Rain Deterred Their Plans, So They All Pulled Together To Help The University Choir Get To Their Destination
It began to rain yesterday morning and it still hasn't stopped. Rain suggests gentle. It has not been gentle. The rain barrel, waiting to be attached to the downspout, was knocked over, not to mention a few chairs in the patio are on their sides. The university choir was to be transported to our venue by 4:45 p.m. They would be missing dinner at their dorm so one of our choir members prepared both a vegetarian meal as well as a non-vegetarian meal for the 25 singers. Others of us prepared side-dishes. Their bus never arrived for them. In the pouring rain, they had to take the "L" from Hyde Park to a stop near our concert site. Several of our members, attired in concert dress (long black skirts, tuxedos) drove to the station making several trips to pick up the student singers, and not all of them arrived on the same ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, RoseMarie wrote a lovely post. She wrote of giving a thank-you note with a monetary gift to her daughter's social worker. I would like to add something to this. Before Christmas I went to the medical group's lab to have some routine tests. When the lab tech saw my doctor's name, she began to gush and wouldn't stop. My internist had gifted all of the lab technicians with gift cards for Christmas. The tech said that in the 20 years that she had worked, no one had ever gifted her before. Fast forward to Wednesday, when I had a routine visit with my doctor. I shared the story and he indicated that the tech had written HIM a beautiful thank-you note. We talked about small gestures and how meaningful they can be. He said that sometimes even professionals don't know if or how they have an influence on their fellow workers ... Read Full Story >>
Elderly neighbor's 90th birthday was Monday. She is becoming more in need of help, but doesn't want it. Gardenguy mows her grass weekly.
Over the weekend, her 80 year old friend and her other neighbor joined forces to help clean and de-clutter part of her house, She did a lot of protesting, but elderly neighbor later told me that the kitchen hadn't looked that good in years. Blessings to good friends and neighbors.
I have been in an active adult fitness class since I retired from work. There was a charming, delightful member of the group who always put a smile on our faces. Two years ago her husband became seriously ill and after having been released from hospital needed nursing home care....for two years.
She has spent most of the days of those two years at the nursing home with him for a good portion of the day. She didn't answer emails, so on occasion I would send her a note and she would reply with an update on her life.
Recently, members of the class wondered what she was doing. I dropped her a note and received a reply today. She was so tickled that we still thought and cared about her. A month ago, her husband was allowed to come home. She has a good caregiver for him who arrives early in the morning. She wants to know when our fitness class picks up again after the new year.
I'm so pleased that I wrote and so pleased that she may have the opportunity to return to class.
Tomorrow is presidential Inauguration day in the United States. I wish that I could say that I feel better than I did the day after the November election, but I don't. Some friends are taking part in the Women's (and some men) March in Chicago to coordinate with the March on Saturday in Washington, D.C. They are not marching as a protest but rather in solidarity with values that we hold dear. I had other commitments on Saturday, but what could I do as a positive action?
I came up with a plan. I purchased five $5 gift cards from a food store chain, tucked it into an envelope with a peace dove (the best of my hand-made bunch), prayer card tucked into wing, and a Smile Card. They will be placed on unsuspecting car windshields as I go about my chores on Friday and Saturday. (hopefully, the rain that is hitting my windows now will be over by tomorrow).
I have an elderly neighbor who is 89 years old. She is unmarried, no children, a few nieces and nephews who live out of state (only one lives relatively close-by), and all of her siblings have died. The garden-guy mows her grass, and I try to keep some weeds at bay by lopping what comes over the fence, but her yard is pretty much a safety hazard and a danger. Not to mention that our neighborhood has had rodent sightings. I witnessed a beautiful act of kindness from the family across the alley. The couple, along with their teen-age son, arrived in her garden recently, dressed for major work: long sleeves, long pants, gloves, hats. The arrived with pruners, loppers, weed wacker...you name it. It took them more than several hours and plenty of yard-waste containers, but they did it. Will the overgrowth return? Yes. But, our neighbor will have a ... Read Full Story >>
Last week saw the passing of three former workmates. All were lovely, gracious, kind women. I had been in touch with the daughter of one of these delightful women.
