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H is for Help and Helping

Asking for help can be so difficult for some people. The mama, for instance.

The nearly-90-year-old woman  is stubborn about asking me to help her with the harder chores in the garden. But, she gladly takes the help, if I happen to give it without asking, "Do you need help?"

It's taken me awhile to recognize how silly that question is.  It's similar to asking a visitor if she would like something to drink. According to the Mama, you don't ask, you just serve the drink.

So, I've learned to keep my eyes and ears open to what's going on when she's outside. For instance, when I hear the sound of metal scraping against cement, I head outside to see what the Mama is doing. And, usually she has set up the ladder against one of her many trees to pick some fruits or prune tree branches.

"Here, let me do it," I say, as I shove my feet into my shoes.

"I can do it," she says, as she's about to climb the ladder.

We spar back and forth a couple of times before she finally lets me climb the ladder to pick the fruit or prune the branches under her supervision. I do what needs to be done up on the ladder, then put the ladder back by the fence and carry the heavier things to where they need to be. I go back to work, while the mama cleans and stores the fruit or strips the branches to fit into the recycle bin.

Sure, when I hear the rattle of the ladder, I sigh and mumble to the husband, "What is she doing now?" But when I'm up that ladder doing her bidding, I'm enjoying myself hanging out with the mama. I think the mama is, too.

Today, Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny at Off on My Tangent, is featuring the letter H. Head on over there to see what other bloggers are H'ing about. That is, after watching the video of the Beatles sing, yep, "Help!"


  1. I just would do the same. Very nice post !

  2. The world needs more people like you... Thank you for helping without expecting anything in return. I'm sure mama appreciates it!

  3. Why is it that we get older and more stubborn at the same time.
    90 something...Wow!

  4. I've found this to be true about lots of people. Sometimes you have to help anyway, even if they say no. :)

  5. Glad you have an ear out to hear ways she needs help!

  6. Living with the wonderful Mama can be a challenge. Dare I say it's because you two are so alike? I think that's why Dad drove me crazy so often. Climbing trees with a chain saw at 85, crawling under bathroom sinks at 90. I begged him to at least tie a rope around his ankle when he crawled under the house so we could pull him out, for Christ's sake.

    Grumble away Susie Q. I know you wouldn't have it any other way.

  7. Loved this HELPING post and the fact that The Mama is still doing her thing at 90. My son has called me The Mama since he was a little guy...he's now 39. This is the first time I've heard anyone else referred to as The Mama! Wonderful Letter H post.

  8. What a sweet post and what a caring and loving daughter you are. I understand both sides of that coin. My son calls often and asks what needs to be done around the house. Now I gladly take up his offer. Always some little job beyond my knowledge, like the curtain rod that just fell down. Dang!!! I used to try to do it myself cause "I'M THE MOTHER." But I can't make the blasted curtain rod to stay up to save my soul. I really welcome his help and I'm positive Mama does too. It's just a little hard to get used to accepting help from her kids.

    You wrote a wonderfully heartwarming post.

  9. Love your post and, as I age ( now 66 ), I, too, grow more obstinate and set in my ways. The Beatles are my generation and "Help" brought back many memories.

  10. you just serve the drink. there's wisdom in that, i suspect.

  11. This was a good post - and a good reminder. I go crazy when I'm told 'let me know if I can help' because like most people, I'll never do that. Elderly people, especially, don't want to be a burden, so we have to be aware and offer our help without asking that lame question!

  12. Already a follower. Just stopping by to say hi.

  13. How wonderful of you to help your neighbor like that!


  14. Gattina, thank you. :-)

    Virg, I appreciate your kind words.

    Jen, I wrote a boo-boo. The mama is 80-something, almost 90. The Wow! still fits. :-)

    Paige, that's for sure.

    JDaniel4's Mom, she still manages to slip one by me. This a.m. she quietly brought the ladder to a tree to prune some vines. Gotta love her. :-)

    Evil2win, you got my number. :-)

    CollectIn Texas Gal, always glad to meet another "The Mama." :-)

    Manzanita, thank you. It takes one to know one. Being a caring and loving daughter, that is. Since I have no kids, I wonder who I'll be saying "No thank you" to when I'm the Mama's age. :-)

    RNSANE, thank you. Wasn't Ringo hilarious in the video?

    ed, when you put it that way. I suppose there is. :-)

    Pondside,it's only taken me 7 years of living with the Mama again to figure that one out. :-)

    Teresa, thanks. I suppose if the mama was a neighbor instead, I'd probably jump the fence to help her. :-)

  15. J J, hello! I'm glad to "see" ya. :-)

  16. I loved this post. What a kind and observant daughter you are. I suspect you're like that with your friends...who no doubt treasure you.

    I was always taught just to 'do' when it could be a matter of pride. And that's what I still attempt most the time.

    The flip side of this particular coin, though, is accepting help gracefully. A long time ago a friend told me, 'you are only good at the giving have no idea how to take gracefully.' Advice I did take and use to this day.

    Thanks for this thoughtful and thought provoking link to Alphabe-Thursday.

    I really enjoyed my stop here today.



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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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