Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Little Blessings & Generosity

Two short stories . . .

Last week, in the midst of softball season getting started (which means that, all of a sudden, I live in a household that changes clothes an ungodly amount of times a day--and a lot of them are very dirty clothes!), my dryer decided to start acting all crazy on me. Instead of taking one run-through to dry, it was taking two or three times. I figured the heating element was out and that it would have to be repaired. But, of course, finding the time to have Gary check it out (or get someone to come over and do it) was nearly impossible and finding the extra money to do it was not something I was looking forward to. And just the hassle of having to wait so long for clothes to dry was really getting on my nerves; I was ready, in fact, to take a huge load to the laundromat this past weekend (even though there is NO time for that; if you have to use a laundromat, I truly admire your patience!).

But then, lo and behold, when I dried a load this past weekend it got hot quick and stayed hot and it took one cycle to completely dry. I was SO happy!!

So, I'm enjoying the LITTLE BLESSINGS of having a working dryer this week and it's amazing what a small thing like that can do to your sanity! LOL (Isn't it amazing how we don't realize the importance of such little things until they go wrong; and isn't it great that we can sometimes have the opportunity to put things like that in perspective and be grateful for what we do have?)

And now a second story . . .

You all know from my previous post that we had a big travel softball tournament this past weekend (and Delaney's team won it all; Woo Hoo all over again! LOL) Well, Gary also worked the tournament as a photographer (he has a side business called Time for Pictures that primarily does sports photography; he goes to sports events such as softball tournaments, takes pictures, downloads them right there, lets people view them, and they can order prints for later delivery). McKenna often works as his "table help" and gets paid pretty well for working.

We had already set aside this tournament as a Fundraising event for McKenna's upcoming Europe trip with Student Leadership University (the thing we've been raising money for through our scrapbook days, etc.); she would give up her pay for the day and also Gary would donate ALL the profits for the day to the trip.

Gary usually hires at least another one and usually two photographers for these tournaments and, of course, that cuts into the profits too. Well, his photographer this past weekend would have taken home around $100 for his work but at the end of the day he told Gary and McKenna that he didn't want to be paid. He was volunteering his time for McKenna! We were all three blown away by John's generosity! He had worked really hard on a hot day for many hours and would have taken home a good amount of money. But instead, he unselfishly gave of his time for McKenna. It really impressed McKenna too and meant a lot to her.

So, I got a wonderful lesson on generosity from John!

My questions to you on this Random Tuesday, then, revolves around both of those stories. (You know I couldn't let a Tuesday go by without some Audience Participation; ha!)

I would love for all of us to share with one another (either in my comments section, or let us know that you are posting on your own blog) . . .

(1) The Simple Blessings you are appreciating this day

(Mine are: a Working Dryer, a Healthy Husband, an almost 15-year-old who gives me sweet hugs in public, College Basketball excitement, 82 degree weather, and Sweet Tea)


(2) An Act of Generosity you have either received or given away lately

Share your answers with us (if you're so inclined; if not, at least pop on and say "Hey")!!

And have a WONDERFUL Tuesday!!!


Jen said...

Yay for the dryer working again! Having 5 people in my house and not having a functioning washer and dryer could be a problem....as I'm sure it would be for you too :)

Dana said...

Today, I am blessed to have two working nostrils (somewhat), I suffer from horrible sinus,and i can breathe alot better today. I am blessed to have a running car to run all my errands today. I am blessed to have dh come home for lunch today, so that we can spend some quality time.

The kids were gracious enough to clean after themselves this morning so that I don't have much work to do today. I am soooooo thankful!

jessi said...

hey cheryl...glad your dryer is working again!!! and that was very sweet of your friend to donate his time!!! tell Delainey...way to go!!!

I am blessed with a couch for snoozing on in the middle of the day and children who are behaving very well so I can...yes...I have caught some sort of bug and can't move from it!!!

an act of generosity that I have experienced lately would be anam (who I barely know) recommending my name as a teacher to one of the biggest scrapbook events canada will ever see to raise money for the children's hospitals!! I am so excied!!

have a grea day!!

Gin said...

