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Dear Friends,

 


The Mayan ruins of Tulum at the Mexican Riviera, which was one of our stops on the Western Caribbean Holiday cruise.

 

Who has heard the saying, ”the Lord works in mysterious ways?” I think it is fair to say that we all have. Regardless of your specific beliefs, the universe does seem to conspire to resolve situations in such a fashion that you could not imagine. Such was the case with my recent trip to the Caribbean. As promised, I have a story to share with you.

 

For me, 2018 was a good year. I have my health and I am able to continue doing what I love, which is painting and meeting people. My fall touring season was a wonderfully busy time, but when it came time to rest, I was more than ready. My daughters Patty and Mary, along with Foundation office manager, Mary Morgan, planned a New Year’s getaway onboard the Nieuw Statendam, the newest ship built and run by Holland America. Len and Pat Tobin of Travel Leaders were the organizers of this trip. You may remember their names because they are also the ones who put together the Quilt Camp at Sea that I so enjoyed. I was really looking forward to reuniting with them as well as others that I had met on previous cruises. Our cruise was scheduled to depart December 30th from Port Everglades, Florida and the voyage was to take us around the western Caribbean.

 

My daughter Mary and I arrived at our Fort Lauderdale hotel on December 28th. The warmth of the Florida sunshine and the salt water breeze had an immediate restful effect. After all the rain in Virginia seeing the sun again was like a reunion with an old friend. We settled in to wait for Mary and Patty to arrive on the 29th. Their drive from Virginia was arduous as they encountered numerous traffic delays and had to contend with rain for half of the trip. They arrived smiling and tired and on time.

 

Pat and Len Tobin made dinner arrangements at the hotel. We were all eager to meet our fellow travelers and we enjoyed a lovely dinner in a private dining room. Nine o’clock rolled around and Pat T. announced that she needed to finalize some cruise documents. About that time my daughter Patty went pale. It just dawned on her that Mary Morgan’s, as well as her passport, didn’t make the trip. So now we have a big problem. Remember it is 9 pm on a Saturday of a holiday weekend with a cruise set to depart at 4 pm the following day. What to do?! A quick call to Holland America confirmed that the ship could not be boarded without a passport.

 

While the internet is a wonderful thing, it does not take the place of experience. Some information is hard to find, especially if you are rattled. Mary M’s brother was able to provide her with a phone number for same day air Fedex where you could speak to a real person. It took 2-1/2 hours to put a plan in motion that would retrieve the passports. Instrumental in this process was Lori Hudgins, Moss Portfolio employee and longtime friend. She was to pick up the passports at Patty and Mary’s home and bring them to the Portfolio for a Fedex pickup. Here’s where the story gets miraculous. At 12:30 am Lori was driving through rural Mathews County to retrieve the passports and she came upon a big lump in the middle of the road. As she cautiously went around she realized it was an injured woman lying there. She stopped and lent assistance until help arrived. While we do not know the woman’s situation, we do know that she lives nearby. She had suffered a head injury and was disoriented. Lori saved her life. The emergency crew that arrived said that she would be okay.

 

Lori gathered the passports and turned them over to a Fedex agent at 2:04 am who drove them to Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. This is normally a 3+ hour drive. The passports then left Washington at 7:38 am aboard a United flight bound for Miami. This carefully crafted plan took into account flight times as well as airport cargo closures and holiday schedules. Another agent acquired the passport box and drove them through the harrowing traffic which is a constant of south Florida. They arrived at the hotel at 3:08 pm, allowing just enough time for my emotionally weary travelers to get to the cruise ship terminal. Upon arrival to the terminal, a pleasant Holland America employee greeted them with a jovial where have you been? They boarded the ship at 3:45 pm. Isn’t that just the best story?

 

For 2019 I see this. The power of us all working together can do great things.

 


Arrrr, meet my pirate crew! Joining me in this photo (L to R), Ann Wampler, Flo Graham, Patty Moss, Mary Morgan and Mary Donnelly.

 

Until next week,

 

Love,





 
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