kindness activist

kindness activist

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Little Gestures Mean A LOT Kindness

Do you ever have “those days”?  I think we all do…  Days when stuff just doesn’t feel “right”?  Maybe nothing major happens – you don’t find a dent in your car, you might not be late for an appointment or anything, but it just doesn’t feel like YOUR DAY…

That is the sort of day my friend Sharaine was having recently.  She was feeling a bit out of sorts, a bit down, when out of the blue, a cashier made a big impact.

Sharaine (photo obviously taken on a day she was feeling great)
Sharaine was shopping at Smith’s, a local grocery store where she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Sharaine is deaf, and when she checked out she used her voice to speak and her hands to sign to ask the cashier, Dawna, how she was doing.  Dawna replied, “Wonderful!”, to which Sharaine said, “Oh, that is a terrific answer!”. 

Dawna finished ringing up the groceries.  She tore off the cash register receipt, folded it, then did something odd – she came around the counter to personally hand it to Sharaine.  Only, as she handed over the paper, she gave Sharaine a BIG HUGA hug!!!!! 

Well, that was certainly something that had never happened to Sharaine at the grocery store before! 

And instead of being startled, or scared, or upset, Sharaine returned that big hug.  I wish I had been there to witness it – the cashier and the customer sharing a Wednesday afternoon hug!

Sharaine sent me a message telling me about the incident, and told me that the hug really made her feel good.  It brightened her day.  She told Dawna, “You have no idea how much I needed that,” to which the cashier replied, “I needed it more”.

Who knew the power of a single hug?  Sharaine sure does now!
It is such a SMALL gesture, a hug.  But offering a hug takes guts!  You never know how a hug will be received.  And when a hug is perfectly timed, like this one was, it can make a world of difference.
  
I was so happy to hear Sharaine’s version of the story, but I really felt the urge to talk to the cashier, Dawna, and get her take on it.  Hilariously, I had a ridiculously hard time reaching her.  I am on Eastern time, and she is on Mountain.  I called the grocery store where she works on about 8 occasions asking for her, trying at all different times of the day.  Each time, the people who answered were super sweet and put me on hold to page her or hunt for her.  But each time they came back with, “Nope, she is not here right now, sorry”. 


Sorry I kept calling and having you hunt for Dawna, people at Smith's!
But Sharaine surprised me one afternoon by texting and telling me that she just saw Dawna again at the store (and that she was wearing a “Be Kind” pin, not surprising!), and told her I was trying to track her down. Sharaine facilitated an exchange of phone numbers, and I finally got to talk to Dawna.  And let’s just say, I was very, very impressed but not surprised at how KIND she was, even just on the phone.

First off, I had to know – was Sharaine the only person she hugged, or is this “a thing” with Dawna??  Lucky for the customers at Smith’s, Dawna gives out hugs by the handfuls!!  She explained, “I interact with at least 200 people a day when I work.  I hear so many stories every day.  People love to share if you have the time (and take the time) to LISTEN.  I like to listen!”

Dawna!!!  Doesn't her smile just radiate KINDNESS???
I asked Dawna, who has worked for Smith’s for 14 years, what made her decide to give Sharaine a hug that day.  She told me, “I believe that was the first time I have hugged her.  I could just feel the sadness in her for some reason.  Some people don’t like to voice their feelings, but I could just FEEL it.  So, I gave her a hug.”  Having spoken with Sharaine, I knew how she felt about the interaction, but how did it make Dawna feel?  “It made me feel WONDERFUL.  It was…  I don’t know if SHE needed it, but she RECEIVED it.  That is the wonderfulness I am talking about.  She embraced it, and that made me happy.  And, she said, ‘thank you’.”

Talking to Dawna made me wish I lived in Albuquerque so that I could shop at Smith’s and go through her line!  I surmised that shoppers search for her and go through her queue on purpose, and I was right.  “People get in my line and it gets backed up, but they do not want to move to another line.  Managers sometimes get upset, but it is quite funny.  I want everyone who comes in to grocery shop to walk out feeling GOOD INSIDE.  Now, they might not be too happy that they just spent $300 on groceries, but they feel happy that they feel good inside!  When I am not working sometimes customers ask for me.  I tell them, ‘I need a day off every now and again!’ .”

