Today I sent a text message to next door neighbour who has 2 young children. Asked her if she needed anything at supermarket. Not sure I have her current number cos she didn't write back but that's OK. It was a nice feeling writing the message.
Plan to do same with other neighbours who are in their 70's and maybe bake some cookies and hang them on their door with a note saying "Happy to help if help is needed."
What are YOUR ideas for helping others in these corona-fraught times in order to spread the love and compassion? Do tell!
A few days ago, I had forgotten where I'd parked my bike. As I stood at the spot I'd initially wanted to park it, which was empty, I thought, "Oh no! It's been stolen!" After a moment of panic, it dawned on me that it was actually around the corner. Laughing with relief, I began to unlock it just as an elderly man passed by slowly with his walker. I wouldn't have talked to him normally, but my gratitude for my bike prompted a lovely, spontaneous exchange.
I think he was a bit lonely, as he told me he was 81 and had to stop driving for a while due to a fall. His wife of many years was in a home and couldn't come out as she suffered from Alzheimer's. We chatted for a bit, both of us reveling in the company. When I was ready to get on my way, he sincerely wished me all the very best as I silently sent him blessings. I was grateful for the connection, and this energy helped power me home on my trusty bicycle.
Was in a shop and the woman in front of me who was going out closed the door in my face. Normally that would really annoy me (I'm from a culture where it's seen as polite to hold open doors for strangers but live in a country where it's common to get a door in your face most of the time). Anyway felt nice and calm. On the way out the woman turned round and actually apologized! Gave her a big smile and said no problem!
On a recent flight a child somewhere near the front was crying uncontrollably. Couldn't see them but silently sent them good vibes of comfort and reassurance that it was OK. Eventually they calmed down. A strange thing happened when the plane landed. A handicapped girl several seats ahead turned round and kept beaming and waving at me all the way from the plane to the airport. Had the feeling she was the one who'd been crying. Unique connection!
I gave a refugee student of mine some tips on how to get into her dream apprenticeship and also polish up on her language skills so she can hopefully get a good exam grade next summer. She was about to go to a university in Syria and now she is sitting in a class with kids about 5 years younger than her and has been learning a completely new language over the last 3 years. Her class teacher agreed that she should get a grade higher for her O-levels though she still has to learn a lot in her "new language". So, I told her that she'll get a C and not a D and she had tears in her eyes and was so grateful and flabbergasted. And also shared that I motivate her. I told her that I had 2 educators that gave me a chance, and one day it'll be ... Read Full Story >>
Passed by a very very long row of prettily painted stones and pebbles beside a lake. Saw lots of love hearts and rainbow paintings. Some paintings looked really professional and many of them were children's works of art. One stone even had a ladybird painted on it.
This is part of a project by an anonymous person to "see how long the line of stones gets during the corona pandemic. Walkers and passers-by are welcome to paint their own stones and leave them there. according to a sign pinned on a nearby tree.
Isn't this a lovely way to show solidarity and get those creative juices flowing? I might just paint my own stone and leave it there. Thought it might inspire you to do something similar at your neck of the woods!
