What can I do?

  • By ANNIE BERG
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:16am
  • LifeFood

In a recent conversation our friend John Turnbull had on the phone with a lady makes me stop and think what I would do! He was all “tuned up” to make a plea to ask please stop mailing so much unwanted advertisement literature they were receiving in the mail from this particular company. He was stopped cold when the lady answered the phone with ” Hello: What can I do to make your life better today?” I do not know the rest of the conversation, but it caused John to call me and ask what I would say if someone asked that question.

I still am in a quandary at what I would say. I guess I would thank them for asking and say what was on my mind, but in a more pleasant manner. And end the conversation with “I hope you have a very pleasant day!”

We all could make a very big difference in a persons day by just asking how they are, or telling them to have a nice day. Way to often we are weighted down with our own life misfortunes, that we forget to ask ” How are you?” Or “How can I make your day better.?”

Of course there are certain people that would take advantage of the offer – so be prepared.

John and Nikki have had their physical problems and Nikki is wheelchair bound. I never hear her complain, but assures us that she is doing Ok. I admire her upbeat attitude and for not wanting to burdening other people. I am waiting for the day I can ask her what I can do to make her life better.

John has been our big go-to helper when ever we need a favor or a piece of pipe or a strong back and helping hand or his sage advice. He has been our friend for over 30 years and he still has smile and willingness to offer a helping hand. We all need to take a lesson from these two fine people. Thank you John and Nikki and someday I want to say to you, “What can I do to make your day better”

I look back and I wish I could have had this conversation with my Dad and my Mom. I am sure I could have helped in a small way. In Dads later years his mind got bogged down in ‘what ifs” and “how comes.” I do wish I could have spent more time with him when I visited and would have asked him “What can I do to help make your life better?” I would hope we would have had a lively conversation. And maybe I could have helped him a little, just by this gesture. He truly was a fine man with great advise and in earlier years, a willing smile with a joke to tell or a pleasant story with an upbeat ending. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to our farmer neighbors. He is the reason I can tell stories and remember so much. I am blessed.

My Mom in her older years, was in her own little world due to Alzheimer’s. I think I would have made her smile asking her what I could do to make her life better. I would have been prepared for anything she would say and hopefully carry out the request. When I remember her I remember her smiles even though her mind was not as it was once.

We have a fine friend, Ginny, who served in the Army for 24 years. She has several health problems. She keeps herslef busy, has a big project going that gets her out and about dispite that somedays she is not feeling well she is smiling and always willing to help. I must ask her more often what I can do to make her life more comfortable. I am sure she will assure me she has things under control most of the time with a big smile. We thank her for her service to our America.

To Bob: Be prepared because I am going to ask this soon. He is a very mullti-talented, easy going, smiling man. He is a companion that never complains. Wow! How could I ask for more? I am afraid I am not that pleasant at times!! Thanks for your smiles and your songs you sing to me each night!

Our neighbor Cathy has had several family issues through out this past year. I need to call her and ask if I can do something to make her life better.

We have a neighbor that has not worked in over a year. He needs to be remembered as well. We help where we can. We strive to make his life better.

My brother, Jim. I do wish I could have asked him what I could do to make his life better. But I did not and now I cannot.

My sisters, I will do this soon. I promise, even though I live 2000 miles away. Just Thinking of you each day is pleasant memories.

My brother, John: Well, I will call you and ask the same question. He does call me once in a while and the first thing he asks is “How are you?”

My kids: You can bet I will keep this in mind and try to help out to the best of my physical (and mental) ability. They have the own physical problems and I must stop and ask “What can I do to make your life better.”

My Grandkids: I will surprise you too!

My friends of which we are blessed with many. Don’t wait for me to call you! You can call if you need something. I will call “soon” and I will try and remember to offer to help make your life better.

All our neighbors and friends: We are in tune with you and you will get the same phone call.

To the people who stop and tell me how they enjoy my column and recipes – Thank you! I hope I have made your day more pleasant.

Blessings are many if you just look for them . One of the biggest blessing of all would be a phone call to someone in need and asking,” What can I do to make you life better?”

Thank you John for seeing the positive and pleasant side to most everything and for jerking and jogging me into action on the wonderful conversation I had with you! You are a gem! We have survived all these years without a harsh word. You and Nikki are truly great friends.

AND What can I do to make your life better?

The Pioneer Potluck series is written by 50-year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski. Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her mother, a self-taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day. Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci.net.

More in Life

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.