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Be Kind to Others Even If It Hurts

Updated on August 21, 2014
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It is a virtue to be kind but the universe does have a sense of humor. Acts of kindness can bit you in the butt. Should that stop us from being kind? No. I've learned that one of the most important things we can do in life is to be kind to others, even if it hurts. Once you learn to laugh at yourself, the rest comes easy. Kindness should come from the heart and never be attached to the expectation that it will be returned. Rest assured that it will return but in its own time..

My Favorite Quotes About Kindness

  • “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” - Dalai Lama XIV


  • “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu


  • “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt


  • “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” - Mother Teresa


Don’t these quotes just make you feel better? Of course they do. They all sound beautiful and in theory, they are. Talk is cheap though and if you really think about it, it’s hard to be perfect. It’s not easy being kind in a world where hatred and evil are the things that make the headlines. True acts of kindness rarely make news but that should never deter us from trying. If fact, it should make us try harder.

The thing about being kind is that if we are doing it for personal gain, it isn’t kindness. If we are doing things for others and hoping to get recognized, it isn’t kindness. We have to let go of our attachments to any outcome other than improving the life of someone else for any act to be a genuine act of kindness.

The apartment building I lived in in 1973.  It is the centerpoint of the picture above.
The apartment building I lived in in 1973. It is the centerpoint of the picture above. | Source

My Personal Story

Earlier I said it is important to remember to laugh. That can sometimes be pretty hard, especially when you’ve done something kind and still something bad happened. This is where I prove that I know what I am talking about. It is my chance to share a personal story.

As a young adult, I had left home and married. We were as poor as dirt farmers but we were in love. At the time, affordable housing was not easy to come by unless you wanted to live in the ghetto. With little money and needing to buy a car, we called on family to help out. A relative arranged for us to rent an apartment in the historic area of town. The architecture in the area was incredible as many of the old houses were built in the early 1900’s. Archways and columns, window seats and decorative fireplaces were the attraction of these older buildings. The down-side of living in one of these old building was that most of them had turned into law offices since they were close to the courthouse and the Police station.

My husband and I were excited to have a place of our own and soon were able to buy the car we needed. It was cheap and ugly but it was new. The 1973 Honda Civic was sunflower yellow and looked like a pregnant roller skate. You could spot it from a distance.

Three months after buying the Honda, I arrived home from work one afternoon. As I pulled up in front of our apartment building, I noticed an elderly woman walking down the street in tears. She appeared fragile and distressed and I worried that she was alone. I didn’t want to interfere but I need to know that she was okay so I sat in my car and watched as she made her way to the parking lot in the next block. Once she was safely in her car, I got out of mine and went into the front of our building to get my mail. The entrance to my apartment was on the side of the building. I was only gone about two minutes but when I walked outside again, the entire neighborhood was lined with people talking in hushed tones to each other. I wondered what they were excited about. And then I saw it, the empty spot where I had parked my car.

Where was my car? I looked left and right and then, I look bewildered. From some distance away I heard a voice ask “whose car is that?”. My eyes followed the sound of the voice and I saw the trail of destruction my car had caused. As I looked at all the damaged cars on both sides of the street, I knew that if I followed the trail, my little ugly yellow Honda would be waiting at the end. And there it was, stuck in the gate of a 100 year old wrought iron fence surrounding the oldest church in the city. Oh…my….God. That’s all I could say.

The resting place for my car - the 100 year old fence.
The resting place for my car - the 100 year old fence. | Source

The Moral to the Story

There are many morals to this story.

  1. When you park on an incline, make sure the hand brake has secured the vehicle.
  2. When you leave your vehicle, turn the wheels against the curve and lock the steering wheel.
  3. When worrying about others, don’t lose sight of reality.
  4. Never park your car on a hill in a neighborhood of law offices and not properly secure the vehicle.
  5. Acts of kindness, when coupled with stupidity, will make the local news.

