit me, but they benefit my family too. I stopped in the pet food store to tell a story to the clerk I know. While there, I asked about a knee cap bone that had been discontinued. Another clerk heard my query, and brought the last new knee cap bone in stock. Yesterday I was working on the clutter. I found blank note cards that are very appropriate for a letter my husband needs to send to our grandson’s school. I LOVE the “help” that I often receive!

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WEEDING

WEEDING

We have camped at the same place for over 40 years. During that time many people have passed through our lives. As I wandered on my scooter for the last ride of the season, I visited many of the campsites where the people I have known have either gone on to the other side or have sold out to visit other venues. Sadly each year the list grows, but I have enjoyed the time spent with them. I know people who have sold because their friends are no longer there. Thankfully we are not dependant on others to remain camping.

Back in the city on a lovely Fall day, I wandered to the Garden. Once again I was lost in time. Remembering all the places I have visited — some with my daughters. I thought of one of my aunt’s that had passed over and regretted that we had never wandered the Gardens together. Was I a member of the Garden then?

Still in the city, on another lovely Fall day we wandered to Lincoln Park zoo. We didn’t know that the weekend was Fall festival. They had many rides for the children. I was sorry that we didn’t have any of our grandchildren with us. At the same time, I was glad — we wouldn’t have had the money for all of their rides. Watching the polar bear play in the water I remembered when my grandson at the tender age of 2, was delighted when the polar bear at the time came up to window to visit with him. Lincoln Park is a small zoo, I visited there as a child and enjoy it, possibly even more, as an adult.

It is hard catching up when we close the trailer for the season. I have to find homes for all the food and stuff we brought home with us. The mail goes on forever. In fact — I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the pile. The pile might be for higher than from our most recent trip. It might have stuff accumulated from all summer.

Then there is the food supply. Stuff that I thought was on hand is gone! I looked all over the freezer for catfish fillets that I knew we had. I found two pieces. Not enough for the three of us. Recently I was remembering some of the unusual stuff that has occurred in my life. And remembering that my life has quieted down. OR HAS IT? This morning I received a message from my husband’s sister. Her husband passed a few weeks ago. When I went to look for the message — it wasn’t there. Instead I saw her beautiful picture on the center of the page. I wrote a note back that the message was undelivered. The top of the page said “secret.” I noticed that the first letter of every word in the sentence was capitalized. I was confused. Was I receiving “Help?” Who? Was someone teaching her husband tricks?

Since I didn’t know if the “secret” message reached her, I wrote another message explaining that I was confused. Later that day, I had an avalanche in my freezer. As I put back all the fallen food — I saw an unopened package of catfish fillets. Last night, I used up the bottle of sesame oil when I was cooking. I put the item on my shopping list. Before going to the store, I went to retrieve an item from the shelves in the basement and found TWO unopened bottles of sesame oil. Did I think my life has quieted down? Nope! It just goes in different directions.

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.

ZOO

Sunshine — warm — the day was calling my name. “Don’t stay home — go out and play,” the morning seemed to say. And for a change I listened. Our granddaughter would soon celebrate a birthday and I needed a gift. She LOVES stuffed animals, ALL animals — dogs, cats, snakes, horses to name just a few. I thought a stuffed animal from the zoo would be a great choice. So I asked her what animal we should see for her at the zoo and she replied monkeys.

As a new member of the zoo we qualified for a gift. Hard choice between the tote bags, tee shirts and other items until we saw a child sized tee shirt with a snow monkey on the back. Decision made.

As we entered the zoo, the tiger was commenting on the weather, the sunshine, the warmth, the ??? I approached to share in the conversation and the tiger stopped, yawned, and stretched out for a nap. Hard work — got my attention.

We headed for the gift shop. I found a small stuffed snow monkey, a red fox and a tube of tiny monkeys. Both of the stuffed animals were on sale — making it possible to get more than one. Our granddaughter has had a rough year. Fever, sore throat — too many times. The tube of monkeys would be easy to play with when she was sick. Birthday solved. Since they were zoo animals, I didn’t think she already had them.

