I want to be like the balloon lady

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I’ve read stories of people who pay for a person in line with them at a drive-thru, or pay for another customer’s meal in a restaurant, but I’ve never had it happen, or made it happen. Today I was able to observe a random act of kindness.

I was at the Dollar Store to get two items, which turned into five, but that was better than most trips that turn into ten items.  As I get into the only line open there are six people ahead of me. Each one had a story, a life, a reason to be at the Dollar Store. The two older ladies who were checking out together shuffled slowly just like Mom used to. The next lady told the cashier to add a pink helium balloon to her order as she went over to get it. Then she turned and gave it to the toddler sitting in the shopping cart behind her. It was such a sweet, spur of the moment gesture. After they left I noticed the woman in front of me only had one item – some googles. Like the kind you might use in a chemistry lab at school. She began digging around in her big purse and could not find her wallet. She told the cashier she’d have to come back. That was my chance to follow the example of the balloon lady. I paid for the goggles. Such a simple act, a whole dollar plus tax, but I wondered, would I have even thought to do it had it been another day without the balloon lady in front of me? I want to think I would have.

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Wise Purchases

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I don’t always make wise purchases. Like the time I got gallons of peachy paint only to get them home and realize it would make my house look like Publix.

Or the time I went along with my husband’s idea of buying a double kayak, which he went out in with me maybe three times in the water behind our house. It was too large for me to tote anywhere on my own and we eventually ended up selling it to someone who bought it as a graduation gift for her son.  I don’t remember whatever became of all the peachy paint.

But, I want to tell you about three things that WERE wise purchases and have and still are serving me well.

First is my trusty backpack. I have had it for 15 years and it’s still going strong. It was first purchased for a trip to Ireland, and has been put to use ever since for hiking, carry-on for plane flight, trips with grandkids, to the library, and even to work some days. It’s thin enough to flatten in the bottom of a suitcase it needed. I purchased it from the Rick Steves website, where you can find the updated version.

Second is my Brita water bottle. I’ve had it for about three years, not sure exactly. I actually found it marked down at Publix, but it can be ordered online. It goes with me when I travel. I take it empty through security, then fill it on the other side at a water fountain.  I’ve ordered refill filters via amazon. It’s also used when I hike.

My most recent wise purchase is a hiking stick. I ordered it for hiking, but soon after had knee surgery. I used it to hobble around at work for a short while and now use it whenever I hike up and down any inclines. It’s super lightweight and folds up into its own little bag.

Today I await delivery of what I hope is another wise purchase – a new laptop.  I don’t have a desktop, so it IS my desktop.  My old one (Asus) has served me well but in laptop years I think it’s older than me. If it’s like dog years it’s 70. I use my chromebook (Lenovo now) on a very regular basis, but there are somethings I just can’t do on it, such as edit photos. I’m excited to see if this purchase (Lenovo) will magically improve my writing and photography skills. Time will tell.

 

Family Reunion

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On June 22 we had a Bryan/Bailey reunion. It was the first one ever for these two groups, but it turned out to be all Bryans – the Baileys were all interconnected to the Bryans as we had no Baileys in attendance outside my grandmother’s line. This was also the first reunion in 10 years and the first one ever for my grandchildren and daughter-in-law. It was a wonderful time of connecting and reconnecting.

Aunt Betty, at 92, was the oldest one there. She is still very much “with-it”. She gets around remarkably well, has no hearing loss and little memory loss. I visited her this past March and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We talked about a lot of family history as I was full of questions. We also, along with my cousin Melanie, worked together to finish a puzzle she had started of the state of Georgia.

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Aunt Betty, 92, with her nephew Johnny

My cousin, Susan, had the most descendants present at the reunion: her two sons and three of her four  grandchildren. Her son, Randall, who is a pastor, asked the blessing before we dug into what was a vast amount of food. Cousin Linda’s Pecan Chess Bars were to die for!

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I met cousins Kathi and Kim for the first time. They flew down from Illinois. There just wasn’t enough time to spend getting to know them better, but it was wonderful to hug them instead of just messaging via facebook.

 

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Kathi, Kim, me

Cousin Johnny, his wife Mary Lou, and granddaughter Sarah came the farthest – all the way from San Antonio, Texas!

I realize this post may not interest anyone outside the family. I just wanted to share a little. If you have Family Reunion experiences, please share in the comments.

February Wisdom

“I don’t think we can ever love too much…only too little.”  – from Blue Eyes Better by Ruth Wallace-Brodeur

I’v tried to think of a time when this statement wouldn’t apply, but I just can’t. Yes, we can overindulge is many ways, but that isn’t love. We can say “love you’ at the end of every conversation, but that’s not always love; it’s often habit. Sometimes it feels as if we have loved too much when it isn’t returned, but no, if it’s real love it’s never too much.

We have a new dog in our household and it’s been a real learning experience for us all – me, the dog, the husband. We don’t know anything about her background as she was just dumped off at the shelter, but we suspect a little abuse. However, she is one, in whatever way a dog “loves”, that knows no bounds. She can never be accused of loving too little. Our last dog, Loretta, was wonderful. We had her for ten years. She was sweet and faithful as a dog can be and loved being with us and near us. But this new girl, Ruby, she needs to be right next to if not on top of us. She craves and gives the most snuggles of any dog I’ve ever had. But, for me, it’s never too much.

Keep loving – it’s never too much.

 

 

 

Monday Music #20

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I discovered a song last week called Walk and Don’t Walk by Guy Clark. Take a listen.

“I’m sittin’ here on the corner of walk and don’t walk”

 

 

I then discovered a similar song made popular by Rhonda Vincent. Both have sentiments that are quite alike.

 

“I’m at the corner of walk and don’t walk and I can’t make up my mind” 

 

Dreams Don’t Always Come True

 

Disney and Nike have propagated such a lie to this generation. I’m all for encouraging kids, even adults, to pursue their dreams. I pursued mine and got my degree at 39. But, I hate the way kids are pumped up and I wonder what happens when they are let down? How do they deal with the broken promises?

 

Whosoever

 

They were told all their lives

If you dream it you can do it

Just do it

Now walk past the guy with his plastic bag

filled with all his worldly belongings

Tell him

Just do it

 

Every other nine year old boy says

I want to be in the NBA

Or NFL

I got a trophy

I got a shelf of trophies

I wonder where that grown boy

Under the overpass

Keeps his trophies

 

She was told

You can be whatever you want to be

Left college to marry her sweetheart

Who didn’t turn out so sweet

Now she lives in the shelter with her three kids

Ask her

Is this what you wanted to be?

Just do it

Monday Music #15

 

“It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness  into a source of pain” – from A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

I just love the sound of this song more than anything else. But, there is a message in here, too. Take a listen to Michael Kiwanuka with Love and Hate