When we decided to sell our home in 2008 in the midst of a recession, our friends Ron and Tricia tapped us to house-sit—for a year!
When we decided to quit the rat race and go sailing, Milltown Sailing Association in Everett, Washington, Northwest Women in Boating and Tightwads on the Loose: A Pacific Odyssey author Wendy Hinman shared their wisdom and offered their encouragement. Our financial planner, Aaron, helped us make it possible and continues to keep us on track through our transitions even now. Along the way, when we sailed from 2012 – 2017 the support of the boating community and folks we met along the way kept us buoyed in more ways than we can possibly mention, though special thanks go to the many kind folks from the Pearson sailboat forum.
When we sold our boat in Australia in 2017 Heather De Villiers gave us the documentation we needed to take advantage of the fair trade act savings. My friend Bertie in Jacksonville introduced us to her friends Helene and Stephen in Brisbane Australia who hosted us twice found a friend to buy our Land Cruiser we needed to sell before we left the country.
When we returned to the US, homeless, lost, unemployed, culture-shocked, and depressed, Wayne’s dad and his wife Gunnel provided safe harbor for longer than any of us intended. Then our friends Larry and Nancy gave us their boat, which we lived on for three years.
My friend Kate gently guided me through my last week with my mom. A friend and former colleague of Wayne’s landed us in Florida where I could be there for my dad in the last of his golden years.
Our friends James and Ellen frequently gave us a place to crash whenever we needed to in Portland as did Peter in Seattle. We loved catching up with Steve and Patty who generously put their stuff in storage to welcome us aboard in the San Diego area.
We bought our last sailboat, s/v Gallivant from friends Maryann and Don. While in the process of selling it, Julene let us house-sit, where we fell in love with her foster kitty, Shiva, who we since adopted.
On our recent fall foliage tour up the East Coast (still working on catch-up posts), Wayne’s friend Steve put us up in Asheville, we caught up with cruising buddies Scott and Kim in the same area, and Ann Gates graciously hosted us for a week at her place on the shores of Lake Ontario.
When we returned to Florida, we lived in an RV loaned to us for free by “Farmer Rick,” whom we’d never even met.
When our Florida flirtation ended suddenly, we needed a van quickly and badly, at a price we could afford. Maynard, who had a strong emotional attachment to his van, sold it to us after years of holding onto it. We feel humbled and will do our best to honor his lovingly cared-for van and take it on new adventures in the spirit of him and his wife Carol’s memory.
Our friends Chris(topher) and Chris(tine) never fail to offer excellent advice when we need it most.
These are but a few of the pivotal points in our lives in the last ten or so years where we found our way forward only through the grace of others.
The list is far longer of those who’ve earned our eternal gratitude. Thank you.
We hope to find ways to pay it forward.
May you find someone there to catch you when you fall. If not today, sometime soon, let them know how much of a difference they made in your life.
We are on the road. Today we shared Thanksgiving with a pleasant group of strangers who do not know and will not know of our recent travails. It’s exactly what we needed.