HELPING – not nearly enough

As most of you know, I have been traveling the last couple of months by bus and stopping at different locations to participate in workaways or work exchanges. The idea behind this is to exchange several hours of work each day for room and board. It has worked great thus far and I have met some wonderful people along the journey. I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made and the experiences I’ve obtained.

I am now doing a very short workaway with a wonderful couple, Michael and April (and their visiting daughter Alyce), who live along the banks of the Tennessee River near an area called Sugar Tree, TN. They were kind enough to come all the way to Nashville to pick me up on Monday and are driving me all the way to Jackson tomorrow morning.

They have made my stay here most enjoyable. They have taken me on hikes and a boat ride. I even got to kayak for the first time ever. They have a beautiful house with a stunning view that I am free to enjoy. I have my own room and bathroom. I can use the laundry and the whirlpool and the TV if I want. They share wonderful meals with me and plenty of delicious wine. All of this they give to me, and what do they get in return? Not nearly enough.

I have helped a little – in very small ways. I’ve done the dishes and helped with cooking. I even helped a tiny bit in the garage. But that’s about it. That’s all I’ve done. Granted I’ve only been here a couple of days, but still… I should have done more. I am feeling a wee bit guilty.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not pushy. I will ask if you need help. I may even ask several times. But, I will not force my help upon you. At this workaway, I was treated as a guest. The help I did offer was accepted with graciousness, but it did not seem to be expected. I think the Goode family was simply happy to have a new face around. They were delighted to hear some new stories and get a glimpse into a very different way of life. I’ve enjoyed the brief time I’ve spent with them and am grateful for their hospitality and kindness.

Michael told me today that the only selfless thing he’s ever done was the one time he filled up his rental car with premium gas before returning it. Funny, but not true. Opening your home and your lives to a complete stranger on very short notice seems like a pretty selfless act to me, don’t you agree?


Thanks for reading!


6 responses to “HELPING – not nearly enough

  1. sounds perfect! you are fortunate to meet a nice family and I’m sure they are happy to have your assistance. any chance you can visit Nashville? It’s a great city!

    • I did get to visit Nashville for one night. You are so right – it is a great city. I love me some good old honky tonk music. Yes, I was very fortunate to meet this family. I really enjoyed talking with them and sharing my experiences. I hope the feeling was mutual. – Rene

  2. Hi Rene, I’m pretty sure you were probably more help than you think you were. The pigs say hello, I’ve given them a bigger area and in spite of how much they talk back to me, most of them are starting to enjoy back scratches! I am starting to believe they might not eat me should I fall in their pen, they might even drag me to safety! We have a new helper arriving any day now from San Francisco, looking forward to her arrival.
    I’m enjoying your blog very much and love pictures, I get to travel through you. Cheers.

    • Thanks Karen. I can’t believe you are touching the pigs willingly. I guess it’s good that you don’t think they will eat you – a little piece of mind… I hope things go well with your new helper. Another American, lucky you. – Rene

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