Category Archives: connection

frozen journey, warm heart.

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RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau stands next to Ranger Gary Bath,

Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault

and Tim Marchessault near the U.S.-Canadian border crossing. (CNN)

CNN reports a story that’s sure to warm your heart:

There’s nice, and then there’s Canadian-nice, which sometimes involves driving a total stranger, her two kids, a pair of elderly dogs and a cat named “Midnight” more than a thousand miles through a snowstorm to another country.

It all started because Lynn Marchessault and her family needed to get from Georgia to Alaska, where her husband is stationed at the U.S. Army base – Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

So Marchessault packed up all their belongings, bought a truck that could handle Alaska winters, rented a U-Haul, and made plans for a cross-country family adventure during the balmy days of early fall. But, 2020 happened.

Marchessault waited months for the travel documents that would allow her to drive from Georgia, through Canada and up to Alaska. Due to the coronavirus, Canada had instituted strict guidelines for Americans traveling through the country, en route to Alaska. By the time she got things in order, her September road trip was pushed to November. Besides the restrictions placed on her by the Canadian government, she knew she’d have to keep up a good driving pace to avoid the worst of winter weather.

The first 3,000 miles of the trip went well. They entered Canada through Saskatchewan. Border authorities checked Marchessault’s paperwork and warned her to keep to the main roads and stop only when necessary for food or gas.The family would have to order any food to-go, even at motels they stayed in along the way. She was allotted five days to drive through Canada and get to the U.S. border in Alaska.

The farther north they traveled, the worse the weather got. Marchessault, who was raised in the South, encountered her first winter white-out conditions. Then she ran out of windshield wiping fluid, slush covered her windows, she couldn’t see to drive, and her tires seemed to be losing traction.

Gary Bath, a Canadian ranger from British Columbia, whose job includes training members of the Canadian military to survive the Arctic, was at home when he saw his friend’s Facebook post about the stranded American family. “A lot of people were wanting to donate money or saying they wish they could help but no one was able to get off work or be close enough to go do it,” Bath told CTV News Channel on Friday. “So, I talked to my wife and we decided that I would drive all the way from Pink Mountain to the border.” Bath says he stepped in to offer the family a helping hand because “it was the right thing to do.”

“It took us two and half days, but for me it wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “I love driving so what a great way to see parts of the country that I haven’t seen in a few minutes.” Marchessault says that she and her family are very grateful for Bath’s help and says that they intended to be lifelong friends. “We’re hoping that when we do leave Alaska some of the COVID restrictions will be lifted by then because we would stop to see Gary and his wife on the way through and just thank them again for what they did to help us,” Marchessault added.

credits: CNN, Martha Shade – CDV News, Den Lourenco

“unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

-bob kerry

coffee talk.

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nothing like a bit of coffee talk between friends

to restore your balance and make for a great day. 

 

 

“as long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

-cassandra clare, City of Ashes

 

 

 

 

art credit: ryan conners, painting, midsommer 2019, cat art

warmth.

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when in london many years ago

i happened upon these two in a park

struck by the natural warmth between them

i took this picture without their knowing

hoping i could somehow capture

the closeness 

the easy comfort

between them

in that moment in time

 it was simply impossible to do so

but every time i look at this

it makes me feel that warmth again

just for a moment.  

 

“there is a certain phase in the life of the aged

when the warmth of the heart seems to increase in direct proportion with the years.”

-john phillips marquand

happy hour.

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i expect this to be our look on day 3.

we began a virtual family happy hour

on day 1

we all looked pretty good

some having worked online that day

some in self-quarantine

kids and spouses and pets in and out

on day 2

one of us was in a sports bra

one of us was wearing the same shirt from day 1

there was a spill

looking forward to day 3.

 

“why limit happy to an hour?”     

w.c. fields

 

 

image credit: the telegraph 

nailed it.

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I stopped by a new nail salon on my way home from school today

where I met a nail tech from Cambodia 

 we had a bit of a hard time understanding each other

but had a mostly unspoken friendly rapport between us

the rain started pouring down really hard outside

I noticed I was the only customer in the whole salon

and the hallmark channel was on 

showing holiday tv movies

with subtitles

the whole staff was watching

I had come just in time for the last 15 minutes of the current movie

where the man and woman met again

right before she was almost leaving town to go home forever 

and he had decided to stay and not go to the big city

a special dog was found, it was Christmas Eve, in a small town,

with a big misunderstanding, the whole town was at one event

 somehow it all suddenly came together and worked out

and as the final scene played out on screen

my nail guy stood up smiling and nodding with tears in his eyes

looking around at his co-workers and down at me

and it made me tear up and smile too

as we had found our common ground.

“anyway, stories bring us together to find common ground, to find our way through life together, or just to entertain us, and I am just thrilled to be a part of that process.”

-dorothea benton frank

 

 

 

image credit: pinterest

lift.

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had to catch an early morning flight

out of the little village of new york city

super shuttle came to the rescue

arriving right on time at 3:20am

picking up 6 other people along the way –

2 young women speaking korean

1 southern man speaking with a heavy twang

1 set of parents who giggled and hummed along with the radio

and their two year old boy 

who yelled out ‘woah, man!’

every few mintues for no apparent reason

making everyone laugh over and over

couldn’t have had a better crew to send me off on my way

what a lift.

“i love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.”

-gina bellman

 

 

image credit: supershuttle.com

shared humanity.

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in yet another amazing case of serendipity

i was recently at school (in the united states)

attending a professional development session

with colleagues who were describing a wonderful project

they had undertaken with their students.

during the last school year they had worked on design thinking projects

intended to help our world’s environment in some way.

throughout the process

the teachers provided the students

with a wide range of sources of information having to do with their area of interest.

during our seminar, they passed around some of the sample articles they had used.

imagine my surprise when reading the random article that i was handed

and i saw the photographic credit on the back page

realizing that i had a connection to it.

it read:

‘michel porro – getty images.’ 

michel porro is a long time friend of mine who i happened to meet

when we were both working at the world cup in my city 24 years ago.

michel, at the time was a photojournalist from the netherlands, stationed in hong kong, working for reuters, and covering events all over the world. i was in advertising, taking time off to working in the media tent for the duration of the event. we met there and continued to run into each other in a variety of places, though we never had the chance to meet up outside of a working situation, try as we might.

we finally had the chance, and it was the last night before he was to leave. unfortunately brazil won, causing a chain of unusual events, that led to our last chance to meet not ever happening.

since that time, (24 years ago), we’ve stayed pen pals, and followed what’s happened in each other’s lives. i wrote an earlier blog about our long distance unlikely long term friendship and the link is below, but i’ve somehow lost the photo part of the post.

https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2014/06/22/what-a-wonderful-thing-is-the-mail-capable-of-conveying-across-continents-a-warm-human-hand-clasp-author-unknown/

upon seeing his name again last week, i texted to tell him about my surprise. he texted back surprised as well. our paths continue to cross in the most interesting ways.

B Kennedy
to Michel pastedGraphic.png

small world, Michel 

Sent from my iPhone

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Michel Porro

to me pastedGraphic.png

Wow Beth, that is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. Boyat (the subject in the photo) is a quiet man with a big mission.  I met him twice for 2 photoshoots.

How are you doing? I’m in Italy at the moment. The world is a turbulent place isn’t it?

You do good work.

Best

Michel

“this idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another – that’s what, in fact, makes life worth living.”

-clint smith