HodgePodge by Charlie Hodge – Her ‘Ninja Bombing’ was perfectly timed



By Charlie Hodge

Her ‘Ninja Bombing’ was perfectly timed.

Despite the ominous tag the wonderful gesture made our day and was precisely the right mental medicine for the moment.

‘Ninja Bombing’ is the new Facebook or online term used in reference to ‘random acts of kindness’ and yesterday we (or rather Teresa), were the lucky victims of the attack.

Tez and I had just sat down in our weed infested back yard for an end of the work day libation when the bomber arrived at our driveway gate. Her element of surprise was wiped out by our direct line of view from the back of the yard and the fact that the gate squeaks a bit when its opened. Sheila had that caught with hands in the cookie jar face as she looked up from the noisy gate only to see us staring at her.

We gave her a wave. Looking quickly about and acknowledging she was caught, a now slightly red faced Sheila shyly waved back.

“Oops – I’ve been caught in the middle of my Ninja bombing,” she announced holding  up a large decorative gift bag in her hand. Tez and I had no idea what  Sheila was on  about, however Tez investigated further. While I sat keeping my oxygen tank company  Tez and Sheila engaged in some inaudible chatter and chuckles for a few minutes.

Sheila and Greg have lived next to me since the day I purchased this house 14 years ago and while we have never really sat down together and visited there have been dozens of over the fence conversations. In many ways we are similar couples. Sheila and Tez are chatty, bubbly, cat loving, neighbour observing,  connoisseurs of  fine wine who roll their eyes at the antics of their husbands. Greg and I are quieter, dark humoured, cat loving, reclusive, bad-boy, beer swallowers who roll their eyes at the antics of their wives. In many ways Greg and I are very much alike except he has a Harley and a ride-em lawnmower and, well, I don’t.

However I digress. Yesterday was really all about Sheila and Tez.

The Ninja bomb was built for Tez alone and clearly the idea and project of Sheila. I know this for two reasons: the gift tag had Teresa’s name on it and … there was no beer within the attractive gift bag.

There was, however, a rather large bottle of wine (and white at that!) Tez’s favourite chocolate candy, facial masks, goblets, a towel with cats on it, two candles, garden gloves, and other perfect gifts suited for Tez. Sheila obviously knows Tez better than we thought.

It was a wonderful, kind present and made our day.

Both Tez and I have struggled through the current COVID crises like many Canadians and there is no denying it has taken its toll in tolerance, patience and positive energy. Heap on my constantly dwindling ability to breath and non-stop pain, Tez’s diabetes, increasing bills, and some significant family concerns –  it’s no wonder we were a tad depressed before Sheila arrived. However that single gesture changed everything.

Clearly Sheila’s wonderful surprise took some time, effort and money to make happen. Precisely what motivated her to take the time and energy to boost Tez’s spirits I do not know, nor need to. What I do know was that it has made a huge difference in both of our mindsets.

Though the gift was for Tez it thrilled me as well for a couple  reasons. Tez has been wearing the weight of the world on her shoulders for years now, worrying about me, picking up the slack from my lack of energy, strength and laziness, and worrying about her family as well. To see her cheered up by such an unexpected scenario means a lot to me.

I get all the attention all of the time and to see someone acknowledge Tez for just being herself is not only nice but also long overdue.

In addition – having a positive, unsolicited random act of kindness happen in our own backyard was inspiring. Despite all the things wrong with our world lately it is refreshing to know that there are good, kind, caring, compassionate people out there leading the way with positive actions.

It’s a good reminder of what counts and a motivation to pass it forward.

Thanks and bless you Sheila. (Oh yea, and you too Greg).

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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