You know how some people are more “in tuned” to the energy around people than others?  Dawna definitely is.  She is good at reading people, tuning in.  “I don’t have to engage people if they do not want to talk.  I say, ‘Good morning’ and leave it at that.  But a possible conversation can ensue.  I see so many people during the day.  Of course, management wants us to scan groceries fast and get people out the door, but if my customers have something to tell me, I want to hear it.  I want to give them the respect of listening to them.  I may never see them again, but they leave knowing that I LISTENED.  It is all about giving people respect.  That’s all it is.  I don’t care who you are or what kind of day you have had.  If you need to say something, I am here to listen.  And some days I leave work so drained.  But I go home and “plug in my heart to recharge it”.  I think a lot of it is the  Holy Spirit working.”

Albuquerque Kindness
Sharaine noticed Dawna had a Kindness button on that said "Be Kind", so I asked her about it.  She says the simple act of wearing the button can “disarm someone with fire in their eyes”.  She reports that just wearing it can de-escalate a bad situation, because when people see it, it helps them calm down.  “Maybe they have been stuck in morning traffic, dealing with their kids…  But seeing the pin, with just 2 simple words, Be Kind, can change the focus of their day.  Seeing the button makes them take a breath.  It sends a message without saying a word.  Hopefully, it will inspire them to chill out a little bit,” she explained.  

Well Dawna, soon you will have a 2nd button to wear next to that one.  Your “Kindness Is My Super Power” pin is on the way to you!  And honestly, you are an amazing Kindness Activist and the perfect Ambassador for Smith's.  Your store, your managers, and most of all, your CUSTOMERS are lucky to have you around!

Your new button is on the way!
Thanks for being a KINDNESS ACTIVIST.  Your genuine interaction made a big difference in Sharaine’s day, and hearing about the story made a difference in mine.  I am going to seek out opportunities to be brave enough and open enough to listen to people and offer hugs. 

What about you, will you do the same?  The world could certainly use more hugs.

Do YOU know someone who has done something kind?  Please tell me about them!  Email me at:  kindnessactivist@gmail.com and “like” us on Facebook (Kindness Activist).

THANKS for telling me your story, Sharaine!  I love it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Coke Kindness (and a bonus "Kindness Tip"!)

This is Carol.  She is part of the “James and Carol” duo that are our neighbors in Florida.

Carol, a very kind neighbor (and aren't her sunflowers pretty?)
(Photo of Carol, in a pink shirt, glasses, earrings, and a cross necklace.  She is standing
in  front of her house and next to her is a bright yellow, very tall sunflower.
David and I have been working in the hot sun and humidity for the last 2 days, digging dirt away from the base of the house, scraping paint, cleaning the cinder blocks, and putting on a primer coat of paint.  It has not been easy.  In fact, it has been downright TOUGH!!


I never realized how much painting the house would be a workout
(Photo of Susan, in a blue tank top and grey and white shorts, scrubbing the side of the house.
She is wearing yellow cleaning gloves, safety goggles, and a hat.  The house has chunks of paint missing.)
But today when we were halfway through the primer coat, over walked Carol.  And she was not just coming to see how our work was progressing – she was bringing us 2 cold Cokes!

Break from painting to DRINK A COLD COKE - ahhhh
(Photo of David in a School of Theater Mason Players t shirt,
 holding a paint brush with white paint on it while drinking a Coke.)
That might seem like a small gesture, but it sure was appreciated.  The chilly drink cooled us down and the caffeine and sugar gave us a much needed energy boost to keep on painting. 

Little gestures like that don’t cost a lot of money.  They don’t take a lot of time.  But they can sure go a long way to help someone else have a good day.

