Random Acts of Kindness, redux.

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If you have been reading here, you’ve read about some of the kind people in my neighborhood. Remember The Entrepreneur who gave me a bracelet one day when I had no money with me to buy his wares as I sometimes do? And the young woman who kindly chatted with me as we walked home from church, only to find that we were neighbors?

Since those times, I am sure that I smiled and said hello to hundreds of passersby as I went about my days, walking on my slate sidewalks with my head in the clouds unless admiring flowers on my paths or herons on my neighbor’s roof.

One day last week I was walking, fast and with attempted perfect posture, strengthening my core and getting exercise whilest seeing the world. (You know how my world works, right? Be healthy, be happy; I can more or less control those things!)

It was a stifling hot day and I had walked for blocks but I still had lots of energy and a bit more time, so I chose random side streets, walking down one and up another in the general direction of home. I try to walk different streets for fresh views: architectural details on glorious old houses, the landscaping, the people on porches or in front yards.

As I rounded one corner, I caught a hand-lettered sign of Street Sale, and sure enough as I glanced down the avenue it looked as though all the living rooms had been emptied out upon the front lawns.

As I didn’t catch the sale early, there were no juicy buys for me, but it was interesting to view all of the things that people thought they might sell. I had read that old computer monitors could be used to make fish tanks or terrariums, and maybe some of the people who don’t judge books by their covers don’t care if there actually are covers, but I like covered books. I do like old furniture, but have no room for more of that, so alas, I just looked as I walked down the street.

Unfortunately two lemonade stands had sold-out in the heat and were being dismantled or I might have purchased lemonade. Cold lemonade; it was a nice thought.

As I walked upon the sidewalk (concrete, not slate) I noticed a woman walking slightly ahead of me but in the street. She was walking very slowly, and no wonder: she had half a closet’s worth of clothing on hangers over one arm and up to her chin, a duffle bag over the other shoulder, and she carried a large full garbage bag with each hand. She walked a couple of steps then stopped, heaved the bags, set them down, walked a couple more steps. It was uncomfortable even to watch her.

I figured that she with her purchases was walking to one of the cars parked along the street. She could not be going far, that was for sure; she’d never make it.

When I caught up to her, I asked : “Can I help you carry any of that?”

She immediately dropped the bags and her whole body seemed to sigh in relief. “Ughhhh!”

As it happened, she wasn’t walking to any of the cars lining the street. She was walking to a bus stop, on another street. Welllll, I was in no hurry, after all, and she was looking wilted and over-laden with yard-sale merchandise. Hmmm. OK, let me take the garbage bags.

She gratefully handed them over. They weighed a ton! No wonder she couldn’t walk!

So, where is the bus stop?

She did not know. She only knew where the one was when she had arrived. She had never ridden back from here; it wasn’t her neighborhood. She explained that she’d come across town for the sale. As it was a weekend, the cross-town bus would not be frequent. Maybe every hour or so.

Alright, we knew the direction that the bus would be going, we knew which street, so we proceeded. The heat of the afternoon intensified, or felt so with the heavy carrying, and the breeze was warm and not very merciful. My hat blew off and my hair tumbled down, blowing in my mouth and sticking to my warm skin, and there I was lugging garbage bags. Don’t even imagine how I must have looked; it can’t be pretty.

As we neared the end of the block, the cross street ahead came into view, a very swanky avenue. “I got off the bus there,” she pointed, and I looked across a courtyard and a small park to a bus stop still half a block away.

Suddenly: “Oh Nooo! There is my bus!” She sounded horrified and she stopped walking. No wonder: who would want to stand on the side of the road in the hot sun For An Hour, outfitted with enough clothes for a large boutique or a small army?

Great.

I did what any already-disheveled level-headed woman would do: I ran with my (her) trash bags. I ran the rest of the way up the street we were on, across the little park, and thankfully had a break in traffic so that I could dart across the street that the bus was on, landing on the curb as the bus was ready to pass by.

You think I’d run all that way and let the bus pass me by? I dropped the bags and flagged down the driver, who shook her head NO (she wasn’t supposed to stop because it wasn’t officially a bus stop). I must have looked Plaintive. Or disheveled with a purpose. Or, the bus driver was into random acts of kindness and realized No One would want to wait for the next bus on this hot day.

In any case, the bus driver stopped, opened the bus doors, and leaned out to tell me that she couldn’t stop.

I said, “OK, that woman there (Where? Oh dear, she was still on the other side of the street and had not yet been able to cross through the traffic!)… That woman has all of this… stuff… and she needs to be on this bus.”

I heaved each large bag into the bus as the bus driver shook her head, and a man in a front seat stood to help with the bags. Then the woman arrived. I let her pass in front of me. She was panting and struggled to get her armloads of clothing up the steps and into the bus.

It was a quick goodbye. The bus driver scowled as I thanked her and wished her a good weekend, and the woman said, “huhthank you! suh ho… Much!”

As the door of the bus closed, she called out, “God Bless You!”

I have to say, this did add a bit more purpose to my little day.

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Hope your days are happy,

~ Lily

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27 Comments on “Random Acts of Kindness, redux.”

  1. irfriske says:

    Bravo, applause and salute! What a creatively inspiring, doggedly determination of such certainty can and did do. Totally such wonderful pure personality, with the ability to get it done!
    I am amazed with your single forthright sense of purpose!
    “.”
    Cat

    • lily says:

      ‘Tis nothing compared to your horse handling; I only had to handle trash bags! : )

      Thank you though– I know you can empathize with the determination, Cat! I hope all is well and not too hot down on the ranch.
      Hugs,

      ~ Lily

  2. janinevasta says:

    What a lovely soul you are, Lily. You amaze me daily right now!

