the bloom is on the rose today

It's acts of kindness, however small, that put the bloom on my roses.

Especially in these times of economic misery and hardship for so very many.

Like with those Pennywise & Pepper concert tickets I won. Instead of going, I'd rather make them available at half their market price to a couple who stretched for cash might otherwise be unable to attend.

A few weeks ago I was doing some spring cleaning. I really must chuckle when I say that because I keep my home near spotless year round.

Moreover, I'm an anti-clutter nazi who routinely sifts through papers and possessions to toss or give away that which is unnecessary and only taking up space. It's hard to do when you don't have that much stuff to begin with.

So in my so-called spring cleaning, I arrived at the egg-crate foam mattress topper and very question I've asked of myself before: Do I keep it or let it go?

It has served me well recently and it will do so again. It clears my stringent litmus tests imposed upon every object in my possession. I value the topper. It doesn't eat up much space — though an object can be the size of a figurine and if it's not being used or appreciated, it takes up the space of a mountain.

And it's light as a feather to move, a critical consideration for someone who moves as frequently as I.

So back and forth I went … keep it because it serves a positive function … or release it to someone with greater need than mine. Therein lies my code of honor and within it the decision.

I ran an ad on craiglist offering the mint-condition topper for half the price I paid. Because, as with the concert tickets, it's not about the money (though lord knows I need it), it's about helping another; it's about kindness.

There was no response for a week.

Then yesterday a call came. From a woman, 60 years old, she said. Joyce said she has a blind sister. And the sister is having physical issues and a softer bed is better for her than the hard mattress she's on now.

Joyce was so pleased about the price and proceeded to think aloud about where we might meet since we're coming from opposite ends of town.

When I heard she'd be coming by bus, I thought: "I can't have that."  So I offered to bring the pad to her home if she'd be willing to cover the cost of gas and I'd keep track of the mileage.

She was pleased as punch. Said the bus was hard for her back. I said I understand. She said "how about 5 dollars for the gas?" I said "sure."

So in just a bit I'll be heading out. As with the concert tickets, this is win-win for three.

Joyce doesn't have to take the bus and receives home delivery of a nice topper that even with the lil' extra for gas is still half what she'd pay in the store.

A blind woman will sleep better tonight and in the nights to come.

And I have the opportunity to act in kindness. This single act is the focal point of my day. It was the first thought in my mind when I awoke. It had me excited and eager to greet the day. It put a bounce in my step, a bloom on the rose.

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