That’s today’s story of KINDNESS, and now here is a little kindness tip from an exhausted house painter: if you are walking or biking by someone’s house and you see them outside working hard – be it painting, roofing, replacing gutters, WHATEVER - pause and give them a little holler.  A simple, “Hey, looks great!” might be just the thing they need to hear.  Heck, even if it doesn’t quite look “great” yet, that little white lie won’t hurt a soul 😊


Thanks for the Cokes Carol!  Next time I see a neighbor working hard on their house, I will think, “What would Carol do?” and deliver them an ice cold treat.

Oops - I leaned against a part I had already painted...
(Photo of Susan on a ladder up by the eaves of the house.  She has a big plop of
white paint on her leg and is holding a paint brush, making a funny face.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lunch Time Kindness

This story of kindness makes me smile so big.  It is an act of kindness I have heard about, read about, even WROTE about near the beginning of this project* (see link at the bottom of this post), but this is the first time I was (almost) around to witness it!!

Ryan and Beth were in a restaurant eating lunch.  They were working at a conference, and had taken their hour-long break to grab a bite to eat.  But before you can understand the act of kindness and how cool it was, you need to understand Ryan and Beth and how cool THEY are!  Smiley face**.

Photo of Ryan and Beth seated and smiling.  Ryan is wearing a green short sleeve t shirt and Beth is wearing a short sleeve dark green shirt.  Beth wears glasses and a silver bracelet.  They are at a table in a restaurant.***
Beth is Deaf.  She lives in Seattle.  She is a “PAP” – Professional Access Provider.  Basically, that means she provides full communication and access to someone who is both Deaf AND Blind, a person who is known as DeafBlind.  Beth does many things in her PAP role – guiding, interpreting menus, interpreting conversations, traveling with a DeafBlind person – she does a LOT.  One thing she does NOT do is HELP.  She is not a HELPER, she is just there to facilitate the independence of the DeafBlind person.  And trust me, if you met her client Ryan, you would understand that he is not looking for HELP, smiley face.

Photo of Beth seated, smiling.  She is wearing a bright orange shirt that says "St.. Lucia"
Ryan is DeafBlind****.  He also lives in Seattle and is who Beth was working with on the day that this kindness occurred.  He communicates via tactile sign language, or preferably via "pro-tactile" - which conveys not only the WORDS that are spoken, but the visual environment and the non-manual responses of those around him (like head nods).  Ryan is wicked smart.  The things you and I “cheat” and look at our cell phones to confirm (you know, like someone’s phone number, the address of where we are staying, a credit card number…) – yeah, Ryan has all of that stuff MEMORIZED.  He communicates using American Sign Language (ASL) and braille.  His cell phone syncs with a Bluetooth braille reader, which gives him access to everything you and I take in with our eyes. 

Photo of Ryan.  He is standing outdoors, wearing a black shirt and smiling.
There are green trees, grass, and a light in the background.
So, on the day this kindness occurred Ryan was working at a booth at a conference and Beth was supporting him.  They took their lunch break, and when I saw them after they ate they were both smiling from ear to ear!!!  I talked with them to ask what made them so happy, and here is what they told me:

Beth: “I was with my client, Ryan.  He and I were wondering what to have for lunch and we decided on the Mexican restaurant, Mi Casa.” 
Ryan: “We wanted chicken salad, but couldn’t find any good looking salads, so we settled on MiCasa, where we had eaten a couple of days before.  We were hungry and pressed for time.”  
Beth:  “When we were finished with lunch, Ryan asked the waiter for the check and was told that the man who had been seated at a table behind us eating and had left had ALREADY PAID FOR US!  We both thought, ‘What???’.  Ryan asked the waiter who paid – what the person looked like and what his name was.  The waiter wrote down the person’s name and gave it to us.” 

How did it make you feel when you realized he paid, I asked.
Beth:  “At first, I was kind of shocked.  Then I thought, “Man, that was totally out of the blue that he paid for us!”.  But it felt good.  It gave me shivers.  I thought, 'How generous for someone to do that!'."
Ryan:  “It was really unexpected, shocking, and nice.  It was a BIG PLUS! It was really inspirational.  I thought it was so nice of him to buy our meal!  It was a very unexpected random act of kindness.”

