Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Random act of kindness blooms

by KERRI THORESON/Special to The Press
| August 26, 2020 1:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from Elizabeth Wichman. She wanted to know a good time to deliver a bouquet of flowers from her florist shop.

Receiving flowers is always a treat, but it wasn’t my birthday or anniversary or any other special occasion. Then she told me that someone who wishes to remain anonymous had ordered weekly bouquets to be delivered for a month. Wow.

When the first bouquet arrived last week it was joyful for sure, but I discovered the real gift was the card. The custom text featured a Word of the Week — Vulnerability; a quote, “One instance of vulnerability is worth a thousand instances of strength”; and then a personal message that closed with “you are loved.”

And yes, there were some tears. It was such a random and kind gesture, it touched my heart.

On Monday the second bouquet and card was delivered by Elizabeth, who told me she’s enjoying these special deliveries, as well. The Word of the Week — Respectful; the quote, “To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater”; and another kind personal message and “you are loved.”

I haven’t spent much time trying to figure out who could possibly have blessed me with such a gift. From the personal messages it’s clear they read this column and we’re connected on Facebook, but other than that, I haven’t a clue. I realized that the anonymity of the gift has allowed me to reflect upon how many truly wonderful people my humble words have reached through the years.

For the past several months as I’ve struggled right along with everyone else, there’s an upside to our collective challenges. We’re rediscovering our humanity. I will be forever grateful to my unknown benefactor for setting in motion ripples of kindness which will last far beyond this month or even this year. You are loved.

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I’ve come to dislike the overused phrase, new normal. I reject that anything in 2020 has been normal, new or otherwise. Except on Friday at the Coeur d’Alene Chamber’s Women Creating Success event, where I was a speaker. It was smaller than in years past for obvious reasons but it was exhilarating to spend a day with inspirational and enthusiastic women of all ages. We were distanced physically but not socially. There have been so few opportunities to connect that it felt good to see people in person and not on Zoom.

At the end of the day I was a bit emotional driving home. I miss people and yes, I miss normal.

Kudos to Derrell Hartwick, Chamber CEO, who spent the entire day with all of us women and seemed none the worse for the wear.

• • •

There’s no North Idaho State Fair this year but the next best thing has brought some of the most popular fair foods to the people. I took a spin through the Fair Food Drive Through over the weekend because we know that calories and cholesterol don’t count at the fair. There are favorites like foot-long corn dogs, funnel cakes, elephant ears, kettle corn, caramel apples and even lamb burgers and deep-fried lasagna.

It was fun and well-orchestrated and it really felt like fair time since my car was covered in parking lot dust as I left. But missing were my two absolute favorite fair foods for decades ... Lions Club corn on the cob and Ekness’ North Idaho Beer Balls.

You have another chance to channel the fair that didn’t happen this coming weekend, Friday-Sunday. Info: www.kcfairgrounds.com

• • •

Happy Birthday today to Sofia Armstrong, Andrew Evenson, Pam Grenny, Cam Crollard, Juilianne Rinard, Perry Peterson, Warren Bakes, Irene Watkins, Troy Blood, Lita Balbin and Phil Higgs. Beautiful Silda Pollard turns 98 years young on Thursday, sharing the day with Jan Berry, Peggy Sawicki, Ed Mitchell, Mike Wood and George Forgacs.

Friday birthdays belong to Dirk Scott, Freya Jensen, Jack Reiswig, Marissa Leupold, Steve Slaney, Michelle Garcia, Samantha Dirks, Becky Fletcher, Darlene Johnson, Judy DeTar, Karen Huber, Laurie Sutton, Loretta Richards, Pearl Brown and Spencer Messina. Best wishes on Aug. 29 to Jeannie Peugh, who shares the date with Ashley Smart, Stacey Holley, Randy Marmon, Cindy Foulk, Bob Myklebust, Lori Barker, Cody Jewell, Merle Bartlett and Arvada Schmacher.

Sunday salutations to Cyndie Lempesis, Luke Sommer, Carrie Kralicek, Jarin Bressler, Bjorn Handeen, and Stefany Mealey as they blow out the birthday candles. On the last day of August Andrew Houser, Ron Nilson, Jill Delavan, Patti Shea, Gen Twete, Craig Wilcox, Jamie Ostbert, Dan Poole, Donna Euler, Mike Gerber, Nicole Stark and Rondi Renaldo turn page on the birthday calendar. On the first day of September Kathy McKahn is celebrating along with Terry Lee, David Mills, Kim Routh, Sharon Latimer, Missy Hansen, Paul Ebert and Travis Best.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.