AWESOME post this morning!!!! The little blessings for me? longer days, pretty weather, good friends

aimee said...

Simple Blessings:

Getting to spend last night with some friends while my husband took care of the kids.

Act of Generosity: I let a woman in front of me at Target (she had 2 items, I had over 25). It was common sense really--there was only 2 checkers and I thought it would be rude of me not to, but she was really surprised and so thankful for it. It made me think that what this world needs is more simple acts of kindness.

Great blog subject today! :)

Phats said...

Blessing- the weather!! it's so nice outside today, I hate being cooped up right now in my room :( But I have tennis practice in an hour woohoo

received- a Kidney that saved my life obviously, back in 89

Don't forget your bracket picks, if you can get me those by Wed 7pm! I want to put everyone's on my blog

Jeff said...

First off, congrats to McKenna on the softball win! YAY! And some great blessings and stories you had to share today as well.

Are you in major Heroes withdrawl yet? At least Dancing with the Stars begins next week and that will help to fill the void.

I will say one thing in defense of laundromat, you can do ALL the laundry at once. I get four loads of laundry done in 90 minutes. I have been lucky enough that while living in Brooklyn the laundromat was across the street (and I knew the owner well enough I could put my laundry in and go back home and come back to get it out) and now where I live the laundry is actually inside the building, so I just have to go downstaris toss it in and go back up to wait.

As for today's blessings...
1) Work is decent today for the first time in days, including the weekend. I won't bore everyone with details, but it's been stressful and it is finally relaxing. The CEO of the company, who is a hockey teammate of mine in addition to my boss, sent me this great quote yesterday because he realized the stress of the past several days. It's from a book he's been reading (I don't know what), but it's about the Gulag and one of the characters was thinking to himself about the life and death situations he faced almost daily: "At such times, I often thought I was playing a sports match like ice hockey, say, in slow motion (dreamlike yet lethal, zero-sum, sudden-death); and that I was the goal-keeper-excluded from the action except when responding to hideous emergencies." Perfect!

2) My husband is great. While I was being so stressed out last week, he made sure I was eating right and even staying up late to keep me company while I was stuck in front of the computer while I was at home.

3) The gym becuase it helps reduce my stress level.

4) The nice turn of the weather. I like being outside in fewer layers!

Generosity: The Subway conductor who saw me having issues swiping my Metrocard at the turnstile this morning, and he held the train for me to get through. These things do not happen very often at all in the world of New York City Transit.

Cheryl Wray said...

Jen--Yes, 5 people in the house create A LOT of dirty clothes!! Yikes!
Dana--So GREAT to see you here again!!Glad you are feeling better, and very cool about the kids cleaning up after themselves. That IS great!
Jessi--SO excited about your getting to teach at the big scrapbook event!! Yay you! And hope you are feeling better soon!
Gin--I also am loving this great weather and longer days!

Cheryl Wray said...

Aimee--You know, it always does amaze me how little acts are really appreciated BIG sometimes. We forget how a little act by us might really mean something to someone else!
Phats--The weather is gorgeous here too!!! I just love it! (i will get my picks to you by Wed., no problemo!)
Jeff--Wow!!! What a great quote from your CEO! And Will is just too sweet! (The subway guy must have been a translplanted Southerner. ha! Showing some niceness and hospitality!)

Amy Mowbray said...

I am blessed because it is finally 70 degrees in VA!! I'm tired of snow and ice!

Michelle said...

that's wonderful that your dryer just decided to start working again! What a blessing!

I'm appreciating that Kayla is taking a nap right now! :) and that the weather has turned nicer!

Dawn Bibbs said...

Cheryl, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for leaving such nice comments. I remember you saying that you're inspired by looking at others LO's...that was the main reason I posted these.

Speaking of being inspired, your post today really did it for me. It's amazing how we truly forget how blessed we really are...even day to day. I'd have to say that today I was blessed to wake (kind of) in my right mind...lol, my kids woke up without whining and complaining, everyone got to their destinations safely this morning and this afternoon, I found a new Walmart today AND finally located the adhesive I've been looking for. Honestly and thankfully, I could go on and on about how I was blessed today...and that in and of itself, is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

It's so true what you said. A lot of times we don't stop and "smell the rose" so to speak. Thanks for the post today. It really spoke to me too (a lot like what Dawn just said). Thanks Cheryl

Jennifer said...

