Saturday, August 10, 2013

The "Waving Guy" - An Inspiration and Role Model

A gregarious man by the name of Kert Ingraham sits in a wheelchair in a hand-marked spot along Washington Street waving at passerby's.  We see him and wave to him almost every day, sometimes multiple times in one day as we often drive up and down Washington Street between home and downtown.    

I am so touched by his act of kindness towards others - that he chooses to take time out of his life to make others feel a little happier and their day a little brighter.  

Once when we walked downtown this past spring, we stopped to talk to him.  He shared some stories with us, always remembering to wave to passing cars while we chatted.  Another time, we pulled over to say hello and since I had my camera with me, I asked if I could take a photo of him.  (That's when I took these photos.)  Recently, Jim, Li and Makana stopped to chat with him on a walk downtown. They were surprised to see him by the car wash across and down the street from his usual spot. No matter where he is, he is happy to talk and friendly to all.   

I am so touched by this nice fellow who inspires others by sharing joy and kindness with the community and to everyone passing by!

When we first spoke to Kert, he told us that three local papers wrote an article about him where he was called the "Washington Street Waver."  On 8/9/2013, I obtained permission from Dan Dunkle of Courier Publications LLC to copy and paste the write up and comments from the Camden Herald/Courier Gazette on September 24, 2012 about Kert.  It is nice to see that others appreciate him too!

If anyone would like to subscribe to Village Soup (which owns the Camden Herald/Courier Gazette), click on this link:

Here is the article, courtesy of Village Soup: 

63 Washington St - "The Waver"

I just have to mention this to see if anyone else feels the same as I do.  There is a gentleman that sits out here day in/day out, rain or shine waving to us all as we pass in front of the assisted living center at 63 Washington.  He sits in his motorized chair with a smile on his face waving me in as I head home every day from work.  Nice to see a fella out there who has found something to keep him happy and busy and I must day it always puts a smile on my face as I head home.
Thank you sir for be the official "Washington St. Waver" and I'll have to stop someday and introduce myself! - Mark O'Donal
Yes Karma - I wrote this under your login!
Comments (6)
POSTED BY: KARMA O'DONAL Oct 02, 2012 11:51
Thank you Michelle.  I look forward to meeting Kurt and possibly pulling up a chair and joining in the wave.  Karma...This is really Karma.  ;)

Mark & Karma, Did I ever tell you that Abbey and Sarah were downtown about 6 weeks ago and decided to bring him flowers? (their own idea) They called me and asked where they could get flowers downtown.  I told them to go to Lily Lupine.  When they were buying the flowers, Bunny was talking to the girls and when they told her who it was for she gave them a great discount. I picked up the girls to bring them home and on the way we stopped and they gave him a two red roses.  He LOVED it!  They spent a few minutes talking to him.  It was so sweet and really very touching. I couldn't not have been prouder of both of them.--Alison

The "Waver" is Kert Ingraham. Kert grew up in Sherman Mills in Aroostook County on a potato farm.  He has a very interesting life story ranging from Military service, Heating and AC specialist  to being a funeral director in the Bangor and Carmel area and most recently lived in Skowhegan before moving to 63 Washington St. He would love to tell you his life story, so feel free to stop by anytime!

POSTED BY: KARMA O'DONAL Sep 25, 2012 09:20
Is he from the area Michelle?  If he is, I wonder if he knew my gramps.  He passed 20 years ago but he would have been 92.  He grew up in Camden so I was just wondering.  Mark

That waving gentleman makes me smile! I smile and enthusiastically wave back and I wasn't sure if it was okay for me to stop and say hello. Now I know that I can..and I will!

Mark- Thank you for posting this. I am on the Board of 63 Washington St, and Kurt is one of our residents.  He loves spending his time out waving to passer byes and would LOVE for you to stop and talk to him. This is how he spends his time, but as you point out, I think he is really giving something back to everyone that passes by.  Stop by and visit him or any of our residence at any time.  We are always looking for volunteers, especially Board Members.. Hint Hint..

Friday, August 9, 2013

A rainy Friday full of fun! 7.26.2013

Today we had no plans.  Normally we would have gone to Birch Point State Park to meet up with friends, but it was rainy.

I woke up around 7am or so, thought about the strange dream I had to do with pigs and alternative fuel and my grandma's house which came after the almost repeat dream of Jim and I searching for a house along the Jersey Shore.  In the dream at the shore, I couldn't find a usable bathroom.  When I woke, I had to really pee!  I guess thank goodness I don't ever really find a usable bathroom in my dreams - lol!!  Fell back to sleep until almost 9am.

Katie had a sleepover last night and no one was up yet.

