More kindness, less trash. Portland, I noticed.

Hey, this is one cool city.

When I walk to my bus stop each afternoon, the smell of lilies from the flower stand blows down 2nd avenue.

I wait for the bus in front of Starbucks under a covered seating area which blows warm air and is the perfect place to wait for a bus when it’s 30 degrees and raining.

While I wait, I have watched people pick up trash. There is no trash can right there at the Starbucks. There should be. People walk along, swerve into the street, pick up an empty juice bottle, or a wad of paper, or a straw still stuck through a plastic lid, and then swerve back onto the sidewalk and continue along. They don’t look at me to make sure I saw.

One time I saw the trash first, as I walked past. I thought, “Ugh. Dirty straw sticking through a plastic lid with sticky soda all over it. In the street. Eeew.” …and I walked on past, thinking about that warm air blowing from out of the covered coffee place. When I watched that lady pick it up, I felt ashamed.

So I made a commitment to myself (and to Portland) to pick up trash now. Why didn’t I think of it without being a public dork first?

Every single damn day on the bus, when people get off, they call “Thank you!” to the driver. Even when they get off in the back. Even when there are three people getting off through the back door. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Of course, I always say thank you. Always. And I mean it too. So nyahh, I can at least do something on my own. (wink) Except … a little toooo friendly. My morning bus driver asked me out last Friday. Icky.

Walking home once when my daughter and I were late getting home, I met G. She’s one of my new neighbors. We got off the bus at the same time, and when she realized I was walking toward the house that had been for sale for over a year, she turned around and walked right back to me! She had a huge smile and introduced herself and gave me a hug. Then she pointed out all the neighbors she knows, her house across the street, and asked if I was a single mom, because she was, and then went on her way.

Our lovely lovely Earth is tilting on its axis, bending just far enough so that a single, reluctant beam of light stretches across the porch to light up the lock as I turn the key each evening.

Today it is not raining. My kitty loves me. My daughter loves me. There are teensy tinsy miniature daffodils blooming by the steps out front. I have never seen daffodils so small. They must only be 3 1/2 inches tall. It is brilliant.

I can’t help but to be happy, despite it all.

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