Here at the end of April, we see evidence everywhere that winter is in full retreat and summer is on the way. Occasionally there is a Very Serious bit of hand wringing over the Possibility Of Snow in the forecast, but when the most recent alert came for Saturday, the result was less than impressive.
Let’s face it, tomorrow is May Day and Old Man Winter is kaput – he has Thrown In The Trowel.
And yes, I mean Trowel. A group of kind baboons got together yesterday morning to put an exclamation point on O.M.W.’s demise. We who do yard work are naturally hesitant to get out there to start roughing up the soil too early. Most people I’ve talked to enjoyed our mild March but were too suspicious to take the bait. April is always a beautiful liar – things might be OK but April’s moods can change quickly. There’s really no sense in doing too much garden work when she’s around. But May … That’s the time when the work you do stands a chance of NOT being undone.
So the Baboon crew headed out to Plain Jane’s place to do a good deed for a comrade who suffered a nasty fall last February. She had fractures in her pelvic bone and pain galore, plus a stern admonition from the doctors to not overdo it during recovery.
How does a person who can’t garden get the gardening done? Steve takes it from here:
We met from 9 AM until 2 PM on a semi-overcast, brisk but beautiful day. PJ has made wonderful progress recovering from her accident, and yet she isn’t yet ready to garden. The gardening crew raked, cut out unwanted plants, pulled weeds, and hauled away a lot of refuse. It was all light, rewarding work that went quickly because there was so much good conversation.
After the work was over, about noon, Margaret served a luncheon buffet starring a broccoli soup and smoked trout. Various baboons brought cupcakes, sweet bread, cheeses, crackers, and plenty of red wine. Everyone seemed pleased with the quality, quantity, and variety of food . . . including Margaret’s dog, Pablo, who approved of any leftover he could reach. It was a party from start to end, and we all had a great time.
PJ’s fall happened on February 23rd. Less than a day before she tumbled, she told this story in the comments section of our ongoing conversation.
I have been blessed with numerous angels in my life. One stands out, mainly because his unexpected gift allowed me to go to college. When Bob, who I had met only six or seven times when I was 18 years old, but with whom I had remained in contact via letters, heard that wasband and I had moved to Carbondale, he sent me a check for $2,500.00. His accompanying letter said: “Please accept this loan, to be paid back, at no interest, whenever you can. Apply to the university, you will not be able to find a decent job unless you do. I’ll send you another $2,500.00 in six months. Love, Bob.” I followed Bob’s advice, got a scholarship and a student job, and made it through four years at SIU without any incurring any debt.
When I graduated and we were about to leave Carbondale, I wrote Bob to tell him that I would soon be able to begin repaying the loan. A couple of weeks later I received a letter from Bob’s attorney informing me that Bob had passed away. There was also a note from Bob’s wife stating that Bob had made no mention of, nor any record of this loan; she was sure he intended it to be a gift, and to please pay it forward.
Bob’s gift has enabled me to help two different friends avoid foreclosures, and other small gifts to people who have been in a tight spot. It is a gift that keeps giving forty years after Bob’s death.
Clearly PJ found inspiration in Bob’s gift and faithfully paid it forward, just as our Baboonish Garden Crew was inspired by PJ’s calamity to commit a random act of kindness yesterday.
When have you “paid it forward” or been on the receiving end of someone else’s kindness?