Over seven months had passed since our farewell meeting at summer's end. Although it was hot and humid that night, he warned me to wear jeans, long sleeves, and bug spray. He had promised to show me the Tree Bar he had built before I left for New York. So, with lanterns, we ventured into thick of the woods to close out our year of friendship.
Even though I've been back from the city since the end of December, the snow drifts along the shore deterred me all winter from making the quarter mile trek down to see him. But with the snow near gone, he reached out and inquired about me stopping by. So I did - as part of a negotiated business proposition. I agreed to help him clean in exchange for him helping me with some graphic design work for my book launch.
I arrived as he was finishing up his grill cheese sandwich dinner. I noted, "That's right - you typically eat about 10 of those. Wait, make that eight."
"Yep. This is number seven and number eight," acknowledging the two sandwiches on his plate, before digging in.
I quickly took note of a bowl of chocolate candies sitting in the middle of his table. "Where did this chocolate come from?" I asked. He explained that one of the other guys on the lake brought it over one day, and I started opening up a mini package of M&Ms, knowing he would never eat them.
"You can take as much as you want. I don't like chocolate." And I thought, huh, I already knew that - and I also knew his grill cheese sandwich count - so odd to me that I would know those little details.
He then inquired about the guy from Kentucky, and the guy in New York. And actually, to my disbelief, he recalled the actual name of the New Yorker. And that's when it hits me. We know each other oddly well.
We spent the next few hours cleaning and conversing, and at the end of the night he took me down into the basement to show me the project he had been working on all winter.
Last summer he had acquired a boat (as pictured above) that needed a lot of work. But throughout the winter months, he has refurbished it into something beautiful - that will hopefully stay afloat. ;) Through his care, and commitment, he transformed this boat that another neighbor no longer wanted.
verb renovate, restore, repair, clean up, overhaul, revamp, mend, remodel, do up (informal), refit, fix up (informal, chiefly U.S. & Canad.), spruce up, re-equip, set to rights