Did some paperwork that I had not finished last night.  Took Jim to the post office and then to work.  The younger kids always come with me to do that. Jim told me that last night he put high bush blueberries in the fridge that Jo Ann had picked and brought for us.  That was SO nice!!  We LOVE blueberries!!!  I asked Li if he would go in and say thank you and he didn't mind and did so.

Came home and Li looked up youtube videos about computer parts and played games, Kanoa played Minecraft and watched some youtube videos, Makana watched a movie and I checked email.  The phone rang.  It was my friend Michelle whom we would have met at the beach today.  After checking with the kids to see if they were up for company, we made plans for them to come over later.  Yay!!

The older kids got up.  Zach was here too.  Wolfgang made french toast and Katie made coffee and they hung out in the kitchen cooking and talking.  They even did a lot of cleaning up.  Makana had some french toast too.

Kanoa and I played upstairs with stuffed animals and his favorite box.  The box is a pink cardboard shoe box, now beaten up and ripped in many places.  But it still works well enough to hide a stuffed puppy or frog or other special animal in there.  Kanoa likes to use it to pretend to give surprises and presents.  He plays this kind of game most often with me or Makana.  I noticed that Makana likes to try to give presents to Kanoa when they play and that Kanoa is okay with that.  But when we play, he isn't interested in me giving him any animals - I've asked.  He prefers me to open the box and be surprised and interested in the animal(s) he gives me. I go with whatever the flow is - whatever he seems to prefer at the moment.

I cleaned the windows in Li's room while Kanoa played with a old baby toy.  When I did the two windows in Makana's room, he went downstairs.  I followed shortly thereafter.

Made blueberry pancakes for Li and I and chocolate chip pancakes and a frozen pizza for Kanoa. Makana had one little blueberry pancake too.  Made some decaf for myself.  I'm on a decaf kick at the moment.  Just for the past few days.

Michelle and Charles came over and they and Li, Makana and I played several games of Pit.  Kanoa needed way more quiet, so we had to move to another room and keep our voices down.  Too much noise can be overstimulating for him, unless he is the one making it.  Li feels like that too sometimes, though much more so when he was younger.  Kanoa played Minecraft while the Pit game was going on.

After Pit, I tried to show Michelle and Charles how Li and I could do that boat thing where you sit on the other persons feet and they sit on yours and you rock back and forth, coming up off the ground.  It's a lot of fun!  But Li and I ended up laughing and not rocking the boat!  Makana and I tried it and did it!

Then Michelle remembered a game where you sit back to back and hook arms and try to stand up with your feet still on the floor.  Michelle and I tried, but we ended up laughing and weren't able to get up at all!! Li and I...same deal.  It is Tough!!  Then Li tried with someone else...still not working.  Makana and Charles tried a few times, and finally got it!  They made it look so easy!!

Li decided to go on the computer.  The rest of us began another game Michelle remembered....leg wrestling!  It was hilarious!!

After they left, I did the dishes and brought laundry to the living room to fold (still haven't finished folding....but it will be there for when I'm ready).

Zach and Wolfgang came to the kitchen to make coffee.  Li wanted to try some and made a cup.  He spit it out saying it tasted terrible.  He didn't understand how anyone could even like it.  While Zach was having coffee, we talked about computers....hacking, the security of a site, and what he is doing now...pen testing which is checking websites for their vulnerability to be hacked.  I remembered the name of the hacking site I had recently heard of, hacksaurus.  It sounded interesting to him as he had not heard of that one before.  I messaged him the link so he could check it later if he wanted to.  We asol talked about a book by Cory Doctorow called, "Little Brother" and about Neil Gaiman (he is quoted on the front cover of that book).  Zach had read "Little Brother" a long time ago.  Wolfgang said that Neil Gaiman is one of his favorite authors.  Then we talked about Gaiman's movies and books that we did or didn't like that he either wrote or directed.

Makana thought she might like to try coffee too.  She has had a little before, but I would prefer her to not have some now as it was late in the afternoon and this coffee was caffeinated.  I asked her if I could make her some decaf to try and she said yes. When the coffee finished brewing, she fixed herself a cup with cream and sugar.  That was the only cup she had.  Since there was some left, I had a cup too.  I don't usually ever have one in the afternoon, but the smell was enticing!

Kanoa had pizza warmed up throughout the day as he asked for it.  Li and I kept eating blueberries.  Oh man, they were tasty!!  Kanoa asked me to make blueberry muffins. I thought, why not?  That sounded good to me too!  I asked him to help me.  He and I made them together. He likes to dump things into the mixing bowl and stir and stir with a small wooden spoon.  I sometimes talk about protein with Kanoa and he wanted to add some protein to the muffins.  I didn't have any sunbutter, but I put in a good amount of flaxseed and then some applesauce instead of more oil.  No directions or guide to follow, just winged that part.  Thankfully they came out good!

