I learned that when we cast our generosity upon life's waters, we create positive ripples that find their way back to us at unexpected times, in unexpected ways.
A recap of the positives of my last two days of birthday giving. It is surprising how many of the ripples tied together.
Yesterday, instead of seeking a complimentary birthday meal, I decided to offer a gift to someone and headed for my first visit to a diner, Carol's Place, 3421 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL if area residents want to check them out.
My mission was to find a single guest and treat them to their breakfast or lunch
. Doing the opposite as George found successful in Seinfeld. Alas, there were none, at first.
However, what I did find was a family celebration of a sister's first day back at work there after successfully winning her battle against throat cancer. Thank you, Lord
, guests signing a
card on a wall. Quite a positive atmosphere.
During my meal, several couples of different ages
caught my attention for what they were doing -- talking -- to each other -- no cell phones. Such an unusual and welcome sight
As I paid my bill, a lone woman seated herself. I asked the server, perhaps an owner, a sister to the cancer survivor, about the woman. She said the guest was a regular. I said it was my birthday, gave her a $20.00 bill
, and asked her to tell the lady her meal was a treat from a stranger on his birthday
I left and headed to the blood bank for a regular double red blood cell donation of my desired O-negative blood. Inside, Rebecca greeted me with a beautiful, warm smile and after I signed in said Dunkin Donuts had donated bagels, cupcakes, and donuts if I wanted any. I was full from my big breakfast but to pass up a chocolate donut? Hmm. Rebecca assured me that "they" say donuts consumed while donating blood have no calories. My kind of humor. So I had one
. Okay, two
. But no calories, right?
In return for the donation and in addition to the pastries, I was also given a OneBlood t-shirt and a meal card to Chick-fil-A, one of my favorite places.
Back home, two bags of hard cat food from my sister-in-law waited for me to help offset the expense of the colony cats I feed.
In the mail, for two health surveys completed a while back, were two $10.00 Visa cards from my insurance company. ($20.00 karma for the anonymous meal?), PLUS a check from IRS for an inadvertent withdrawal made last month after they had been paid in full the month before after 24 months of withdrawals for 2014 taxes. (Extra karma?)
Today, I went to a drugstore and let a lizard out of my car to lead a life in the wild. How it got in there who knows, but it was saved!
Talked to a man wearing a knee brace who ended up being two people behind me in line. Had trouble using the two Visa cards because had no PIN number until the man with the brace told me how to enter them. I joked that the insurance company didn't send instructions. The clerk said there was a balance of $3.24. Mr. Brace then joked back that he'd take it. I said, "Since you helped and asked, it's yours," and gave him the card.
From completing a customer survey, I had a certificate for a complimentary coffee at WAWA across the street so went there to try their Caramel Crunch (good)
and another chocolate donut
(hey, three in two days is still fewer calories than a birthday cake)
Waiting at the cashiers, I got talking off to the side with an Orlando police officer (I'm a retired deputy sheriff) and who comes to check out but Mr. Brace. He thanked me for the card's balance as I explained to the officer what he meant.
After exchanging a few war stories about policing, I reached for my debit card to pay for the donut and laughed with the clerk about not having any real cash for the 99 cent purchase. The officer pulled out a $5.00 bill to pay for it and said, "My treat for your law service and for helping the man with the knee brace."
Those ripples sure did come full circle, didn't they?
Oh, the officer was driving an unmarked car. As he walked away, I joked and told him to get a real police car with lights we all could see. A woman leaving at the same time said, "Yeah," and laughed. I had to wonder how often she had been stopped by an officer in an unmarked car. :)
My brother invited me to lunch, my Aunt Alice and my dearest friend Connie called for long talks. Always enjoyable.
But I keep thinking of those ripples.
Here is a video from SparkPeople of what one man did on his birthday. What ideas does he give you for ripples you can start?