Meet Olive, the friendly lady from Windsor who kindly put Kate and some of our shopping on her four-wheel walker and walked us all the way home. We pay it forward. Olive turns 83 in September and she says that she will live to be 100 so that she can ring the neck of whoever she pleases and I hope she does. Live to be 100 that is and not ring someone’s neck, although I think that people who live 100 yrs should be allowed by law to do and say whatever they want. They deserve a new level of freedom of speech.
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Brendan works in England from March to August and we save as much as we can while we travel with him all around the UK so that we can travel from September to February without anyone working. It means we have to make some sacrifices like the convenience of owning two cars while in the UK. He needs the car for work and some days the kids and I have it for organised outings, but mostly we get around on foot or by public transport, which is relatively easy, safe and accessible here.
A One Mile Walk Without The Pram
Today, a bright warm spring morning in April, the kids and I walk a mile to the nearest Tesco superstore without the pram, because we forgot it in the back of the car which of course is at work with Daddy. The pram is not for Kate, because she refuses to sit in it for more than a minute. It just helps to haul back the shopping while I carry Kate all the way. Today is a beautiful day and there are flowers everywhere as we walk to keep Kate busy picking them and more importantly, on foot.
An Unfortunate Tumble
Unfortunately, not far down the road, she raced us, as all two-year-olds do and had a nasty tumble on the sidewalk. With her shoe broken, her toe bleeding and her knee and hands grazed, she bravely chose to walk the rest of the way to pick more daisies for Mommy. However, with our shopping done and me dragging her out of the push car/trolley thingy she loves so much, she was not a happy bunny walking back, still in one shoe and a sore toe.
An Angel Speaks
As I try to calm Kate down and redistribute shopping bags between Leah, Nick and myself, the voice of an angel spoke: “Would she like to ride with me?”. I looked up and there she was; Olive with her four-wheel walker to the rescue. Kate hopped up before Olive could finish her sentence. “OK, that’s very kind of you”, I said, “but only to the end of this block and then we’ll be on our way”. Olive agreed and off we went, but not far on and Olive had us hang bags on the walker too. Before the end of the road, Olive instructs me that she will walk us all the way home and despite me not wanting to put her through all the effort she does not take no for an answer. She needs the exercise apparently and enjoys the outing.
Olive was three when she moved to Windsor from London and she lived in Windsor all her life. Her husband passed away 12yrs ago and she has to go to the hospital next week to get cancer removed and analysed. She has two boys in their fifties and five grandchildren. The walker was a surprise gift from her oldest son, “a perfect gentleman and a financial advisor”, more than a year ago so that she can get around easier with her bad back.
We pass her church and she promptly invites us to join her and other church members, young and old, tomorrow afternoon for table tennis and cards. Nick has been begging us to find somewhere to play table tennis since we arrived in the UK because he loves it! So, we will see kind Olive again tomorrow plus she invited us to tea at her own home next week. Not sure if I’ll unleash Kate in her home because there are sure to be little glass and breakable thingies that 2yr olds love to touch and hold, but the offer is tempting.
Further down the road, we pass a friend of Olive’s, Sue, who is horrified that Olive is walking us all the way to the end of the street while Olive’s house is in the opposite direction. I make sure Sue knows that it was not my idea to which she replies, “Well, that’s Olive for ya’ all right.” As we get to the end of the street I say to Olive that I think I need to walk her back home now and I asked if she’ll be all right. “Nonsense, I’m a big girl aren’t I!? See you tomorrow”, and we said our good-byes.
Sharing Olive’s Kindness
We wanted to share Olive’s touching act of kindness. I was in great company and enjoyed meeting her and our chat so much. The walk home was slow and relaxed as Kate was happily pushed all the way by this lovely granny. We look forward to meeting more people like Olive as we travel the world. This is what it’s all about. An act of kindness by a lovely person that we have to pay forward.