I had to visit my sister in another town because her husband was very ill. My whole family could not go because school was in session. My children stayed back in their father's care, except for the youngest, who was just a year old. I was nervous taking a train journey alone with my daughter. I knew that I had to go, so I gathered all my courage and boarded the train. After waving goodbye to my husband, I settled down. There were three other passengers in that compartment. Two of them were quite elderly, while one was a young man. My daughter was crying, missing her dad. I tried to console her, but to no avail. I tried giving her water, then some biscuits, but her crying would not cease. By this time I was getting worried about the disturbance being caused to the others. One of the oldies was ... Read Full Story >>
I was thinking about how postal workers sort everyone else's mail and it's never for them, so I put a card addressed "To the postal worker emptying this box or sorting this mail right now--yes, you!" into the mailbox. It had a Starbucks gift card and a note thanking them for all their hard work sorting mail that's never for them. I have imagined over and over what it was like for someone to find it!
We moved house 9 months ago. Before that we had lived in the same house for 20 years. Our next door neighbours had lived in their house even longer, so we have known them for the full 20 years. They are a lovely retired couple, Bob and Jean, a lot older than us. Truly good friends.
Bob has just gone into hospital having suffered a serious stroke and is not expected to live. We cancelled our plans and took a 2 hour round trip to visit him on Sunday in hospital.
I don't know if he could hear us, but we sang some happy songs and told him all our news. Until, that is, we couldn't hold back the tears and then we hugged and cried together, including Jean who was managing a bedside vigil.
Then Jean made us all laugh about some of the good fun times we have had together. A truly amazing person, always putting others before herself and who has twice recovered from cancer herself. Blessings on my wonderful friends Bob and Jean.
So packing is the worst. We are in day two of packing up our townhouse and while I want to take everything home with us, we set up boxes for donations.
So far we have boxes full with clothes, jackets, snow gear (we are in upstate NY) and food. All of these boxes will be going to local families in our neighborhood.
It feels good to be given these things away to people that need them more then we do.
Two weeks ago we came back from Spain, after 8 days holiday with my dearest family, Moran my partner and Ella our 2 year old daughter.
I created a kindness habit for this year, in which I leave every public toilet I visit- cleaner than I got it.
So here is the story- We took the train from Kadis to Seville in south of Spain, and I entered the toilet inside the train. The toilet was full with train tickets that blocked the water.
Automatically I thought just to ignore it- do what I have to do, and someone else will take care of it. But I caught myself and I was committed to my habit: I grabbed some toilet paper, cleaned up all the mess, did what I had to do, and washed my hands really well.
This is a challenging but a very rewarding practice: It teaches me to always leave a better place, better world, than the one I find. Try it.
***Here is a photo of me and my lovely family.
This my story of receiving and how I've learned that this too is a kindness I can do for another, or in my case many others. I have been struggling with a lot of pain and tiredness for several years, finally a year and a half ago I just could not keep going as I had been. I had to stop working and lost my home. I have two daughters, 14 and 9, who live with me. It has been quite difficult finding places to stay and to also learn how to care for myself with this physical challenge. So many friends and strangers have shown up with places to live and help in many other ways. One friend had us in his living room for the first five months and a few weeks here and there since. Another friend bought us 25lb bags of organic beans, rice and flour. The girls' father has ... Read Full Story >>
We stopped in to visit a friend who was back in the hospital. We brought our son and sat and visited for a good hour.
We made sure to take pictures, and give him a big hug, telling him it was good to see him again.
Unfortunately, he unexpectedly passed just days later, and it broke our hearts. We were thankful that we stopped in that day to see him, and let him know we thought of him often.
Hug them & love them while you can because you just never know!
Last weekI sent 3 snailmails (happy post) to three unknown children in hospitals. I wanted to give ill / sick children a smile, even if it was just for one second.
I want them to be strong again, fight and to win this battle. I hope I've given those children some hope, love and a moment of happines, with joy.
If I get a positive response, then I will be sending more snailmails to unknown children, to give those children a smile. ~ spread the happiness.
I can never repay my childhood friend who helped me pack after I had major strokes in the middle of moving two states away. She also bought food, cooked during that time. She was my first visitor in my new home. Her family took my husband out to celebrate his 70th birthday.
This gratitude practice helps me remember these things and look at how I can pay this forward.
When I was 17 I bought my first car, a used VW Karrman Ghia that was reliable only in the fact that it was completely unreliable. All parts of it - engine, headlights, windows, tires, door, all worked when they wanted to.
Once I was left standing next to this fine vehicle on the side of the freeway after a tire blew out, waiting for the tow truck that "might come in an hour." A man pulled over, changed the tire in nothing flat (pardon the pun), refused money, and I never saw him again but never forgot the kind act that rescued a stranded teenager. Thank you, sir.
Elder friend doesn't like idle hands either :). She's been crocheting hats to give cancer care patients. She's done 23 so far!
