ONE KIND WORD
CAN WARM A HEART
FOR A LIFETIME.
ONE KIND WORD
CAN WARM A HEART
FOR A LIFETIME.
It was a wonderful day. First of all, I woke up. At my age, that in itself is a gift. I’d been given another day. Terrific….
Then, I knew my dear friend Chris was coming home from Hawaii at last. She’d been diverted to Calgary because we had such a huge snow storm planes couldn’t land here.
The two of us often have coffee together in the morning and I’d missed her.
The heavy snow storm had been difficult for me. My walker’s wheels seized up and declared a strike. They would NOT, NOT let me go another step in the deep snow.
There I was, stuck in the middle of an uncleared road (Our city doesn’t clear side streets.) with a kind driver waiting for me to get to the other side. Darn it. I was unable to move an inch.
She got out of her car and came over to help me cross. I’m always amazed at the kindness of strangers.
It may have been difficult at times, but it was indeed a good day.
My San Francisco kids visited at Xmas. It turned out to be a White one and Rafi, Chandra, and grandson Remy loved walking in the snow. (It doesn’t snow in S. F.) On one of their many excursions, they passed a sign in my neighbour John’s window. Rafi, of course, had to take a photo of it.
John is one of those special, interesting and multi-talented individuals who is interested in everything and everyone. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to know him, but what I like best about John is his kindness to others — including me.
I first saw John acting onstage when I was writing a column covering the arts. Aside from that his photography is so beautiful, if I had any more room on my walls, I’d try to purchase one from him if he’d sell it. What else does he do well? I don’t at all know because the guy never brags. I asked John if he had written the words in the sign below. He said he hadn’t. If you know who did, do let me know.
In case the photo of the sign is difficult for you to read, this is what it says:
B L E S S E D
* A R E T H E *
The Poets & Misfits
T H E A R T I S T S
T H E W R I T E R S
& MUSIC MAKERS
The dreamers & the
O U T S I D E R S
For they force us to see
THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY
That’s an interesting question. It is a complicated issue. William Blake (1757-1827), the multi-talented English poet and artist, wrote ‘A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.’ I agree with that.
Our society frowns on chronic liars and rightly so. Yet, the naked truth can be so hurtful, in some people’s hands it becomes a knife which can pierce the heart.
Perhaps we need another word for avoiding ugly truths which hurt others, most of which they know about anyway. So, if a friend asks you to point out his/her failings, don’t — unless you’re ready to give up the relationship. They are probably just hoping for some kind words.
In the novel ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Arthur Golden, the protagonist says ‘There are good facts and bad facts, the bad facts are best avoided.’ I think she has a good point.
Thoreau, the American writer and libertarian famously said ‘Rather than love, than money, than fame — give me truth’, but he was talking about another issue altogether.
Then there is Oscar Wilde, who gave me so many hours of fascinating reading, who didn’t believe in telling the truth at all and said ‘The telling of beautiful untrue things is the proper aim of Art.’ and ‘He would be the best of fellows if he did not always speak the truth.’
I warned you. Honesty IS a complex subject. Think about it during the holiday and give me your thoughts afterwards.
Above all, do have a happy holiday and a healthy New Year.
Weird things happen to me all the time, and yesterday was no exception. I had to register for my vaccine shot, but not until afternoon. I’d heard all the horror stories of those trying to book appointments and I was nervous. There had been mass confusion, so I put aside the whole afternoon for this task.
At 12:30 p.m. I dialed the number I’d found online and, would you believe, Jennifer answered right away! I was so delighted, I told her so and we both happily completed the process. I carefully placed my identification card back into my wallet and pranced off (as much as I can prance) to treat myself to a well-earned ‘beauty’ nap. I’d been so nervous that morning, I hadn’t been able to sit still, so filled the time by taking a walk to renew my apartment insurance.
When I awoke feeling and looking grand, (Ahem!) I toddled off for a second walk — to the fish store. I chose what I wanted, but when I looked for my wallet, realized I’d left the darn thing on my desk next to the phone.
‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ I mumbled, ‘I forgot my wallet at home.’ I explained what had happened, that I’d been excited and — feeling like a fool, admitted I couldn’t buy the small amount of fish the salesclerk had already weighed.
