Sunday, November 18, 2007

In the spirit of Thanksgiving...

***You may continue to add your comments-- but, the 'contest' portion is now closed.

You have a chance to win (yes, for free) this knitting carry along bag. HOW? WHY?

It has a drawstring- which also has a buttonhole opening on the opposite side- that you can pull the cord through on that side also- to loop around your wrist.
*CLICK on the photos for larger views...

An inside view. Two pockets out of the tapestry fabric and a narrow pocket- good for double pointed needles/etc. *There is also a loop that you can use to thread your yarn through while knitting- if you wish.

This is the bag 'turned inside out' to show you the pockets/etc. I used a windbreaker fabric on the inside. Your yarn and pattern will stay dry in case of a sudden rain downpour.
SIZE: Height- 11 1/2 inches, Diameter of opening 7 inches. width flat 9 1/2 inches.

Details: Comment to this blog entry by MIDNIGHT Central Standard time on Thanksgiving Day, 2007telling about a time that you were able to help a stranger or a stranger helped you in a time of need. These stories can be 'big or small helps'.. but, they filled a genuine need.

Thus, we'll have a blog full of comments about the spirit of Thanksgiving.. in honor of the intertwined human spirit that ties us all together.

You must either leave your email address or email me your email and/or mailing address w/ your name so I can contact you 'if you are the winner.' My email address is:



AND how on earth will the winners be selected? I'll take the names of all comments telling how 'they helped a stranger or a stranger helped them'.. put them in a bowl, hat or other container.. stir the names all up, shut my eyes and draw a name out! I'll post the winner the next day on the blog!


I have always helped friends and strangers and I truly do believe that your unselfish acts of kindness do get returned at some time in the future when you need it. Call it Karma, justice, tit for tat, reaping what you sow, or whatever.. I do believe that things will eventually 'even out' for you when you need it.

Last night about 8:30pm, when I was driving home, I was waiting at the red light to turn left across six lanes of traffic to get on the main street that will lead to my apartment.... just as the green arrow finally shows on the red light.. my car dies and wouldn't start again. There I was in Seoul, Korea in the middle of a busy intersection and cars in all directions. I put my stick shift car in neutral, turned the flashers on, hopped out, put my right hand on the steering wheel, and with the door open- I pushed my car across this intersection and continued to push the car along the street on the far right lane of the six lane street.

I had pushed my car, for about two blocks and had about 6-7 more blocks to go to my apartment. Out of nowhere, I suddenly saw an American serviceman walking along my side of the street who said, "Do you need some help?" Of course, I told him that I did need some help! He walked to the back of my car and started pushing. After four blocks we had to make a right turn to the final stretch to my apartment, and we were soon shoving, pushing, and grunting to get my car over the speed bumps.

We were soon in front of a restaurant very close to my apartment complex and one of the Korean 'valet parking attendants' came to our aid and helped us push the car the final block and half to my apartment. We had to push through the security entrance and then coast the car down to the underground parking garage.

Since it was Saturday night, the parking garage was full and we had to make a right and a left turn pushing my car down two different streets before we finally found an empty parking slot for my car.

We rode the elevator to the ground level and my 'stranger' and I finally introduced ourselves to each other. His name was Jacob, he and his wife and toddler son had just moved into their apartment. Jacob's apartment was in my general area- but, nowhere in the area where I lived. I forgot to ask him why he was walking down that particular street.. at that particular time. I just know that it wasn't near where he lived, there aren't any businesses open on that side of the street, and it wasn't the way that he'd be walking home to his apartment.

All I know is that 'Jacob' was exactly where I needed him to be and at exactly the time that I needed him to be there. And, for that I am indeed THANKFUL.

So, share your stories.. how you've been blessed and how you've been a blessing to others. Tell me about the strangers that have been there at just the right time or maybe you were the help that someone needed.

12 comments: said...

