Friends- I can’t imagine not having friends. When I think of our boat and the little village of Oriental, I immediately associate it with all the people we have met here and consider our friends. Everyone in this small town is friendly. You can’t walk down the street here without someone tooting their horn and waving. You don’t need to know someone’s name to be friendly. I have trouble remembering names–always have–but it has become worse in the past ten years –but in this town no one seems to care. If you smile, wave, or chat with anyone on the steet or in a shop, then you are friendly.
Bryce will often ask me, after I have had a conversation with someone at the Bean (the coffee shop in town), “Who was that?” Well, I really don’t know their name, but I had a great time chatting, and I know that we will continue waving and chatting in the future. Yes, they have become a friend. Names are not important.
I remember people by what we usually talk about. There is the fellow who often sits out on the front porch of the Bean and always has something nice to say about anyone’s pooch. He used to have a little Yorkie like ours, but it died a while back. Now he takes delight in everyone elses dog.
There is the clerk at the Dollar General that never fails to wish everyone a warm greeting as you enter the store and always has something nice to say when you check out. Then there are two clerks at the West Marine in town who always want to hear about your latest boat project and what you are going to do with whatever you are purchasing. And the people behind the counter at Inland Waterway Treasure Company who always engage in a lively discussion of the weather, what’s happening that week in town, and latest news in the area. Yes, I don’t remember all the names (although I am getting a bit better over time), but they certainly qualify as friends.
And then there are the people who you see each week at the marina. Certainly the dockmaster, but also many of the other slip holders who you can’t help but run into (literally) at the bathhouse, the clubhouse, and on the docks. You chat about your boats, the weather, your boat problems (we all have them–something is always breaking or needing repairs), your future sailing plans, where you have been with your boat, and your dreams (which many of us share). Yes, it’s wonderful to come down here to Oriental from Cary (where you are a nobody, except for the few people you see at work and your next-door neighbors) and feel the warmth and friendliness surround you. I can’t imagine any other place being so chock full of friends!