I had done many things right and a few things miserably wrong. It was good that I worried about that elderly woman and made sure that she made it to her car. It was not good that I had pulled my hand-brake only halfway up before I noticed her. It was worse that I had left the car in neutral. And the worst of all my acts was that I didn’t lock the steering wheel in position or turn the wheels toward the curb. My car rolled backwards in a neighborhood of lawyers in five o’clock traffic, swerving and hitting cars on both sides of the street before coming to rest, impaled on that 100 year old fence.

Remember to laugh!

Crying would not have accomplished anything and my car accident became fodder for legal jokes for years to come. The headlines in the paper made me famous, not for something kind or brilliant but for something totally stupid. I know now that it is when I honestly learned to laugh at myself and to realize that to be kind does not equate with favor or repaid kindness. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to be repaid but, it does come. I can honestly say that I have been repaid tenfold for that single act of kindness.

The story has a happy ending. Because it was a new car, my insurance covered all the damage. I made many friends among the attorneys in the neighborhood and have been the benefactor of their skills and knowledge at discounted rates on numerous occasions. My car was repaired and served me for thirteen years after the accident and, I have never once, not even for a moment, had any regret over my decision that day.

Be kind to others even if it hurts. Do it without expectation or attachment to the outcome and if you learn nothing else from my experience, remember to laugh at yourself.


Read more of my hubs here.

© 2012 Linda Crist

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  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well that was a hard-earned lesson for sure. :) My goodness, there isn't much else to do but laugh when that happens. What a great story, and what a great message. I know of people who do acts of kindness and keep a score card. What's up with that? If you need recognition for your kind acts then you are missing an important point!

    Loved this one, and love that you are early with it. LOL

    bill

  • GusTheRedneck profile image

    Gustave Kilthau 4 years ago from USA

    Howdy Linda (lrc7815) - That's a really nice photo (Casey Carden) for your lead-in image...

    Just a thought - It's not a bad idea to make all your payments "in kind."

    Best to you, Girl...

    Gus :-)))

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Voted up, funny, awesome, and interesting! What a truly great story told so well. We never know what's going to happen next do we? So glad things turned out so well for you....your quotes are thought-provoking and this hub is a reminder not only to laugh but to always care about others, it comes back to you in one way or another!

  • debbiepinkston profile image

    Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

    I love it Linda! I especially love the quote from Mother Teresa. We are called to be honest and kind, no matter what the response is, just because it's the right thing to do.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This is really funny but useful as well. It is a great story with all those morals and told in a delightful way.

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

    Really enjoyed this tale of kindness with a bit of a sting in the tail :o) You poor thing - doing your good deed for the day only to find your car wreaking havoc in the street. It's a good job you have a sense of humour but I bet you'd still so the good deed again.

  • Born2care2001 profile image

    Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

    Linda, I really enjoyed this hub. The visual I now have of your car careening passed some and into others and finally coming to rest in the church fence floors me! The most difficult task in life for me has been to learn to laugh at my circumstances. I am just now learning.

    I am a staunch proponent of single, simple acts of kindness and your hub will help me put this philosophy in a new context.

    Thank you for helping me see this at the expense of your 1973 yellow "pregnant roller skate!"

    Voted up across the board!

  • picklesandrufus profile image

    picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    always love to read a good story....and enjoyed the moral....kindness over everything.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, I may have been early publishing but I am certainly late in commenting. Needless to say, I agree with you about the purpose of being kind. Don't let that knock your socks off. lol I have told the story of that accident hundreds of time and laughed each and every time. Once, I had taken a drive up in the mountains with friends. We were sitting on some big old rocks overlooking the valley below. A car pulled up and two guys got out. As we started chatting with them, the conversation turned to funny accidents. One of them related the story of my Honda rolling backwrds down the street, side-swiping cars on both sides, with an audience of about 50 lawyers. That was 10 years after the accident. See, I made history. What's not tolaugh at? :-) I'll be around to your hub in a few minutes.

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    This was an interesting story, but better yet a great message!