She was going through her mom's things as she began the task of cleaning her mother's home. She found a journal I had given her mother when she retired about seven years ago.
My friend had written a bit every day for about two years, including one thing for which she had been grateful for each day. She mentioned I had given her the journal and where it was given. Her daughter seemed pleased to have this memory of her mother.
I spoke with my "local" sister today and she relayed this story which I have been given permission to share. My brother-in-law had a taste for pizza from a near-by pizzeria. When he went in to place his order for carry-out, the clerk explained that they had one ready that had been made in error. It was his if he wanted it for dirt cheap. He purchased it and when he brought it home and he and my sister opened the box, they discovered that it was massive and that it would be a mistake on their part if they even took one bite. She knew that they would eat all of it. Her next door neighbor was celebrating the holiday with their very large family and so she told my brother-in-law to take the pizza to their house. Upon delivering it to their door, he discovered that one of neighbor's sons ... Read Full Story >>
I worked at the same place of employment for decades. It wasn't the best job in the world, but it had its advantages. For the most part, I very much enjoyed the people with whom I came in contact.
I was working in the garden today, watering my poor plants that are very unhappy in this very hot, humid, lack-of-rain spell when a Fed-Ex truck pulled up.
I had ordered nothing. The driver jumped out and said: Here are more flowers as he carried a large box of cut flowers. It's not my birthday, anniversary, etc. I asked him if he was certain that he had the correct address.
I almost cried when I opened the box, saw the stunning bouquet and read the short note from a former employee. I have not seen, been in touch for well over a decade. She thanked me for whatever it was that I had done those many years ago to make HER retirement easy and "painless". I am so blessed.
Our newer neighbors have been doing massive re-muddling to their over 100-year-old
home. I noticed that they had disposed of several over 100-year-old solid oak doors with lovely hinges and hardware. I corraled my spouse and we rescued them from the trash heap. Not being able to use them ourselves, we contacted the former owners of the house who had moved into a "newer" house.
They were able to use the doors in many forms in their new house, by using them as their intended purpose, cutting one down to use as a table. They picked up the last door last evening. The earth has been saved of more useful things from landfills and those gorgeous old wood doors have been able to live many more years.
After having lunch with friend on Friday, we ducked into a grocery store to pick up a few items. I think each of us had three items in our hands. The check-out lines consisted of people with overflowing carts.
We chose the line with the customer who had the smaller cart, relatively speaking. The customer told both of us to go ahead of her. We protested but she insisted and also indicated that she was in no hurry. We both thanked her, but the nicest surprise was that the checker told the bagger (in a very soft voice) to bring the customer a bouquet of flowers.
So nice that the employees are encouraged to reward customers that go above and beyond.
Before Easter I had purchased a little rustic-looking wood rabbit that I placed on my front steps. Several weeks ago, it appeared to have hopped away with the help of some unsavory kids.
I couldn't blame them for certain as I had no proof only a suspicion. It simply annoyed me and I wondered what happened to it. The lady on my far corner has fence upon which she places cutesy little "things". Today as I took my walk, what caught my eye but said rabbit without its base.
She was working in her garden and I inquired about it. She shared how she had found it in the street and encouraged me to take it back when she heard my tale. But I realized it looks so cute on her fence and at least I know what became of it even though I still can't pin the deed on anyone. Sometimes just knowing the end result is enough.
Last year while on vacation to another country, I picked up two books that had been translated into English. I came home, immediately added them to the stack next to the bed and forgot about them until a few weeks ago. I finally read one of them, enjoyed it, and tried to decide where it was going to go next.
When I take my daily walk, I pass a house and talk with the owners. It turns out that Mr. Owner was a copier repairman who was often called to my workplace during the years that he worked for the copier firm that we used. Coincidentally, his last name is the same as the author of the book that I read. Found a postcard from our ancestral homeland, wrote a note and deposited it and the book into his mail slot on my walk this morning.
