Yesterday was a delightful day in which I chanced upon several charming and helpful people, and a day in which positive and encouraging stories took up several pages in our newspaper. Because of tension and confusion in our world, and because of our concerns about these issues, it is easy to focus on negative and troublesome situations and give short shrift to beauty and goodness. Such a day as yesterday gently jolts us into a vision correction.
I first saw it in a young man who was in charge of a Sunday school youth group, that, because of housing and personnel challenges, have in one room a group of youngsters of a wide age range. I chanced to go by their meeting area, and despite the evident chaos, he dazzled me with a smile and a reconciled, non-complaining statement: "My helpers had to leave early." Later in the day, I thought of this young husband and father who has made the commitment, despite less-than-perfect surroundings, to spend his Sunday mornings pointing impressionable young people in the right direction.
At the restaurant where Jerry and I had lunch, our waitress was extremely helpful and cheerful. With impeccable service and a sunny smile, she served us.
Jerry and I have spent several days doing Spring clean up in our yards, and are at the place to do additional planting. We had decided on another fruit tree and I needed annuals to plant here and there for color. (We had some help in our Spring preparations: a couple of days ago, Jerry went to Steve's Nursery here in Crestline and hired a young man to move a couple of barrels and to dig up a tree root. He was a wonderful worker and when it was time to pay, Jerry gave him quite a substantial tip.) After lunch yesterday, we went to Home Depot to buy our plants…and again we were blessed with an exceptional young man who assisted us with our selection, helping us decide between an apricot and a plum tree. We settled on a Santa Rosa Plum. Jerry didn't have a cart, so the young man went to get one, lifted in the tree, plunked in a bag of planting medium and the B-1 he had recommended.
In the parking lot, as Jerry attempted to maneuver the plum tree into the back of our Jeep, a young man came by and saw his plight. He left his family standing and came over and gave Jerry a hand as they hoisted in the tree.
The front page of the Riverside Press Enterprise yesterday has a picture of Vevina-Anne Swanson, a Colton second-grader, who, on Sunday was scheduled to play at New York's Carnegie Hall. At 7 years old, she is the youngest of 30 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition winners.
Parade magazine yesterday had nearly a full page information ad sponsored by Corporate Angel Network. Its headline was: Cancer Patients Fly Free. There followed these words: "A message for cancer patients of all ages. You can fly to recognized treatment centers around the country–absolutely free–in the empty seats on corporate jets."
Another paragraph was directed to owners of corporate jets: "A message for corporations and fractional aircraft owners. Your half-full aircraft is really half-empty. An empty seat on your aircraft, flying on routine business, is a perfect opportunity to give a cancer patient a lift. In both body and spirit."
More information about this service is here.
Yes, Sunday was a good day: my sometimes dim and muddied eyes were refocused, revealing anew the sweet and elevated people with whom I walk.
Tags: cancer, cancer+patient, Riverside+Press+Enterprise, Corporate+Angel+Network, free+airfare, Sunday+school, Home+Depot, nursery, plants, annuals, aircraft, corporate+aircraft, Carnegie+hall, Vevina-Anne+Swanson, Bradshaw+Buono+International+Piano+Competition+winners