Monday, February 25, 2013

A Good Old Fashioned Barter and a Fast Friendship

In the previous article I mentioned a birthday package left for Truman.  This was left by our camp neighbor Laura.  Now, we never would have even met Laura if a) we hadn’t moved due to the flood in site 1 and b) we hadn’t had a dog loving baby.  While we were consumed with inventing new ways to stay dry…the rain didn’t stop even though we moved the pop up to a new site, people we taking notice of our “vintage set up”.  We were surrounded by high dollar campers, fifth wheels and travel trailers…while we made do in our 1980’s pop up covered in tarps.
  One of the benefits of a low dollar, even lower amenity camp vehicle is that you are forced to spend your time outdoors.  We met our neighbor Laura because Truman likes dogs and Jumpin’ Jony likes anyone that will pet him.  Our baby and her fur baby wanting to meet gave her the opportunity to ask what the heck we were doing in a pop up in Alabama in February.  We briefly exchanged our stories.
 As it turns out, Laura had a pretty good story of her own.  She had been a salon owner in the town of Fairhope.  Unfortunately, a nasty divorce left her with nothing.  As a result, she bought a travel trailer and settled as a resident in Meaher. Though she no longer has a shop of her own, she currently works as a stylist in a local hotel salon.  In addition to her day job, she has also started a non-profit organization called the Gulf Coast Blues Society.  This organization’s focus is to keep Blues alive with an additional mission to promote music in education.  She is an amazing testament of strength and resilience. 
It may have been fate, but Brian had just commented on my need for a trip to the salon not more than 24 hours before.  I asked Laura if she had any availability in her schedule at work over the next few days.  She kindly said the salon she worked in was extremely expensive, to save my money, and she would do my hair in the campground for just $40.  This was a great deal.  We set up a time for the next day and each returned to our respective sites to continue on with our own days.
 A short time later she stopped back over.  She said, “I have a proposition for you.  I have a leak in my roof and I am afraid of heights.  Would it be possible for your husband to help me fix the leak?  If so, I will do your hair for free.”  Ah, the barter system…we love the barter system!  I checked with Brian and he said yes.  Truman napped, Brian fixed the leak, and I got the best cut and color I think I have ever had.    As far as we know, the leak Brian fixed has been water tight ever since.

The next day Laura was our personal guide to the hidden gem of Gulf Shores, Alabama.  This was Truman's very first trip to the beach.  She snapped some amazing pictures of all of us on the beach.  We left with some great family memories and photos. 

Brian and Truman feeding the seagulls

Sandy feet

New friends (Laura, Amber, Brian, and Truman) 
Amber and Truman


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