Kindness

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Connections, Gifts, Kindness, Travel | Posted on 01-01-2017

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Kindness. It is everywhere.

My mother and I traveled to the tiny town of Tlacolula, Mexico and experienced the hustle and bustle of the Sunday market, an open-aired market packed with coconuts, peppers, batteries, carrots, clothespins, papayas, shampoo, shoes, onions, chickens, hairbrushes–and people. It is a market where the villagers, rural people, and Zapotec women with their colorful aprons and ribbons woven in their braids, come into town to shop once a week.

With no Safeway or Home Depot or Walgreens, this is the place to purchase everyday necessities to the freshest produce, and everything in between. Shoppers fill their woven baskets, bargain, socialize, and eat freshly-made tortillas filled with meat and cilantro and crema from the food carts.

Amidst the crowd, a gentle man approached me. We talked for a bit in Spanish and guess what? He reached deep into the bag he was carrying to gift me two handfuls of pinon nuts that he grew from his tree.

I was so surprised by this gesture and gift. I instantly made a new friend 3,000 miles from home and will forever remember his kindness.

I took a selfie to show that amabilidad–kindness–is everywhere.

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”
-Bob Kerrey

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Mr. Pickle

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Celebrations, Daughters, Happiness, Humor, Kindness, Playing | Posted on 08-08-2016

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I am a winner!

Actually, my daughter is the winner. She won a Mr. Pickle. At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, she played skee ball with such accuracy that the dolphin leapt across the board into first place.

My daughter could be an Olympic skee baller.

She selected a Mr. Pickle as her prize and gifted him to me without prompting. OK, maybe a little. I could not resist his greenness, his glasses, his mustache, and his little shoes. And the fact that he was shaped like a…giggle…pickle. I gleefully accepted, squealing Thank You!

Mr. Pickle was promptly secured with a seatbelt in the back seat, as he quickly became the newest member of the family.

With a daughter like mine, I too, am a winner.

Mr. Pickles!

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I won a Mr. Pickle!

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Full of Pep

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Confidence, Encouragement, Kindness, Life, Little Story, School, Teaching | Posted on 20-04-2016

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When I was in seventh grade, our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were to write our names on a piece of paper then pass it around the classroom. Each student was to anonymously write something nice about each person: a trait, a compliment, what you like about that person. As the papers circulated, kindness filled the pages.

It was a great exercise to express the good in everyone and boost confidence. I still remember one phrase written about me:

Full of pep.

pep: noun energy and high spirits; liveliness.

I ran across this picture of me when I was in the seventh grade. Curly hair in braids, a big smile, heart-shaped sunglasses perched on my head. This was taken on our seventh grade camping trip in Yosemite. The same trip where I dared the boys to see who could stand in the freezing-cold river the longest. (Full of grit!)

The girl in the forefront is the one who wrote “full of pep.” (After we got our papers returned, she had leaned across her desk and whispered to me I wrote that. I still remember beaming back.)

Those three words written oh-so-long-ago had an impact on me and still make me smile. I will always remember my friend’s kindness and friendship…and…her accurate assessment. Wink!

Thirty four years later and still full of pep, I now have a daughter in the seventh grade. I showed her this picture and she was like, “Mom, are look the same!”

Some things never change.

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Three Peas

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Crafts, Daughters, Gifts, Kindness, Love, Mothers and Daughters | Posted on 08-10-2014

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Four yards of fabric were required, apparently. Two yards of green fleece, one yard of green satin, and one yard of red satin. And green thread and a package of buttons.

It was to be a big project, she said. My daughter directed me to meet her in the “green section” later, because she knew exactly what she needed. She had a plan to make me a birthday present.

I did as I was instructed. Including letting her determine the amount of fabric required. Including paying $28 for four yards of fabric.

That afternoon, I heard her sewing machine humming away. All I could do was smile.

And then, on my birthday, my daughter presented me with a small package that I carefully unwrapped.

It was a pea pod with three peas smiling back at me. It fit in the palm of my hand. It melted my heart.

My daughter knew that I always likened my three children to three peas. She knew that one of my favorite Christmas ornaments is a pea pod with three smiling peas wearing Santa hats with their names written on them.

It was the sweetest, most thoughtful gift. A big and small project, made with so much love and so little fabric.

Sporty and crafty and sweet. All rolled into one.

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A wonderful present my daughter made me! #symbolism

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Running Late Has Perks

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Happiness, Kindness | Posted on 15-05-2014

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I was running late the other morning. So of course the gas tank was nearly empty. Because gas tanks around here seem to know when I am running late and barely have time to stop to fill them up.

But I did. (Because once I didn’t stop. And I ran out of gas on my way to pick my Grandmother up at the airport. And that sucked because she had to wait for hours while I hoofed it to the nearest gas station and….OK, that’s a story for later.)

So, I stopped at the gas station to fill up and realized I had no water bottles. Well, heading to play soccer that morning, I kinda had to have water. Because otherwise: dehydration. Funny, because in our refrigerator at home there are like nine bottles all freshly filled and cooling. For the kids. No one called after me on my way out the door, “Did you remember your water bottle?!” Because. Otis. And he doesn’t talk much.

So, while the tank was filling, I ran into the convenience store to buy water. Good thing there are no water bottle shortages. Or I’d be parched.

The guy who worked there called out, “Hi Sunshine!”

I did one of those–scanning-the-store-who-me-looks. Because, I like had no make-up on, my hair was in two buns, and I was dressed in my soccer clothes. So, yeah, totally hot.

Oh! He meant ME!

When I went to pay, he asked “How’s your morning going, Sunshine?!” There he goes with the Sunshine again.

So of course I answered, “My morning is going a lot better now, thanks to you!”

Golly, it’s the little things. And it’s kindness. Even between strangers. I am reminded of this every day. And you know what? I felt glowy all over and had the most amazing, sunshiny day, as a result.

A stranger called me "Sunshine" today. Totally made my day!

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