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Monday, December 31, 2012

Moments of Kindness

Throughout the day how many times do you catch yourself with a negative thought or comment about someone? The driver in front of you. The driver behind you. The driver who steals your parking spot (perhaps he didn't see you reserved sign). The kid with the droopy jeans. The old person taking too much time to do whatever it is they are doing.

During my visit to Alberta this Christmas, I planned a day out with my mother. I knew there would be challenges, because she is in a wheelchair and needs quite a bit of help to get from chair to vehicle. We were going shopping and then to lunch, both of which would require some maneuvering.
Mom modeling one of 25 ways
to wear her new scarf

At some point during the day I began to notice the number of people making the day easier than I would have anticipated, starting with my sister who loaned me her vehicle with 4 wheel drive and said to come back whenever, one of the 250 nice things she did for me during the week. Actually the nicest thing of all was sitting with our mother earlier in the month to extract stories of her memories of each of us, and then typing us each a letter from Mom full of those stories. Oh and cooking dinner for 18 Christmas Day. But I digress...

My sister Angie baking pies for her 18 guests Christmas day

When I arrived at Mom's residence I was able to park right in front and the nurses had Mom all ready to go, another nice thing. The shopping center had no obvious handicapped parking, but I pulled right up to the main door and a nice young man opened the doors for us. When we were leaving the mall another young man offered his strong arms to hoist Mom into the vehicle. At the restaurant a young woman rushed out and held the doors for us.  A young man did the same as we were leaving, and a second man in the parking lot helped us do the transfer to vehicle smoothly. Small gestures make a big difference in such circumstances.

Back at my sister's, after giving me their bedroom for the week, my sister and her husband loaned me ski pants, a jacket, socks, boots, a warm hat and gloves, and best of all, a skidoo! Yes I am Canadian and no I have never driven a skidoo before. With hundreds of acres at our disposal we played on the back field, and then proceeded to cross roads, fences and fields to visit neighbors.  What fun! 

Then  back to get ready for an evening of visiting with more friends, all of whom went out of their way to make me feel welcome and eventually suffer from post -laugh syndrome, typically caused by long sessions of uninterrupted laughter. Oh and we had delicious food throughout the evening. My final gift that day was an education on cow calf operations in Canada, so I can finally answer the questions posed to me by my French boyfriend about the where why and how of Canadian farming vs. French methods. Thanks Tracey and Yvonne.
His and her cattle paddles with rattles 

Jeannine showing me a cow counter

As usual I will finish by issuing you a little challenge. Pick a day and count the number of kindnesses offered to you throughout the day. Then try to be grumpy. Bet you can't!


  1. Very nice heart-warming story and great advice. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Renée thinks so, as well. (I am reading on Bob's computer. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Love ya.

    1. It was a strangely peaceful family Christmas. Sometimes this time of year brings out our best and sometimes our worst. This year was good from my perspective. Missing you though.


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