|Misty morning sunrise in Winthrop Harbor|
However, after living a pretty "normal" life in the city of Chicago for the past 5 years I guess I have somehow forgotten the lessons learned in travel. Just like anything, it is so easy to immunize yourself against these simple kindnesses and the profound impact they can have. It's particularly easy when you live the "daily grind" in a major city where you a) don't know your neighbors b) see homeless people in various stages of 'crazy' going through your dumpster daily and c) avoid smiling at anyone or saying "hello" to people on public transit because you just don't do that here.
This project has changed all that. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, said one day after a great day of work, "Britt, there is something about projects that I love. They just...bring people together. Everyone loves a good project and having their little stake in it". And he is right. We have been so humbled by the kindness of people - friends, family, strangers and even some strangers who have become friends. There is Jim, who out of the goodness of his heart helped us do so many boat projects (including sailing our first leg with us!)...then his brother, Mark, who after having known us for under 24 hours, showed up at our boat the next day with 5 awesome flashlights for our boat (the kind that get mounted to the wall - fyi, boaters...get a few of these! Makes finding a flashlight when you need it SO much easier)...And then Gina, with her awesome little kit of boat-appropriate goodies...there have been so many people who have been so kind and so thoughtful, it almost makes my little sappy self burst into tears of joy.
And now, as we depart - we are getting loads of emails from all sorts of wonderful people from all over the place offering help here, a dinner there, drinks here, a bed there...so many fantastic offers by fantastic people that we are creating a map so that we don't forget to call them all! How awesome is that?
Anyway, to all of you - THANK YOU - we wholly appreciate all your support - be it with labor or a cold beer, a kind offer or a laugh...
That movie "Pay it Forward" (though I never saw it) certainly had a point. Kindness truly does beget kindness. We are going to make sure that the buck doesn't stop here.
Brittany & Scott