One of our neighbors is helping to collect items for a friend and residents of an island stricken by the recent hurricanes. I was shopping today for items for this as well as for a Boy Scout in our community working on his Eagle Project.
While at the big box store, I became aware of a young mom with her toddler daughter. Mom was very engaged with her child as they shopped. I had to stop her to offer my appreciation for the fact that she was so engaged with her little girl. I know this is the way it should be, but I become so saddened when I see moms texting or talking on their cell phones and completely ignoring their children. I complimented her and told her wee one that she had the best mom ever. Mom said that I made her day, but truly, she made mine.
Went to the first class of a four-week summer session of foreign language. Our classes are set up as the foreign language being taught as a second language. The teachers will take their skills back to their home country at the end of four weeks and, hopefully, we'll have learned a bit more as well.
One of the teachers was here last year; for the other, this is her first time in the U.S. I know where they are staying here and I know that they need to prepare their own meals. I brought a bag of our garden-picked veggies for them: some zucchini, tomatoes, and two different types of green beans. I also included two origami peace doves with a peace sentiment in their language tucked into the wings.
I joined a friend for breakfast this morning. We had a lovely time discussing books, films, and things that make us crazy. The waitress gave us enough space and coffee. When we paid our check, I included a Mindy peace dove in the receipt folder. As we still chatted, the waitress came back holding 2 Mindy doves and asked me if I had included it.
I must had given one to her at a previous time. She said that she always carried it with her and now that she had two, she would give one to her son. Thanks to Kindspring member Mindy for all the inspiration!
Our concert was performed this past weekend. We are a community volunteer group of singers. I don't volunteer as much as I should, so I generally purchase a block of tickets to give to people that I know might be going.
Yesterday, I found myself with one unused ticket before the concert. Not giving it away would just mean that there was extra money in the till. Instead, I went to the ticket table and told the person selling tickets that this was going to be Random Act Of Kindness.
She was to give the ticket to the next person who was going to purchase a ticket. I don't know who it was. I didn't see the ticket seller later. I do wish that I could have seen the look on the attendee's face and I wonder if they might have given an extra donation or passed the kind act forward.
My elderly neighbor is in Las Vegas! I'm picking up her newspapers and mail for her. I noticed that Japanese Knot Weed had shown its leaves, so I went over with herbicide.
Later, another neighbor was in her garden cutting back some things that will become overgrown if not pruned. Our elderly neighbor keeps saying that she will do these things, but we know that it's gotten beyond her abilities. It also becomes a safety issue.
As she would prefer that we didn't do it, we wait until she's away. We call it sneaky kindness.
I want to acknowledge an act of kindness that I witnessed yesterday. It was my week to volunteer at our church food pantry. Usually, the 5th Tuesday is very slow and quiet. Not yesterday. The act of kindness was from some unnamed member of our church who donated extra autumn squashes from their garden. The clients who came yesterday were so delighted to be able to get a fresh veggie. Our pantry is small, we only distribute non-perishables, so to see the joy on faces was heartwarming.
Today, I was able to give my mail carrier a bottle of cold water. She was so happy. She isn't feeling well, can't wait to finish her route and get home. She complained that she also had a sore throat. I was able to offer her several kinds of throat lozenges (a singer always has big supply!) and she was so excited because they were her favorite brand.
A neighbor down the street sows marigold and zinnia seeds in a small spot in her front yard. When the flowers finally bloom, they are so cheerful looking.
It's springtime here and every shop has a rack with veggie or flower seeds to entice. I picked up a packet of zinnia seeds this week and included them with a little note expressing my appreciation for her efforts each year. I'll drop them in her mail slot when I take my walk today.
The weather has been like late summer this week, even though it is November. It won't last, but I've taken advantage and walked every day. I tend to reward myself with a coffee from the little church-run cafe that I pass on my way home.
During this time of Covid, everyone seems to be running short of coinage. I took a handful with me today and paid with exact change.
I exchanged the remainder of my coins for paper money. The clerk was overjoyed and said that they can always use coins, no matter how small the amount.