Am in the process of making up little uplifting notes and prayers for my cheerful postcards for a native community that is in a suicide crisis. Kindspringer Brad2 has raised awareness on this issue saying that children as young as 10 are committing suicide. Hope the kids will get hope from them :-) Here is the address if you want to do so too:
Makwa Sahgaiehcan School
Loon Lake SK
Whilst on a road trip to the USA from Canada around the Milennium, my hubby and I experienced amazing kindness at a gas station. It was one of those places where you fill-up the car first and then pay by card right at the machine. Unfortunately, it didn't accept our Canadian bank cards and with a mere 3 US dollars to our name, we had no idea how to pay. Whilst trying to find a solution with the attendant inside at the cash desk (i.e. pay in Canadian dollars), another customer came up to us and said she'd like to settle our bill of 40 dollars!!! We were stunned, especially as she didn't want us to send the money to her later. Nor did she want our Canadian dollars. Back then 40 dollars was a lot of money! All she said was "Just help somebody else who needs it". Straight after that, we ... Read Full Story >>
Many moons ago, I went to the Giant Mountains with a couple of people. We were walking in the mountains and suddenly it started to rain very hard. We found shelter under the roof of some ski lifts. The elderly man who worked there said we could spend the night in the loft there, and so we did, in our sleeping bags, after he shared some drinks with us. Maybe the man felt sorry for us or was simply being kind, but he recommended walks for us the next day. In a mixture of languages, and drawing pictures, he signaled that we could come for dinner and spend the night at his home that night. Being penniless students, we eagerly took up his offer, naturally, once we trusted our instincts that he was a decent person. At his home, his wife treated us like royalty. For us, dinner was a lavish ... Read Full Story >>
Enjoying a coffee and cake in a cafe - last time was on 14th March!!! Strict regulations but it's nice to get back to normal. The quote in the post below ("Eco-wake up call") has prompted me to reflect on these last few weeks and remind myself to better myself and utilize these gifts especially when Corona goes away. Quote: "While these behaviors might have been influenced by the pandemic, however, they aren’t going away when COVID-19 does." While it's not always been easy, I've learnt a lot about: 1) Slowing down and not rushing about. When you have to keep your distance, you're really forced to slow down! And I'm usually rushing about like a blue-a*** fly at the best of times. 2) Being patient and tolerant. Especially regarding the neighbors' noisy kids who are outdoors. All. Day. Long! 3) Speaking to people in the neighborhood, making time to chat and spoiling elderly neighbors ... Read Full Story >>
I read an article in a magazine about 3 girls aged around 15 or 16.
They go to a nearby hospital and spend time by chating and playing with or reading to younger hospitalised children to help them get over the boredom. These girls are in the process of setting up a charity so their idea can spread to other hospitals.
I think it's great when youngsters strive and take action to make the world a better place. So I sent a package to their school with a few packs of children's playing cards, a small money donation and a sparkly card saying "You are fab!"
There is a lot of talk about spreading the kindness ripples. And isn't it amazing when you see it happen with your eyes. I have observed a few ripples and wanted to share them with you: 1) About a year and a half ago, I visited my old school and on the "tour" noticed in the gym restrooms that somebody (a schoolgirl going by the handwriting) had provided a box with sanitary and little freebie care products for girls. I took the idea to my workplace and was pleased to see that the box grew AND the idea has spread to other restrooms!!! 2) Recently I noticed that there is somebody who posts the repetitive and similar posts extremely regularly but doesn't get any smiles on some days. So, I made an extra effort to give them lots of smiles for each and every post and I have noticed that others have ... Read Full Story >>
Today I baked some cookies (naturally adhering to hygiene measures every step of the way!) and put some aside for my elderly neighbours.
Added some other sweet treats, vitamin C and a fancy gift-wrapped toilet roll to make up a "CARE parcel" as well as a note saying "happy to help if you need any shopping done" which I hung on their doorknob. (Where I live, people of a risk age group or with health issues are advised to stay at home).
Lots of kindness opportunities in these corona-ridden times. Stay safe everyone!
While traveling in New Brunswick, Canada, we were sitting on a bench in a park, enjoying the peace, quiet and gorgeous views.
A lady walked by with her dog. We began chatting with her, and told her about our journeys and that it was a temporary stop before moving ahead.
Ingrid, a complete stranger to us, invited us for dinner!
She even insisted on us tellingl her what we wanted to eat, and also invited us to meet her family.
Maybe we looked hungry -- I have no idea! :) We were flabbergasted and didn't know what to say.
She said, "I know, I'll cook you some steak. Looking forward to seeing you at six.”
We showed up for dinner, and it was an amazing evening, getting pampered and meeting her lovely family, too.
How amazing to be graced by such an over-the-top kindness!
While traveling in Canada on a bird watching tour on an island outside Québec, we met a nice, young man called Alain.
In the days before internet and social media, it was common to swap addresses upon departing and say, "Come and visit if you're in the area."
So, a while later, we actually took Alain up on his offer. We knocked on his door, just thinking we'd have a cup of tea and nice chat, but to our surprise, his lovely mum ended up cooking a delicious dinner for us!