I noticed today that Kanoa is getting even more verbal.  And I can't help but notice at what a cute age he is at.  I just love it.  :)

Li and Makana both did some Mad Libs today on and off (separately, not together...and both with me)...reading old ones and laughing and filling in new ones. They choose words that especially make them crack up.  ;)

We ate and loved the blueberry muffins.  I wrapped one up for Jo Ann to bring to Jim's office later.

Katie's friend Kingsley left, but Zach stayed for dinner.  Well, a cheeseburger with bacon and cheese.  I had started making a recipe with zucchini, garlic and pasta with parmigian cheese, but needed cottage cheese for the sauce, so that part of it wasn't done yet.  Katie, Zach and I had burgers, but everyone else waited for the pasta or had something to snack on for the meantime.

We dropped off Zach, dropped off the muffin for Jo Anne and picked up Jim, and drove to Hannaford's for the cottage cheese and whatever else I had jotted down on my short shopping list.

Jim thought everyone should stay in the car to make it easy for me to get in and out of the store, but Kanoa, Li and Makana wanted to come in and it meant a lot to them.  I told him I was okay with them coming in as it was important to them and he said go for it, but he opted to stay in the car.  Katie and Wolfgang stayed in the car too (not sure why they didn't come in too, but maybe because they knew Jim sort of preferred everyone to stay in the car and it wasn't that big of a deal to them to come inside anyway, even if they would have gladly helped).

The kids who did come in helped and we got everything on the list...and a wee bit happens!  I let the man with only one thing go ahead of me as I had more items than he did and things were relatively calm.

Got home and unloaded the car.  I went upstairs to use the bathroom.  Katie, Wolfgang, Jim, and maybe Li or Makana helped to put groceries away.  Kanoa wanted an ice cream sandwich asap!!  Jim likes to have groceries put away first.  So if Jim is putting them away, it can be hard for Kanoa to wait.

I think one reason why Jim won't give him food right away is because he likes lots of space and calmness, not a hectic, busy-even-in-a-good-and-productive way kitchen.  He appreciates the help, but can feel overstimulated, especially on a Friday...and late was around 10pm when we got home.  Also, it is very important to him to get the food put away immediately.  I don't really understand why it is a big deal to give our 4 yr old one ice cream doesn't take that long and then Kanoa is happily on his way.  But I don't have to understand might just be one of the things that means something to Jim.  We all have our things.  So...if I am around, I give him the ice cream sandwich, and if not, he waits.  I guess this is one of those times when Mom and Dad do things a little differently.  As I was writing this I did have an idea....Maybe I should suggest to Jim to let others put away the groceries?  That would help him to avoid being in a busy environment.  Think I will bring that up.

I did some dishes by hand because the dishwasher was full.  Makana dried the first one - I didn't ask her.  I was pleasantly surprised that she just did it.  She then left shortly thereafter to play with Kanoa. Jim happened to come in and I asked him if he wouldn't mind drying and putting away.  He helped and we made a good team.  :)

Makana was the first to try the pasta - she liked it!  Wolfgang doesn't like zucchini, but tried it because of the garlic.  It was good he thought, though the zucchini still wasn't a favorite.  I thought it was good, but needed a different kind of pasta.  We talked about which ones ...maybe shells?  Penne?  And it was rather heavy on the dairy.  But good overall.  Ahhh..linguine!  That is what would taste best! That reminded me of the broccoli mushroom noodle casserole!  I'll have to make that sometime soon too!  Jim had some and asked if there was more - as he was still hungry and liked it.  There was.

I started folding the laundry, but stopped (can't remember why...).   I sent an email to Michelle (of the videos above) so she could watch them if she wanted to.  What a fun day we had!!  I loved laughing so much!!

Wolfgang and Makana tried to do the stand up thing.  I showed them how Kanoa and I rock the boat.  Then they did thumb wrestling and I wrote this.

Makana just walked in and said she finished doing the laundry!  She said that Kanoa helped too by bringing the napkins to the kitchen (in like 3 or 4 trips!!).  Wow!!

Kanoa came over and asked me if it was late.  Yes it was!!  He said we should go to bed.  Good idea! We probably would have been in bed already if I had not wanted to write so much about our nice day. (This was saved as a draft for a while....getting back to it this rainy Friday 8.9.13.)

I love how this was a day in which we mostly hung out and yet it felt so good that I wanted to write some about it. And there are things I'm sure I forgot...things read, things said and done.  But what I wrote is what I recalled of our nice, rainy Friday!  :)