My dryer is broken so I have to go to the laundry mat to dry my clothes. There is a sign posted in the laundry mat that says "save our environment, bring in your unwanted hangers." It just so happens I recently cleaned out my closet and had a box full of hangers that were headed to the garbage can tomorrow. Went home picked up the box and brought it back to the laundry mat. The owner was so pleased and thanked me for being so generous. Imagine!
The first snow of the season to begin this evening is in the forecast. Leaves are still on the trees and there are masses of them on the ground. Yesterday afternoon, I girded myself, rake in hand, and began to clean up. My elderly neighbor has two large trees and her front yard was full. I raked hers after completing mine, but was beginning to feel tired and a bit sorry for myself when a car pulled up -- it was the neighbor from across the alley who had been on her way home from errands. She jumped out, got a few more yard waste bins from the elderly neighbor's back yard, and we both began to fill and move them to the alley. Got the job done in half the time. The nice part was that we got to have a good chat while doing the work. It's nice to have an angel to the rescue.
A few weeks ago I attended a literary fest in my city. I saw an elderly woman struggling to find an empty chair. She saw an empty chair at some distance and was moving in it's direction, but I got up immediately and offered her my chair so that she didn't have to walk as far as the other chair. She was pleasantly surprised and thanked me.
A rather poor-looking woman approached me as I left a store. Asked me if she could use her phone to call a shelter. Told me that her husband had abused her, that she and her children live in their car and need to get to a shelter or find gas money to go to the next city. It was starting to snow. I let her use my phone. Nobody answered her call. Then she asked if I'd drive her a few blocks to her car. I let her in my car (at this point I could feel the "sucker" stamp appearing on my forehead) I usually keep "goody bags" in my glove compartment just for events like these, but I had none with me last night. She asked me for money for gas. I had none on me. She suggested an ATM (so conveniently right at the next gas station). I considered telling her ... Read Full Story >>
Flowers, I guess, are my thing, along with cards and smiles. Nothing earth-shattering, but hopefully earth-changing, one gift at a time.
After feeling very helpless after the synagogue shootings, I found a card that seemed to sum up what so many were feeling: sorrow, and hope at the outpouring of love and support. When I found out the shooter was protesting HIAS, a Jewish group that helps refugees, I donated a small amount, and left a card at my local synagogue expressing support. I didn't sign it, because I knew so many felt as I did, but might not be able to express their concern, and I wanted the members to look at every person as potentially the one who sent that card--small gesture though it was.
"Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. " (Archbishop Tutu)
Driving home from our weekend trip to the coast an oncoming car was flashing his headlights at us repeatedly.
We knew he was trying to warn of us something. But what?
An undercover cop car? Speed Camera?
Then we saw it up ahead, crossing the road ever so slowly.
An echidna waddling across the road.
Thankfully we were able to slow right down and wait until he crossed. All because of the kindness of a man we did not know in his pick up truck.
It was a highway and we were going very fast as you do on freeways. Had it not been for this on coming car and his flashing lights I'm not sure if we would have been able to avoid hitting him.
Very blessed and grateful for the kindness of others on our roads 💞
Yesterday, I saw someone start having a seizure as he was crossing a cross walk. Recognizing his situation, as my late wife used to suffer from siezures, I sprung into action. With my one good arm, I dragged him off the highway to a safer location. I pulled with my legs. Once there, I kept talking to him, keeping him in the moment, held his hand, told him to keep squeezing it, and asking questions to keep him cognizant. Others came running up to let me know they called the ambulance. Once they got there, I knew he was safe and left the scene after relaying important information. Lucky my training allowed me to do the right thing at the right time.
It's my boys annual school fete tonight. They are all so excited!!!
And every year for the past 6 years I've made and donated items to the cake store. But this year I really didn't want to. So I didn't.
Until around 10 pm last night when I thought ... "you know what ... I do wanna make something." So I did.
I made these.
They are super yummy and even better ... super easy!!!
So there I was 10:30 pm at night searching the cupboard for ingredients and rolling Tim Tam Balls.
But the best bit ... I didn't do it out of obligation or because I felt I had to or felt guilty for not doing it. I did it because I wanted to!
And I enjoyed it.
And I guarantee you that each and every ball has been rolled with love and with joy.
They will be blissful 💕
"Excuse me, do you have any work that you need done? I'm trying to earn some money," asked the man who approached my car window. He was gaunt, slightly disheveled, and had a weathered look that made him appear perhaps a decade older than his actual probable age. My usual practice when approached by beggars is to first smile within, then smile at them and say an inner prayer for their happiness as I decline to offer cash. There's no art or science to this policy, rather an underlying but untested assumption that someone actively begging is misusing money and caught in some cycle of substance addiction. I wish that my awareness and sensitivity ran deep enough to have an appropriate response to every beggar rather than a go-to policy. "Well, how about 50 cents? I'm just trying to get a taco over at Taco Bell." I catch a flash of irritation at ... Read Full Story >>
Our wonderful staff led by my dear Transitional Kindergarten colleague, Katie, have collected the specific theme books and supplies to outfit the six TK and Kindergarten classes from Paradise, CA. The Paradise Elementary School burned to the ground in the recent Camp Fire, the worst loss of life and property in CA wildfire history.
