This word keeps coming back in waves at me, but I think at the heart of these ruminations, is the pleasant surprise that all the world around us is a learning experience if we take time to let those experiences sink in.
Several examples of some wonderful encounters need explaining…
I love the fact that most people fear riding the buses on DART – it seems this is so but I have learned so much about Delaware FROM riding the buses in Delaware – riding the buses before in Mexico so much opened my eyes, yes, to a culture and people not experienced from the windows of a taxi, and the same can be said as I came back to Delaware and making a comparison to the bus experience of public transportation in Delaware.
I realized, that there are many individuals that have experienced jail time, bail time, and other encounters with the law that ride DART – which that statement might not encourage people to ride DART, but I have to say, I have had positive experiences because of it. True, the correctional facility in Georgetown is along the way and an official stop for route 212 from the Service Center in Seaford. This fact, the first time I rode the bus in the wee hours of the 5AM route, to get the express route to Lewes, to make it to summer training for the AP Institute in Lewes, well, to be honest, terrified me. I saw the penitentiary looming ahead and I thought, “My gosh, I am one of two people on this bus, and there is a crowd of say, (looking at the upcoming stop) –at least twenty workers/aka current inmates coming onto the bus for their work release time- and that would be every seat filled here – gulp – this was a terrifying realization not knowing what the ride would be like – and sure enough bus loaded, but the ride was anything but boring. “How much time did you have left?”, “She expectin’ me to be at work at 9:00 AM and not lose my job when they do not release me until 10:00?” “How will that work?” , “Tom caught smuggling items put him right back for another year…” and well, you get the idea. I sat there like a Gringo in Mexico, only on the bus listening and taking this all in. But somewhere along the line –
I began developing an interest in these lives, these stories, so far out of reach of my own experiences, and here I was – seven years later, on the way to Fenwick Wednesday to stay overnight with my cousins. I now am looking forward to that experience heading to the penitentiary – but no takers for the stop this late in the afternoon (11:00 AM!) – yet – not to be forgotten –
I start to tune into the story across from me – a member of a fishing vessel that goes out to sea 20 days at a time – begins to unfold his story that he came back after his last tour and turned himself into the magistrate due to an outstanding fine. This has a lot to do with the fact that anyone that is guilty of a crime on a fishing vessel – if convicted while on the vessel and docked – the vessel will not be allowed to leave – hence since his pay averages about 14% of the catch – around 850.00 a day – it was in his best interest to take care of any obligations that would barr him from his job – a job he could rely on. All this so far has been acquired from the 5 stops so far on DART! As we moved along, I realized how this individual spends winters in Cancun fishing, that due to the high mercury count truly we can only handle ounces of raw fish in our bodies a YEAR – opposed to the Japanese who have a natural metabolism not confined to this restriction – the 121 pound crab caught many years ago off of Ocean City used for one of the President’s inauguration, to the 24 foot white shark this man and crew had caught last year – then the processes that go into the process of being a day worker on a vessel – 150.00 a day, compared to working your way up from a percentage earning vessel member – from 8% to 14% – and making the $850.00 a day for 20 days – knowing there are only two main places that really serve fresh sushi in the Ocean City/Delaware area – to how sea going fisheries preserve the fish on deck from deck to delivery – exporting per pound is much more profitable than domestic supplies – now after all these details and realizing this man missed his ship out – due to the fact that he turned himself in to pay his fine – how would and could you learn all this – when you hold expectations on others – and refuse that experience?
I found it interesting as he had a phone of 9 numbers, all vessel captains, and hoped he would be able to catch one of the vessels that needed another individual that might have not showed. As I was ready to leave, there became one captain calling back saying he needed no one at this time, but he had 8 more possibilities. I couldn’t help but feel privileged to be a part of this conversation.
I realized that trying new situations would reveal doors I never knew existed – as I walked off the 208 bus in Fenwick, I realized coming back I was still learning much about myself. Thinking I knew what groups of people were best to associate with I found experiences were still changing for me.
Fenwick – so far visiting Bethany, Rehoboth, and then Fenwick Wednesday evening was – unique and awesome. Seeing and feeling the wind that has broken since the massive heat wave last year – as well as the cool events of getting into water that towered over 5 stories high, possibly the hardest and roughest I have been in – sleeping on the beach with the relaxing saltwater tides coming in and out – the advent of kites in the night sky with glow sticks to track them – feeling the wind move over you in the night along the water – and the smell of the coast during your waking moments, going to bed, and enjoying that last swim – summer is magical – and the feelings of these inspired moments – are worthy of a blog because they allow us to look back and realize how important things are that we often overlook… I think I love Fenwick as much as I like Bethany. Eating at Ledo’s bringing back the memory of when this used to be in Seaford, now in Fenwick. The salad and pizza was AWESOME, !!
A sidenote – seeing the show “Can You Cook” on television, I was shocked to see the location of Oaxaca as the place of the competition! I recognized the courtyards, the church, the local Mercado! I was like – “ I KNOW THAT PLACE!”
I find myself a little filled with anxiety in the days coming up to reducing my possessions to a smaller storage space – but yet it will feel as another level of responsibility is being removed from my shoulders! It is exciting to see so many days filled with unexpected surprises, and that’s right, most of them are right before our eyes free for the taking…J By the way, there is NOTHING, NOTHING like sleeping at night to the waves and tide going in, and waking up to the same – Fenwick is a magical place! Thank you Roger and Lois!
Harry—-you crack me up—-you take life’s experiences and make the rest of us seem very boring—LOL! Now listen—Gene drives a Dart bus—and there is one example where the buse’s populatlion is NOT like those you mentioned—are you ready?—-he drives the Dart bus for the Senior Center—Ha-ha! Love you Harry—wish I could go on that road trip with you. Can only imagine the stories you’ll have to tell after that! Barb