Think back to good ol’ Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas (you didn’t really think I could go a whole post without mentioning a Disney movie, did you?!) touching the water and demonstrating how one small action can turn into bigger ones. Surprisingly, my intent wasn’t to cause a ripple effect. I simply wanted to make the outside of our four-plex look more inviting for when my in-laws visited. I was pleasantly surprised to discover my little action of putting two flower pots on our front steps turned into everyone, except for the loud girl upstairs, taking action to make our building a little nicer.

  It started with my little green gardening containers and some clearance flowers from Lowe’s. I potted the flowers and put them on either side of our 4×4 front porch. I’d also vacuumed the entrance hall shared by all four tenants and straightened the rug, putting the giant bag of salt in the closet under the stairs (this was August. Why the salt hadn’t been put away when winter ended I don’t know). A few days later, our neighbor across the hall put a big flowering plant in a decorative urn at the corner where her apartment turns into the garages. Then the two little boys upstairs painted giant rocks and put them beside my plants. It was an unspoken building revitalization project.

    I certainly didn’t except our neighbors to follow suit and add a little personal touch to the outside of our building, but I was glad they did. Despite the fact we never shared more than pleasantries, it felt like we were getting along– a little, at least. Upstairs girl never did anything– other than pull the salt out to prop open the front door, letting tons of moths take over the hallway. Then spilling the salt all over the floor and not cleaning it up, despite 6 dogs and a toddler (all of whom have a tendency to put things in their mouths) share the same entry hall. So I vacuumed again.

   It may seem a stretch, but I kind of think my little apartment building in Alaska can serve as a metaphor for the bigger picture. There will always be people doing small acts of kindness– whether for themselves or others– and there will always be people to frustrate the nice ones by messing it all up (usually the day out of town guests arrive).

   On a less thoughtful note, The Lion King roared into stores yesterday. I stopped by Target on the way home from work to pick up my copy. I watched all the bonus features, with Charlie (who thinks he is a lion because he watched the film so much as a pup) laying by my side. I was kind of bummed when I finished all the bonus features…then I realized I had gotten home two and a half hours earlier. Oops. Of course, then I had to watch the movie. Since I had just seen it in theatres Sunday, I watched it with the directors commentary, which was very enlightening (and often humorous). Basically, after I got home from work TLK ruled my day. So all is as it should be. I just have to say…it has the most amazing disc menu I’ve ever seen. And if I ever do win that elusive $5000 gift card from Target for doing their surveys, then the first thing I’ll buy will be the 6 blu-ray disc set in the wooden box for $74. And it will be amazing.


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