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The Kindness Of Strangers


It’s Wednesday afternoon last week, and we’re on our bicycles, taking in some Finger Lakes Wineries (and their wines) with Noel on the back of the one bike, growing thoroughly bored with it all. Normally he’d go down for a nap round lunchtime, but the lurching of our alternating bike riding prevents him getting nice and cozy in his special baby seat, and so he’s now tired and cranky. The beautiful Seneca Lake is continually in our sights as we ride along, and at Fox Run Vineyards we ask if they know of a public access point. They suggest a road a couple of miles further north, but when we ride up there and turn into it we see that, like just about everywhere else on the ride up, it’s a closed community where densely packed houses front onto private beach property. Noel is now going ballistic as we cycle out of the community towards the main road, and so Posie asks an old man cycling back in if he knows of a public beach or viewpoint nearby.

“No,” he says. “It’s all private lakefront property here. But why don’t you come to our house and be our guests?”

And so we did. The old man and his wife brought out water shoes for Noel and sandals for Posie, told us about their many many grand-children scattered around the world, talked lovingly of holidays in England, Wales and Scotland, and then left us alone and read their books on the lawn as Noel played lazily in the water for long enough to cool off. We thank them for their hospitality and trust it can be returned some day – if not to them, then to someone else.

The view across Seneca Lake

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