After they told me the story of what had happened, I could see that they really wanted to THANK this man.  Also, I wanted to make sure he knew how touched they were that he had treated them!  So, I set about FINDING him!!  We had his name from the slip of paper the waiter gave them, so I started where any amateur Private Investigator would start – FACEBOOK!! 

As luck would have it, the secret stranger has a super long (12 letters!) last name, so even though the waiter actually wrote it down wrong and skipped one letter, I FOUND THE MAN ON FB!  I could tell from the name, location, and job description that he was likely our guy!  I did a bit more detective work (part of which was walking around trying to read name tags of conference attendees, but that idea didn’t help much, grin).  But asking at the registration desk was very effective, and resulted in an email getting to the man asking him to come to Ryan’s booth.

Sure enough, about an hour later, up he walked!!!  He was very humble and a bit shy, but happily accepted Ryan and Beth’s profuse thanks.  He was also happy to receive an official KINDNESS ACTIVIST pin (which he said he would give to his daughter). 

The BEST PART of getting to meet the Kindness Activist was learning WHY he had paid for their lunch.  You might imagine it was because he saw them and wanted to “help”.  Or maybe because he is the type of person who likes to “pay it forward”.  But no – he bought them lunch, he explained, because they had helped HIM the day before!!!  He had come up to their booth (which was promoting Sprint IP Relay*****) and asked questions.  Ryan had answered them so well and explained the product he was representing so thoroughly and clearly that the man just wanted to quietly “thank them” by picking up their check!!  Isn’t that great? 

When I asked Beth why she thought he bought them lunch, she said, “I think just out of the goodness of his heart, really.”  Because the stranger paid "in secret" and because we only met him after I hunted for him, I will keep him anonymous and not call him out by name in this story.  But I am very glad we got to meet him!

I asked Ryan and Beth if that had ever happened to them before, that a stranger paid for their meal.  Remarkably, they BOTH had experienced it previously!  “This is the 2nd time this has happened to me, but this one was even more touching,” said Beth.  “The first time it happened was when we ate out and paid for some people from church.  When someone saw we had done that, THEY paid for us!  But this time it was totally out of the blue!”  Ryan said, “This wasn’t the first time it I had experienced something like that.  I had my meal paid for another time this month, too!”.  I told him this must be his LUCKY MONTH – smile. 

Like so many acts of kindness, this one inspired the recipients.  Beth said, “I think that next time we go out to eat we need to “pay it forward” and buy someone else’s meal.  We can inspire them!”  Ryan agreed; “Yes, this inspired me to pay for someone else’s meal, too.  I would rather pay for a disabled person’s meal”, to which Beth added that she, as his Professional Access Provider, can be on the look-out for a disabled person in a restaurant while they are eating.

I have a feeling that someday soon the “Ryan and Beth team” will be secretly picking up a stranger’s tab. 

Kindness – it just keeps on spreading!!

*Link to the previous piece in Kindness Activist about paying for a stranger’s meal:  Waffle Kindness

**You may have noticed that instead of using “emoticons” in this piece, a description of the emoticon was written out.  That is because people who use braille do not have access to emoticons.

***You may have also noticed that the captions on the photos for this post are descriptions of the photos.  That is so that people who are blind/low vision and use braille or a program that reads text aloud for them (a screen reader) can visualize what is shown in the photo.

****For more information about DeafBlindness, check out this link:  AADB FAQ 

*****More information about SprintIP, the product Ryan was promoting, can be found here:  SprintIP



Monday, July 31, 2017

Crying Kindness

I remember one man’s actions so well. 

I used to travel a ton for work.  So, it was not surprising when I look back on it now that I happened to be in an airport when I got the phone call with the news that my dad had prostate cancer.  I can’t remember which airport I was on a layover in, and I can’t remember the details of the phone call.  What I DO remember is wandering aimlessly around the airport crying after hearing about the cancer.

