October 08, 2010

Helping Others

It reached 84 degrees here today and I have to say that I am loving this weather.  We haven't had any rain in two weeks and the ground is hard and dry, but after all the rain and flooding this summer, I am not concerned in the least.  This is great painting weather.  Yes, the painting of the fence continues.  But, the fence is a total of 200 feet in circumference and since I am painting both sides I have 400 feet of fence to paint. 
Today I was painting the outside of the fence next to the sidewalk.  Several people walked by during the day and would tell me I was doing a great job.  I would stand back and look at the fence and say, "Yeah, I am doing a great job."  Not that it matters to anyone except me. 

There is a retired couple in our neighborhood that walk by in the late afternoon.  They have been watching me scrape the fence and were thrilled that I had finally reached the painting phase.  I took a break and we visited for about 10 minutes about my dog, the fence and we even talked about marriage.  Then as they walked away they told me "you're doing a great job."  Their compliment meant the most to me because both of them look like they have done some painting in their lives so they are good critics and judges. 

When I am outside working on a project I end up seeing a lot of people.  It is kind of uplifting to have a conversation with someone that lives a block away from you and you really don't know them except for seeing them walk by your house daily.  

This morning I picked up some groceries and as I left the parking lot I noticed an elderly lady with a cane walking down the sidewalk and carrying a bag and her purse.  I pulled up next to her and said "Mam, I know you don't know me and I don't know you, but may I give you a ride home?"  She looked at me and looked at her bag and said "yes."  She got in my car and I drove her to her house that was about 4 blocks from the grocery store.  I opened the door for her and helped her out and to the door of her house and said goodbye.  She thanked me.  As I drove away I realized that I should have given her my name and phone number in case she ever needed a ride again.  I am sure that I will see her again as this is a small town. 

When I was a little girl my mom would take two elderly ladies from our church to the grocery store.  We called them Grandma Bentley and Grandma Schuler.  Seemed like any old lady was called Grandma to us.  I would go with Grandma Bentley throughout the store and my older sister or my mom would go with Grandma Schuler.  When these ladies became more home bound we would stop by their apartments and they would give us their grocery list and the money and we would buy their groceries for them. 

So today, this little old lady kind of reminded me of Grandma Bentley and that little voice in my head told me to stop and help her.  She tugged at my heart strings. 

I know that in this day and age it took a little bit of trust from this elderly lady for her to get in my vehicle and let me help her home.  I must have an honest face or in the alternative, she looked pretty tired.  In the end, it is all about taking care of each other and taking care of our elderly neighbors and friends.  Perhaps I will have the opportunity to help this lady again and I will be able to exchange my phone number with her.  I am praying that this will happen.

It seems that with the busyness of our lives, we need to stop and be a friend to the elderly.  What is their day like?  Do they live alone and have to walk to the grocery store and back every few days?  Are they lonely?  Something to ponder. 

5 comments:

Maureen said...

My Mother-in-Law who is 83 lives with us, it was never prearranged it just sort of happened. Sometimes I feel cheated that after bringing up my children I now have another obligation. I know that this is a very selfish attitude and I do wrestle with my conscience when I have these thoughts. but when I think that we won,t have her forever, then I know I would,nt want her to be anywhere else.

K.Allsup said...

Looking for the "like" button!

tammyyarbrough said...

That is so nice of you. Due to some medical conditions that I have, I'm not able to drive, and I always walk to the grocery store when I need to pick up a few things. The store is 3/4 of a mile away, and to look at me, I am very fit. There have been several times when the bag boy has asked if he could take my stuff to the car, and I'll tell him I'm walking. Sometimes it gets SO hot here in Alabama(100+)or I start to feel bad(like I'll have a seizure walking home), but don't want to bother asking anyone for a ride. It seems like those are the times that God sends an angel to ask if I need a ride and I accept.

Moxie said...

This is great!! Our elders are ofter very lonely. Since you know where she lives....perhaps you could stop by with a nice loaf of bread or plate of cookies and go ahead and leave your name and number with the offer in person =]

Martha said...

@Maureen:

I understand how you feel in part. My mom doesn't live with us, but I am responsible for her. My sister has nothing to do with her so it has fallen on my shoulders.

@Moxie:

Great idea.