Red door with a message

I realize by using this title you’re going to anticipate something fabulous, so I apologize in advance if I don’t make the grade.

On holidays or annual celebrations we often have unrealistic expectations, maybe left over from childhood, be it Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve; we’re waiting for that magical moment to be with those we love in perfect harmony. (If you’re single, New Year’s Eve is the worst.) The truth is, there are 365 days a year to spend time with or reach out to and communicate with family and friends. To repair relationships, and to heal.

But no, we usually wait for those special occasions where the room is crowded with siblings, spouses, and in-laws. Although family get-togethers are often fun, sometimes our blood pressure rises as well as our disappointments. And some of us don’t have relatives nearby.

Not what I expected to see in Lancaster County!

Last month, I sent my 98-year-old aunt in Connecticut a floral arrangement for no reason other than I wanted to let her know I was thinking of her. I rarely see her, although she and my uncle used to entertain me often. I figured her three daughters will bring her presents on Christmas and there will be many festivities at her retirement facility.

We’ve probably all heard the term “random acts of kindness.” The other night I told my husband how a stranger had helped me when I was in a heart-wrenching incident. The day is crystallized in my mind forever, although it happened 20 years ago. I don’t remember the man’s face or anything about him, only that he in essence said, “Don’t worry, I’ll handle it. You can go.” He may have forgotten all about the incident, but I’m still grateful for his kind generosity.

I recall, when my children were young, I read a newspaper article by a woman who said when her daughter was acting her most terrible-teenage-worst the woman, out of the blue, gave her a horse back riding lesson. That random, unexpected gift might have drastically improved their whole relationship. According to the writer, it did.

Have you ever had someone show you random kindness or have you done that act of kindness for someone else simply because you were there and you felt it was the right thing to do? Please leave a comment; I’d love to hear your story.

What do those questions have to do with this darling scented hot pad? Not much, but please leave an email address with your comment if you wish to enter to win it and a copy of either Leaving Lancaster or its sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork! Winner has one week to respond. USA only (sorry).

Congratulations to Judy B, last week’s winner of a copy of Leaving Lancaster or Pennsylvania Patchwork. Thank you, everyone who left a comment!

Congratulations to Elizabeth, winner of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s novel, The Letters.