Gifted her some yarn from husband's aunt to help keep her supplied in materials.
Blessed in her lovely role model of giving.
I found a Disney t-shirt in a store and remembered a lovely neighbor that simply loves all Disney stuff. So I bought it for her, put it in a bag and hung it from a plant hanger that they have empty now in the front of their yard. I can see it from my house, so I checked a few hours later and the bag was gone! They must be wondering who brought it! :-)
I am shopping in the local farmers market in San Isidro, Costa Rica on a sunny Thursday morning. I love this market it is, I believe, the second largest in the country. The selection of produce is exceptional! I dropped my car off earlier a few blocks away at Firestone to get my oil changed. An hour into my shopping after collecting all my organic produce, I reached in my purse for my phone. I dig around searching and searching.... no phone!! At first I feel the butterflies in my stomach as I think since the zipper was not zipped on my bag that perhaps my phone fell out or got picked up by wondering hands. I quickly reigned in my thoughts. It is only a phone. I know that my thoughts effect my physical state of being. If the phone was gone then so be it, all is well. It can ... Read Full Story >>
In early January I wrote about the fact that I was taking a trip to Portland to visit a very dear friend who was dying of aggressive lymphoma. That visit was important to me as I was able to be with her in person and share some amazing time with her. We held hands and talked and talked, about what we meant to each other, what we cherished about each other, some of the lessons we had learned together and/or with the support of the other. Her partner and our friend who had driven me there from Portland went out for a walk together, giving us this gift of time together. We shared a simple lunch, all four of us, and talked about some of the logistics of care for my friend, the fabulous hospice nurse who came every day, my friend’s hope that her father would be able to come ... Read Full Story >>
Monday, I was at my local Home Depot waiting to have paint samples mixed. A gentleman who worked there walked by and I said..."Excuse me, sir...I have a question." He said "sure, what can i help you with?"
I told him I have been trying to figure out how to make a wooden cross. He said "ok, what size?" I replied the size of the ones you see on the side of the road that marks where someone has died.
He asked me to show him the approximate size I was looking for. I showed him and he said, "wait right here, I will be right back." 15 minutes later, he came back -- with the cross, that he had made and even tapered the bottom so that it would go into the ground easier.
I was so taken back, and told him I lost my son in a motorcycle accident and I wanted to put the cross there. I hugged him and thanked him and went on my way. The kindness of this stranger has touched me so much. Time to pay it forward and encourage others to do the same.
Today I donated a large bag of clothing and other assorted items . I placed money with a smiley face attached to the bill wishing someone a very Blessed Day! It made me feel really good as I watched the driver carrying the bag to his truck.
May all the care and kindness you give so freely to others come back to warm your heart.
Today, I recognized the frowning woman in line behind me at the checkout counter of the grocery store. I hadn't see her in fifteen years -- she is the owner of a local restaurant where I briefly worked one summer as a waitress. It had been on my heart for several days around Christmastime to go her restaurant and leave a card thanking her for her kindness to me, but I couldn't override my shyness so I didn't act. When I saw her today, I knew the Universe was giving me a second chance and I seized it! I turned to her and said, "You probably don't remember me but you once gave me a job when I really needed one even though I had no experience -- and I really want to thank you for that." She asked my name and said she didn't remember me. And I admitted with a big ... Read Full Story >>
This PM while I was waiting for the Pre-K parents to come visit the Kindergarten classes a young mother came into the school office. She took the bus but got off at the wrong stop and the school building - she needed to go to Head Start, about two miles away. She was carrying a baby and she had a 3 year old with her too. She was asking for directions on how to get to the other place on foot, Today was a cold blustery day and I could not see her walking that far with her children. The afternoon parents were not showing up and it was already well past the time they needed to be there, so I told this mom I would give her a ride. My colleague who was helping me during the afternoon session, volunteered to take this mom herself in case parents would still show ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter and myself were driving from Los Angeles to Dallas. We were running low on gas somewhere in New Mexico and figured we'd see a gas station soon enough to fill up. But that didn't happen and we realized we were not going to make it to the next town. So my daughter made up a sign that read "Low on gas. Can u help?" and held it outside her window in the hopes that a driver in the next lane would notice it and stop. There weren't too many vehicles passing us either at the time. It was a desolate stretch of road and about 3.30 pm on a weekday. A suburban was driving along happily in the neighboring lane ahead of us. We caught up with it in the hopes the driver would notice the sign. An elderly gentleman was driving it and after a brief expression of confusion on ... Read Full Story >>
I met what must be the world's most wonderful lady last summer - just being around her is like a soothing balm for my soul. I barely know her and after finding out that I've dreamt of having bees for several years she simply gave me a hive as a gift, including all the boxes, frames, gear, tools and a package of bees.
I'm now officially a brand new beekeeper
I kinda freaked out a little when we shook them into the hive though....10,000 bees buzzing around your body will do that to you even in beekeeping gear if you're new to this exciting hobby!