Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today's fortune: April 16, 2011

Today's fortune: A simple kindness today will soon bring you unexpected rewards.

To increase my chances, I completed three simple acts of kindness today. Two were extremely simple: there's a surprise lilac bush growing in our front yard (I didn't plant it and I don't remember it being there last year), so I broke a sprig off this morning and took it to my mother. This afternoon, I removed another piece and gave it to my beautiful wife.

"Just a simple kindness to show you I love you," I told Jamie as I handed her the lilac. Then I stretched out my open palm and said, "Reward, please." She gave me nothing but a smile.

Well hell, that's reward enough. And I got one from my mom, too.

The reason I drove to Liberty to see my mother was the other act of kindness I participated in today. My brother's best friend is a guy named Lee who will do absolutely anything for anybody and never asks for anything in return (although if there's food around he'll eat.. and eat, and eat, and eat and eat and eat eat eat eateateat).

But he did need some extra hands this weekend. At Lee's family farmhouse two hours north of Kansas City, my brother organized a workday today where Lee's friends could come help out to fix the place up. While Jamie stayed home and worked on homework, I picked my mother up at 9 a.m. and we made the drive up to lend a hand for a few hours.

Men and women and children were running around all over the place doing highly productive things, including sawing, hammering, nailing, laying tile, running wires, painting, et cetera. As I've written before on this blog, I ain't too good at that stuff. So for a while I felt like I was just in the way. Finally, they found a project for me that I couldn't mess up too badly: hanging bookshelf brackets. A ten-year-old can run an electric drill (and, for the low stuff that I didn't want to sit on the floor to reach, I made a ten-year-old do it), and even I can figure out how to hang something level.

I told Lee, though, it would probably be best to store comic books or CDs on the shelves instead of the Encyclopedia Brittanica or a hardback copy of War and Peace.

Of course I didn't drive to Lee's place for any kind of reward, but I have no doubt that when I need help, Lee will be right there. He always has been in the past.