    Mark

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gus! You're a busy man today. Thanks for suffering through another one. Isn't that picture nice? Casey is a wonderful photographer. It doesn't hurt that the architecture in that old neighborhood is so pretty either and while we're at it, look at that sky. I'm a lucky woman to live here. I have taken note of your suggestion for "in kind" payments. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mary, Mary, Mary, you have been busy today too. Thanks for reading another hub of mine. It was all so funny but the important thing really was that little woman. I imagined that her husband had died and she was probably there probating his will. I have a vivid imagination. I wonder what she was really doing there and crying. lol

    Thanks Mary. I appreciate your comments - always.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Debbie. That is one of my favorite quotes of all time so I'm glad you liked it too. You certainly spoke a cardinal truth in your comment. If we all did the "rigth thing" the world would sure be a lot better off. Thanks for being here and sharing with me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi "X", how's your day been. You thought my story was funy huh? You should have been there when I had to step up and say almost in a whisper ""it's mine". Ever wanted to disappear? Then you understand. lol Thanks for understanding the real message.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jools, hello! You have already figured me out, haven't you? Yes, I would not think twice about doing it again, even at the risk of another car. lol

    I really appreciate your visit and comment.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bruce, live, love and....laugh! That's what we're here for. Oh yes, my little roller skate was quite a sight. I'll have to scrounge around for some pictures one day. It was a royal mess. But...that little lady got home safe. It only cost my insurance company about $30,000. LOL It made paying every premium worth it. You didn't miss the point though. Sometimes an act of kindness is doing very little. All I did was watch her walk to her car. I would have intervened if necessary but her journey felt private and I wasn't needed for anything more than to be here visual guardian. We can't discount moments like that, can we?

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Pickles (giggle)! How are you? Thanks for reading and getting it. I always appreciate your visits since we are almost neighbors.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Curiad. How's life treating you way over there on the other coast? I appreciate your visit today. Thanks for stopping by and making my point in one single sentence. :-)

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

    Oh my, that's some story and no-one could have predicted the long term outcome.

    Thanks for a good laugh and a fun way to learn some important lessons. Your descriptions were so vivid I felt like I was watching a video of that bright yellow honda swerving down the street.

    Voted up across the board.

    Hub Hugs,

    Gail

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Keep smiling.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gail. Thanks for reading my silly story. Even though I missed the action, the image of that little pregnant roller skate slowly drifting from side to side down that street hitting one car after another is forever etched in my memory. lol Thanks for the votes Gail and the hugs too. Back at ya!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks MH. Always smiling! I'm headed your way now.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Thank you for sharing your incredible and delightful story. So glad it all worked out and yes, lets be careful when extending kindness. Much enjoyed and passing this on.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Most things in life come to pass and the serious moment passes. Laughing makes the moment less painful..You learned a few lessons..I continue to learn lessons and am grateful to be alive to handle the stuff as it comes.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    You are such a wonderful human being to see the positive lesson from an untimely situation. To really send the message home is to write something like this. It really is very important to keep your senses when concern for someone else is happening. You may end up being the one who needs the concern,

    Great write.

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda -

    I bet you've never left a car again without pulling up the handbrake! lol We've all done stupid things that could have gotten us in trouble. When I kept rattlesnakes, I'd brought some cypress pieces up from the South and put them in the cages. One day, I didn't see one of the snakes, so, thinking it was in it's hide box, I took a water container and started pouring into the water bowl. It was at that moment I saw the snake under a piece of cypress about 8 inches from my hand. I slowly turned the pitcher so it was between the snake and my hand, and then withdrew slowly. When done and pants and underwear were changed, all I could do was laugh at my stupidity and vow to never assume anything again! lol Good to see you smiling again! Great Job!

  • Imogen French profile image

    Imogen French 4 years ago from Southwest England

    that's a great story, and a good reminder that even when everything seems to go wrong, so long as you have good intentions it will all work out OK in the end. A very enjoyable hub, thanks :)

  • NewportNina profile image

    NewportNina 4 years ago from Newport Beach CA

    Love the quotes! All great ones to keep in mind each day. My personal favorite quote as of late:

    “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

    ― Abraham Lincoln

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gypsy! I think my lesson was not necessarily to be more careful but more to just deal with the repercussions. lol Thanks for reading.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Yeah...Carol is here. And, you got it, exactly as I hoped everyone would. I'm so happy.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    shining! Didn't I just pass you on another hub? Thought so. This story has always been a fun one to tell and this is the first time I've written about it. It was fun. I go through live oblivious to my own stuff most of the time and I'm okay with that. If I worry about everyone else, my stuff seems to come and go without too much fuss. That's good, right? lol Thank you for reading this one.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rich, snakes??? Seriously??? That is stupid in my book. They belong outside, under rocks, don't they? I'm not afraid of much but me and snakes cannot share living space. They're just too quiet and sneaky. I'm glad neither of us paid too big a price for our stupidity. I do think about the brake when I park more regularly. I learned. Did you?

