Tag Archive for: goodness

Grateful – With or Without (Horrors!) Wine

We’ve been talking (off and on) about gratitude this month.
I poked around to some of the sites I routinely follow and have loved all the
recognition this month that as individuals, as a community, (and totally avoiding politics
here, but I’m gonna say it anyway) and as a nation, there’s a lot to celebrate.
There’s so much good going on, but it’s easy to focus on the Not So Good (or
the absolutely abysmal).
Tonight as I sip a glass of wine (always grateful to the
people who make wine), I keep thinking about a challenge I read. The challenge
is to focusing on the good things. Okay, admit it. Do you beat
yourself up over the fumbles, the thing you might could’ve done better, and
bring yourself down in the process? (Yeah, I might’ve done that.) Or do you
quietly (or loudly if that’s your style 😉 ) give thanks for the good things in
your life?
I’m choosing to focus on the good. That we can reach out to
each other within the writing community — and beyond it to our local town or
whatever sphere you can touch — and make things better.
I’ll save talk about community service for another post. Tonight,
rather than wallow in the Not So Good, I’m celebrating the Good Things.
This week I’m savoring that after a year and a half in a
tiny apartment (which was also my day job office), we moved into our new house!
I walk through the rooms and revel in the space. (I have a dining table again.
A place to have friends over where they can actually sit down.) And art that’s been in storage for
too long is slowly finding a new place in our home.  
I’m grateful for family. My daughter asked if she and her
fiancé could have their engagement pictures taken at our house. I’m so happy
for the two of them, that they found each other and that they want to include us
as they forge a life together.
I’m grateful for friends on so many levels. Old friends who
are helping me out professionally and new friends who are easing the transition
into a new home and new options for the future.
What are you savoring
this week? What are you grateful for?

And because it’s So
About The Money
’s book birthday, I’m putting together a present for my
readers, because I’m always grateful when people choose to spend their time
with my characters. 

Watch my Facebook page for details or sign up for the newsletter that I swear I’m finally going to send out. 

Cathy Perkins
started writing when recurring characters and dialogue populated her day job commuting
daydreams. Fortunately, that first novel lives under the bed, but she was
hooked on the joy of creating stories. When not writing, she can be found doing
battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel
adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with
her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

You can also visit her online at the following places:
 Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Random Acts of Kindness

With fall in the air, and the weather getting chillier, we decided to explore a warmer topic in this month’s Stiletto Soapbox: random acts of kindness. It can be as simple as someone opening the door for you at the post office when your arms are full, or a stranger giving you a smile when you need it most. Anyway, here are our favorite tales of kindness, and we’d love to hear yours, too, if you’d like to share with us.

Susan: The act of kindness that sticks out in my head isn’t exactly random, but it’s very special to me. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through six and a half weeks of radiation therapy, my mom and mom-in-law stepped up, offering to alternate driving me five days a week for the entire span of treatment so “you will never be alone.” I wasn’t yet married to Ed, and the fact that his mom wanted to pitch in like that still astounds me. That my mother would do it was sweet enough. Even as I type this and think of “my two moms” being there for me, I tear up. If I ever need a reminder that there is goodness in the world, I just look at them and know, “yep, there is.”

Maggie: When you’re going through something difficult, it’s sometimes hard to ask for help. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I didn’t want any help, but discovered the only way I was going to get through it was to open my heart and accept all the love and support that was offered to me. I had to put aside my feeling that accepting help was weak; I have found the opposite to be true. The first thing I received was prayer, in the form of a beautiful service that was held at my church. That buoyed me as I embarked on a chemo regimen. After that night, three nights a week for two months, meals would arrive at my door from local angels. There were countless other kindnesses that were shown me and that continue to be shown to me.

The lesson I learned was this: just as there is grace in helping others, there is grace in accepting help. How can we feel good about the times when we reach out and help if there is no one to graciously accept our support?

Rhonda (the Southern half of Evelyn David):

The other day this guy who had just fueled his truck at a service station offered to pump my gas, actually reached over and unhooked the gas pump nozzle for me before I could even get out of my car. I said no thanks, smiled, and waved him off. Truthfully, I was afraid to get that close to him with my credit card. Didn’t help that his appearance screamed “chain gang escapee.” Does it count if you’re too afraid to accept random acts of kindness???

Marian (the Northern half of Evelyn David):

I couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble coming up with examples of Random Acts of Kindness. Certainly I’ve been blessed by the kindness, generosity, sensitivity, and caring of family, friends, and even strangers. But what finally struck me is that while I am touched and thankful for these acts, great and small, I’m not surprised by them. What surprises me are Random Acts of Meanness. Fundamentally, I believe that people are basically good; that their instincts are to be helpful or at least not deliberately unhelpful. News of cruelty is so shocking because we don’t expect humans to behave that way.

Anne Frank, hidden in a cramped attic for two years to escape Nazi detection, wrote in her diary: “In spite of everything that has happened, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I want/need to believe that too.

Marilyn: Years ago I belonged to a sorority of married women that seemed mostly to be about having parties. I learned about a family with three young kids, one developmentally disabled, and the father had lost his job. They would have no Christmas. I told the sorority gals, and we decided to provide Christmas. Each one of us purchased gifts for every member of the family, wrapped them, and provided the ingredients for a complete Christmas dinner, a Christmas tree and ornaments. We loaded everything into my old station wagon and delivered the goodies to their address. A man was working on a car in the driveway of the apartment house and asked if he could help us. When we told him where we were headed, he said, “That’s my address.” He helped us carry everything upstairs. The whole family was there and watched wide-eyed as we brought everything in. We said “Merry Christmas” and started to leave. The man said, “Wait. Where did all this come from?” I said, “You have heard of Santa Claus, haven’t you?” And we left, grinning all the way downstairs. I still feel good when I think about that day.

Misa: Once when my husband, who was a teacher at the time, was camping, he lost his wedding ring (which was my grandfather’s ring given to us before he died) in the lake. He spotted one of his students at the lake just as he was leaving, and he told the boy and his family about the ring, knowing he’d never find it. The following Monday at school, the boy came to school and proudly held up a gold wedding band. “Is this your ring?” he asked my husband. It was. The boy had spent hours diving and searching the shallow sandy bottom of the lake. And he found the ring! It was so random and so giving.

Just as the mystery community is stepping up to support Kate Collins*, these little moments remind me how loving and generous people can be, how people can band together for a common goal, and take action as an individual or as a group can impact others. I’m proud to be part of a community that supports its members in times of trouble, and I’m proud to adhere to a philosophy of random kindness and caring for others.

*Kate Collins very recently lost her husband, and we want to help her out in this difficult time. She has a newly released title from her Flower Shop mystery series just out: Dirty Rotten Tendrils. Perhaps you could buy a copy for yourself and a second copy for someone you care deeply about or even a library you love in honor of her husband. Here’s the Amazon link:
Dirty Rotten Tendrils Flower Shop