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Just Saying--It's Been a Good Week...

By Belinda

It's almost Thursday, which feels like almost the weekend, and in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend.

So I thought I'd share some moments from the past week that made me smile and for which I'm grateful.

These moments have been with the people I work to support. Since my office is in a group home, I have the joy of daily reminders of why I do what I do.

Because we are a not for profit organization we are grateful recipients weekly of a drop off by another charitable organization: Lifecorps. They do a lot of amazing work internationally, but we get the delicious surplus bread and sometimes pastries from a local bakery.

One of the people we support calls all of our agency's other nearby group homes, to tell the staff that the bread has arrived, and remind them to come and get some for the homes they work in if they can use it. 

Last week I noticed that this time there some large bags of pasta. 

"Take some," she said, urging me to share the largesse. I thanked her but explained that this was to be used in the homes. Then I told her what had happened to me at home on the weekend when I was looking for something in my pantry. 

I noticed a strange smell, which probably meant it was more like an offensive stink as I have very little sense of smell. By now I had a captive audience. Three people in the vicinity were listening with interest to find out what caused the smell. I told them that I had sniffed my way to a large bag of pasta, which had a tiny hole nibbled in it--and there lying on top of the macaroni inside the bag, as though it was a funeral pyre, lay a little very dead, furry mouse!

Well, everyone thought that was hilarious! We all laughed and I went back downstairs and on with my day. Just after 3.00 when the people who had been out all day came home, there was a loud rapping on my door. I got up to see who was there, and there stood a tiny man, wiry of frame with wildly curling dark hair and dark brown eyes like melted chocolate. 

Arms folded as though he meant business, he demanded, with halting speech, "What about the mouse?" He had heard the story from the others but wanted the full details from the source. I told him and he laughed, his eyes dancing with delight at the thought of a mouse in a bag of macaroni. He wanted to know if I ate the macaroni and "Why not?" when I said I'd thrown it all away. Who knew that a mouse in the pasta would cause so much mirth. I wasn't sure how I felt about this story spreading far and wide.:)

Then, last thing on Friday afternoon it was the meeting of our Anger Management Group. We were on session 9 of the curriculum and as I came upstairs from my office with photocopied handouts and book, the staff on duty stopped me to say, "Whatever you are doing together it's working!" and she told me specifically what improvements she'd noticed. That made my day.

I thanked her for the feedback and went right down to the family room where four people were waiting. I never have to remind them of the date or the time, and they always beat me to the room. If I'm five minutes late I would hear about it so I try not to be! I told them that people were noticing the difference and gave them credit for all of their hard work. We had an amazing session. 

Nothing makes me happier than the hour spent with them. We used to have a battery operated fish that sang, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," to start off the meeting, but the battery died and I couldn't replace it because the screw thread to the battery cover was stripped. This was a big disappointment since there was always hot competition over who would press the button to start the singing. But we improvised with one of the more musical people singing the song for us.

Then the married couple that attend the sessions told me they had seen one of these fish at Goodwill and my heart skipped a beat--until they told me that someone else bought it from under their noses. So close!

On Monday morning I had hardly been in the office for a minute when there was a knock on my door. The couple stood there smiling. Most mornings I have barely dropped my briefcase when they are at my door with a cup of steaming black coffee (I know, I am totally spoiled,) but this time they were holding a bag out to me with a secretive look of anticipation. 

As I peeked inside they said in triumph, "We found another one at Global Village!" and yes! It was another singing fish. I pushed the button and it sang loudly while flapping its tail. But then we found out that the "off" button didn't work. The fish was motion sensitive, starting the song all over again whenever a hand came too close. VERY carefully, with my friends laughing in the doorway, I put the fish way up on top of a bookcase so that it wouldn't startle me unawares throughout the day. 

So many happy moments of purest joy. Thank you God for a job that includes such moments.


Anonymous said…
Well - thank you for help with my diet. Won't be eating pasta for a while :-)!! Makes you wonder.

The motion sensored fishy made me smile too. I had bought a motion sensored bird that actually calls out it's matching call. (Don't ask me what kind of bird - it's yellow - that is the extent of my ornitholology.) I bought it to "annoy" one of my very uptight co-workers. The kind that turn their noses up at any stuffies or chitz-pa on or around ones workspace. I knew this would drive him crazy whenever he walked by...just to tease for a few days. It had it's desired effect.

So home it went (not worth getting fired for...ha ha). Kind of forgot about it after placing it that evening in an alcove in the hall until my husband woke me up urgently in the middle of the night.

"Something is in the house!" "What?" "Something is in the house. I think it's a squirrel." "Squirrel!!!???"

Squirrels are a great source of amusement in our family for some reason. Just the word squirrel makes us laugh...go figure.