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Imogene, hello! Thanks for the visit today. I agree with you. The important thing is the ultimate outcome and, that we keep trying to do the right thing.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    NewportNina - we haven't met before so I am really happy to meet you here. Your quote is wonderful and I am adding it to my quote collection that I've had for over 40 years. I love quotes. I also really appreciater your visit and your comment.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    You did have a hard learned lesson, but most of us have at one time or another. I love the remember to laugh theme of your hub. It was very enjoyable.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Pamela, sometimes it's just best to laugh at yourself. I have gotten very good at it. Thanks for reading.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Oh Dearest Linda,

    You are the greatest. This is so lovely beyond words, and so very funny too. You are truly one of the kindest people here on HP that I've met.

    Oh me, that story is so very funny now, but at the time, I am sure it was not so funny. Bless your heart, even after looking after an elderly woman . . . that story reminds me of the time we had an old Ford Taurus and my husband went out one morning to warm it up and it was parked on the street too instead of the driveway. Well, a little while later my husband came in (bless his heart) screaming call 911 someone stole my car!!! Even my two children, who were younger at the time, and I, knew that just could not be the case, as if one were to want to steal a car and risk going to prison, why on earth would one steal that junky car!!!! LOL So, we all said, just calm down, and my children even said, now dad, why would anyone want to steal that car? So, we all went outside and there she rolls all the way down our street, but in our case, somehow it did not hit one parked car that was on the street, but then rolled up into someone else's driveway, as if it wanted to reside in their driveway. LOL

    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face this evening. I am so sorry as I have been so busy with my mother and been away from commenting lately on hubs, and I know I have missed a lot, so I will try to take some time tonight to do a little bit of catching up.

    You are way too kind to even mention me and my hub dear one, as I really do not think of myself as a writer, but maybe more of a messenger type person.

    Voted up across the board on this one!

    In His Love Always, Faith Reaper

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 4 years ago

    There is nothing small in the service of God. St. Francis de Sales God surely paid you in full by giving you a happy ending to a bad smash up. Mother Teresa's words brought tears to my eyes. A great true story. Thanks for sharing.

  • Louisa Rogers profile image

    Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

    H Linda, I once read that humor equals pain + time. Sometimes we have to let some time go by before it can be funny Of course even then it doesn't always work, but I sure thought about this with your story. It was hilarious. I wondered if I would recognize the town, but I don't. Do you still live there? Thanks, good bedtime reading before I turn off the laptop.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Faith, I have missed you. Your story is precious too. Your poor husband, thinking his car was stolen. That's the beauty of driving junk. I've done it most of my life. There are reasons for everything, even though we do not understand. I am so glad you enjoyed my little story and I hope things are settling down for you. Thank you for making me smile tonight too.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Deb Welch. Thank you for your visit and wise words. The Mother Teresa quote is my very favorite quote so I am glad you found it worthy of tears.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Louisa! The town was Lynchburg and the street was Court Street. Do you know it? I love your comment about pain and time. I'm so glad you enjoyed my silly story and hope you had a good night's rest. Thanks for the visit.

  • Angie Jardine profile image

    Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

    Well, that was an unusual linking, lrc …

    I did not see how you were going to tie up all those threads between watching little old ladies and laughing :) It just goes to show, eh?

    So glad that such a catastrophe turned out to be so useful in the end.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Angie. Ha Ha, sometimes I can spin the yarn and sometimes I can't. It worked out ok this time. :-) It was a memorable experience and even after all these years I found it fun to relate. Thank you for the visit today. Your comment makes me feel like I accomplished the task.

