Our moment arrived right after Brian left. I was still force-feeding Scotty his scrambled eggs when we heard the familiar rumble. I didn't have time to do much more than throw on my red coat and grab the bag of cookies before he passed our house. How one man can empty full three bins by himself so quickly is beyond me. It is combined recycling, I guess. But we made it out of the house just in time to watch him hit the last house on the corner when I took off. Leaving the Bear standing on the porch, I ran like a mad woman - barefoot, mind you - waving and hollering. He saw me, saw the cookies, and broke into a wide grin. I tossed the bag at him, yelled "Thank you!" and he was on his way. That's when I realized my feet were freezing. And really dirty. Yuck.
Act #14: I was a little more prepared for the garbage men. With my boots already on and pajama pants safely replaced with real pants, I had both bags of chocolate-covered pretzels waiting for me by the door. Again, it was during meal time we heard the chug of the engine and Scotty and I made a beeline for the door. The two garbage men are a little bit slower paced than the recycling guy, and when they saw me, they actually stopped the truck to chat. Cornelius, the guy on the back, and Willie, the driver, seemed tickled to get their decorated goodies. Cornelius even brought our garbage can up to the house in a kind gesture of his own. Seriously, I love our garbage men.
I bought lunch for the two guys behind me in line at Subway. They were wearing bright orange vests and clearly worked in some kind of construction job, which meant they were Scotty's heroes immediately. Ever so kind and before they knew about their free lunch, they kept Scotty entertained in line, chatting with him and asking about his truck. They were so sweet I couldn't help but throw my debit card down when their order was rang up. For $8.05 (two 6" subs - whew. I thought for a moment they were the meatball-and-sub-meal-deal guys), you could not have asked for a better reaction. I wasn't sure if they were going to cry or kiss me. Both checked my left hand for a ring. Um no, I'm not hitting on you. After the usual pleasantries were exchanged, we all kind of just dispersed in our own direction to avoid the strange awkwardness that came over us. Uncomfortable, yes. But I hope they pay it forward.
Act #16 & #17: I will be passing out more holiday treats to 16.) the neighbors down the street and 17.) a local firehouse later this afternoon. At this point, I'm not sure if I'm spreading kindness or obesity, but I'm not going to overthink it. This is fun and Scotty and I are enjoying ourselves.
So far, this is what others have been up to...
Krista in Illinois was sidelined by a nasty cold but made up for it with a huge gesture of kindness. She donated half of her yearly bonus (WOW!) to WINGS, a shelter for domestically abused women and children. She wrote, "As a mom, I constantly think how fortunate I am to have medical care, food, and just the basics for my kid. So this year, we are donating the extra that God has given to those who have so so much less than us." Way to go, Krista!!! I should mention, her "kid" is a little red-haired butterball of a one-year old. He's lucky to have such a cool mom.
Chai in LA celebrated her daughter's fourth birthday yesterday with cupcakes and lots and LOTS of kindness. So far, she surprised her daughter's teachers with flowers, donated to one of her husband's co-workers' families that are experiencing hardship as a result of Hurricane Sandy, written notes to the teachers at Sandy Hook, purchased toys for the Today Show Toy Drive on Amazon, and filled a parking meter with 10 hours. In LA, that's worth it's weight in gold! Nice work, Chai!!
Kori in New Mexico has shared this idea on Facebook and the promptly went out and purchased McDonald's for the car behind her in line. Way to go, Kori!
Please know: twenty-six acts is a lot. Scary to think of what the number represents, but if you are intimidated or overwhelmed by it, just do one or two. Even one random act of kindness can touch someone unexpectedly and create a tiny flicker of hope in this world.
If you'd like to share how you're spreading kindness, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to it share with others!!