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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cashing In Some Karma Points

I was sitting in bed reading on Thanksgiving evening, as I often do. I picked up a book I had started a month or so ago called 'Life...The Reader's Digest Version.' Locating where I had left off, I was shocked to see that the topic was "Count your blessings." How appropriate was that on Thanksgiving evening?  

This Thanksgiving found me thinking, and writing, about gratitude a bit more than usual. On Thanksgiving day, as I chatted with the volunteer next to me in the serving line, our discussion turned to karma and how we hoped that our volunteer work would bring us "karma points," in the words of the young man to whom I was talking.

Two days later was a hectic, not relaxing, Saturday. I had several things on my to-do list, none of them fun. I needed to pick up Christmas cards from Sam's Club, which I imagined would be a mad house just a day after the chaotic Black Friday. Surprisingly, I had no trouble finding a parking place and the store, although busy, wasn't terribly crowded. I got my cards and then something unexpected happened. 

I had been struggling with what to buy my soon-to-be-18-year-old daughter for Christmas. She had said she couldn't think of anything, so just give her some money. But I wanted to do better than that. Suddenly the light bulb went on and I knew what to get her. It's something she has wanted for a while, and something she can take with her whenever she sets out to live on her own. A store employee walking by even loaded the item into my cart for me. 

When I got home, I remembered that my new camera lens had been delivered that morning. I was pleased to see that the lens, although used, was in original packaging and looked perfect. And it arrived the day before I was going to visit the wolf refuge and take more photographs, so I could 'test drive' the new lens the following day.  

So far, the day was definitely going my way. But would my good luck continue?

After several attempts to sell a 1933 Motorola console radio, I was about to give up and donate it to a thrift shop. But I listed it one last time on Craigslist. Finally, I got a response from someone who was interested in taking a look at it. The man came to the house on Saturday to see the radio. We negotiated a price (less than what I had hoped, but better than donating it to a thrift shop) and the radio was sold at last. 

I was on a roll, but I still had one more thing to tackle, and I dreaded it.

I felt certain there was a water leak someplace in my house. For the past couple of weeks I had heard what sounded like the water pump or pressure tank come on every 10 minutes, run for a few seconds, then shut off. So I contacted a leak detection company that offered to send somebody to the house that afternoon to check things out for a $300 standard fee (no extra charge for weekend service). 

I explained the situation to the technician, who checked the humidifier on the furnace, the pressure tank in the garage (part of the system that pumps water from my well) and the sprinkler system. Finally, he went into the kitchen to listen for the sound I had described to him. "There! That's the sound," I exclaimed when I heard the tell-tale click. "That's the ice maker pulling water in to make ice," he explained. "But the ice maker has never been hooked up to the water line." Apparently that didn't matter; it was still clicking on every 10 minutes in a fruitless attempt to bring in water so it could make ice. The technician located a switch and turned the pump off. I have had this refrigerator for two years and it never made that sound in the past. Feeling rather sheepish, I asked what I owed the technician for his time. "Nothing," he said. "We'll call this a freebie." He had been at the house for 45 minutes, and he didn't charge me a thing.

I am not accustomed to having so many things go my way in a single day. After all the day's events turned out so well, I started to wonder whether there are indeed 'karma points' and whether my run of good luck was in fact related to my recent volunteer work at the food pantry, the wolf sanctuary and the Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever the reason -- coincidence or karma points -- it certainly was nice to have several things fall into place on a single day. So thank you, Karma. I'll be doing more volunteer work soon, trying to rack up additional karma points for the future.