I was on the road home with my (then) two little kids when the car started acting up, making noises and bucking. This was in the days long before cell phones. I was afraid of being stranded on the highway, with no money to pay for a tow and repairs. I knew my husband wasn’t home, but I wasn’t far from a good friend’s farmhouse, and maybe her mechanically-inclined husband was home. They lived on a country dirt road, and the turn-off was just ahead, so I took it.
Although I tried avoiding the ruts, the ride was bumpier than it should have been, the car misfiring and misbehaving. I was still a distance away from my friend’s house, but I could see her neighbor’s place. The man who lived there was working in his yard, and looked up at the clamor my car was making. The car shuddered as it clanked with malice, and I turned into the neighbor’s driveway just as the car died.
The man came over and opened my hood. His wife recognized me as her neighbor’s friend (I had met her before), and she offered me a glass of iced tea. We sat in the yard and chatted about kids and crafts as her kids and mine played together and her husband tinkered away on my engine. The knot in my chest from worry about my car loosened.
After about an hour, the man had my car engine running smoothly. I can’t remember what he said was wrong with it. He asked me if I could pay him $20 for the repair. I tittered nervously. We were just getting by. I didn’t know when I’d ever be able to pay him. He didn’t press.
I don’t remember the first names of the couple, but their last name was Vogt. If by some chance they should happen to read this little story, I would want them to know that I may have forgotten their names, but I’ve never forgotten their kindness to me that day, almost forty years ago.
A lot of beauty in today’s articles, curated especially for you.
- Do you like Irish step dancing?
- If you read my post about the Sirens, you know I love to sleep.
- Georgia O’Keeffe on the art of seeing. And lots of links, if you enjoy going down rabbit holes.
- I may have included these father of the bride photos in a previous edition of Creative Juice. You know what? They’re so beautiful, you should see them again.
- Beautiful fruit photography.
- Read your children some books about kindness and talk about how to make a difference in the lives of the people around you.
- I’d never heard of Sonny Curtis, even though I’m familiar with two of his most famous songs; but I love his daughter’s essay about him.
- Would you believe there are 800 pairs of herons living in Amsterdam? Maybe because of the canals. . .
- Ingenious and useful creations from toilet paper rolls.
- A mom’s June sketchbook pages.
- I love this Instagrammer’s ICAD cards.
- How a quilter pieced a 60-piece block perfectly!
In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, millions of students joined the Never Again movement, committing themselves to work toward the end of gun violence.
Whether that can be accomplished by tighter gun control or better access to mental health resources remains to be seen.
Like it or not, the United States has a culture of violence. We are bombarded with violent images, from movies to video games to social media to popular music. Our daily news programming is dominated by negativity spouted by loud commentators. This must change.
How do we transform our country into a culture of caring, of kindness? One person at a time, one moment at a time, one action at a time, one word at a time. Each of us must practice kindness, must teach caring.
Looking on YouTube, I found Ted talks by founders of many grassroots organizations trying to do exactly that–transform our culture with acts of kindness. This talk by Orly Wahba is especially eloquent, worth the time to watch. She says, “The more you give, the more you heal.” Kindness benefits the bestower as well as the receiver.