I invited Bruce down to watch the competition with me but then realized that I had some other stuff to take care of so told him I'd possibly meet him here. Bruce is my new neighbor; a Vietnam Vet out joy riding on his motorcycle and living the good life. His wife passed away about 16 years ago at the young age of 49. She was his childhood sweetheart, he told me, and they had three children and six (I think) grandchildren. They were together for 30 years until one tragic day at the beach her heart heart out on her. I asked him if it was hard coming to the beach after that and he said it was
for a while, but that at some point, you have to choose to shrivel up or go on living, and that's what he chose. I told him how sorry i was and that it takes a lot of guts to learn to live again after something like that.
His story seems so sad, but he seems like such a happy fellow. He's such a kind man. I pulled across from him after I decided to move sites again and he asked if he could lend me a hand. I told him I hated to ask anybody but if he wanted to, I'd sure take it.
Poor Bruce didn't know what he was getting himself into.
I wouldn't even have considered moving again, especially with my little near heat stroke episode the previous day and the beautiful view that Michael & Annette helped me achieve; however, when you're a woman camping on your own, it's important to pay attention to your intuition. After all the surfers bolted, the campground was near deserted, leaving me with only two fishermen near me. They made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, so I decide I should probably listen. Truth is, the thought of their potential creepiness is what made me not sleep moreso the previous night than being awoken by my other neighbors. It kinda hurt my pride to tell Bruce that, so I just told him that I wanted to be near more people since I was camping alone, and he seemed liked good people.
Bruce helped me haul my tent gear up the hill to the new site. He held ole Kelty steady as I put her poles together and put her up. The wind was not quite as ferocious as it was on the beach earlier yesterday but not too far off. I put some stakes in the ground so he could let go and left the rain fly for later after I went back to the old site to get the mosquito canopy. I told Bruce thanks, that I appreciated his help but he said he'd hang in there with me. In fact, he said, why don't we just use my truck to get the rest of your stuff if that would be easier. I know it makes some stomachs drop to know I said yes, but I did because it would be easier.
I should have said yes when he asked if it would be easier to pull the solar shower out if his truck bed. See, I have a hard time accepting help. I don't know why, I like to help people, but when the tables are turned, I feel like I'm bothering people. I know I need to get over it, and maybe one of these days I will. Until then, I'm constantly trying to make it easier on the people helping me, which just ends up making it more difficult in the long run.
When we got to the old site, Bruce said, "Geez, you've got a lot of stuff!" "I know," I said. "if you can just hold the mosquito net while I break it down, I'll come come back for the rest." "No sense in that. We'll just get
It all." I sucked up my pride and said, "okay, thank you, Bruce. I really appreciate your help! You probably got yourself in for more than you bargained!". Luckily he didn't mind. He didn't have anything else to do and probably enjoyed the company as much as I did.
Just now a crab popped his head out of a hole on the sand. I turned to take a picture of him and he flinched, back into the hole. I threw a little twig down after him. Mean, I know, but I wanted to see him again.
Once again, he held the net as I took it apart, disassembling poles as he could simultaneously. We put the net in the truck, and of course, he ended up having to move the solar shower bag anyway so the stakes wouldn't pop it. One of the fisherman from next door walked by and asked Bruce how the Eagles did because he saw the license plate on the front of his truck. The guy didn't sound so creepy as he seemed earlier, but still, I was glad for my decision.
We loaded up the rest of the stuff and headed back to the new spot. We climbed up the hill and once again, Bruce held the net to keep it from flying away while I put it together. The whole time, he told me about how he had helped his daughter build her log house that was put together with wooden pegs...I can't remember what kind of construction he called it. It sounded beautiful with 18 foot high ceilings and huge windows. Sounded like my kinda place. I went on to ask him what branch of the military he was in. "Air Force," he said. "My dad was in the Air Force, too, during Vietnam. He built generators or something like that. We don't talk about it much."
By around this time, the net was up, the stakes were in so, once again, I thanked him graciously for his help. He said no problem and that he was glad he could help. I asked him if he liked brussel sprouts. He said he didn't know, he had bever tried one. "What are they?" he asked. "They look like little cabbages," I said. "Tell ya what, I'm going to cook some to go with my leftovers. I'll bring some over so you can at least try them." "Alright he said, that's a deal." Earlier, he asked if I ate meat I told him no. He told me he had a big steak waiting for him back at his camper and was going to offer me some if i wanted it. I told him I was having leftovers, but didn't offer any because I didnt feel like having the vegetarian/fake meat conversation with this guy. Brussel sprouts seemed like the best I had to offer.
I finished tweaking my tent and net and started supper. Bruce yelled from across the way that he threw his steak away because his fridge had gone out and he didn't trust it. He offered to take me to dinner but I told him "thanks" but I had already started cooking. I offered to throw together a pot of spaghetti but he said he had some other things he might throw together instead. And he did. He put on his "cooking hat," which was this fuzzy topped tennis cap that cracked me up and made some beef stew. As promised, I took him over some brussel sprouts. I told him that if he liked them, great, but if not, at least he could say he's tried them and that my feelings would not be hurt. I just hope he didn't think of them as punishment!
I slept like a baby last night.
The crab just came out of his hole holding my twig. He swiftly threw it on the ground next to him as if to say, "damn tourists. Hmmph."