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    Intergenerational Sharing

    June 21, 2016

    When I left the library, I decided to call my couchsurfing host, Anita.  I had sent her a text earlier that morning (later realizing it was her landline that received my text message). 

     

    I wondered why she had not returned it?

     

    Rather than jumping to conclusions, I nervously called. 

     

    Technically, it was around noon, so I thought it was not too early to invade her home. 

     

    That is one concern about couchsurfing: you never know what time is too early or too late. 

     

     Spanish moss along a nature trail

    located near Anita's home.  

    Needless to say, my worries were allayed when I heard the warmth in her voice.  She insisted I head over immediately and offered directions. 

     

    I arrived without any hitches.  Did I mention the overcast skies had disappeared, too? 

     

    As I was turning a corner, I could see Anita waving me into her place. Following a brief introduction to her neighbor, she showed me her spacious, artsy, uncluttered villa.  It was wonderful to be in a stationary place and comforting to know that a stranger was looking forward to spending time with me. 

     

    She showed me where my room and bathroom were located while simultaneously preparing her jasmine rice and crock-potting some beef and broccoli.  

     

    We began with her life story.  She shared many memories from her 75-years.  Children, grandchildren, husbands, careers, travel experiences, and just life in general.  Little by little, I shared mine.  

     

    Interesting isn't it?

     

    How much one can go on and on with a complete stranger.    

     

    Despite having very different backgrounds, despite being raised in different generations, we had quite a bit in common.  Like me, she is one of four daughters; like me, she loves adventuring; like me, she enjoys discussing politics.  

     

    I guess that's why they call it the human experience.  

     

    The more you share; the more you learn how alike you really are.  

     

     

    While I could go on and on about Auntie Anita (she'll pick up on that reference), I would much rather keep the experience I had with her to myself.  

     

    She should remain a mystery.  Not just to you, but to me, too.  

     

    Sort of like those beautiful flowers you see on the left.  

     

    I have no clue what sort of classification these blossoms are, nor do I wish to copy and paste the photo into Google to find out.

     

    Let these flowers remain a mystery to me.

     

    Obviously, they were stunning enough for a photo-op.

     

    Do they, too, need a back-story? 

     

    The more telling part of my experience with Anita was how important it was to share -- not just with people one's own age -- but with people across generations.  

     

    Sharing is one reason why she opened up her home on couchsurfing.  Sure, she could make a lot of money on airbnb.  Her proximity to Tampa is reason enough.  However, she chose to offer it free of charge for people like me.   

     

    A complete stranger open to sharing.  

    Until we meet again, my friend.  

     

     

    [Thank you to the Coastal Region Library in Crystal River (and more specifically to Aaron) for giving me extended Internet time to create this blog post.]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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