There are ways to thanks friends. A card, a 12-pack of beer, a ride to the airport. Common place, really. Can getting your own blog entry, which the friend will probably never read, count? We'll see.
We (my family) have the fortune of owning a boat. Not a yacht. A boat. 13 foot whaler, a floating brick. A money pit. But its a boat. And it spit the bit today. The boating season (who knew...there is a boating season) ends shortly up here in New England. If you wait 'til the harbor freezes over, you waited too long to pull your boat. So today was the day to get our third child out of the water. We were all present for the big day, primed for one last family adventure, one last excursion onto the big, bad ocean. And the boat wouldn't start. Nothing. Nada. Zip. We know shit about boats, except ours needs gas, its small, and it costs a lot of money to operate. Money we don't have. But its a boat in a place where having a boat is synonymous with having a house. But it won't run today.
But my friend, he loves boats. Being on the water for him is relaxing. He likes fiddling with cables and gear and massaging cranky boats into life. Me? If I could sink my boat outside the harbor and not get caught, I would do it. So when we tried everything we could think of to get the brick to run (which admittedly isn't too much), we called our friend. Could you give us a tow? I'm quite certain he had a nap all lined up this afternoon, but instead he hauled his ass into his boat and came to the rescue.
No, we were never in danger. No one was gonna get hurt if our boat sat in the water another weekend or three. Realistically, we would have been out five hundred bucks and been anxious until our little hobby was safe on land in our driveway. But he hooked up some lines and tied some knots and spent his whole afternoon bailing us out of a jam. And he was glad to do it.
Above and beyond the call of duty. A day wasted saving his buddy's pride and bank account. And what did he want in return. Not a damn thing. So he's getting a blog entry and a fifth of Maker's Mark. And what did I get? Sure, my boat is in my driveway, for which I'm grateful. But really what I got was affirmation that moving to my new home was the smartest and best thing I've done in years. I got a reminder that friendship isn't about cards or gifts or even witing an essay, but rather about something much less quantifiable. I was reminded today that friendship shows up when you need it the most and expect it the least. Today it showed up and turned a bad situation into a memory.