Surfing Through Some Wonderful Encounters

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 6, 2017

Years ago, my dad and brother went to Mexico. One day, they were in the nearest town for supplies when my dad ran into a woman in the grocery store who gave him a recommendation on mango juice. They chatted for a bit, then said their goodbyes. Later, they were in the parking lot, and the woman walked by. She noticed his license plate, and they discovered that they were from the same area of islands in Canada, though she had been living in Mexico for several years. So they exchanged contact information, and my family returned to camp.

A couple weeks later, my brother was surfing on his short-board. During a wipeout, his board went between his legs, and the fin sliced his calf rather deeply. Someone in camp bandaged his leg, while another fetched Dad from out in the water. Dad threw his mattress into the back of the truck, loaded up my brother, and drove to Guerrero Negro as fast as he could (which couldn’t have been at all pleasant for my brother, considering it’s a one- to two-hour trip, 30 minutes of which on a very bumpy dirt road).

Eventually they reached town and got him to a doctor, at which point Dad called the woman he’d met at the store to help him with translating. When she arrived, all the work had been done, and Dad wasn’t sure what to do about payment. He had her ask about it, and according to her, the doctor laughed and asked, “We charge for this?”

Afterwards, my dad returned to camp while my brother stayed with the woman and her family, since it seemed cruel to have him lying on the beach, watching everyone else in the water, doing what he couldn’t. He was with them for a month, and made good friends with the daughter, who was about our age.

Dad stayed in touch with them over the years, and a decade later, I went down with him and got to meet them. When I mentioned the story to the daughter, she was really surprised about how it happened. Apparently, my brother told her he was attacked by a shark, and she believed it right up until I told her otherwise.

Projecting A Sales Career

, , , , | Related | August 27, 2017

(My five-year-old daughter and her three-member troupe of Girl Scout Brownies are set up selling cookies. It’s been a good morning; they’ve sold quite a few, and the following happens. A gentleman in a business suit stops on his way out of the grocery and states very firmly to my daughter:)

Man: “Little girl, don’t even try to sell me any cookies, I am diabetic. Do you know what that means?”

Daughter: “Yes, sir, I do. My grandma and my daddy are both diabetic and can’t have sugar. But, does your wife like cookies?”

(He stops, and I can see him fighting a grin, he finally breaks and says:)

Man: “Yes, yes she does. Two thin mints. Here’s a twenty, keep the change.” *to me* “Mom, here’s my business card, when she gets about 21, I have a job in sales for her!”

Dancing Until You Cry

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 29, 2017

(There is a great local band here that is hired by a couple of outdoor venues several times a year. They play 50s, 60s, and 70s rock and have a very large following. At their concerts, the audience ranges from 2 to 95 and a huge percentage of the audience will get on the dance floor at some point. My daughter has some cognitive disabilities but absolutely loves rock music and dancing. She will recruit random strangers to dance if a song begins that she particularly likes. At one concert, we are sitting in the middle instead of up front. A good song comes on, my daughter hops up and grabs the hand of the elderly man sitting beside her. I try to pull her back at first but the woman sitting on the other side of the man waves me away with a smile. The gentleman obliges and they both begin to dance in the aisle. The woman scoots over to me.)

Woman: “I’ve been trying to get dad to dance all evening. Your daughter has quite a touch.”

Me: “She’s hard to say no to. He doesn’t have to dance to the whole song. I can rescue him in a minute.”

Woman: “That’s fine. He is slipping away from us. He’s always loved music so we came out tonight. He’s been enjoying himself. He’s smiling more tonight than I’ve seen in long time.”

(The song ends and the woman and I get up to collect our dancers. The man put up his hand.)

Man: “Wait. One more.”

(He took my daughter’s hand and they danced to the next song, too, both smiling ear to ear. I looked over at the woman and she was wiping away tears. That made me tear up.)

Me: “Look what you’ve started!”

Woman: “Your daughter is an angel! I can’t tell you what it means to me to see dad not only smiling but dancing.”

(Our dancers finally sat down but they held hands for most of the rest of the concert. My daughter gave her partner a hug at the end of the night and his daughter hugged me so tightly I thought I’d lose my breath. I haven’t seen them at a concert since but I always look. My daughter still grabs strangers to dance with. People hardly ever say no.)