Editor's note: This is a reprint from a September post on 1000 Islands River Rats Now and Then, hosted by James R. Miller.
Before writing this post, I discussed it with JR and with the other person involved. This is a truly River story.
Some of you know me because I take so darn many photos. Certainly not as many as our host but I do my best to photograph the river often before anybody has had their 1st cup of coffee.
This past summer I was looking at my 1959 Lyman and thinking it would be nice not to go out in the early morning alone and it would be nice to share with people who may not have had this opportunity before. That’s when many of you may have seen the posts where I extended an invitation for anybody willing to be at my dock by 5:15 AM to go out on the river in the dark and watch the river come to life as we meandered around slowly in Bottoms Up.
A few different groups of people got to do this and it made my day as well as theirs to make new friends and to have people experience the calm and quiet river from a different perspective as the sun came up.
One morning included a woman, her daughter and her husband, and Meg Meakin who I knew only through Facebook, ship watchers and this site because of photos. It was nice to meet them all. We had an unbelievable day starting in the dark and with no wind. It was going to be a perfect morning for a sunrise. I’m sure we posted a couple pictures. By 7:30 AM we are all back at the dock and saying goodbye. That was that. That is until I received the following thank you note which showed me the power of this Facebook page, the River, and of doing things for others. I would like to share that thank you note with everyone and this is with the permission of the author.
“Hi Doug, I just wanted to thank you SO much for such a wonderful sunrise boat ride last week. We were so grateful for your kind hospitality. We had such a wonderful time. It is so nice to see the river from a new perspective. You have such a beautiful boat and we enjoyed you and Megs company."
Then she went on,
"I wanted to share something with you. Responding to your offer is probably something I would not have done in the past. But, last year I lost my 29 year old son. I am still struggling with the grief. Recently, I have been trying to break out of the rut I find myself in. I have decided to step outside of my comfort zone . . . and, responding to your offer was my first step. And what a payoff! I enjoyed myself immensely. I cannot thank you enough for having the kind, giving soul that you do. When you said 'I just want to share this with others' I was so moved by your kindness. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a true River friend. I am sending a few pictures along..”
This took my breath away and really got to me. I shared this with JR to show him the power of his site and the positive impact it has. We thought it was worth sharing because there is such a good message here. I asked the woman in question if I could share it and again she blew me away with her answer.
She said, "My thought was just maybe it would encourage others to share the River with more people and that it would encourage people who are struggling, or dealing with a situation that’s difficult, to step outside their comfort zone and do some thing for themselves that could be positive and healing."
Her thank you note inspired this post. Her answer to my inquiry finally got me moving to write this post.
“ I think that would be great. I was so grateful for the experience. And it truly was a healing experience. I would be honored to think maybe it would encourage someone else! That morning was meant to happen. Powers way beyond us helped in that. I am forever thankful for your kindness”
Last week I sold Bottoms Up to a gentleman who can properly keep it in a boat house where it belongs. Something I didn’t have, was a way to protect all those restorations from the elements. The boat has returned to Round Island where it began its life and spent over 40 years. Everybody is happy including Bottoms Up.
The moral of the story is you just don’t know what people are going through and doing something small for others can have a major impact on them. I am so glad that my small gesture had such large impact. There’s a lot to be said for reaching out and this woman proved to me there’s a lot to be said for stepping out and moving forward. That’s a lesson I needed as well.
We are both grateful to JR Miller for a wonderful site and for meeting because of it.
By Doug Tulloch
Doug Tulloch, retired realtor spent most of his career in Park City, Utah. He was originally brought to the River in a bassinet. Even living in Utah his summers were spent at the River as much as possible returning permanently in 2012. Hobbies include boating, biking, travel and photography along with a litany of motorsports. He is the founder of the Park City Turkey Drive, 1000 Island’s River Santa and cofounder of Thousand Islands Charity Poker run. [Note see "A Big Shout Out to Doug Tulloch," January 2016 TI Life.]
Posted in: Volume 16, Issue 10, October 2021, Essay, Sports
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