Katie will travel up to a centralized " dispersal store" to deliver the class sets of new books and materials. I am so humbled by the generosity of our school community. We have gathered enough supplies to outfit all 6 classrooms with everything on their supply wish list. The TK kids sorted and put everything in order for tomorrow's delivery. Big jobs done so well by little cherubs <3
A month back we just got off of a train late in the night. Since we were traveling with parents and our son, my husband wanted us to get home without everyone losing more sleep and booked a cab so it would arrive just as we walked out of the train station. As we were halfway across the station, my son noticed an old lady sitting down, who was probably homeless. We were carrying some food and plantains leaves that are traditionally used as plates. My son wanted to serve her food properly. We suggested he give her the plantain leaf, food box and a bottle of water and then walk quickly so we wouldn't miss our cab- as the police will not allow vehicles to wait beyond a few minutes. My son suspected that she was mentally ill and could not put complex things together. He asked us to leave so we ... Read Full Story >>
Last night, we held a Harvest Festival, complete with catered dinner for the staff and volunteers of Court Appointed Special Advocates in our county of California. It was a great gathering of 75 like-minded volunteers as well as the 15 staff. There were many trays of turkey, ham, potatoes, roils, stuffing, salad, and two types (pumpkin, and baked apple) of individually boxed pie section left overs. At the end of the evening, my dear friend and I transported it all to our garages where we stored it overnight. This morning we made a special delivery to our local Marriott hotel to deliver it. Tonight's dinner will be a harvest feast for the 25 families who are staying at the hotel after being evacuated from the fire storm which has consumed a swath of the area just to the northwest of our county here in northern California. My friend's husband collected mandarins from ... Read Full Story >>
They sat like two little school girls in the corner of the school courtyard. Unaware that they were being watched, they were joyful and innocent. I was intrigued as I passed them and as I approached, they started to hide what they were doing. What they were doing was using an old red pen discarded by a student, and they were trying to use this to paint their lips red. Of course, my intention was not to embarrass them but when I approached the one who was getting her lips 'painted red' by the other, quickly covered her mouth. When I saw the red pen in the other's hand, I realised what they were doing. The one who was getting her lips painted, ran away and into the cleaner's room which is her base in work. How innocent! Such joy from such a basic thing. Of course, I cannot leave this and pretend ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday at physical therpy I was reflecting on how sweet & kind one of the PT Assistants is. He just has the most gentle way with folks, as well as an engaging smile he shares generously. He's also very capable in what he does.
So I decided I would tell him :))))
I told him he has a wonderful way with people and that it will serve him well in his chosen profession. He stopped what he was doing and told me it meant so much for him to hear this. We chatted on & I was so happy I shared how I felt with him.
It only takes a minute to share our kindness, yet it can live on in someone's heart ❤️
A stranger heard we were planning for my daughter's fifth birthday, and volunteered to drop off and set up a commercial bouncy house (that the kids loved) and he wouldn't take a cent in payment or let us help. He just told us to pay it forward.
I was blown away by his generosity and it was a lot of work to set up and pack away and he just said he likes knowing that kids had fun.
I just received a phone call from an old friend that I have not heard from in years. She looked me up to let me know that an old friend of ours was about to be evicted.
She is trying to do what she can to help her out. She figured that since we all were so close for so long, she would reach out and see if we could help. I moved away from the area years ago.
Luckily, I have family in the area. I have an uncle that owns an apartment building. I was unable to help with the eviction but I called my uncle and he is going to give her an apartment to live in for a year rent free. It is a three bedroom place.
She is a single mom with three children. My cousins are renting a truck and are going to help her move the next two days so she isn't served the eviction papers and she will get all of her stuff out of the place so it isn't lost. Being able to help with a hand up is the best feeling in the world.
A friend lent me a book. It was a book about flowers, and trees. For various reasons, it was special in my hands and heart. Maybe it felt good in my hands because I'd lost material items in a house fire. Or maybe it felt good in my heart because it was handed to me with love. Either way, it was a simple joy. Some weeks later I had a tire blow out, at the worst time of day-dusk. I had my two babies in tow and no spare tire. We were in a canyon with no cell reception. And to top it off the only family I had in town-were out of town. Luckily, I don't panic when it comes to basic survival skills. I set up a picnic area and got the scooters out from the trunk for the kiddos. I then checked my surroundings. Easy enough, we'd be fine ... Read Full Story >>
My husband and I were out shopping and noticed an older truck that was being driven by a young man. This man had a child in the cab without a car seat. The child was no older than three. My husband started chatting with the man and he told us that his wife had just left him and had sold everything he had, including the child's car seat as well as his furniture. I asked him if he would come into the store with us and we grabbed a cart, put his child in the cart, and off we went. We purchased a car seat, a toddler bed, mattress, sheets that the child picked as well as a comforter. We also got a few throw pillows, a regular pillow, PJs, a couple of outfits, and toys. The young man was almost in tears. I told him that it was our pleasure. I ... Read Full Story >>
“This is who we are. We take care of each other.” I’d passed that bridge about a half dozen times over the last several months. I noticed the make shift tents and the people and I’d wanted to stop, but wasn’t sure how or where to put my car. Thankfully, my housemate Gail knew exactly where I was talking about when I asked her if she knew about the folks living under the bridge and she knew of a parking spot just beyond. Christmas Day seemed the perfect day to finally meet some of these people and share a bit of hot soup and conversation. Her name is Joy. She likes documentaries. She’s worked in medical records and believes everyone should be greeted with a smile because as she says, you never know what somebody’s just been through. Joy understands about being through something; she happens to live under the bridge. His name is ... Read Full Story >>
I moved and in my new location, many nights on the way home from work I saw the same elderly lady walking down the street with a bunch of plastic shopping bags in her hands. She often stopped and rested during the trip back to her home.
So I watched her one evening and saw which house she went to. I verified she went to the same location again and then on the way home I parked down the street and walked to the house. On the porch I left a folding cart with the big wheels which will roll easily. Taped to the handle was one of the smile cards.
I saw her yesterday with the cart full, pulling it down the street in the chill of the day. She was definitely having a better experience. It is good to help.