Beautiful day — we wandered the zoo. Most of the animals were outside, enjoying the warmth and sun shine, except for the polar bear who had had enough sunshine for the day. A new endangered primate baby had just been born. When we entered the primate house, the proud parents had the baby front and center. Very easy to see and photograph. The rest of the group were very interested in the new arrival. It didn’t take long until the mother moved the baby to a more secluded area. We were lucky to arrive when we did.

We also had good timing when we stopped for a cup of coffee. Because of winter hours the cafe was closing early — in half an hour to be exact. We had time for some hot chocolate and a snack. The zoo wasn’t closing early but we really didn’t want to play in rush hour traffic. We stopped at the gorilla house before we left. I was fascinated by a large ape who had a pile of lettuce within easy reach so he could lay down on his back and reach for a morsel without getting up.

We visited the smaller zoo in our area. Even though it is smaller, we still didn’t have the time to visit ALL of the buildings or animals. We will just have to go back.

HIDDEN TREASURES

I thought the appropriate title for this thought ramble was BURIED TREASURE. Oops, I already have one of that title. This title is just as appropriate. It just dawned on me that the anniversary of the fire is in a week. Both my mother and my brother passed over, I would have also except I guess I needed to stay here for my father.

“My friends in high places” are very good at what they do. A whole day can go by and I don’t become aware of their help. One day this week, I PLANNED to exercise — I changed into exercising clothes and put the dvd on the TV. Robin came downstairs, wanting to go out. I tried to get her up early, so we could go for a walk. She ignored me. I have to admit that she got me up at 5:00 AM, went outside, did her business and returned to the top of the porch. The pond of water on the sidewalk had turned to ICE. At 9:00, the pond of water was covered by snow. The snow seemed to be gritty, I thought if I was careful I could take her for a walk. Exercise plans went on hold. I put on my boots, hoping that their traction would keep me upright. I found a penny on our walk. “In God We Trust” it reminded me.

When we came back, it was too late to do the exercise that I planned. I did a fast Tai Chi and continued with the day. I had planned to make soup. I’ll admit that I didn’t follow the recipe, but the results were delicious. Of course, neither my husband nor my son wanted to try it.

Trying to salvage the day, I examined the contents of the drawer that holds our check books. I had many, many check registers and many, many unused deposit slips. I didn’t want to put the check registers back in the drawer. They moved to the filing cabinet, except there was no room. I had to pull out a handful of assorted paper. Looking at it, I have no idea why it was in the filing cabinet until I came across a couple of gems. I found the notice of a good friend of mine that passed away in 2003 at the age of 97. She is still often in my thoughts. I also found a letter from a friend of mine with a comic strip that gave me a good laugh. The person in the comic strip joined shopping anonymous and when she was tempted to go shopping, she call me and we went out to drink. I have to admit that I phoned my friend and arranged for a shopping trip.

Now I’ll admit that I realized that “helping hands” had influenced the day. I could detail the many things that have occurred this week, but I’ll try to keep this ramble on the short side. I was scammed this morning by a friend on the I-pad — only it wasn’t her. I asked a couple of personal questions that only she would have had the answer too and the person disappeared. I didn’t fall for the promised money. This afternoon, the mail brought prescriptions for my husband that I hadn’t ordered. One he would need in the near future — the rest, I’m puzzled. Knock knock — is anyone home? That is when I realized that an important anniversary is close.

THANKS EVERYONE.

WISDOM

I can not take credit for this. I recently discovered that my age is affecting some of my decisions. I had to buy a new pair of boots. Last year’s pair of boots had heels that were worn, not badly, just bad enough that my knees and hips were being affected. Buying shoes regularly is bad enough. Buying boots is even more of a challenge. I’m really not concerned about the fashion. First, they have to fit over my SLENDER? calves. Next they have to be warm. Since many of my hours spent outside are spent walking a dog — I NEED my feet to be not only dry but warm. Next they have to be reasonably priced. I was surprised when the first thing I did was to turn the boots over and look at the tread.

