Do this for me

Writing this down.

Here.

Cheapens it.

I know.

Yet. I’d like more people to have it. So. I offer it.

I’ve committed every day of my life to kindness. Every nightI ask myself if I am proud of the wake I left in the world. If I am not, I do something to answer yes.

I stayed in Boston months ago for 4 nights. Hard to be away from my kid for that long. It is a trip I do once a year to fill my head and heart with expansiveness.

Since I do this every year, I have a lot of affection for the people who work at the facility.

If you have read my blog before, you may remember the post I did about secretly doing kind things for people. Under the radar. I have posted about the people who clean up after us in hotels. How often they do not receive a tip or a thank you note. I leave a thank you note and a tip every time.

Felt like it wasn’t enough.

It isn’t. The people (mostly women) who clean up after us are underpaid.

Don’t think so? Do me a favor. Take 15-minutes and stand over the bed you sleep in. Put a pillow case on and off a pillow for 10 minutes. See if you can do it without hurting. No matter how big your arms are- 15 pillow cases later it hurts.

Now, do that all day. This is not easy labor. I’m not even talking about how gross their job must be at times.

So. I put a “do not disturb” sign on my door for the entire stay. I talked to the woman who came to clean my room. I told her I needed something from her. I asked her if she had a moment?

Sure.

How long does it take to clean a room like this?

About 15-20 minutes depending on the person who stays in it.

Are you willing to do something for me.. maybe a little unusual?

Sure. What do you need. (no hesitation)

See that chair over there. The one by the window?

um.. yes….

Will you sit in it for 15 minutes?

What?

I do not need you to clean. I’m fine. The room looks great. I’d love it if you just closed the door, put your feet up and hung out. For me.

She teared up.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to…

allowed to what.. do what a guest is asking?  I smile at her…

She hugged me. Not the weird pat on the back hug. We had, well, a moment.

I let her know she wasn’t allowed to clean my room all week. That is was the least I could do and it would make me feel like I did something.

We touched hands each time we walked by each other in the hallway that week. I felt like I had this person there with me that understood.

Understood? What the heck?

We talked about her son and my son. About the days she is away from him and someone else picks him up from school. All the ways she wishes she could see him run out of the oak doors of his school. We talked about our boys: mine 6 and hers 9. The grow up so fast.

Those moments in the hallway I had a connection to another mom and it just felt yummy.

She left me an origami bird on the chair in my room with a note. She used to spend hours creating things and spent the 15 minutes making decorations for her upcoming anniversary. She wanted me to have one because if I lived in town, she’d make sure there was a place at her table for me.

So. I sat on this blog for 4 months. I felt it would cheapen the story if I talked about it. Anonymous matters to me in doing kind acts.

Then. I thought of what I got from this act. Just for me. Selfishly.

So.

Do this for me.

It feels too good, the feeling I had in April, to not share it with you so you can have it too.

 

 

Christmas 1973

Christmas 1973
– written by Robert Harbridge in 1973 *

Christmas this year
Should cost at least
A thousand dollars.

It should be In the Ideal Bar & Grill
On 163rd and St. Nicholas
Waiting for the first
Tattered little boy
To come in selling
Tomorrow’s morning papers
Roughing up his hair,
Giving all his papers away
And giving him
A hundred dollar bill

Continue reading “Christmas 1973”

Happy 79 Dad

Today is the birthday of am amazing human who is now in every Liquid Amber seed I see.

“Is an eye an eye because you see it.. or because it sees you.”-un

🙂  Happy birthday Dad.  Miss you madly.

Jeremy the Lion

If you have read my book, you know about Tara my niece.  She is an incredible human.

I decide to spoil her a little last month.  We got a hotel with a pool, hot tub, a wheelchair accessible room, room service and a restaurant.  My plan:  To pamper the heck out of her.

We arrive.  Steve, at the front desk, is awesome.  When para-transit arrives, he helps her find the room.  He gives us free breakfast coupons.   Sebastian hangs in the hot tub.   Things are good.  Sebastian rides on her wheelchair in such a ginger gentle way.  It is really cute how he acts around her.

We decide it is just a little to sketchy to stroll from our hotel to the Cheesecake Factory, so we decide to eat in the hotel restaurant.  It opens at 3pm we are told.

We sit in the waiting area and play musical chairs with my son.  I guy walks by with 3 plates of food on a tray and we ask him if the restaurant is opening at 3pm.   He keeps walking and says over his shoulder, I dunno.

I watch him walk to the bar.  I quickly surmise he must be the bartender.

We wait another 10 minutes and I ask him if we can….he keeps walking sorta saying something about he isn’t part of the restaurant.  It was WEIRD.

So, we figure we will eat in the bar.  A little weird with the TV blaring sports (i hate television) and a 4 year old in tow.  Oh well.  When we go in (Red Lion Inn, Sacramento STUNNING dance floor y’all) we notice ALL of the tables are high bar style tables.  A wheelchair won’t work at all.  There are also steps so there is just no way to eat in there.  The restaurant is right next to the bar.  The bartender has to walk through it to get to the kitchen.  He sees us and hears my niece say my wheelchair won’t work her Aunt.  Still, he does nothing.

My niece starts to get mad.  I don’t.  I tell her getting mad only ruins our evening.  There is a solution, let’s go to the front desk.

Steve is there on the phone, and a guy I haven’t met yet, Jeremy.  I tell him the situation and he seems to be off work.  He mentions it is okay for Sebastian to be in the bar.  I explain about the bar not working for the wheelchair.  I ask him if he knows how far a restaurant is that we could stroll to.  He looks at me, Sebastian and Tara and says, “I don’t think that is safe.  Have a seat in the restaurant and we will serve you.”

Jeremy becomes our server.  This is not his normal job it is clear.  He takes such great care of us.  He overhears Tara talking about the champagne we will have in the room later.  I tell her I forgot to bring it and that I’ll walk to a store.   He brings over a wine list and helps us find something for the room.  He returns to the table with the bottle on ice and two glasses.  He talks to Tara, looks her in the eye and makes sure Sebastian has crayons and is having the time of his life.  (clearly someone with kids)

Such a simple thing to do.  There was a risk that other people would want to sit in the restaurant too.  He didn’t seem to mind.

Jeremy made the weekend.  Without him we would have focused on what we didn’t have.  Instead, one individual chose to see us and treat us like family.  Bravo.

Little noble acts in the world that make all of the newspaper headlines disappear for a moment.  They are happening all around and are not talked about enough.

I’m one lucky girl to have Tara in my life – she is such an inspiration and tends to attract some beautiful transformations in people.

intended consequences

A story on the radio
A restaurant in Haiti, Munchies Pizza (spelling?), too expensive for most Haitians, realized all of their food was going to spoil. They opened their doors and started feeding people until the food ran out. Local businesses, started bringing food to the restaurant and they kept feeding until that food ran out. The owner’s brother in law, Bailey, packed a truck full of food in the Dominican Republic and drove it over. The restaurant is now feeding 1000 people a day. There is now a facebook page to continue to feed people.  The business owners says he didn’t intend for this to happen from his food decision and it is giving him hope. A new purpose in life.
Unintended consequence of being pragmatic. Beautiful.

In the work I do, I often have unintended consequence that are seeds for my inner critic.  I so wish there was some drug out there that would REMOVE my inner critic from my head for just 10 minutes.  Unintended consequences aren’t always bad.. they just sometimes feel bad when they happen.

ps: No matter how much I google the story, I can’t find it. If you do – let me know.