And I remember a man coming up to me.  He was a fellow business traveler, in a suit if I recall.  And he asked if I was ok, and if there was anything he could do.  I blurted out, with tears rolling down my face, that I just learned that my dad had cancer.  “What kind of cancer?” he asked gently.  I explained it was prostate cancer, and he was so sweet to me.  He calmly explained that if my dad had to get cancer, any kind of cancer, prostate was the best he could get.  It was the slowest growing and very treatable.  He didn’t talk down to me, didn’t “mansplain” it to me, he just reassured me. 

I can’t remember what he looked like, I never learned his name, but I certainly remember his actions.

I wrote in this project about a kind stranger being in the right place at the right time when my sister got the news that she had breast cancer.  The stranger’s name was Heather, and she embraced my sister and let her cry after the doctor broke the news to her on the phone.  Our family still calls Heather “Angel” when we talk about that day.

So tonight, when I was walking on the beach, when I came across a woman crying I knew it was my turn to be the hugger, the reassuring voice. 

“Maam, are you ok?” I asked the woman who looked around my age.  She kept walking.  I wasn’t sure if she didn’t hear me because of the strong wind blowing due to the big storm rolling in, or if she heard me but didn’t want to connect.  I followed her a step or two and moved in closer to make sure she could hear, “Maam, are you alright?”.

And she turned to me, tears in her eyes and her face showing so much pain.  She didn’t speak, but I just took her gently and hugged her.  I held her tight, and she cried and cried.  She put her head on my shoulder and sobbed. 

Tonight's wavy, windy, peaceful beach
“I am sorry you feel so bad,” I heard myself say.  I was genuinely sorry, but the words could do nothing to help her feel better.  I rocked her a bit side to side, the two of us just standing on the shore with the wind all around us.  I rubbed her arms.

Finally, she could calm down and breathe a bit.  She explained that the man she was with, the one that she thought was the right fit – who had introduced her to all his friends and spent so much time with her – had just said he didn’t want to be with her anymore.

In times like that there is not much to say.  So, I just held her.  When she calmed down a bit she was embarrassed, saying she must look like a blubbering fool.  “Hey, I have been there!  And if you want to cry or scream, the beach is the perfect spot to do it”.  I rubbed her arms and hugged her a bit more.



After a few minutes she thanked me, and we each walked on in different directions.

I didn’t help solve her problem, but I gave her my shoulder to cry on.  I am glad to be able to pass the kindness on that the man in the airport gave to me, and that “Angel” gave to my sister.


If you see a person in need, stop.  It is not a comfortable thing for many people, and it might be easier to pretend you didn’t notice and walk on.  But if the person you hug is anything like me, they will remember your kindness for the rest of their life.

Beach walk selfie.  THANKS, man in the airport.  You listened, calmed me down, and reassured me.
And hey - you were right!  My dad WAS ok after that diagnosis.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Relationship Kindness

So, today was the last day I was going to write a short piece about kindness for the week.  I had set a goal – one piece per day – and this was to be IT.

But the day is practically over, and I had not been inspired.  When I thought about it, I panicked a little.  I didn’t want to “fail” at this easy goal.  But if there was no kindness to write about that happened today, then no kindness story, right??

Then I realized something:  how my partner David and I treat one another is KIND.

I think of it as just “us” – I mean – it is just the way we are, the way we interact.  We have been together for 29 years, it is just “how we do”.  I don’t think either of us consciously does kind acts for the other, they just sort of happen. 

Here are the examples I thought of today:  last night I set my alarm super early.  I am NOT a morning person, but I always love it when I can get to the beach and watch sunrise.  I love it, I just don’t DO IT, because I hate waking up so early.  But last night I decided, today was the day, I would wake up and walk to the beach to watch the glorious sunrise.

Then this morning the alarm went off…

And all of the sudden, the whole idea of watching the sunrise didn’t seem that great.  It seemed downright silly, really.  And the pull of the toasty bed was very strong.  So strong, in fact, that after I turned off the dumb alarm I crawled right back into bed and announced I would watch sunrise “another day”.

David doesn’t enjoy mornings, either.  And he isn’t even all that into sunrises (crazy, no???).  But he knows I LOVE THEM.  So, do you know what he did??  Even though it was MY plan, and I don’t even think he was originally planning to get up and go to the beach this morning, he crawled out of bed and said, “Let’s go watch the sun rise today”. 

