This past weekend we had ample opportunity to converse with people we may or may not ever meet again, touching on several topics and yet not necessarily even exchanging names. YK was along for the ride (literally –we were on a boat) the second day and bore witness to the fact that her dad and I will strike up a conversation with anybody (as if she had never been with us in a grocery store). Throughout the weekend the common theme seemed to be “quirky.”
It is worth mentioning (according to me) that within a two hour span we had come across first a man and later a dog who reminded us of television series characters. It’s probably a good thing we dropped cable.
One of the folks we had the pleasure of meeting was the owner of a business in the other Portland - Oregon. He lives on the east coast. Sounds like a tough commute, hmm? We were surprised – and genuinely impressed - to learn that he bought the business a few years ago and did not have the heart to close the west coast office and transition the business closer to home. As he put it, “Twenty-four people counted on those jobs.” Wow. So that really still happens where people put the welfare of others first in the business world?
While cruising through Casco Bay on a mail boat run (a Christmas present from YK to her dad) we had a few unexpected encounters with fellow travelers. There was the "homeless" woman (her husband was nearby chatting it up with someone else) probably five or ten years older than us, vacationing in Maine for the month of August while their house in Florida was being built. She told us they had put their Virginia home on the market anticipating a time frame of three to six months before they got a nibble. Instead they were reeling them in on the first week and had a cash offer in their pockets in no time. Thus the “homeless” situation. Part of me wanted to mock her 'loss' - they had to cut their regular three-month stay in Maine to one in order to get to their new home - but I liked her too much!
Then there was Gizmo and his family. Gizmo was a very small, very adorable dog - I’m going to guess Pekingese - nestled on a blanket by his owners’ feet right inside the cabin of the boat. The husband (Gizmo’s dad) was a friendly, talkative sort (who just happened to remind us of a guest character on NCIS). Gizmo was originally a shelter dog that had been abused, rescued, and then "inherited" upon the passing of a family member. Dad (formerly not much of a dog person) admitted that when the rest of the family wasn't around he would coo over Gizmo with the best of them. I have to say that picturing this guy who could have been a linebacker in his younger days, talking to a dog like a baby when he was alone was a pretty funny picture. The wife (Gizmo’s mom) was quieter (not that Dad gave her a lot of 'ins') but also friendly, and she lit up when she talked about their daughter the pageant winner. She showed us a photo over which we oooh’d and ahhh’d appropriately (really, the girl was stunning, and it was kind of cool).
As dogs seek out other dogs - even on a boat - we were soon introduced to the curious bark of what definitely could have been the descendant of Paul Anka. Not the actual Paul Anka, obviously. I mean the dog on Gilmore Girls. If you’re scratching your head trying to remember a dog on Gilmore Girls (and if you have never watched Gilmore Girls I’m not sure I can be your friend), it was one of the last seasons of the series when Lorelei adopted a dog with strange habits and rituals and a shoe fetish. The black lab mix we met refuses to go up or down more than four steps and is afraid of feathers.
I rest my case.
What I found fascinating this past weekend was that most people we encountered had some pretty interesting stories (even the dogs). It made me wonder… what’s interesting about us? The list is somewhat short and still under scrutiny, but here goes nothing.
Both S and I are the only left-handed children in our families, and OK is the only right-handed member of our little family. Come on – that’s kind of interesting.
We are the proud (cough cough) owners of a hovercraft. I might have mentioned this in past blog entries… though it may have been referred to as an eyesore or even a planter. Still, it is a different sort of item to own, I would think. It isn’t working. That wouldn’t be the interesting part, I suppose.
My mother, OK and I were all operated on by the same surgeon - in two different states. This is nothing to be hooting and hollering about (surgery does not tend to be a happy thing) but it is a tad unusual. It’s a long story and I wish you would stop walking away as I try to tell it.
We have won hotel stays and airline tickets. That in itself sort of pulls you in, right? The fact that we used them before they expired is the real fascination.
S owns a 1968 Ford Torino, parked on the side of the garage. It isn’t working. I know this shocks you.
That’s about all I’ve got at the moment. Ironically, the weekend people we shared time with deemed us interesting enough to talk with for more than the requisite three minutes about weather, even without any of these compelling topics coming up – amazing!
There is one more riveting fact that will no doubt make you feel complete.
Today is National Left Handers Day. Party on, people. Party on.