1. If you ask people to help you with a project, they will come through.
- Eleven friends and family donated $750 to buy catheters for a disabled girl at a refugee camp in Athens. I am taking 90 of those catheters with me and holding the remaining money for her future needs. Thank you Marilyn and Ginger from my church, Shelley and Ellen and Dee and Pete and Phyllis from our winter home, Linda and Karen from our summer home, Bonnie and Elaine who are travelers we have hosted, my cousin Joe and his Kathie.
- I have a refugee friend who asked me to bring a radio-controlled car so he could play with the kids at the Oinofyta camp. It was outside my budget so I asked Buy Nothing Brier, a Facebook community where I live, if anyone had one they could give me. Jennifer lives across the street from the library and she left one for me on a shelf in her carport. I have never met Jennifer.
2. People will offer help even if you don't ask
- My friend Craig offered to set up a Go Fund Me page to buy a prenatal ultrasound machine for the Hellenic Midwives, who come to the community center near the Oinofyta camp every other week. The ultrasound has arrived at my house. Through Craig's fundraiser, 30 donors paid for the machine and provided an additional $1,000, which will be used to buy supplemental food for pregnant and nursing women at the camp.
- My friend Lillian introduced me to her friend Jean, who's a doctor. On Thursday Jean and Lillian and I went to Seattle Surgical Supply, and Jean spent two hours choosing durable medical equipment being donated by her friend Jared, who works at the place.
- My blogging friend Nancy, who lives in Minnesota, sent me a blood pressure monitor and stethoscope she no longer uses. I didn't even ask! And my snowbird friend JoAnne sent me diabetic supplies, with a check tucked into the box.
- Four other friends mailed me checks! Thank you to Sophie and Rick and Denise and my friend Barbara whom I last saw over 45 years ago when we were both young Army wives living on Fort Bliss in El Paso.
When I fly to Greece on Tuesday, I will take all of you with a grateful heart. You are amazing.
3. If you go with your sister Alyx to get her first tattoo, it gives you enough familiarity and courage to make an appointment for your own, next month. It will probably look something like this:
I would like to put it on my foot, but I'm told that would hurt. So it will go on my shoulder.
4. If you clean out your refrigerator and remove the crisper, it is sometimes hard to see how to put it back together again.
5. If you don't mind being the oldest person in the store, you can buy five oversized, comfy shirts at Old Navy for $63.
6. If you have two comforters that have been in a bin in the guest room closet for eight years, you can take a picture of them and post them on Buy Nothing Brier and two people will think they are just right for their own homes and pick them up from your front porch.
7. You're glad to hear from your grown son even when he calls to tell you his work truck needs a new transmission.
8. You really can wash your Merino shoes in the kitchen sink.
9. The pencil marks left by little girls on the guest room duvet come out when you wash it.
10. I can pack in my head without even taking out a suitcase. Good to know!