Then, we were even invited to stay the night! We also had fun trying to speak French with his girlfriend, who couldn't speak English.
It was a great evening.
Recently I have been feeling out of balance. I am exhausted from the increasing loads of work, and saddened and annoyed at the reactions or sometimes indifference from some people when I have been nice to them. I realize, however, that many people are just focused on our individual needs, and are becoming increasingly tense during this long lockdown. I am aware that the tension rears its ugly head to hurt me occasionally. That is just the way life is. These last few days I have been drawn to snippets of wisdom like "Give with a pure heart and expect nothing in return,” "Honor who you are," "Love yourself," or "Love the hurt child within." It seems the universe wants me to focus on these lessons, so I have been. I have had much fun recently enjoying the simple things in life: building a snowman; making snow angels for the very first ... Read Full Story >>
With the beginning of the New Year, I:
- washed and ironed a whole bunch of laundry twice for my mother-in-law who is momentarily stuck in hospital after a hip fracture and then a stroke
- mailed a parcel with bits and bobs and a money donation to support Lorna Byrne's sanctuary project
- gave a man who sells a magazine for the homeless a Christmas card with money and gifted him a Christmas cake from a bakery
- offered the birds fat balls which they love to feast on
- made candles and fire starters from old wax stumps to help the environment
- placed gemstone gifts at healing trees
- picked up litter and practiced gratefulness to nature like leaving little gemstone and coin gifts to honor the elementals
- supported artists on a website platform who design things by buying two cool scarves
- said a little prayer for passing ambulances
Today was another of those days, during which I felt it I was very fulfilled. I cleaned the birdbaths properly. Then I sent a cheery one-off note to a young woman in prison who tried to fight for a cause that is important to me. I have never done this before and don't know her personally but she "would love greetings and prayers". And it felt right to do so. Politely stated to two shop assistants who kept coming closer and closer (without a mask) that I'd like to keep my distance due to the corona pandemic. I refilled the plant pot we got from our neighbors (the ones whose loud DIY shenanigans and wailing kids at all hours left my nerves frayed recently) with 4 young raspberry plants. They had given us a young aloe-vera plant recently. May the plants help peace prevail! Tried to "matchmake" somebody needing to enhance their language skills with ... Read Full Story >>
Small businesses seem to be having it rough during this pandemic, even the ones allowed to open their doors to the public. A few days ago, we had the brainwave of asking our local special restaurant to deliver dinner after lamenting that we can't eat out any more these days. I could hear the gratefulness in the owner's voice on the telephone when I ordered. I was touched we were given a complimentary bottle of wine by the delivery person, who might actually have been the owner. I told her she was the highlight of our day. Yesterday I bought two things in a shop, including truffles, a nice treat. The lady at the cash desk was kind like the restaurant owner. While we chatted, she nearly forgot the truffles. I reminded her. She suddenly produced a different box of truffles from under the counter, and said, "What the heck, these are on me!" ... Read Full Story >>
One of my neighbours is an elderly gentleman. It is important for him to not go out, so I made him a pot of home-made soup and cheesecake, while also bringing him a bunch of blooms from the garden. He was chuffed! It looks like his wife is coming out of hospital soon, too!
I also went shopping today, taking care to use complimentary hand sanitiser before AND after shopping and standing well apart from others. One lady looked very nervous, so I took another step back and we laughed about how popular soup-making is becoming again.
Rather than raiding the shelves to hoard items, I just bought what I needed. I also bought two flower arrangements from the florist who is selling them at the supermarket. I didn't really need the flowers, but I wanted to support the florist, as they are now hard hit for business and have to close their shops until the corona virus subsides. Let's hope that is sooner than later.
Today, on a whim, I bought a cheery little bunch of flowers for a really lovely shop owner (on the way from the bank so I could pay her for my wares).
We had enjoyed a lovely chat and she revealed she was a real hippie flower child. Nice chats about our love for California, the Giant Redwoods and Indian culture and jewelery.