Earlier this year, a dear friend passed. She and her mother (in her 90's) lived in the same building, but not together. I learned that the building had been in the family for 94 years and the mom recently sold it and she moved to a senior living facility.
I sent her a "thinking of you" note last week. Didn't say much really, except that I hoped that she liked her new arrangement and that I hoped all was well.
Much to my surprise, I received a note in the mail from her today. Of course, she misses her daughter terribly, but is happy in her new surroundings.
It doesn't take much to write a simple note to someone that you might know whose circle of friends has diminished due to age. I certainly didn't expect a reply, but I'm sure that she didn't expect the note that I wrote.
Our autumn concert was this past weekend and it was received with joy by our audiences! Because I don't volunteer for many things in our chorus, I support it by purchasing all of the tickets that I am given to sell.
I gave the last three to a couple and their relative from our church. At the end of the concert, they thanked me and asked if they could pay for the tickets.
I could have accepted their offer as they felt an obligation to pay. Instead, I suggested that they make a contribution to the chorus (we are a non-profit). They agreed that it was a fitting alternative to reimbursing me.
My adult son was holding on to some childhood items: a wood train set and still popular character-related items. He finally decided that I should give them to a friend's child who is the right age to enjoy them. I was excited to pass them on and added a book of poetry and some picture books that were still in very good condition.
Drove to a friend's house this morning while the little guy was in pre-school. At some point, he will have a very nice surprise to play with.
My sister shared this story today about her spouse.
They have had some plumbing difficulties and while they had fixed it, for the most part, the plumber was needed to secure a part to make a final installation. The supply store was a jaunt from their house and it was late in the afternoon. The plumber had to go quickly to the store to get the part and be back to their house for the install.
At some point, he mentioned to my brother-in-law that in midst of all the work, he had no time for lunch. My brother-in-law, although not a cook in any sense of the word, microwaved a hot dog and served up a very nice snack.
The plumber told my sister what a good and kind guy her spouse was. Yes, he was and is. :)
After yesterday's rain, the latest chalk kindness words on the front walk have washed away. I went out early this morning and wrote another. There is an older gentleman who lives in the multi-unit across the street. He is a school crossing guard. We've never talked. This is the second time that he has observed me writing just as he is leaving for his station. And the second time that we have chatted. Who knew that simple kindness words in chalk would have that outcome?
For the second time in several weeks, the tire pressure indicator flashed in my face on the dashboard of my car. The tires looked fine, but I took the car to the tire center near my home. Confession: over the weekend, I somehow managed to drive over a curb. The guys at the tire center checked everything out. They couldn't find a problem except for one tire that showed no damage but lost some air. Keep an eye on it, they said. For the second time in several weeks, there was no charge for the services.
Before I returned to pick up the car, I stopped at the local drug store and purchased a giant bag of miniature chocolate bars (135 of them!) to give them in thanks.
The cleaning ladies that my market friend uses were at her house when I went to pick her up this morning. They asked her to purchase some strawberries for them. This time if year is so past strawberry season. She didn't ask them if they had a 'Plan B' should there not be strawberries. Instead, at the market, she purchased a small container of cherries, blueberries and a darling bouquet dubbed "Gumball Bouquet" (just picture the contents of a gumball machine). She was going to let them pick an item in place of the strawberries that they weren't going to get. Kindness was in the air this morning.
It's Saturday morning. I went to the farmers' market as usual. Our garden green beans are pathetic, so I was on a quest to find some there. Found what I wanted, but the containers were HUGE. I asked one of the vendors if I could have a handful and handed him my small container. He overfilled it much to my protests. When I asked him what I owed him, he said that he had dropped more on the pavement this morning than was in my container. There was no charge. What a unexpected gift!
Today was the last day of the farmers' market for the season. There is one small vendor that my friend and I have been patronizing. They have wonderful salad greens, delicious carrots and they are simply delightful people. We have had such fun conversations with them. As we made our final rounds this morning, I gifted them the last of my home-grown lavender sachets. I couldn't think of nicer people to give them to. It's just as well that it was the final day. It was cold, dark, rainy, miserable. Here's to next spring!