To celebrate 11-11-11, the kids and I decided to do 11 random acts of kindness before 11:11 am. It got off to a bit of a hurried start when I slept in until 8. But that did feel really good :).
Here's a run-down of what we did:
1. We mailed a letter to a friend in the hospital.
2. Gave pumpkin muffins to a neighbor.
3. Got gas and gave pumpkin muffins to the station attendant who filled our tank. When Harrison handed him the muffins, he looked shocked and said, "Are these really for me?" They really were. And as we drove away, Harrison said, "That made my hand feel warm and tingly."
(For those of you who don't live in Oregon, we're not living the high life going full serve; you're not allowed to pump your own gas here...just so you know.)
4. At Starbucks, we ordered a traveller container of coffee to take to James' office.
5. In the parking lot, Harrison handed a "happy note" to one of the motorcycle cops in the parking lot. He was happy to chat Harrison up :).
6. Across the street at McDonald's, we paid for the woman in back of us in the drive-thru line. We spent a dollar. She was having an ice cream cone. At 9:30 in the morning. But hey, different strokes, right?
7. We also gave a "happy note" to the drive-thru gal.
8. Back at Starbucks, we went through the drive-thru to pick up the travel container of coffee. We paid for the woman behind us and gave the clerks a note at the window. They told us that someone two cars ahead had just done the same thing!
9. At the hospital, we dropped the coffee off in the office.
10. As a bonus, we were able to visit two young patients in the ICU and chat with them. They got "happy notes," too. Both patients were young boys who liked Star Wars and Bionicles, so we had lots to talk about :). They shared a room, and both had family with them. Harrison and Owen thought it was one of the best parts of our day.
11. We had a few "happy notes" left, and those we left on the windshields of cars in the hospital parking lot.
We finished up this last deed at precisely 11:00 am. I had brought my 11-11-11 signs with us, so we snapped this shot at the hospital right at 11:11:11 on 11-11-11.
I didn't get photos of many of our random acts because frankly, it felt a little weird to be taking pictures of your own good deeds. Plus, I was driving. Not that that always stops me:
Here's what downtown Portland looked like from the Fremont Bridge around 11 o'clock on 11-11-11. Don't worry. I kept my eyes on the road and just snapped out the window. Harrison commented, "Mom, I could have taken a picture for you." And spoil my fun? I think not.
We had accomplished our mission with 10 minutes to spare. But there was one more thing I wanted to do.
After lunch, we brought flowers to the Veteran's Memorial near the library in Beaverton. The kids were just going to leave the flowers on one of the monuments. Then I spotted a veteran wearing his service hat, head bowed, having a moment of silence in front of one of the plaques.
The kids waited until he started walking again. Then they walked up and gave him the flowers and thanked him for his service.
He gave Harrison a hug and then told them about his time in the Korean War, even showing them what the things on his hat symbolized. I was in the car, feeling like a stalker with my long lens camera taking pictures. I was a stalker with a tear in my eye as I watched this unfold, but a stalker nonetheless.
As we drove home, Harrison and Owen decided we should do this EVERY holiday.
I'm inclined to agree.