Tag Archives: kindness

frozen journey, warm heart.

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RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau stands next to Ranger Gary Bath,

Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault

and Tim Marchessault near the U.S.-Canadian border crossing. (CNN)

CNN reports a story that’s sure to warm your heart:

There’s nice, and then there’s Canadian-nice, which sometimes involves driving a total stranger, her two kids, a pair of elderly dogs and a cat named “Midnight” more than a thousand miles through a snowstorm to another country.

It all started because Lynn Marchessault and her family needed to get from Georgia to Alaska, where her husband is stationed at the U.S. Army base – Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

So Marchessault packed up all their belongings, bought a truck that could handle Alaska winters, rented a U-Haul, and made plans for a cross-country family adventure during the balmy days of early fall. But, 2020 happened.

Marchessault waited months for the travel documents that would allow her to drive from Georgia, through Canada and up to Alaska. Due to the coronavirus, Canada had instituted strict guidelines for Americans traveling through the country, en route to Alaska. By the time she got things in order, her September road trip was pushed to November. Besides the restrictions placed on her by the Canadian government, she knew she’d have to keep up a good driving pace to avoid the worst of winter weather.

The first 3,000 miles of the trip went well. They entered Canada through Saskatchewan. Border authorities checked Marchessault’s paperwork and warned her to keep to the main roads and stop only when necessary for food or gas.The family would have to order any food to-go, even at motels they stayed in along the way. She was allotted five days to drive through Canada and get to the U.S. border in Alaska.

The farther north they traveled, the worse the weather got. Marchessault, who was raised in the South, encountered her first winter white-out conditions. Then she ran out of windshield wiping fluid, slush covered her windows, she couldn’t see to drive, and her tires seemed to be losing traction.

Gary Bath, a Canadian ranger from British Columbia, whose job includes training members of the Canadian military to survive the Arctic, was at home when he saw his friend’s Facebook post about the stranded American family. “A lot of people were wanting to donate money or saying they wish they could help but no one was able to get off work or be close enough to go do it,” Bath told CTV News Channel on Friday. “So, I talked to my wife and we decided that I would drive all the way from Pink Mountain to the border.” Bath says he stepped in to offer the family a helping hand because “it was the right thing to do.”

“It took us two and half days, but for me it wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “I love driving so what a great way to see parts of the country that I haven’t seen in a few minutes.” Marchessault says that she and her family are very grateful for Bath’s help and says that they intended to be lifelong friends. “We’re hoping that when we do leave Alaska some of the COVID restrictions will be lifted by then because we would stop to see Gary and his wife on the way through and just thank them again for what they did to help us,” Marchessault added.

credits: CNN, Martha Shade – CDV News, Den Lourenco

“unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

-bob kerry

the timeless power of poetry and love.

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take a moment out of your day to be moved by this very short film

https://aleteia.org/2020/01/02/20-year-old-filmmaker-wins-award-for-powerful-1-minute-film-about-marriage/?fbclid=IwAR06z2gScNTfefFoJfMAM3nfi9hzMFKimadkIUHIgKB3IO1LRJs7AETJD8Y

 

 

credits: aleteia, barr pictures, open hands open hearts

reaching out.

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one friend shares her flower with another

 

as a teacher of young children

i am always struck

by the natural way

that children connect with each other

reaching out

with genuine kindness and kinship.

 

“anyone who takes time to be kind is beautiful.”

-author unknown

get on the bus.

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what an adventure it would be to travel on the ‘make america kind again’ bus

 

“human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the figure of a free people.

a nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

walk like a dinosaur.

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The T-Rex Walking Club parades in Ferndale,MI

The T-Rex Walking Club takes a stroll to bring joy during the coronavirus pandemic.  A silly and secret club formed during the pandemic is on a quest to bring smiles to the faces of kids, and a few adults, while under Michigan’s stay home order.

