Jumping Through Life Ten Centimeters At A Time

, , , , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(I’m at an Olympic Museum in Germany, as a tourist. The museum encourages people to try out a lot of things. I spot a girl, three to four years old, ready to try the long jump — an event where you run toward the white line and jump as far as you can. I don’t speak German, but this was very easy to understand.)

Little Girl: “Four, three, two, one… Get ready, set… Go!”

(She ran as fast as her little legs could, showing concentration. She reached the white line and… stopped. She gathered her strength and jumped as far as she could! It was about ten centimeters. The girl threw her hands into the air and started cheering. I couldn’t help but applaud the little girl.)

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The Kindness Chronicles

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | March 23, 2020

I’m sixteen. This year, I found out that my mom was cheating on my dad and they were going to get divorced. I didn’t know what to do.

A lady at my church starting doing “Car Chronicles” with me, where we meet once a week and get food and sit in her car in a parking lot. She lets me pour out my heart about everything and she gives me awesome advice.

Ever since the virus started, we haven’t been able to have “Car Chronicles” because of “social distancing,” and I have been devastated because I always look forward to being able to work through what’s going on in my family. 

Today, she texted to tell me that we are going to start FaceTiming and taking walks to talk in place of our weekly “Car Chronicles.” Her courage and willingness to continue meeting with me despite the circumstances we are all facing brighten my day.

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There’s No Age Limit On An Adrenaline Rush

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 19, 2020

When I was fourteen, my Ma, Sis, and stepdad Jim — nicknamed Jimbo Bimbo Spam by my sis and I — and he had a cool little powerboat. 

One evening my ma, sis, and I were at the lake with the boat. There was a park near the spot where you back your boat into the water. While I waited for my turn, I happened to talk to a lovely couple. 

I’ve always remembered these things about them: they were in their mid-seventies, had been together for fifty years, and they had never officially married. 

After a bit of talking, my ma and sis popped up and joined in the conversation. My ma offered a ride and they gave each other a look, talking in their own little way without words but looks. They took the offer. My ma took the woman out for a bit and when they came back I got my turn with the gentleman and we took off.

We were going for a bit and this fellow was enjoying it with a smile and the wind whipping through his hair. This boat was good with catching the waves from other boats if you could whip the boat itself just right. I went in with a bit too much juice and caught a wave, the boat tilting a good bit.

I looked over in time to see this man in his seventies fall into the water. Now, I almost panic, hoping this man can swim and expecting a good earful if he can. I got the boat turned back around and saw his head pop up. When I came up to him, I reached out and helped him up. He got onto his seat and, after wiping at his face, he waved his hands and said with excitement in his voice, “That was crazy, mannnnnn!” and I swear I saw the youth in his face.

We started laughing for a good few minutes. We rode only for a little bit longer with him being soaked. I pulled up and we got off the boat, and before he left, the man gave me a good hug for a few seconds, along with back pats and a thanks for a good time. My ma and sis got on for a turn and I watched them ride off.

At one point, I saw the cutest thing: the man with his arm over the woman’s shoulder and her arm around his waist. She pulled him tight against herself, even with him soaked. It was a moment of genuine love.

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Do Your Hair Toss, Check Your Nails

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2020

(I have just moved to a small town after leaving an abusive relationship. As I’m starting a new job and my birthday is coming up, I decide to treat myself to a haircut.)

Hairdresser: “What would you like today?”

Me: “I’d like it cut to here–” *indicates to shoulders* “–with layers and half a head of foils, please. Will it be any more than [amount I have budgeted for]?”

Hairdresser: “That’s not a problem; I can do it for that.”

(As she’s cutting my hair, we chat.)

Hairdresser: “Are you new in town?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve just moved from [City] and start work on Monday at [Local Hotel]. My birthday is coming up, so to celebrate I thought I’d treat myself.”

Hairdresser: “Happy birthday and welcome to [Town]!”

(Once we finish with the foils and it’s time for me to pay:)

Hairdresser: “If you have time, I’ll do [expensive hair treatment].”

Me: “I only have [amount we agreed on].”

Hairdresser: “Don’t worry.” 

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

(When I go to pay)

Me: “Thank you! I love it. I definitely will be back.”

Hairdresser: “Great, I’m glad you like it. That’s [amount half of what we agreed on]. Happy birthday and good luck with the new job.”

Me: *almost in tears* “Are you sure?”

Hairdresser: “Perks of being the owner; I can charge what I want.”

Me: *crying* “Thank you, this means a lot. I’ve had a tough time lately and thought this might give me a boost.”

Hairdresser: “You’re welcome. If you ever need someone to talk to, you are welcome to come here for a cuppa.”

(Years later, with her support, I’ve married, had kids, and moved away, but I’m still friends with the other hairdressers and she’s become like my second mum.)

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Angels In The Outback

, , , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2020

(I’m on holiday when the town I live in is evacuated due to bushfires that have claimed three lives and damaged or destroyed over 200 homes. My husband, our three kids, and I have been staying in a motel for a week when the owner knocks on our door just after the evacuation orders are given. We are due to check out the next morning.)

Owner: “You guys are from [Town], right? I just heard that it’s been evacuated.”

Husband: “Yes, we’ve just heard. We might need to extend our stay if that’s possible.”

Owner: “You should be able to get housing through [Government Service]. I have a contact there; I’ll see what I can do. If not, we’ll work something out. Don’t worry about checking out tomorrow; just come to the office around 9:00.”

Me: “Thank you so much.”

(The next morning, he calls his contact, but due to us not being in our home they can’t help us.)

Owner: “Look, don’t worry about paying for the room. It’s yours as long as you need it; you guys have enough to worry about.”

Me: *crying* “Wow, thank you so much. This is our first holiday since before [Oldest Child] was born. I don’t know what we’d do, otherwise.”

Owner: “If you need anything, let me or [Owner’s Wife] know.”

(Thank you to these angels who have given us a little bit of hope when we don’t know if we could lose everything as there are catastrophic fire conditions throughout New South Wales and Queensland today. Please keep the people living in these areas in your thoughts and prayers.)

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