In the spirit of Thanksgiving. The Lord gives us opportunity to help others, we just have to listen and obey.

One night on my way home from work at 2am, I got very hungry and wanted a Whataburger. I stopped in the fast food restaurant even though I would rarely eat that late at night. While sitting eating my burger, I happened to hear the ladies behind me complain of a flat tire. Well, since my daddy taught me how to change a flat, and never leave someone in need. I offered to help these two ladies change their flat. Turns out neither one of them had ever changed and flat and did not know what all they needed to do the job. So, at 2:30am I not only taught them what they needed, how to use it and how to change a flat. It took them over an hour, because they wanted to make sure they had everything down. While talking and teaching them, I come to find out they had been at the restaurant for over 7 hours with this flat, and no one offered to help. I guess that is why I was hungry and stopped at Whataburger at 2am. When I finally arrived home, my daddy was furious until he heard my tale. To this day, I love to help others, that is why I knit for charity.

Misty said...

I work at a dry cleaner and it can get rather humid in the summer, so during those months I take walks outside during my lunch breaks, to cool off.

As I walked last summer, I saw a man in a wheelchair--a really big, complex design, heavy with both his weight and the chair-saddle bags he had on the back and sides for his shopping bags. He was about a block away from me, and was trying to navigate a door to an office building. I was familiar with this door--it leads to a little arcade, which houses a particularly nice mom & pop deli, which is where I was assuming he was headed. Downside: the door is a terror to open. It has one of the heaviest hinges I've ever seen, and a vicious bite when the return system engages. It's caught me on the ankles more than once. Needless to say, for someone in a wheelchair, it's impossible to navigate.

I watched, as I approached, no less than seven people passed him, male and female. None helped him, and the last one completely ignored him and kept walking as he asked for assistance. He covered his face with his hand after that man passed him by. I finally reached him, and opened the door. I surprised him a little, helping him get his chair inside before he'd uncovered his face. I learned he'd been caught outside later than he'd planned, and was trying to get to the little deli for a drink so he could take his medication. I took him all the way down the arcade foyer and pushed his chair to the counter, then left. He never saw my face, and I prefer it that way, so that even in the light of all that nastiness and disregard, he can still go on thinking that kindness can happen in strangers.

Anonymous said...

One day we were headed home after a day out when a car tried passing us when it wasn't clear to pass. So unfortunately we witnessed a nasty accident. Well it was a cold day and in one of the cars there was a woman and her young (probably about 5-7) year old child. He was not injured but his mom was. The paramedics were checking his mom over and it was obvious that he was scared and cold, so we took him and put him in our car where we had the heat on and I was able to chat with him and tell him that his mom was going to be fine and they just had to make sure everything was okay.

Once the paramedics were done, they loaded his mom into the ambulance to get checked at the hospital and let the boy ride with her. They said thanks for keeping him distracted and we said bye to him.

It felt good to be able to help that little boy after such an awful accident. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days, the images kept running through my mind.

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

All of these stories are just great.. and yet, each 'action taken' was such a simple action- none cost any money .. but, helped so much. Thank you for sharing.

We matter more than we realize that we do .. and others 'simple acts of kindness' bless us more than they'll ever realize.

There are no accidental meetings- we are all placed in a particular place at a particular time.. but, it's our choice to HELP OR NOT.. just like the guy in the wheelchair.. how many CHOSE NOT TO HELP HIM.. sad.

Thanks everyone.. and I hope we get lots of responses so that the spirit of human kindness can glow a little brighter.

Mulderknitter said...