‘You can come back later,’ she suggested. The lady waiting behind me, whom I didn’t know, spoke: ‘I’ll pay for her purchase.’ I turned to look at her, a big question mark on my face.
‘You can pass it on,’ she told me with a smile. It was a small purchase, but what a lovely thing for her to do. I accepted with my own smile, thanked her and promised that indeed, of course I WOULD pass it on.
So, keep your eyes open and if you see me out and about one of these days, remember that I need to pass on this kindness. It’ll be my treat with pleasure.
To Celine: You asked for a post. Here it is. It is for you and really did happen yesterday. Thank you for being my friend and putting up with me. Love, Muriel
It must be Thanksgiving in the States because I received a couple of cards in the mail today. As a kid I loved Halloween, but as an adult, Thanksgiving is my absolute favourite. I have much to be grateful for and don’t at all mind thinking of this holiday more than once a year. (In Canada, we celebrate it earlier, so I get to do so twice.)
I’m grateful for the love of my children, son Rafi, his loving wife Chandra and their son Remy, daughter Susan and her Michael, plus others I love who care about me here and in the US.
It’s been rough with much happening where I live (or perhaps it’s that much that should be happening hasn’t been happening) and I’m exhausted by it all. Thus, I haven’t the mindset to write the post I would have wanted to, so I’ll cheat and use another one of daughter Susan’s ‘Muriel Says…’ instead.
That my daughter thinks anything I say is worth using on her Facebook is absolutely astounding to me.
Yes, I love her too….
Here it is:
Susan sent me these to give me a chuckle and I thought I’d share them with you.
UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF WEARING A FACE MASK, FOR WOMEN OF A CERTAIN VINTAGE…
1. Pesky chin hairs? No worries — your mask will cover them!
2. Questionable breath? No one will smell it except you (though you will smell it MORE…)
3. Laugh lines and wrinkled lips? Totally gone from view!
4. You will save a bundle on lipstick.
5. Too menopausal to even fake a smile? Don’t sweat it! No one can see your demonic scowl and gnashing teeth!
6. And speaking of smiling, you don’t need to bother with your dentures in public anymore! Your mouth and chin are hidden and you certainly won’t be eating in a restaurant any time soon!
7. If you go out without a bra, one of two things will happen:
a) People will be so busy noticing and approving your mask-wearing that they will not notice your saggy, free-swinging buzwams.
b) People will be so busy noticing and disapproving of your mask-wearing that they will not notice your low-hanging fruit.
Got any others, ladies?…
Well not to be totally outdone, I added a few of my own:
1. If you wear goggles, they’ll steam up and your vision will be affected. Try placing a (clean) cloth under your mask which can help oodles.
2. Hard of hearing people automatically do some lip-reading. That’s impossible when your mouth is covered. Keep this in mind, be patient and speak up folks.
3. If you have an ugly cold sore, it won’t show if you wear a mask.
4. Zits on the tip of your nose which make you look like the witch of the North will be covered and no one will know you really ARE the witch of the North unless you ride a broom.
5. Remember what our province’s Dr. Henry says: Be calm, be kind, stay safe.
6. Some people may not be able to wear masks. Be kind and don’t judge.
Have you more advantages to mask wearing you can add????? Wear a mask if you possibly can.
P.S. I’m giving you all fair warning. When this COVID:19 is over, I’m gonna hug everyone I see in the street whether I know them or not. I miss hugs most of all.
We’re having a hot spell — too hot for me. I’ve never taken heat graciously and it isn’t easier now.
Vinson, one of many blessings in my life, wanted to come over and treat me to a birthday lunch. Walking at noon in this heat??? I just couldn’t. I begged off.
‘How about I pack a little picnic,’ I suggested, ‘And we go to the park across the street and sit on a bench under a tree. You can treat me to lunch after it cools down.’
So we did that. It was lovely. What I enjoyed most was the interesting conversation we ended up having. Vinson said he learns a lot from me. (Important things like you can separate two sides of a sandwich using waxed paper. Ha, ha.)
I had to honestly respond that I, too, learn
a lot from him (and my other young friends Andrew and Alison). Who would teach me if they didn’t? Aside from showing me how to use my smart TV, newfangled telephone and new computer, they teach me current words or expressions which have changed through the years.