On Friday, when Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s order, there was parade of a pink unicorn, followed by a gentle giraffe, a ferocious bear, a swinging stegosaurus, Scooby-Doo and a shark too, a tall pterodactyl, a trotting triceratops, a black-and-white penguin, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a friendly T-Rex, another penguin, and a one-eyed Minion.

This motley crew, which calls itself the Ferndale T-Rex Walking Club, takes its unannounced strolls through neighborhoods. There are other characters, too, and a few members have costumes on order. On their next walks, you might see an additional unicorn, more sharks, a polar bear, a gorilla, a Godzilla, an alligator, a hippo, a flamingo, a zebra, and an upside-down clown.

Most members of the club are also members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.The point of the parade, is to cheer up the community during otherwise gloomy times and get children and adults to smile, said Oscar Renautt, who heads the Elks public relations committee.

The T-Rex club has its own set of rules. You must be invited; have an enclosed, inflatable costume; wear a face mask; and you can never, ever tell anyone where — or when — the group is going to go walking.

The founder, Ms. Ignash, received her pink unicorn costume one Christmas, has had it for years, and she’d occasionally show up somewhere in it for a laugh. Then, she posted the article in Facebook for local residents and they thought it was a good idea. Folks asked her to organize an event, so she did. It was right after the stay-at-home order, and within two hours, close to 200 people were interested. 

Ignash decided that it was a totally crazy idea, and irresponsible to create crowds of people during a pandemic, so she canceled the event, and started over. Instead, she created a private group and invited just a couple of friends to join her. They went on a walk in costume, and then another, and another, adding a few friends — and characters — each time. 

The costumes are so big that they naturally require the walkers to space out about six-feet apart, a social distancing requirement of the governor’s order. They also don’t want to spread the virus so they wear masks.Visibility inside isn’t so good either, and it can get hot inside the costume. So they don’t walk for too long. “But, it’s fun because kids really freak out,” Ignash said. “They see us coming, or they hear other people talking about us coming, and kids freak out. Its fun, just so much fun.”

credits: Frank Witsil- Detroit Free Press, Ferndale Elks Club

“a procession is a participants’ journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.”

 Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

reweaving.

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in recent days

i have seen and read about

 many gestures of hospitality

 one reaching out to another

 with each act

i find a renewed sense of hope.

“hospitality is always an act that benefits the host even more than the guest. the concept of hospitality arose in ancient times when the reciprocity was easier to see: in nomadic cultures, the food and shelter one gave to a stranger yesterday is the food and shelter one hopes to receive from a stranger tomorrow. by offering hospitality, one participates in the endless reweaving of a social fabric on which all can depend – thus the gift of sustenance for the guest becomes a gift of hope for the host.”

-parker j. palmer

 

even more.

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at the songbird cafe

extra pennies left

for those who might need them

along with a tiny paper crane

for those who might need this even more.

 

“a master of origami said he tried to express with paper the joy of life,

and the last thought before a man dies.”

-tor udall, a thousand paper birds

small.

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she was in the checkout line just in front of me

something about her looked tired

like her shoes

world weary

her cart filled with simple things

beans, bread, eggs, milk, cans, pasta

and what looked to be a special treat

one small bright orange

maybe for someone little waiting at home

 when it was her turn

she paid

with what was left on her food card

 then tried a credit card

and still

didn’t have quite enough

 she looked back at me

with apologetic eyes

sorry for the trouble

 she fumbled in her purse

looked to see

what she could put back

not sure what to do

I heard the clerk tell her

that she needed

one dollar and seventy cents more

 my heart went out to her

not knowing her life

I said that I had that money

 I was happy to give it to the clerk

 she looked at me with shy eyes

nodded thank you

 carried her bags out

and I thought about

how that one small orange

would make such a difference

for someone special

  maybe

my small act

had made a difference

in her life too

 made it

a bit easier

just for a moment

and at that moment

I knew

there was absolutely

no finer way in the world

for me to have spent

just one dollar and seventy cents.

‘remember that the biggest thing you could do today is a small act of kindness.’

-cory booker