Another post about people! Although this adventure is just beginning, it becoming more and more apparent that the things we see and the places we visit will pale in comparison to the people we meet. The generosity and kindness we have encountered so far is nothing short of astounding!
First I will mention Cindy again. This is the lady that gave us her mooring ball in Key West harbor to use for FREE. While I will never know exactly why she singled us out to help, I have my theory. Outside of her pure kindness, I think we may have reminded her of her own family. You see, Cindy shared with me that she removed her family from “regular” life and moved to Alaska. She raised her children in the seclusion of the Alaska wilderness while providing home schooling. She was very quick to mention that all three of her kids grew up to be very successful in regular life. Her belief was they were successful as a result of their upbringing. In this regard, she drew a parallel with our family and wanted to help out in some way she could.
Second I will mention Ken and Mary from our buddy boat Moon River. While I have mentioned them in a few of my blog posts, I haven’t done justice to how well they treated us. They treated our kids like their own grand kids and Rhonda and I like members of their family. They took our kids on “field trips” and provided Rhonda and I much needed breaks. You can’t imagine what a gift of a few hours kidless is in those first few weeks aboard. Not only did it provide us the time to complete necessary errands but it provided us precious hours together as a couple, after being separated for 60 days! However, this wasn’t’ the only reason we were sad to depart company with Moon River. Both Ken and Mary provided a much needed sounding board for Rhonda and I that helped us make “smart” decisions. Having someone who understands and is living the lifestyle to bounce ideas off was something I sorely miss.
Finally…. I will talk about Bill, who’s generosity I have never encountered before. We met Bill in the Dinner Key marina office after our first night in Miami. Within 5 minutes of meeting, Bill insisted on driving me to Home Depot to pick up some needed tools. During the 20 minute drive, Bill and I immediately hit it off and covered every topic imaginable (people who know me can probably picture it, people who know Bill will surly picture it). During our ramblings, I learned that Bill was having some issues with the electrical system on his boat. Since I had just replaced my entire system, I offered to help in any way I could. So after our short shopping trip we went back to Bill’s boat to see if we could figure it out. Although it was a little bit of a head scratcher, we quickly figured out his batteries were shot (6 years old) and his solar controller was fried (shitty news). During our troubleshooting I mentioned that I was going to rent a truck and head up to Fort Lauderdale as I badly needed battons and could only find them there. Bill promptly astounded me by offering me his car to use……… Think about this…… He offered to lend his car to a foreigner that he hadn’t known 4 hours ago….. To drive from Miami to Fort Lauderdale (cities with the worst traffic and drivers you can imagine). Seriously…. Ask yourself, would you have made such an offer? I’m not sure I would have!
Well the next day arrived and Bill insisted on coming with me on his day off to help. He not only lent me his car, but spent his day off running me around Miami and Fort Lauderdale to get bits and pieces for my boat. To better appreciate this, realize that Bill now had a bunch of work to complete on his boat and still works a full time job (as a First Officer for American Airlines… Yup he flies jets for a living). After completing our running around for the boat, he insisted that I again take his car and provision for Bahamas. So a few of you asked how on earth Rhonda and I got $400 worth of groceries back to our boat. Well it was only possible on the generosity of one man… Thanks Bill… I really hope our paths cross again and I can repay the kindness!
While I think the things we see and the places we visit will change me forever, I’m now convinced it’s the people who will have the biggest impact!