Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When you dare to give a little

A couple of nights ago, as usual, Ivan and I went out for supper. I know, you big city folks call it dinner, but we live in Farmland, USA, and here it's supper.

We had only been at our table for a couple of minutes when an elderly, white-haired woman was shown to a large table by the hostess. She was alone, but she asked the hostess if she could add two more chairs, as there would be seven women joining her for her birthday.

A few more minutes passed and the waitress came over and asked her if she would like something to drink. She ordered an iced tea and she sat there, still alone, sipping slowly on her tea, hoping it would last until her friends arrived.

As time wore on, I wondered if she was delusional and she was just hoping some of her friends from bygone days were going to join her, and they had no clue it was her birthday or that she was sitting there waiting for them. I thought about saying something to her, but something stopped me, so I just smiled at her. She smiled back.

When the hostess came past after almost half an hour, I asked her if I had heard the woman right when she said it was her birthday. She said that was what she said. I took the copy of House Call to the Past out of the clear plastic pocket on my purse and asked the hostess if she would take it over to her after I signed it. The hostess smiled and said she would be glad to. I signed it, leaving a little message and wishing her a happy birthday in it, and sent it on its way. As the hostess handed it to her, she told her "That's a famous author who eats in here a lot. She wanted you to have this."

The woman's eyes lit up like a night sky on the Fourth of July. She thanked me. I told her I hoped she would enjoy it. She said she had just gotten acquainted with reading again. Her eyesight had been failing her for several years, and not being able to read was the hardest thing for her. She had surgery about a month ago, and she said, "When I rediscovered books again, it was like a long lost friend."

And then two of her friends came in. She introduced them to me, by name, like we had been friends for years. She showed them the book, the autograph, and the list of my other books on an inside front page. They asked where they could buy them, and I told them that the local Barnes & Noble store had all of them.

When we left, it was just the three of them. They all bid us farewell, all chattering gaily about the thrill of meeting "a real live author" and promising to buy some of my books.

Talk and promises come easily, I thought as we left. And then, the next morning, a gal I know from the Barnes & Noble store called me. She said there was a group of eight women who came in last night, looking for my books. One of the women said she wasn't buying any, and she told about the incident at the restaurant. "I have my own copy--and it's even autographed!" she boasted loudly.

Each of the other seven bought a different book, agreeing to pass them around to each other as they finished their own book.

Remember the old adage, "Give until it hurts"? I don't think that's possible. Every time you give, you get something in return. It's sort of like trying to outgive God. Some things are just impossible!

Make it a great day, and give something to somebody, even if it's just a smile. You might be surprised at the returns.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sometimes it pays to give a little

Ivan and I went out to eat tonight, as we usually do to spare him from eating my cooking. An elderly lady came in and sat down at a big round table, all by herself. I overheard her telling the hostess that it was her birthday. She was obviously waiting for others to join her for her celebration. She waited, finally ordering an iced tea and sipping it slowly. We exchanged smiles. I was tempted to go over and talk to her and wish her a happy birthday, but decided against it.

When the hostess came back in with some other guests--not hers--I called her over and asked her if I had heard correctly that it was her birthday. She said that she had. So, I took the copy of House Call to the Past out of the pocket in my purse, autographed it, and asked the hostess to give it to her and wish her a happy birthday from me.

The hostess explained to her that I was an author and that I was giving her a birthday present. Her eyes lit up like the sky on the Fourth of July. She started talking to me. She asked me if I this was the only book I had written, so I told her that there was a list inside of my other books. She opened the book and found the list. She was just telling me that she had just started reading again after having had eye surgery and she was enjoying it so much. She said it was the best thing she could have gotten. About that time two of her friends showed up and joined her. She immediately introduced them to me like we were long lost friends. She showed them the book, as well as the list of the others. They both wanted to know where they could buy them. I told them they could get them at Barnes & Noble. They said they were going up there on their way home to get one, and they agreed that they would all get a different title and trade them after they were done with them. One of the women looked a little sheepish and asked me if I would mind. I told her that was perfectly fine with me.

As Ivan and I left the restaurant, I felt good. I don't know if they will really go buy some of the other books or not. But all it took was a little act of "giving" to make a special day for a little old lady just a wee bit more special.

You have probably all heard me say it before, but I am a firm believer of the Bible principle: give and it shall be given onto you. I'm just waiting to see what happens next. When I find out, I'll be sure to let you all know.

Make it a great day!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

WAY behind times

My good friend Dorothy Thompson just told me (in front of her whole WritersLife group, if you can imagine the embarrassment!) that she loves my blog, but she is tired of reading the same old thing. So, my apologies, and here I am.

First of all, if you read my rant below about Pat Robertson, you will probably be as pleased as I am to know that after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, Venezuela has promised to send millions of gallons of oil to the US to help keep the costs down for all of us. They also said they would send military personnel to help with the cleanup efforts. I assume he wasn't referring to Pat Robertson! (Don't throw the tomatoes! I'm just kidding!) What a gracious offer. Makes you wonder who really understands the meaning of "Christian charity"?

It has been a busy week. One of our sons was in New Orleans and just made it out by the skin of his teeth. We are so relieved that he is OK, and so proud of him for the way he has helped others who left and who are in the same area he is in. He laughed as he said, "Going through the flood up there, I guess God figured He had already prepared me for this."

To see our efforts for the storm-ravaged victims, please visit http://missionsocorro.tripod.com . There is a lot of stuff there besides Katrina. Please take a trip through it, and leave a message in the guestbook so I know you've been there. Come back often. It will be updated more often than it is here!

And for any of you who happen to be in the SE Kansas area, I will be on KKOW 860 AM radio Monday, Sept. 12, at 8:30 a.m. I'd love to have you stop by.

Poor Monday Knight. The trial for the accident that turned her into a mummy was supposed to start last week, but because of all the national problems, it has been put on hold for a bit. If you don't have a clue what I am talking about, please visit her website at http://meetmondayknight.tripod.com .

Until the next time--which I will try to make sooner rather than later--make it a great day! I treasure you all.