Thanks for reading my new blog! I haven't caught up reading the ones I do read and posting on mine but thatnks for the comment. I'm enjoying my new job very much!

Linda said...

I love the questions you pose Cheryl. My blessing for today is - my son is taking my husband to an NBA game tonight. He is so excited. I'm thrilled they get to spend this time together. God is good.

kim j said...

It didn't happen today actually five years ago the day my twins were born. My lil jacob was born with VATER association. Amazing lil boy if i do say so. His life touched so many lives, he was here with us four years one month and a day. During those four years our family, friends, and complete strangers came together and did what ever it took to make sure my lil boy had money for surgeries, our long trips to los Angeles and so much more. Then he died, those same friends, family, and faceless friends (aka as strangers) rallied by us again and paid for all his funeral expenses and went above and beyond with such a beautiful celebration of his life. He loved fire trucks and firemen (brave hero's just like him) they made sure he was escorted to his final resting place by one.

I miss him so much, but i think back to how strong he was and how much he touched everyone and i smile knowing i helped bring that beautiful soul into this world.

So everday, no matter how hard it is for me to get up, i do. I do it because i have to say Thank you every day to the people who brought so much joy into our lives during those years and still do to this day. I try to do something good for someone everyday. I try to always remember someone out there is suffering more than I and they need our support and love. Basically, every day i try to live my life as my four year old son and his twin brother. Brave and strong and even if it is just by a smile, make someones day better.

Kim j

scrapperjen said...

What a wonderful blessing and such generosity! I'm sure your girls will learn a little something too! Wonderful, wonderful!
I am blessed to have my family!
The act of generosity would be my daughter's daycare administrator.

Susie Q said...

I can see your smile from here...so happy for you. Hey, a working dryer is a HUGE thing!
Blessings have found you and you deserve them....you give so much and it is your turn to receive now! : )
I am so grateful for so much and see blessings every day...
I try to do things every day, mostly anonymously, but even if it is just a kind word or sweet smile, it can mean so much for someone.
Stay happy dear Cheryl...

Phats said...

Sorry the tide lost :( It was a good game though. Drexel, I guess had a no invite hangover as well losing to NC State.

Jane said...

What a beautiful post and such a great perspective on life Cheryl.

I am blessed with a wonderful husband who alongside his work has been working so hard to get our new house fixed up and furnished. and an act of generosity....wow, where do I begin, people are constantly encouraging us through this long adoption process, giving of their time to drop a line of encouragement....I could go on.

Thanks for making me consider these things today.

Missy's Blog said...

Today I am blessed to have a wonderful 2-year old boy that loves me even without make-up ... and a wonderfully loving husband who is everything to me.

Glad your dryer is working and I loved the story you shared about John.

Robyn said...

You've inspired me to blog about an act of kindness my yougest received yesterday. As usual Cheryl, you are an INSPIRATION!

Susie said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thanks so much for visiting me! I've enjoyed reading this post and how you count simple pleasures and gifts as the true blessings in life.
For me, each day is a gift and I rejoice in all the simple things that put a smile on my face.
Enjoy this day!!

Silent One ~D~ said...

I am always reminded how lucky and blessed I am... when my 17 (almost 18 year old son) will say he loves me and gives me a hug and kiss in front of his friends...
He has even been known to give his father a kiss in public. What a sweet boy I have!!!
My daughter.... thanked me yesterday for being such a good Mom. Made my eyes leak!

Maria said...

GReat, great post! Simple blessings...flowers, Spring, sunny afternoons, our dogs...
An act of generosity...mmm, let's see, I've been given many blessed moments and acts of generosity from my friends and family and I've tried to do the same...I always try to do something nice, but unwitnessed, for a stranger as often as possible (and I won't say what I did more recently as that will defeat the purpose and the "unwitnessed" part of it, LOL)