In Which I Have a Tickly Throat and Help a Daughter

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, October 20, 2014

autumn road

In Which I Have a Tickly Throat and Help a Daughter

Ever feel that tickly feeling in the back of your throat? The kind where you feel something sort of uncomfortable back there, but you can’t do much about it? That’s how I’ve been feeling for the past few days. October is here. Brightly colored leaves, cooler weather, the grass and greenery turning faded and brown. With all of that change in the growing things out of doors comes mold. The October gusts of wind spread that mold everywhere. Lucky me, I happen to be allergic to much of that mold. Thus—the tickly feeling in the back of my throat—post nasal drip. Also, itchy eyes and full sinuses. Those are things that I need to deal with, every October.

Don’t get me wrong. I love autumn. I really do! I love to walk in the woods or the Forest Preserves, and take a look at the beautiful panorama of nature. But—the mold count does impinge on my full enjoyment of this season of the year. Because of my allergies, I was moving slowly this morning. Sure, I went to work today, and I did get some things done. However, for the most part, I took it easy.

My youngest daughter is home for several days. It happens to be her fall break. She was kind enough to do several loads of laundry while I was at work. (Thanks, Rachel!) On Saturday, she and I talked about her college band. She happens to play the bass clarinet. (Very well, I might add. And, no, it’s not just pride in my daughter. I do know something about music.) She needs several new reeds for the bass clarinet mouthpiece. I said I would pick them up. It’s not like I was going miles out of the way or anything. However, the music store was an additional thing to do. Place to stop. And, I was not feeling that well, on top of things.

But once I got in the car, I found the wheels almost steered themselves to the Band and Instrument store. I asked for some mid-grade reeds of the appropriate hardness, and spent a few enjoyable minutes conversing with one of the workers at the shop. I was kind and friendly to him, too.

Moral of the story? well, not really. It’s just that I have the ability to be kind, friendly, and helpful. I can be of service, even when I don’t feel well. Even when I am rushed, frazzled, frustrated, or downright angry. That means I still have the chance, the opportunity to be kind, courteous, and helpful. Please, God, help me remember these kind, encouraging words and actions. I might be able to pass them along—even when I am not feeling bouncy, friendly and energetic. God willing.


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In Which I Have Patience. And Am Kind.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, October 11, 2014

things you can't buy in stores

In Which I Have Patience. And Be Kind.

I like to people-watch. I enjoy it! When I sit in a coffee shop, browse at a book store, even walk outside, down a busy sidewalk. All prime places to people-watch. I know, through experience.

My husband and I went to a coffee place nearby, this afternoon. It was a mom-and-pop establishment, later on a Saturday afternoon. Quiet, not many patrons in the shop. An older couple, seated a little way from the cash register. A younger man on his laptop, at the counter facing the window. A knot of men speaking Italian, heads close together.

As the two of us approached the cash register to order, we both noticed the bag casually slung under the table. A clear Chicago Marathon bag sat at one of the men’s feet. Including the official entry form and number. Was he from Italy, I wondered? What was his story? Were any of the others running in the Marathon tomorrow? All this flashed through my head in a split second while I considered what to drink. Waited for the woman ahead of us to finish and pay.

It didn’t look hopeful. For a quick turnaround at the cash register, that is. The young person working the cash register apparently was a new hire. Not familiar with the register, not used to the menu, not that facile with the money. My husband and I were patient, slowly giving our order. (One simple coffee drink, one tea. No frills. Straightforward.) We gave it again. And again. And, one more time.

We decided to sit down. We did not have a time crunch, or anywhere particular to go or do at that time, so we pulled up chairs. (Next to the men speaking Italian, by the way.) We watched the proceedings, and made editorial comments. Not particularly snide ones, either. My husband surprised me by relating a story about his dry cleaners, and how something similar had happened there just this morning. They somehow misplaced my husband’s order. My husband patiently waited, standing quietly. Just standing, not upset, not distraught. He could see the lady behind the counter get a bit frazzled. However, the clean clothes were simply misplaced. All was well, at last.

But, that was at the dry cleaners. This afternoon at the coffee shop was another story. We waited. And waited some more. Finally, another young person brought my husband his tea, and then about two minutes later, my coffee. Out of habit, more to double check than anything else, I asked whether it was decaf. Crestfallen, the young person said, “No, it’s caffeinated,” and disappeared. I waited even longer. Finally. I got a coffee drink, decaffeinated, at last.

I wondered just now. Does God ever get impatient with me? God knows, I give God plenty of reason to get impatient and upset. Even disgruntled. Thank You, God, for not getting impatient and angry with me.


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