  • LaThing profile image

    LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

    Dear Linda, this is truly a funny story! I am sure it didn't feel like that at the time, but you got to write about it. And you got at least a smile out of everyone of us :))

    By the way, Your kindness shows on your face! Enjoyed it very much.....

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Good morning LaThing! I'm glad you enjoyed my crazy story. You're right though, it got funnier with time. But, I did laugh a little at the time, thinking that this could only happen to me. I was really more embarrassed than anything. I've told the story so many times over the years and it's just as funny now (to me) as it was then. I've always thought that some things happen in order to prevent something else from happening and I've often wondered what I missed because of the events of that day. lol

    Thank you for the compliment and for being here.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, while not funny, I laughed my arse off thru most of this hub! (After I became enamored with the beautiful building in which you lived). Thank God no one was hurt, but I can just see the car moving backwards, trafffic swerving, then landing at the church's fence, of all places!

    Laughter is heartfelt. You touched my heart and gave me a good belly-laugh with this one!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, it was funny. It is amazing that the car didn't run over a pack of lawyers. I'm glad you got a giggle from it. I still laugh and it's been almost 40 years. lol

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 4 years ago

    ....I can tell just by the smiling aura on your face Linda that you are a pure, sincere and decent person. This fabulous hub presentation tells as much about the lady behind the pen/keyboard as it does about the philosophy here within - which is quite simple actually and just plain old fashioned common sense. I think it's just human nature to want to give and receive and do good by each other - it's just in our DNA - and although the love of Jesus and his teachings is an excellent role model - you don't necessarily have to believe in the Bible to be a good person.

    In terms of creative writing, Amy would tell you that I was the one inspired her to try her hand at poetry and as you can read, she is very very good at what she does - so my advice to you is to try your hand at creative writing - and just follow a few simple guidelines:

    1. just be yourself and write from your heart - and the mind will always follow

    2. keep within your comfort zone -

    3. don't pay attention, whatever you do, to silly traditional poetic styles, try something different, throw out conventions and dare to be different - so don't study old stuff poetry compilations.

    4. by staying in your comfort zone - write from personal experience and on something/someone that has moved or touched you - most people love a good story - they like to get involved - in fact most of my writing even though I may write in first person pronoun is purely fiction as I am a story teller by nature.

    Sending you warm wishes and good thoughts from lake erie time ontario canada 9:25am - what is the weather like where you live, here we are in winter mode although today is suprisingly mild and rainy.

    and yes human kindness and empathy might save our world yet - it is certainly something we humans do best when we want to ......

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Epi, here you are again. I am honored by your presence. :-)

    I am like kermit the frog here on HP - very green. lol

    But, I am a sponge, soaking up all the experience and examples set by the pro's. Thank you - for the encouragement and for making it simple for a non-poet to test the waters.

    Here in the east, it is mild. The temperatures last night dipped to low 30's (Fahrenheit) and today will be sunny with temps in the mid to high 50's. Before being laid off in April, I worked for a company headquartered in Vancouver. Although a beautiful place, I don't know that I would ever adjust to all the rain. I'm a bit spoiled and enjoy my sunny days.

    Thanks so much for the time you've spent with me this morning and for the couragement and offer to promtoe my hubs. What goes around, comes around. Trust that I am already a loyal fan. Happy day to you my new friend.

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 4 years ago

    Hi Linda and good evening from lake erie time ontario canada 12:23am and I am returning to a classic hub presentation from you - these are true life affirming words which every person should try to honor and live up to.

    How is the jazz scene for you these days?

    Sending you warm wishes and good energy from a rather cold night by the lake in January type fashion but the music at Colin's cafe is always hot - lake erie time canada 12:27am

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Epi-man. It's nice to see you on this, a rather chilly night here too. Sadly, there are been no time for music these past few days. Between the holiday obligations and my Dad (who has Alzheimer's) having some dental work done, my life has been a bit chaotic. I am hoping for a return to normalcy (whatever that is) in the next few days. It is 12:42 a.m here on the east coast and I am headed for dreamtime. Sleep well my friend.

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