I happen to be one of those people that tends to be in the right place at the right time a lot of times.
One day I was sitting on my front porch and saw a little 2 or 3 year old boy running down the street alone. About 4 people saw him, but I got up and grabbed him from the street and got him home, to where his dad had been taking a nap when he "escaped"
A few months ago I was driving home from work and saw a man on a bicycle take a nasty fall. Both me and another man stopped our cars to make sure he was ok.
Most recently I had a bunch of extra yarn that I knew I was never going to use. I posted on a forum I belong to and was able to send out a huge box of yarn, patterns, and needles to a woman just starting out without a lot of money. I also frequently put together gift bags for new knitters, with a book, needles and yarn to get them started.
After every single one of these incidents, I end up feeling better than the person I helped. I also like to show others that kindness has not died in our society, which I think makes it easier for others to be kind as well. I don't think of these things as exceptional, just simple human kindness to others.

I'm Michelle! said...

One year my parents decided to go to Iceland for the Thanksgiving holiday (to visit our Icelandic relatives). They left me and my brother at home alone. I was probably 19 and my brother was around 14. Neither of us cared much to go to my grandmother's for the annual "Let's talk about how much we can't stand each other holiday bashing." So we jumped in my car and drove down to the soup kitchen and served turkey dinners all day. We had SO much fun and enjoyed helping other people. We never got a bite to eat, but we didn't care. We just enjoyed singing songs and smiling and helping people with seconds (and thirds) and taking turkeys and other food from people who had brought them in. It wasn't until we were on our way home that we realized that we hadn't eaten since breakfast (around 7pm) so we stopped in at a Waffle House (only place open) and had more breakfast. It was the best Thanksgiving I ever had before we each got married (to other people of course) and had kids. It was truly a wonderful day of helping those in need when we had so much ourselves in comparison.

Carey said...

I've got two for you- one of each. First, the time I was most blessed by a stranger:

I was living in Scotland for a semester in college. I had only been there a couple of days, and was staying with a family in Edinburgh. There were a number of us in the 'study abroad' group who had all gone out to a pub that night, but I was the only one staying in that house, on that street. My host family had left the back door unlocked for me that night, but I got dropped off at the front of the house. Sounds easy... but it was a loooooooong row of attached houses. So, it's 2:30am, I'm in a strange country, and I have to find the back of this long row of attached houses. So, I wander off in the direction I think I need to go. And keep wandering. And wandering. It is now 3am, and I am COMPLETELY lost, in tears, and thinking that I will never find my way. By this time I can't even find the front of the house again! Lo and behold, I walk by this house that has the garage door up, and there is a very kind, very old woman in her garage, at 3am, reading or something. I very gingerly walked up and asked her for help. Luckily I knew the name of the street I was living on (where the FRONT of the house is, of course!) but she didn't know the street (geez, how far had I gone?!) so she got out a map, we found the street, and she walked me there! At 3am! Which of course means she had to walk back home alone... at 3am... But I honestly don't know how I would ever have found my way back without that wonderful woman. The funny part of the story- I wasn't about to try to find my way to the back again, so I was preparing myself for the embarrassment of having to ring the doorbell at 3am... but when I tried the front door, it was unlocked too!

Now, my helping story. I have a friend in another state who I have never met in person, but we have known each other for years from an electronic bulletin board. She recently left her physically and emotionally abusive husband, moved herself and her son across the country and started her life over again. With NO help. She got a job and an apartment and is supporting them both. Then found out that her sister and two nieces are in the same position she was in. So, sister and nieces have moved into the one-bedroom apartment with my friend and her son. My friend is the only one with a job, and is supporting all five of them on her own. Needless to say, Christmas will be fairly lean this year. She did make sure to purchase presents for both nieces, and wanted to get one nice present for her son. Due to circumstances that came up, she is now unable to get the one nice present she wanted for her son. The other moms and I on the bulletin board don't have tons of money to spare either, but several of us are pitching in a little and getting her son the present he really wants, and sending along some very much needed extra cash for one of the best moms I have the privilege of knowing!

Samantha said...

4 or 5 years ago my dad broke his leg/knee and was out of work for a while. My mom was unemployed at the time. It was a hard time for our family because we had 6 mouths to feed in our house. We went to food pantries and they really helped us in our time of need.

