Thank Goodness for Friends
23 November 2011 | Vero Beach, Florida
Beth / 70 ish / no rain
As I think back over the years, it is always people for whom I am most thankful. The people who show up when I am most in need; the people who love me no matter what I do; the people who teach me lessons; the people who encourage me and lift me up; the people who nudge and prod me forward. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Wednesday, the day before American Thanksgiving was a bit of a rough day. I didn’t sleep well the night before – thinking of all the things I had done wrong in my life and all the wrongs that had been done to me. I got up and read for a couple of hours in the night, managed to distract myself in the morning by going shopping with my good friend, Nancy, (a million thank you’s, Nancy), ignoring the new problem of water in the bilge, and then sanding the handrails on our cabin roof. (There is really nothing quite like sanding to settle the mind – unless it is brushing on that first coat of cetol and seeing the grain of the wood spring to life – but that will come in a day or two …)
About 4 o’clock, Jim and I closed up the boat because the clouds looked ominous, put our concerns aside, climbed into the dinghy and went exploring through the mooring field. We spotted a boat from Moncton, NB and stopped to say hello to Paul and Cathy (Lucia – I think – I’ll have to go look again) who had just arrived in. And then Connie and Ken (Oz) called to say they had driven up from Ft. Pierce and were at the dinghy dock. We picked them up and brought them out to Madcap and settled in for Happy Hour. We first met these two (from Toronto) a couple of years ago in Norfolk, Virginia as we started down the ICW and always treasure our reunions. Amid the “How are you? … what are you doing?… where are you going?… oh you must go here or there…do you know?… have you met … ?...how is … ? … Have you seen … ?” it hit me. Thank goodness for friends.
It is people – friends – who make this life we have chosen to lead so very, very special. Sure, we have wonderful, treasured friends at home, but these friends who understand that we survive and prosper only through the helpfulness, understanding and support of others are a breed apart. I know it is overly simplistic to compare ourselves to early settlers like those I’ve read about, but there is surely some degree of comparison. We absolutely could not lead this life were it not for the knowledge and encouragement of people we meet along the way. We need a mechanic? Someone knows of a good one. We need a haul out? Someone knows of a nearby yard. We need a leak fixed? Some one knows what to check first, or second or third. We need a ride? “I’ll pick you up” or “Here are the keys.” No matter how many glitches we may encounter, there will be friends to help us surmount them and to encourage us along the way.
We had a magnificent couple of hours with Ken and Connie – talking of our various plans for the coming season and remembering the friends we have in common. Chris and Peaches – I want you to know we thought of you fondly as we devoured a full bag of pistachio nuts!! We’ll try to emulate your hospitality as we stock these goodies this year.
We know that whatever our needs, there will be a friend to help. We know that wherever we go, someone will have been there before. We also know we can pass on the wisdom we have gained. We can offer our own help and support.
This day ended so very much better than it started. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks for helping. Thanks for being present.