Friday, February 1, 2019

Small Gestues: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 8 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: What was the last "act of kindness" you performed? Why?
It was submitted by: Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

My last act of kindness was just a small thing, really. I was halfway across town when I remembered that I was running low on an ingredient I needed for dinner. There was a Walmart right across the street from where I was and I ran in.

I was headed towards the self check-outs when I got to a line where a couple were just paying and no one else was in the line, so I diverted there. At first I was frustrated, the couple was taking their time paying. Then I realized what was happening. The woman was pregnant, had to be 8 or 9 months as she was huge. She was there with a man and they were speaking, not in English, and trying to communicate with the Walmart worker. Their order consisted of a pack of diapers, some bottles, and a sweet little outfit. Apparently it's a girl.

They were speaking softly to each other, counting money, pointing to items and to the money they were holding. It became clear that they couldn't purchase everything they had chosen. They pulled out the outfit and handed it to the store associate, apparently having enough money for the diapers and bottles. 

I grabbed the outfit. I didn't much care but it was actually marked down to $9.97, so I grabbed a $10 bill out of my wallet. I think the couple thought I was buying it for myself, as they were grabbing their bags to leave, but started to understand when I placed the outfit in the bag with their bottles. To say they were grateful is an understatement.

I don't think acts of kindness need to be huge gestures. I don't think acts of kindness need to be public. I don't think acts of kindness need to be expensive. I don't think acts of kindness need to require a ton of effort. I don't think acts of kindness need to be planned out in advance. I think acts of kindness just need to be . . . kind.

 Pasta with Broccoli in Garlic Olive Oil is a fast satisfying dinner. Hearty and flavorful, you won’t even miss the meat.| recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Pasta with Broccoli in Garlic Olive Oil

When my kids were little we were friends with a family who had a boy the same age as my older son and a girl in the same class as my younger son. We were good friends, all getting along well. One afternoon after school I called my friend about a play date. She was sick. Really sick. She could barely lift her head from the pillow, said her kids were probably tearing the house apart and that was fine with her.

I called to my kids, jumped in the car and went to her house to see what she needed. All she needed was to try to sleep. I grabbed her kids, stuck them in my car and told her to go to bed. She didn't expect to be able to come get her kids and asked if I'd bring them back when they were done playing. I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not be bringing her kids back at all as long as she was home alone, that her husband could pick them up after work.

I had planned Pasta with Broccoli in Garlic Olive Oil for dinner. I was serving it with a salad and garlic bread. I doubled it. 

I'm not going to tell you that it was hard to do because it really was not. When my friend's husband came for the kids, I had dinner for his family packed up and ready to go. 

Nothing I did that day, like the day with the pregnant woman at the check out line, was a grand gesture, nor was it planned, either time. Sometimes in life an opportunity to do something kind just presents itself. It's in those moments that we show who we are. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

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Pasta with Broccoli in Garlic Olive Oil

Printable Recipe

3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1# thin spaghetti

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets  
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped

*Place the olive oil in a pan with the garlic, black pepper and dried red pepper flakes. Steep over low heat for 15 minutes. 
*Cook the spaghetti to al dente. Two minutes before the spaghetti is done, add the broccoli to the pot. Drain the broccoli and spaghetti. Move to a serving bowl.
*Pour the olive oil mixture over the spaghetti and broccoli and mix. Add the parmesan cheese and mix well.
*Top with fresh parsley.


  1. Best spent then bucks!!! They will never forget that day at Walmart :-)
    Pretty sure that sick Mom still thinks gratefully of that time. Saying to someone "let me know if you need anything" or just grabbing the kids are two different things, and I am so proud of you for doing the latter!
    Happy Friday!

    1. It really doesn't take a lot of effort, we just need to be sure we look for these opportunities.

  2. I love doing things like that, always have. I will cook for anyone if I know they are sick, had a baby, death in the family whatever it is. Food brings us comfort and it's one less thing someone has to worry about.
    Bravo for your act of kindness to the couple, so many would get annoyed at them holding up a line but you helped them.

    1. I acted because that couple pulled at my heart strings, but they also showed me that I need to look more carefully at what's going on around me. How many times have these circumstances come up and I've just not seen them?

  3. I am encouraged to know there are kind people in the world; the news discourages me so much. Alana

    1. I agree, that's why it's even more important now to reach out with kindness when we can.

  4. Such a small act of kindness can mean so much

  5. Two great examples of paying it forward.

    1. I'm hoping we all think about it more frequently, I know I do.

  6. Random acts like those two make the world a much better place and give me hope. And they will return to you tenfold. I've learned that the past year. I never thought people would be as kind to us, knowing we can't give anything back anymore. I was wrong

    1. We give when we can and take when we must. You helped Stacy when she needed it most, you were helped when you needed it most. There's something comforting about all of that.

  7. That looks delicious, but of course anything with pasta has to be amazing lol! I agree kindness is the only requirement. I try my best to only put good out into the world. Sometimes just a smile can make somebody's day.

    1. You're so right, sometimes it can just be as small as a smile, or recognition, which is something I've been lucky enough to get a lot of lately.


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