I started helping out at a soup kitchen this year every wedsday. I really enjoy doing it. Even though I don't like meat I serve it sometimes and don't mind. It's probably the only good meal they're getting that week.

Sugar 'n Spice said...

There have been many times throughout the years that strangers have helped me and mine. Generally it wasn't helping me directly, usually my mother, but obviously, it affected me in a huge way. It's one of the reasons that I believe in giving much more than I get.

One of the best stories that comes to mind is when I was about a year old. My mother had left my father when I was a month old, and was still in the process of divorcing him, so she didn't get child support yet. She was 18 years old and on her own and struggling just to keep diapers on me, let alone to pull off Christmas. Well, apparently someone had told one of the local churches that did a lot of charity work about us. First, they sent a man, dressed as an elf, to ask what I wanted for Christmas. Being a silly little chit with a big mouth, I replied "Fisher Price!" and "A panda!" That day they sent quite a few essentials such as toilet paper, food, etc. As well as all the trimmings for Christmas dinner. To top it off, they sent a brand new Christmas tree with bulbs, tinsel, ornaments, and even an angel to top it off. And as if that weren't enough, come Christmas eve, the "Elf" brought me a pair of Panda Slippers with a panda puppet, and a Fisher Price "cake set". They also brought my mom a silk pajama set and slippers, which she still tears up about when she mentions. As far as she's concerned, she didn't deserve that one small comfort. Frankly, I wonder if she realizes how much more she deserved.

The funny thing is, most children can't remember things from younger than 3-4 years old...and I remember the Elf, and I remember how he, and the people from his church, saved our Christmas. While I only knew that one stranger, there were probably literally hundreds of people who had donated to funds and helped out to make Christmas special for a single mother and her daughter. And go figure, I'm crying right now.

There are a lot of times I've done little things for strangers, and none of them really stick out as being worthy of such touching stories. I've done little things like helping people with directions or giving people a bit of money, but none of that really feels like much in comparison.

Thank you all for being so wonderful, you've really, really given me a lot of faith in my fellow knitters, as well as human beings in general.

Happy Thanksgiving!

LizzieK8 said...

Early one morning, shortly after dawn I was driving home from school. School is two hours away, and as I don't drive at night, I always spent the night at a friend's house and took off early in the morning to go home.

My car broke down and as you can imagine there was very little traffic on the road. With society being as it is, and with it being a pre-cell phone time (at least for me), I was alone and stranded.

A car stopped and asked if I needed a ride. Thankfully, it was a young woman driving--which may be why she stopped. She gave me a ride home, and I arrived on time, safe and sound.

When I watch the news and think about how things could have turned out....

Michelle said...

Your post goes along so well with our pastor's sermon this past Sunday. He spoke about the butterfly effect. Our everyday actions effect so many people around us.

I have enjoyed reading everyone's stories! My stranger encounters don't pack as much bang with the story; they are just simple acts. It always amazes me the surprise on someone's face when I offer to let them go ahead of me in the line at the store. They may walk up with a few items, and I have a buggy full. They will be done by the time I unload my cart. I am always thankful for that one person who lets me into traffic. The always seem to be the ones smiling. One huge blessing to our family is Our participating in The Angel Tree ministry at church. Basically you pick a child from the Christmas tree, who is a child of an inmate, and purchase 3 Christmas gifts for them. It is always a blessing to my family.

This was a great idea because it was a reminder that our daily actions big or small can effect someone around you. Think of something small you can do for someone today.

Mandi (a.k.a MissMandiGirl) said...

missmandigirl AT

One very windy day I was out and about with both of my girls. In the scatter of trying to fix a bottle for the baby, my child support check flew away :o( only when it happened I didn't know it. A few days later in the mail i recieved my child support check.. some stranger had found the check in a parking lot across the highway from where I'd lost it and mailed it back to me... it was a relief to know there aare still good and honest people in this world....