Judy, one of my favourite friends and also a member of our book club, brought us each a coffee mug which says ‘Reading is LIT’. I thought ‘LIT’ stood for literature.
When the youngsters visited, I showed off my new mug. They chuckled and explained that ‘LIT’ is modern slang for ‘exciting’ or ‘excellent’. Aha! I am now a well-informed old lady.
One day, having lunch with Alison and Andrew in my neighbourhood, a local man came in and greeted me. I introduced him and after he left explained I regularly give him money — he is ‘mentally retarded’ and lives on disability. Alison said we no longer use that term, but now say such people have an ‘intellectual disability’. I’ve lived a long life and things change.
I am grateful to my young friends
who respect me enough to help me continue to learn. Besides threading needles for me, reaching items too high for me to get to, helping with my lack of technological skills and being willing to do whatever I’ve happened to put on my ‘To Do’ lists, they help me continue to grow as a person.
Thank you Vinson, Alison, and Andrew. I treasure you…
Things are falling apart all around me. First, I replaced my old computer, then the brand new one wouldn’t function, but you know about that already. Now there’s more happening. What’s going on??
Next to give up was my shredder.
That was understandable. The poor thing served me faithfully for years. Son Rafi helped order a new one online. (In the midst of COVID:19, stores are closed.)
It’s bigger, much heavier — and more complicated. It not only shreds in one direction, but in several at the same time. But, there’s no place to store the papers-to-be-shredded like I could in my old one. So the old shredder’s basket remains, adding more clutter in my office. Oh, well…
The latest to quit??? My toaster oven! I had one that was just that, an ordinary toaster oven. The new ones I saw locally aren’t that simple.
The one I bought is also a ‘Convection’ oven. (I don’t even know what that is.) It came with l-o-n-g instructions — in several languages. The printing is so small, a magnifying glass was required for me to read it. I did. By the end, I was so confused, I had no idea where to begin.
It came with several parts but I had no idea where they were supposed to go. It didn’t say. Is it a secret? It has knobs which do various things, most of which I’m not interested in. Said knobs have tiny little things written on them here and there which I can’t see anyway.
Thank goodness Andrew came by and set it to just make toast. After he left, I painted the spot he’d told me to use with red nail polish, because the original mark is so obscure, I would never find it. I had to tip the oven over on its side to see it. You can’t do that while it’s going.
I sure hope nothing else goes. I can’t cope with more ‘improvements’. As it is I still need to pull out the instructions twice a year when they change the time for the no-longer-new clock radio I use in my office. You can set multiple alarms and it has so many possibilities I can’t keep straight. If I were really clever, it would probably fix dinner and walk my dog — if I had one.
And, this week I’m having another birthday. Talk about falling apart. I may be next!!!
I already had an idea for this post. I already had chosen the images to go with it. It was just about set to publish and — my NEW computer wouldn’t work. The curser was stuck on the upper left-hand corner and no matter what I did, it refused to go anywhere else.
Hail brilliant son Rafi, he who knows all,
and who suggested I turn the machine off and on again. I did. It didn’t. Then, because he’s so smart, he recommended I go out for my daily walk first and deal with it later. Good idea.
When I got back, I tried again. No co-operation. It was lunch and ‘beauty’ nap time. I decided I needed fuel and rest in order to face it again so put it off. Nothing. Rafi had given me instructions. I’d written them down: ‘If it won’t work, disconnect the power and then, reconnect it and if that doesn’t do it, try turning it on and at the same time press and hold down Option, Command, p and r.’
I checked to see if I could reach all those keys. Well, waddaya know — I could. So I tried. It didn’t seem to respond, so just before I broke down and cried, I called Apple. (Rafi cleverly had arranged that service for me when he decided what I needed. He knows his mother.)
As I listened to classical music and held the phone, lo and behold, the computer S-L-O-W-L-Y decided to follow my directions. Yeah! Wow! It’s working even though the coloured ball initially said it wouldn’t.
I hung up on Apple. I decided NOT to cry and tried to call Rafi to tell him how brilliant he is. Just because I want him, he’s not home.
Please call him and tell him how grateful I am… While you’re at it, wish him and his lovely Chandra Happy Anniversary. Today is their 15th!