The first pair that I looked at had a sole that was rather smooth. The next pair was better — the sole wasn’t smooth, the tread was evenly spaced, and zippers on the sides would make putting them on easier. The last pair that I looked at had a much better sole, tread looked like it would be safer on slick and icy surfaces. They had laces instead of a zipper — roomier, I would be able to wear heavier socks plus they were designed for colder temperatures. Only then did I try the last two pairs of boots on. I bought the pair with laces and better tread. For a change, price was not my guiding issue.

I was surprised that the tread on the sole was my guide, not a fashion statement, or the price — my age is showing. I told a friend about my experience this morning. She said it wasn’t my age that is showing, I’m using my wisdom.

I like the sound of that.

Recently I was invited to a Christmas breakfast. I don’t remember when we first started this gathering. It was quite a few years ago. The ladies were still living in their own homes, now they live at Resurrection Senior apartments. The oldest of our group will soon be 95 at Christmas time. The hostess is a young 92. I’m probably the youngest. When she phoned with the invitation I was most grateful that I had the day available. In fact I arrived a bit early, just in case she needed some help. For the most part, the table was set, the casserole was in the oven and the tomatoes were cut. She was making coffee. And that is when I was able to lend a hand. Her coffee pot had issues — the filter blocked — coffee and grounds everywhere but in the coffee pot. Exactly how it happened we couldn’t tell, but it was a mess — all over the machine, and her counter. I was able to clean up the machine, the counter and the pot. I couldn’t figure out how to put the machine back together but soon coffee was perking again. Three walkers lined up in her bedroom, one an expensive Rollator — I was one of the most able bodied in attendance and I was happy to lend a hand.

Other gatherings might have surfaced in my memory, maybe that is why I was early. I might have remembered that my assistance was helpful before. I don’t know but I was happy that I was able to attend, grateful we could all get together again. And maybe that experience, and seeing their walkers helped guide me to pick out the safest pair of boots for this winter.

RECOVERY YEAR ONE

Last summer, I wandered the streets and nature trails of Woodhaven Lakes with a great deal of sadness and hope for the future. Most of the shady streets were now bathed in sunshine. Many of the nature trails opened up to bare landscape or fallen — twisted trees. The devastation from the tornado was every where.

A year has passed and the landscape has changed. Most of the tornado damage has been removed — trailers, sheds, porches, decks and trees. The nature trails no longer are bare — wild flowers and other plants have filled up the spaces. Some new trees have been planted.

New trailers, room additions, porches, sheds and decks are every where. Many new trees have been planted on the owners lots. It will be a long time before they provide the missing shade but progress is being made.

It is still very easy to determine what areas have been affected by the tornado. Shade and huge trees are missing. Some huge trees have remained, either because of stronger roots or the direction of the winds so the terrain isn’t bare.

I asked a real estate broker if there had been a large change in the population. Her reply was that although some owners have left, many new people have arrived. They came out to look at the after effects of the tornado, liked what they saw and bought property.

We lost more than nine trees at the front of our lot and many more on the sides and back. We now have sunshine and a new deck with a roof to provide the missing shade. The roof even has a fan to provide some air movement when the breeze is missing. I have to admit that I am spending a lot of time out on the deck.

I didn’t realize how much the tornado had affected me. I had a deep sadness that did not want to lift. It was very hard to explain, in fact I wasn’t even aware that it was there. Now that it has lifted — I DON’T MISS IT. Seeing all the new growth — the new changes must have helped.

Fall has arrived. Soon we will close up the trailer for the winter. Many years ago we spent time at the camper in the winter. Cross country skiing, walks in the high snow, Christmas shopping all were part of our winter. I had a small Christmas tree, wreath and lights to decorate the trailer. We haven’t wandered out there in the winter for years. Wandering in high snow is no longer as easy as it was when I was young. Staying inside, sitting in a warm camper doesn’t have the same draw as when I was younger. Lets not even talk about the ice that forms on the roads over night.

This year the small tree and wreath will stay packed away. We will turn off the heat and winterize. We will bring all the food home. I will admit that I miss the days when we left stuff out for the occasional weekends away.

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