grateful to have had my 2nd vax dose
knowing it’s not just to keep me well
but to give all who i may cross paths with
a better chance to stay well too.
“healing yourself is connected with healing others.”
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.”
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 easy comfort
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
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?”
image credit: the telegraph
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
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
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.”
image credit: supershuttle.com
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.
‘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.
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.
small world, Michel
Sent from my iPhone
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.
“this idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another – that’s what, in fact, makes life worth living.”