Neighbors 

Love thy neighbor as thyself. (Matthew 22:39)

Living on a boat, for the most part is a transitory and solitary existence. You may weigh anchor now and again, or tie up to a dock, but putting down roots doesn’t really happen. You get to know the harbor master and marina staff in passing. You have neighbors, but most are transients on their way to another destination.

At this marina, we do have some neighbors who make their home here. Three in particular have been friendly toward us, and we share greetings. Each of the neighbors are older men, who live on various types of sailboats. Two have a dog or dogs, and the other one does not. He used to be in the Air Force, and he retired from raising freshwater clams. I never knew there were clam farms. He shares the dock with us, and the other two live to the left of us.

Immediately to our left is the owner of Godzilla, a small terrier. And to his left is the owner of Gully and Murray. He seeks Les out for technology advice. Godzilla’s owner and I have small conversations about immediate things. The first thing he told me about was his kayak, which is made from a vinyl material that packs into a tote bag. He told me it was made in the 1930s. We don’t really ask them about their stories, but we exchange encouragements now and again.

Kokomo was a little skittish about getting off the boat, after falling into the water last week, while attempting to get off the boat. We had been cajoling her with treats to no avail. Les had to lift her onto the dock. She is very curious about our canine neighbors. 

So, one day when Godzilla and owner walked by, they stopped to let the dogs get acquainted. Godzilla on the dock, and Kokomo leaning over the edge of the boat. Godzilla’s owner said, sometimes it takes a companion to make us brave, meaning maybe Godzilla could encourage Kokomo to get off the boat. Nice effort, but it took a few more days before she would exit the boat of her own volition.

The other day, I fried up four hamburgers in our iron skillet for dinner. I kept thinking it would be nice to offer our neighbors to share a meal, but we each have our own schedule, and there’s no communal eating area. Godzilla’s owner was walking by, while I enjoyed my burger on the back of the boat, which faces the dock. I paused and asked what kind of day he had. He said good, and then asked me the same question. And I told him my day was great. And he asked me what made it great. I thought a minute. 

Frying hamburgers for dinner was great, I replied. And he said, that reminded him that he had some sweet potatoes to cook up for Godzilla. I said, would you like a hamburger. I have an extra one. He declined, and then said, well, if it would help you out, I’ll take it for Godzilla. I hopped up to get the burger, and heard him reply, well, maybe we’ll half it. Meaning he and Godzilla could share it.

Tonight Les and I were finishing up some take out from the Captain’s BBQ and Bait place, when Godzilla’s owner pulled up in his van. He puttered around, and then a couple minutes later was standing on the dock next to our boat, and threw me two clementines. I said, how did you know I wanted an orange. And he said, I must be telepathic. (And really, since we have been in Florida, I’ve been wanting an orange, but they are not in season yet.) As he walked away, he said, straight from Peru. Meaning the oranges, he just gave me.

That’s the second time this trip that someone gave me food. The first time was the M&Ms. I can’t say that I directly prayed for these food items, but I do believe God heard my desire, and sent these items as little reminders of His love. Do you ever notice God sending you love notes?

Another neighbor that I visit with every day is the beach. I think I was made for the beach. From where we are situated, I’ve mentioned I can easily access the beach to the north of us, and also to the south of us. I usually go to the south beach in the morning to read or to walk and to take pictures. Today, I went to explore the beach further to the south. As I arrived the sun was rising into the cloud filled sky, and the beach was filled with photographers.

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I walked almost two miles down the coast, but will have to go again because my phone died, which meant no photographs for me. I have a camera, but it was on the boat. As I walked back on the street side of the beach, I thought what did we do before cell phones!

When I visit the north side of the beach, I am compelled to take photographs of these rusty I-beams. I usually walk over there at dusk. Today, I went in the afternoon to see the structures in more light. I noticed that the one, which was bent over a couple days ago, now has both prongs pointing to the sky. My best guess is that the tide comes up and moves the rusty arms. (Les thinks otherwise. Meaning that it’s not possible for a tide to bend metal. He’s probably right.)

arm bent (front view)

arm bent (side view)

arm vertical (side view)

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The landscape is ever changing here. I’ve been walking past these green sprawling plants half my height for the past two weeks, and today, I noticed a huge bud on one, and an explosion of blooms on another.


What have you noticed changing around you lately? Any interesting encounters with your neighbors?

2 thoughts on “Neighbors 

  1. The culinary “love notes,” those almost-Stonehengeian, maybe-moving, deep-patinaed I-beams, that lily-ish beach flora unfurling from muscular buds—talk about fascination and discovery and pleasure! I’m finding it contagious. Thanks for sharing it.

    I don’t see neighbors where we live, but the late-autumn leaf show sure has my attention these days. And morning frost, its glittering striptease: lawn and leaf and twig . . .

    1. Laurie- love your lyrical reply! I can imagine the autumnal fanfare in your part of the world…no neighbors…sounds like a mystery in a remote location

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