You know what they say about plans …… When the column I planned did not work out, I was thinking about other stories for Finding Paradise, and there are many more to tell, but I found myself reflecting on a recent personal experience that reinforces why Puerto Peñasco is paradise to me. .
To me that paradise is more than about the physical appearance of a place, it is about the spirituality of a place. The spirituality that is the people. In my case, a large part of what makes Puerto Peñasco paradise is the wonderful people that I have come to know. The people who are my neighbors; the people at my church; the business people who provide me with helpful and supportive service; the people that serve those in need in our community, the restaurant and food stand owners who provide such wonderful food; the shop keepers that help me with what I need for my home; the medical and dental people who care for me, the construction people who are building and maintaining my house, the people in the various social organizations that I am affiliated with and, foremost, the people who have become my friends through these business or social contacts.
Two friends, one a full time Puerto Peñasco resident and the other one who visits 4 times a year, were on their way back to Puerto Peñasco from a 3 day trip to Phoenix had an accident north of Ajo and were airlifted to the trauma center at Good Samaritan Hospital. What followed is the very definition of why this is paradise to me. I received a call from the trauma unit, the ladies were very upset because their dogs were taken from the accident scene and they did not know where or how they were and there was perishable food in the car. I knew a couple who lived in Ajo, and used to live in Puerto Peñasco. I called and asked for phone numbers, they were able to help me and assured me that I should contact them again if I needed anything else and, of course, to relay their prayers for recovery.
After taking care of all the preliminary things, I sent an email to our mutual friends to let them know what had happened. One of the ladies was in charge of a social event the following week, which I said I would handle. The morning of the event, I received a call that the restaurant owner’s family had also had an emergency and they could not open for us to hold our event. I telephoned another restaurant owner and told him our story and of course, he rescued me and, with only 3 hours notice, set up to handle 25 women for lunch.
Then the emails started pouring in, everyone wanting to know what they could do to help. Friends offering to drive to Phoenix with me when I went to see my friends and pick up one friend’s dog. Offers to keep the dog, offers to check on her house and to bring food or do her shopping or help care for her in any way she needed when she returned and of course praying for her speedy and complete recovery. Several went to the hospital in Phoenix and brought her snacks and books. A friend did drive to Phoenix with me to get her dog, another friend did check on her home every day and when I brought her home, friends were there to unload the vehicle and help get her settled and another friend brought dinner.
The other lady in the accident lives in Phoenix. Her husband has the dog and she is still in the rehabilitation facility. He was shocked at the caring expressed by his wife’s friends in Puerto Peñasco. He doesn’t spend as much time visiting here as she does so he didn’t know many of these people. Friends unloaded her RV, took care of the business with the office, and put the RV back in storage.
At the hospital, staff and other patients could not believe the degree of caring expressed by their friends in Puerto Peñasco. What a testimony to the true spirit of this paradise. These ladies were the best ambassadors you could find by letting lots of folks know what a truly special community we have.
I’ve heard people say that, although they have friends where they lived before, the friendships developed here seem to develop faster and to be deeper. They say we truly take care of one another, and all feel so blessed that we live here.
AND THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF PARADISE!