He was kind.

That was all I needed – the little nudge to get my lazy bones out of bed, throw on some clothes, and walk to the beach.  He went with me, and it was as lovely as I expected.  (Not to mention we just crawled right back into bed after we came home.)

Why don't I get up early EVERY MORNING to watch this?  
Then, this evening, it came time for him to do something HE enjoys – trimming the trees and bushes.  This is a chore he really likes.  The limbs and brush are picked up every Tuesday and David always wants to have a nice neat pile out there waiting to be collected.  But he hadn’t done any trimming this week and we are planning to be out most of the day tomorrow, so really, this evening was his last chance for the week.  So out he went – chop, chop, chop.

We had just come back from the beach and showered.  I was nice and clean.  I had on clean clothes.  Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was start hauling branches around to the front of the house to make the pile.  But I did it, without being asked.  I was kind.  And I know David appreciated it.  He isn’t the type of person to ask for help, but that “division of duties” – him trim and me lug – works well for yard work, and I was glad to pitch in.

David taking out an old, dead bush.  He loves that stuff!

January morning - David, in his jammies, watering Trixie (our fruit cocktail tree!)
So there.  Thinking about those 2 things reminded me that kindness doesn’t even have to be a deliberate act.  Kindness can just be something that is sort of “built into” your actions, your relationships, your communication. 

Sunrise selfie 
The colors of sunrise amaze and delight me
Thanks for sharing this week of “small kindnesses” with me.  More kindness – large and small – to follow in this blog.  Be on the lookout for kindness and please share it with me!!  I would love more examples to share with the world!  Email me at:  kindnessactivist@gmail.com

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Scepter Kindness

This is the 6th short piece in the week-long drive to write one kindness story everyday about “small kindnesses” I see, do, or hear about.  This one was lovely!!

We were waiting in line at Office Depot to get some things laminated.  We noticed a little girl with a super pretty bracelet and summer dress with her mom in line ahead of us.  Little did we know that very soon we would be twirling and spinning with that girl!

But, you see, it happened…  Instead of boring elevator muzak, Abba’s “Dancing Queen” came on, and, well, when “Dancing Queen” comes on, how are ya gonna hold back???  

Click here if you wanna dance - Dancing Queen by Abba

At first, I managed to stand still.  Then I noticed the little girl swaying.  And raising her arms a bit…  And, well, the music got the best of me!  I grabbed David and we spent the time in line dancing.  We were quiet, but with our spins and dancing “beauty”, well, the little girl turned around and noticed us.  And boy, did she grin.  So, of coooourse she was invited into our groove, and she joined in eagerly!!!  She wasn’t shy at ALL.  Pretty soon the 3 of us were cutting a rug right there in Office Depot – spinnnnning and twirrrrrling and oh so synchronized.  We were great!!!!

When the song was done she smiled a huge, huge smile and said, “That was GREAT!!!”.  Turns out, dancing with strangers is a terrific conversation starter, cuz once we finished dancing we could ask her about that awesome bracelet she was sporting!

She told us her name is ABBY and she is 6 years old.  She and her mom were at Office Depot to get a pretty rainbow poster laminated for an upcoming birthday party.  She explained to us that her bracelet is part of an outfit she has that looks like one of her favorite characters, Elena of Avalor.  We had never heard of this character, but Abby told us all about one special part of Elena’s costume that she didn’t have yet – a SCEPTER.  I brainstormed with her different ideas to make a scepter – she was thinking stick or something like that, then I came up with empty paper towel roll.  We were talking about how she might paint it and what to put on the end – it was a pretty detailed craft discussion. 😊  . 

As Abby animatedly talked through all of this, unbeknownst to us, the Office Depot employee in the copy department, Kelly, had been listening in.  Pretty soon Kelly reached over the counter and handed Abby a BEAUTIFUL long, empty tube – perfect scepter making material!!!!!  Abby’s little face lit up!  What might have been trash to someone else was A COSTUME IN THE MAKING to this adorable girl.  She knew just what ball she was going to have her mom hot glue to the end of this tube, and she had blue glitter at home just waiting to be used on this project!!!

