Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to stick my nose out into the weather so I would know if I needed a sweatshirt to go with my t-shirt. I was thinking, "no, it's warm enough now at 7:30 so even an old guy like me who is always cold would be plenty comfortable later on this morning when the sun is high and the breeze off the lake will complement the warmth that my nose promised." I think I even had my eyes closed so that my heat seeking judgement would not be compromised by the wide-eyed amazement I feel every time I look at the incredible landscape that surrounds us: the shimmering lake reflecting the morning sun, the distant clumps of greenery that are the summer trees across the lake, swaying wetland grasses that divide the lake into many separate puzzle pieces that your eye must assemble,m the floating garden of lily pads that hugs the shore and extends out into the lake looking like a carpet to be walked on, and the incomparable light that embraces everything that gets in its way.
Once I had my nose confirm what the thermometer said, I was free to open my eyes, satisfied that I got the right information and could confidently skip the sweatshirt. With my eyes wide open, I got that first peripheral hint that something wasn't quite normal. You know, the feeling that someone has at some point invaded your space and,teasingly, left some bit if evidence of their invasion. I glanced around, not quite sure why, and saw that on the other side of the walkway that the Hostas surrounding the stone bench that the semi-naked cherub stone statue was hiding behind, were in their midsummer deep green glory. So nothing amiss there. Farther down the walkway, just as you would expect, the Fountain Grass was dancing and swaying with the freshening breeze. The tall stalks of the Day Lilies, now with the last of the flowers ready to
fall, looked somewhat forlorn, now that their blossoming was mostly just a memory. They were drooping a bit as if begging for one more day. All seemed as it should be. I was content that the vibe I was getting was benign and not something that would cause me trouble.
Still, as I was about to close the door and retreat back to my favorite place at the table where my first cup of coffee was cooling, I felt the strong and irresistible urge to look down. And there I saw why the hairs on the back of my neck had been bristling, the reason for the breach in my aura. I was immediately filled with such a sense of gratitude and awe at the generosity of my neighbors that I had to wipe away a tear. There on the stoop was a stack of various baked goods--loaves of bread, sweet rolls and Danish, a pecan pie, and a tray of cinnamon rolls. All these people, who had found out about Mary’s hospitalization and health problems through the neighborhood grape vine, had left these tokens of their caring and had acted on their impulse to help in some way. I don't even know who left this "manna" from heaven. There was no note or card attached, so I don't even know whom I should thank.
Moving here to this condo complex has been a daily reward. We are surrounded by friendly people who always have a happy hello a friendly wave. I only know the names of a handful of my neighbors, yet here they are, bringing us food and offering to cook whole meals for us. Several have even volunteered to drive us to the hospital if the need arises. I feel like we've been blessed a thousand times more than we deserve. My faith in the generosity of spirit and the inherent goodwill of people has been given a real boost because of the kindness of these strangers. When my turn comes to do something nice for someone who could use a jumpstart I won't hesitate to jump in and do what I can because of the example set by tenses wonderful people.
PS: Jean, the corn chowder was great. Sandy, the turkey and gravy and cake and brownies were more than I could ask for. Donna, you make the best red pepper soup I’ve ever had.
PPS: Tom you could make a great living as a chauffeur. Rich, I know that I can always count on you to be there for me no matter what the circumstance.