Also, I felt a bit sad because she doesn't want to go travelling any more since her husband died and she is closing her shop (prob because of corona).
So, I handed her the flowers and said I had never met a real hippie flower child and thought she'd love the poesie. Also said I would think of her next time I would go over to the States! She said she had enjoyed chatting with me and wished me all the very best.
And I think she was about to cry when I left her unwrapping the flowers.
Garden shops and florists are finally open after being closed three months for the pandemic. We visited a florist friend who I have not seen for over a year now and splurged on lovely flowers: two bouquets and 10 plant pots of pansies.
I think it is so important, now more than ever, to support small local businesses, even if they are a tad more expensive than the bigger stores. I gave my husband a big bouquet and seven of the potted pansies to take to his mum who is not so mobile nowadays. Some of the flowers are for the house to cheer it up. Spring is in the air!
Sometimes I like to go for a drive through the German countryside. Usually some farmers have a stand or a table by their gate where you can buy fresh eggs or potatoes and leave the payment in a cash box, often a heavy-duty padlocked metal affair. I have also seen this concept of "pay it by trust" in Denmark. I like to support the farmers this way. I have noticed that more and more little systems have been sprouting up, usually outside people's houses in the middle of nowhere. Typically they are selling wares such as homemade jam or even cake, local honey, handicrafts or flowers for a couple of Euros. It appears some people have been especially hard hit by the pandemic and are finding creative ways to enhance their income. I am making a point of leaving loose change in the car, so I can stop off and support these ... Read Full Story >>
I found some old ribbons whilst clearing up the attic. So I got a marker pen and wrote down words of hope like "Stay strong!", "Everything will be fine!", " Life is good!", "Have a nice day!" Together we are strong!", "Chin up!", "Enjoy the little things in life!", " There is always hope!" I am going to tie them to the branches of the "Magic Tree" in the woods where people have started hanging up positive messages and little seasonal ornaments since the pandemic started last March. Now our lockdown has been extended to mid February! Nearly 2 months for this second lockdown. More and more people are walking in the woods to get out, as everything is basically closed except for supermarkets. So, I hope my messages give people a bit of cheer and hope. Maybe I can plant the flowers at the base of the tree. Really it is ... Read Full Story >>
Happiness is ... the big little things - like a simple walk on a beach with your favorite person who then unexpectedly spots a heart-shaped piece of amber lying in the sand (moments after *ahem* a teensy-weensy tiff)...
Those are the real magic moments that stay in your heart to be forever treasured.
I read in the local newspaper that a kindergarten in my village is affected by covid19.
Over 90 people people are in quarantine for 2 weeks. So, I made up a care parcel for our neighbours who have 2 young children with a watermelon, toilet roll (!), biccies and a note saying to call if they needed anything.
Turns out they are fine as their kids go to a different kindergarten!
Still, it felt good to reach out and they appreciated my kind gesture!
I was finally able to get a decent haircut after half a year of waiting due to the pandemic. Hair salons have been allowed to open since the start of March, but they have been fully booked. My favorite hairdresser was off sick so her boss cut my hair instead.
The boss's young daughter was there, and she asked if she could put some hair wax on my locks at the end. She seemed quite proud to have a real customer.
With her Mum's permission, I gave her a chocolate Easter bunny with a five-dollar bill. I gave her mum, the salon owner, a generous tip and also supported her by buying some hair oil and moisturizer from a "sale basket." She acted a bit embarrassed and said "That's too much!" but I replied I'm not often there and am very happy with their services. May they survive the lockdown OK!
I had the urge to get back into working on our family tree. I found a website bursting at the seams with historical photos of a town my father grew up in. I was tickled pink to recognise my grandmother and some of her own family members in pictures of days gone by. I also found useful snippets of information.
The man who ran the website asked for family photos and anecdotes for the website to help others with their ancestry research for that specific local area. I thought it was nice that he offered to look into the local parish records for free. He writes books on the local area and the proceeds go to charity, so I sent him a bunch of digitalised family photos spanning 50 years of the last century, and I shared some anecdotes which might help others. I also thanked him for his good work, which I see as a wealth of information for generations to come.