Meet Abby - the sweetest, kindness, most genuine 6 year old the world could ask for.
And isn't the tube GREAT for scepter making?
I talked to Abby’s mom about the Kindness Activist project and she told me that Abby spreads kindness wherever she goes.  She said recently Abby had cheered up a stranger at the grocery store, just because she innately knew that person wasn’t having a good day.  AT SIX, this little girl is chock full of kindness.
This is the front of the Elena of Avalor CD - isn't she a great looking princess??
And the scepter is obviously a super important part of her costume!!
This story was meant to be about the kindness of the Office Depot employee Kelly helping a little girl make the costume of her dreams, I must also applaud Abby for being a ray of sunshine and kindness for the world.

Thanks for introducing me to Elena of Avalor, Abby.  From what I see online she seems very similar to YOU – smart, a great leader, and kind. 


And to Abby’s mom – if you see this, when Abby makes that scepter, please post a photo in the comments!!!  I so want to see the shining finished product!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Turtle Kindness

Here is today’s entry in the week-long “Write About A Small Kindness Everyday” series.  😊

Lately I have been scouring Facebook events to find fun stuff to do.  It is a great way to happen on things wherever you are – I recommend it!!  One thing I found was a TURTLE RELEASE – 2 turtles had been rehabbed and were healthy enough to get released back into the ocean today!  “Turtle Release”???  You don’t have to invite me twice, I’m there!!!

We normally go to the beach with practically nothing – just us, our hats, and sunglasses.  But we were not sure how long we would be there today so we packed the car with all of the items “reasonable” people bring to the beach (that we never do…) and headed out.

It was suuuuper hot today and the release was scheduled for 1:00 pm – meaning the sun was bright and right overhead.  We brought a “beach sheet” to lay out to sit on, but quickly realized that laying it out would be as much for holding our spot to get a good view of the turtles as it would be for resting.  We nabbed a spot right on the rope where we were told the turtle would “parade” before being set free.

We were waiting around, excited, when I noticed a woman holding a toddler in a baby carrier.  If I was hot, I couldn’t imagine how toasty it would be with a tiny human snuggled up against me!  I asked her if they had a place to sit, and when she said they didn’t offered her space on our sheet.  She was super grateful and then pointed out that it was not just her and the baby – there were 3 other adorable kids that belonged to her.  Of course, we said they were all invited to share the sheet to sit. 

Her sons were super into collecting jelly fish from the beach, and her daughter, it turned out, is a MERMAID FAN (as am I!).  Lucky I had on my “Mermaids Are Real” t-shirt so the two of us could spot each other.  😊 My new little friend and I made a mermaid connection (she has a tail, as do I!  She has been to Weeki Wachee, as have I!!!).  She was adorable.  

Just a couple of mermaid fans, waiting for turtles!
We hung out and got to see Mean Joe Green and Tamatoa get released.  It was lovely!!  David was out in the water as the two turtles swam off.  So fun!!!  We stayed and swam a while, but our new friends took off. 
I am not sure if this is Mean Joe Green or Tamatoa, but isn't he cute???

Each turtle took a quick "lap" to meet the adoring fans before being released into the ocean

All healthy now and ready to go home to the ocean!!!
There is another turtle event tomorrow evening – they are cleaning out a turtle nest that recently hatched to see if there are any live turtles still in there.  We are hoping to go to that, and I hope I get to see my friend and her family again.  I need to show her my new mermaid kite!

In the meantime, sharing our beach sheet turned out to be a super fun kind thing to do, cuz we got to meet that sweet family.

Being kind is FUN!!!
Do you have something you can share - an umbrella, some grapes, a pencil?  Seems like we shared more when we were kids...  I say it is time to bring sharing back!  It’s easy, will make you feel good, and might make someone else’s day a little easier.

Bonus photo - David got hungry and "ate" a jelly fish...  :)