  3. This is what it is all about…going that extra mile…and somehow it worked out…OH YEAH…you are the best…and keep it up.

    Be encouraged!

    • lily says:

      I guess you would know about running extra miles, Stephen. I just walk and wander : ) Thank you for your encouragement and kindness as always! It is nice to “see” you!

      ~ Lily

      • Gee Lily I didn’t even think of the “eatra mile” pun when I wrote it…move me up a couple of notches on the prayer list…please. hahaha.

        BTW…we rescued a 10 week old kitty now named Annie, because she was found wandering around St Anne’s Golf Course. Stay tuned for some exciting Annie stories…she is a riot.

        Be encouraged!

        • lily says:

          Sure, extra miles and extra prayers for you, Stephen!

          Aw, a rescued kitty! There are golf carts, and apparently also golf cats! I look forward to the tales.

          You and Susie have a happy week,

          ~ Lily

          • Thanks Lily…I’ll keep you posted on Annie’s Big Adventures.

            Be encouraged!

            • lily says:

              The Big Adventures of annie the little kitten… sounds sweet and possibly sweetly thrilling : )
              ~ Lily

              • Lily, you wouldn’t believe her…she is completely fearless. Zip the Free Climbing Cat has retired from taking on treacherous climbing routes, because Annie will scoot across them in half the time while waving to the crowd (Zip, Callie, Jake, Susie and I) below. Jake just shakes his head in amazement.

                Yesterday I came down to find Annie rolling around in Callie’s fur. Every time Callie tried to bat her away, Annie would wrap her legs around Callie’s leg and hang on for the ride. I finally pulled Annie off and Callie went and hid in the shower.

                She wakes me up in the morning by licking the inside of my ear. That is disgusting and we have already had several discussions about it…none of which have resolved the issue.

                Maybe I’m getting to old for this rescue thing…or maybe I should focus more on old decrepit dogs like myself. 🙂

                Be encouraged!

  4. StillValerie says:

    Great story Lily! Thanks for sharing your random act of kindness. Who knows what chain react you’ve started. Keep it going!

    Blessings!

    • lily says:

      It would be nice if every little act of kindness or consideration triggered another, wouldn’t it Valerie? At least the woman may have left with a favorable impression of my neighborhood, and even that is a good thing.
      Thank you,
      Wishing you happiness,
      ~ Lily

        • lily says:

          Yes! I remember reading that! Very inspirational!
          Each of us with our bits of kindness, and soon maybe we will have waves of kindness. You with your patience when managing the meditation day in the heat of the city were I’m sure such a fine example to many students and teachers alike–calm, cool, and likely very kind!
          Thank you for your thoughts, Valerie. Is it still so hot where you are?
          ~ Lily

          • StillValerie says:

            Hi Lily:

            Thanks for your kind words and caring. We had some short spurts of torrential rain and high winds (hail and a small twister/tornado in some parts) over the last few days which has pished out the humidity. So even though the temperatures are hot, most of the humidity is gone, and we can enjoy the summer heat. The crops, plants, grass and all are not so lucky, as it didn’t rain for an extended period of time to quench the dry earth. Local produce will be different in taste, quality and quantity this year. We’ll just have to accept these circumstances and deal with them as best as we can and hope (and pray) that things will change. I’m really hoping this is an anomaly year and that this is not global warming in progression.

            Blessings!

            • lily says:

              Oh my goodness, hail and tornadoes? Well at least it is not so humid. The drought conditions do seem quite pervasive this summer. I hope that the corn crops will rebound, the poor farmers. And, all things made with corn (and whatever other crops have been adversely affected) will go up in price. At least we are not having another Dust Bowl, although fires have been so awful in some places. When I went to the Farmer’s Market, the farmers said to pray for rain! I wonder if there will be an early autumn, or another month of heat in August?
              Well it has been nice chatting with you, Valerie. Sleep well and peacefully and have a happy tomorrow!
              ~ Lily

  5. jazfagan says:

    Great blog Miss Lily….You are so randomly kewl…..Luv ya sista………….Peace, as always, Jaz

  6. free penny press says:

    Pay it forward and it shall come back to you tenfold. Such a kind woman you are Miss Lily!!

  7. lily says:

    I think it is just basic human kindness and it makes us feel good about our humanity. Somewhere along the way, fear or selfishness (or something) shoved a lot of our kind inclinations to the wayside. I think I was born and raised with just enough gumption not to let all of myself be shoved. Sometimes we have to live a bit in our own little dream worlds, you know? (I know you know.)

    Wishing you happiness, and how is your pending move coming along???

    ~ Lily

  8. like this little story, Lily, shows yr warm personality; have you by any chance seen the movie PAY FORWARD with Helen Hunt & Kevin Spacey?

    • lily says:

      No, I have not seen that movie. Are you recommending it? I had a few years when I saw no movies, so it may have been out during that time.
      Glad you like the story. : )

      ~ Lily

  9. What and adventure! I bet even in the heat and exhaustion, you walked home with a smile.

    • lily says:

      Heh, well, truth be told: I often walk with a little smile on my face, or at least a happy countenance. I love to walk. I suppose people sometimes wonder what I am thinking, why I am smiling. Hopefully they don’t think I am Demented. But you are right, it is a good feeling to know that someone was helped in a small way. It’s also weird how we are so often in the right place at the right time. This sort of thing seems to frequently happen to me. : )

      Hope your week is happy,

      ~ Lily

  10. Serendipity comes to mind…as your story brought tears (of happiness) welling my eyes…beautifully done, Lily!


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