We made a decent little chunk of money that will be helpful to purchase the paint for the walls, and the wood for the new piece I'm hoping that I will get for the kitchen.
What was more powerful to me than the experience of receiving money, were the little bits of wisdom that many of my supporters imparted on me during our brief moments together.
Filling my Cup...
When you tell people that you're doing something like we are hoping to do with Operation: Wanderlust, many of them want to tell stories about the journeys they've been on, the journeys of family or friends, the adventures they always wanted to pursue, or the closest experience that they can connect to our story. For me, listening to those people - really, truly, listening to them - is an energy fuel up. I know, sounds airy-fairy, but that's how I feel it. This one woman spoke with such palpable feeling about the travels she's experienced all over the world and especially to New Zealand, her favorite. She was wistful, but not in a really sad way, just blissfully wistful, if there's such a thing. I loved that. Another gentleman told me how he, himself had bought a camper, for him and his aging pitbull that he never had to put on a leash. He too was going to travel the country, pup in tow. Life got in the way for him, but I loved the small joy he got out of giving the dogs that were there treats that he always carried around, just in case he saw a pup. All of these people came to me, and filled my cup a little bit more. Gave me a little more umpfh, and a little more "We can do this."
This world can make it tough sometimes to feel safe reaching out to strangers. Because of this, it was only today that I finally met so many neighbors I never really talked to before. Like the guy across the street. We see them all the time, but just haven't had the right opportunity to connect. He came over in hot pursuit of our kitchen chairs. He said "It was serendipitous really, we just were thinking about how we should get some kitchen chairs, and when I looked out the window, and there were chairs." I mean, how cool is that? And now I have one more neighbor to wave to, smile at, and look after.
I learned a big lesson from my wife today too. I won't lie, I went into this saying "Gosh I really hope we do well" so I kinda had that underlying goal in the back of my head and although I was open to the stories, like I mention above, it hadn't occurred to me as naturally as it did she, to just give people the things they wanted if it seemed like they couldn't afford it. By the end of the day, aided by the notion that I was running out of time to sell anyway, I got it. And one by one, I felt the grace of generosity. We gave our Guitar Hero guitar to the little boy down the street who kept asking "How many dollars is this?" and then sighing when he heard the answer. We gave a bookshelf to the gentleman next door who just moved in, and just needed a few things to spruce the place up. He wanted to buy it, but when I told him the price he said he would think about it come back later. Later, I had realized what it was that was supposed to happen and watched my beloved home for my paper babies go to a good home. The lady across the street wanted to buy one pan for two dollars and I gave her three of them. She was excited about the muffin pan :-)
All in all, I'd say it was a success - in more ways than one.
I'll wrap this up, because I know I get long-winded, but you wanna know something really cool? Almost every person that I started talking about Operation: Wanderlust to said "Oh, YOU'RE those people! That's cool." and that was a surreal experience.
Thank you for all of your support, everyone.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - M. Twain