Saturday, April 6, 2019

Mindy-N-Me ~ The Gift of Time

From the moment I saw our villa online, I knew that it was the perfect home for us.  It is right on Bahia de Patillas where we spent time in 2016 and met our friends Don and Jan.  They were so kind to us back then, treating us raggedy Cruisers to the comforts and conveniences of home.  They opened their hearts to us and even let us do our laundry at their house!!!

We knew that if we bought this place, it would be our opportunity to pay forward the many kindnesses that others have done us.  Well, we've had our first opportunity to do just that with our dear friends Ron and Mindy on Follow Me!

Mindy was very apologetic about arriving the day after we dropped our previous guests off at the airport.  Of course we were tired, but we wouldn't miss seeing these two for anything!  It's a strange phenomena that occurs in the Cruising community... that of instant and lasting friendships.  We don't connect with everyone we meet, but when we do, we just know that it's a special thing.  That's how we feel about Ron and Mindy.

Just a couple of Cruiser-dudes, hanging out!
This wasn't a tourist visit.  These guys did that on their way east and south many months ago.  This was a Cruiser stop-over and a reunion of friends.  It was like we were never apart and we just slipped right back into the old conversations and caught up on things that had happened since we last saw each other.

Bruce and I were happy to open our home to our friends and share with them a little bit of the luxury that we now enjoy! We knew that they would be thrilled be able to sleep in an air conditioned bedroom with unlimited running water and laundry machines at their disposal, because that's how we felt when we first got here after being on the boat for so many years.  We want our home to be a place where our Cruiser friends can come and get a little bit of pampering in exchange for helping us feel that we aren't completely Cruiser Outcasts!

And of course we took them to our beach!

Without the need to go out and see the island, we spent our short two day visit just enjoying one another's company, cooking and dining out, and of course we made a couple of visits to town for some heavy duty provisioning.  We were happy to provide transportation and space in the SUV to pile in the loads of extra toilet paper and food and cases of beverages that are difficult to manage when your car is a dinghy!

Mindy's photo - I didn't take very many!
When all that was done, we enjoyed lounging by the pool

While we didn't expect any repayment for any of this, our friends took us out to a little restaurant that we've been dying to try... Chile Verde! It's a nice little place and the food is "Mexican" but not what we're used to back in the States... Still very good and the drinks were fancy!

Also Mindy's pic!  
Our last day together, they treated us again (wouldn't take no for an answer) to lunch at a little place on the water.  The food was simple and the restaurant was still rebuilding from the ravages of hurricane Maria, but the owner was super friendly and the company was the BEST!

At the time I took so few photos... I was just enjoying living in the moments we had together and trying not to think too much about the fact that we may never see these two again... I buoyed myself up with the reminder that we thought the same thing the last time we said our goodbyes. 

All too soon it was time to gather their laundry and groceries and take them back to their boat so they could continue on their journey.  I was sad to see them go, but excited to enjoy their travels to places we'll never go.  It's a strange feeling to meet up with people from our cruising life now that we're no longer cruising.  It tugs at my heart to watch them go, while my head says no... we're happy where we are now and this is where we're supposed to be.  

Ron and Mindy could have simply blown on by Puerto Rico on their way to the Western Caribbean without stopping... They need to be in Guatemala by the beginning of May and weather can play havoc with schedules, so they had little time to spare.  I'm just so very glad that they decided to stop by and bestow upon us the greatest gift there is... The Gift of Time.

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