Grateful for Friends

Happy Thanksgiving! In reviewing last year’s Top 5 Gratitude list, not much has changed (and I still believe Gratitude is where attitude matches latitude). This year, I want to call out to some of the unsung “people around me”: my Snipe friends.

This is how many friends it took to load 9 Snipes and all their equipment back into the container, after the Worlds in Ilhabela, Brazil.

It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to write such a specific a thank you post if something hadn’t happened last week; my Snipe, along with eight others, got unloaded in Miami from a container that had recently returned from Brazil. (Writers, note the passive voice; it’s not a coincidence.)

You may remember the gold-medal loading of this very same container, way back in August. Folks following along on Facebook might also have seen the photo above, shortly after it was taken in mid-October (the morning after a Brazilian dance party). When we closed the doors, we each were wondering when we’d see our boats again—and whether they’d need any repairs after a 3000 mile journey that would begin with a steep climb up a winding mountain road.

The container was shipped back to Miami, but until it cleared US customs it was impossible to predict when it would be available for unloading. Despite the uncertain timing I planned to be there, to make sure my boat had survived the journey and to help load it back onto the Frankentrailer; my schedule is usually flexible enough to allow for a quick hop to Miami.

But when the email arrived saying the container would be unloaded a few days later, I wasn’t able to drop everything here in Rhode Island. In addition to the usual constraints—promises already made to clients, the expense of last minute plane tickets—I was playing nurse to Paul, who’d had a complete knee replacement on Veteran’s Day. He’s doing great and getting stronger every day, but for once my husband needed my help more than my boat did.

Enter: friends. There were, after all, other sailors who were equally invested, and a group of locals rallied for the dirty, sweaty work of unstrapping and untying and loading each boat onto its more usual road transportation. That afternoon, the report came in: Container unloaded, all is well. I can’t even tell you exactly who got the job done, but you know who you are: THANK YOU! The closing chapter of the 2019 Worlds adventure has finally been written—without me.

It takes a village to go to an international Snipe regatta, and when I’m reunited with my boat next year I’m sure everything will be fine. What I’m not sure of is how to best repay the kindness of having the right people cover for me just when I needed it most. From each according to ability… to each according to need. My gratitude list is even longer than usual this year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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