"What would a squirrel be doing in the house?", I asked half asleep. His voice drops to a whisper..."Listen". Heard nothing. "I don't hear anything." "Shhhhh...listen." I almost wemt back to sleep so intent was my listening, not. "I heard squeeking on the way to the washroom. Couldn't trace it - but as I entered the bedroom it chattered again." "Really? You're serious?" "Of course I'm serious!"

So I thought I'd better check it out or I'd never hear the end of it. I head out to the hall with my hubby at my heels. My hero. As hard as I strained I heard nothing.

"Maybe he's gone to bed", I said, my words tinged with much sarcasm. "Lucky little fellow", I added with a smile.

I figured since I was up, I too might as well use the loo - and then it happened. "Chirp, chirp, chirpee-peep-pee churp."

My husband was on me like white on rice. "There, there, there - did you hear it??? Sounds close!"

I flicked on the light and moved towards the yellow bird, whose head moved, tail moved and voiced sounded as I approached.

Now you would think that the discovery of an inanimate object verses rodent would bring relief, yet my husband didn't seem to feel that way at all. "What the sam hill is that???"

I thought it was hilarious and chuckled as I told the tale - not so much my husband who claimed he could have had a heart attack. Of course having him wake me up in the middle of the night with cries of "squirrel" wasn't jarring at all!! :-)

So bring on the singing fish. It will probably go off all during the meeting :-). Better a fish than a bird - better a bird than a squirrel. And don't feed any of them pasta!
Belinda said…
Ha ha ha! I love the thought of your crazy making yellow bird and the effect it had (desired.) :)

Oh, more laughter at the mid-night "invasion!"

I so get the laughter over squirrels, too. I once totally collapsed helplessly into laughter when someone told me that there was a flying squirrel on a Canadian postage stamp. As a Canadian by choice I had no idea there were such creatures and thought he was pulling my leg at first. Even now the thought makes me smile.

Oh, my, what a good start to the day-this great laugh. Anonymous, would you mind if I posted the comment as an actual "guest post sequel" in case people don't see it in the comments? It is too funny!
Susan said…
I hope you didn't throw out that "dead" fish. I can fix that! And I can fix your new one too so that it isn't motion sensitive. Just let me at 'em! :) (Those things are valuable! I wouldn't part with mine!)
Belinda said…
Susan, good donor of the first fish, thank you for your offer of fish support. Unfortunately I did bury the first fish, but I took off the custom brass plaque that read, "Belinda Burston--Fish Philosopher," and affixed it to the new fish in town.

I would be thrilled to have the enthusiasm of the new fish toned down--and I have to say--one fish is enough for me. I'm not starting a collection--unless you find me a yellow bird. :)
Cindy B. said…
After reading Anonymous' comment about squirrels, I had to share.

Have a look on Facebook for Cake Wrecks and go to the comment from Monday from Gretchen Norton with the cake for her parents' joint birthdays - it has to be seen to be understood.
Susan said…
Okay, you threw it out - but did the garbage man come yet? Is there any hope at all??? (Just in case you think I'm kidding - I'm not.)

Anonymous said…
Belinda - you do what you like with the comment. You may have to do some "writer's magic" as I never did get the art of writing conversation. If it makes anyone smile - yippee. We all need more smiles!!
Belinda said…
Oh, Susan, I did throw it out. I will check my garbage though. Just to rule out all hope!
Belinda said…
Anonymous, THANK you! I will post it tonight. I doubt that I will have to do a thing. I read it and laughed my head off it was such a funny story, but I will read it through again before posting. :)
Belinda said…
Cindy, can't wait to check it out tonight. A friend of mine had a squirrel in her roof once and hired a "squirrel man" to evict it. We laughed at the fact that there was such an animal--the man, not the squirrel! :)
Belinda said…
Susan, Just checked my garbage. The fish is found!!! I realized that I only just put it in when the new fish arrived on Monday. Yahoo! I am now the owner of two faulty, but soon to be rehabilitated singing fish. :) Work your wonders my friend!
Susan said…
Hahaha! That's not the first time you went through the garbage on my behalf! Last time, as I'm sure you will recall, you didn't just go through your personal office garbage can (read "relatively clean and with only your own germs"), but you jumped right into that huge, half full, dirty dumpster out behind Bradford's seediest watering hole (while the big burly cop provided encouragement - safely from the sidelines, I might add). Right up to your armpits! If I ever needed proof of your true and devoted friendship, I need only remember your willingness to jump in the garbage for me! :) (Do you think I'll remember when I need to? Hmmm. Probably not. So feel free to remind me from time to time!)
Susan said…
P.S. I'm so glad I asked! :)

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