Just call me Saint Susan of Suburbia. Okay don't because saint status needs to be conferred by others as it would be most unsaintly to think of yourself in those terms. But I do sometimes think that my nature means that perhaps I should have found myself drawn into one of the caring professions and yet I became a journalist. Go figure.
They way I see it is really quite simple: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Yes, that's biblical. If my Catholic schooling serves me correctly it comes from the Sermon on the Mount. But I am not a religious person. I just try to be a nice person. So for the past five weeks we've had a boarder living with us. He's doing the same course as Drama Teen and found himself without a place to live. We have spare room. You let him stay. It's the right thing even if a second teenage male in your house is a second teenage male in your house. In he scheme of things, five weeks is not such a long time. Many moons ago, while living in London the landlords of my local pub offered me a room when it looked like I would be without a place to live. "If our daughter was living in Australia we'd hope someone would take her in," Dee explained. I am now paying that forward.
And then there's Margaret. Margaret is still living in the house the same way as she did 82 odd years ago when she was six and her family moved in. She has no radio, no kettle or toaster or microwave. She doesn't believe in credit cards and wouldn't know what to do with a computer. So she sits at the window and knits and feeds the bird. But that does give her an awful lot of time to stew on things and turn molehills into mountains. Some times he needs a hand to flatten those monoliths on the horizons. I lend her that hand. My normal contribution is her grocery shopping and taking the dogs for regular visits but when need and time allows I will run other errands.
This week I have washed nighties and brunch coats (words that in themselves are so quaint they make me smile) and today I was her transport home from the hairdresser. These days she relies on taxis to get around but every week there's a saga. I was free today so volunteered. She insisted on buying lunch (even though it was 10am)
When you see just how distressing the taxi driver pulling up at the wrong place makes her, landing a hand seems like a no brainer. Plus we are all getting older and what goes around comes around. I might just need a good neighbour and/or a good friend.
Today's steps: 16, 298