Life Lessons

I am traveling today for another day trip to LA. On my way to the airport I met this interesting man Richard. Rich, as he liked him to be addressed, drives Lyft ride share as a part-time hobby. Upon my chit-chat with him, I learned a few interesting things. The writer in me thought it might very well qualify for a travelogue 😄

He was in his late sixties. His charming personality made those wrinkles on his face appear insignificant. He loved to talk and was very friendly. Upon my enquiring, I found his main business was real estate. He had 3 properties by the shorelines, which he rent out to vacation seekers through the year. Some of the best beaches I have seen are by the jersey shorelines( a post for a later time 🏖😊). if you love the weather channel ⛈🌊 or were in the northeastern US in 2012, you will sure remember Sandy. It was a category 3 storm with wind speed of 115 mph and costed US about 68.7 billion dollars, fourth largest in the US history.

I was in NJ during that time, and it wasn’t pretty. Though I was about 50 miles inland, the surging wind roar was something I would never forget. I was lucky enough not to lose power and hosted my friends who were a little unfortunate.

I recalled shorelines were hit the worst. The houses were uprooted, cars floated in abundance and it was mayhem all around. So, out of curiosity, I asked whether he faced any trouble during Sandy? It seemed one of his house was by the waters, and during the storm it completely washed away. But here is what I learned – despite having flood insurance the maximum anyone got paid was 250k. Not a penny was paid to those who didn’t have flood insurance. I never knew flood insurance had limits 🤔. His house was a condominium so he fortunately was covered. I had not taken flood insurance for my houses 😱. His advice was no matter where we are located, we should always take flood insurance. Something I need to do when I am back from this trip.

Then we spoke about our families. He grew up in Brooklyn. If NY fascinates you, you must have heard about this place. Brooklyn is one of the most populous boroughs of NY city. B-Boying dance form was invented here. Brooklyn was known for crime in the past and he shared his experience of growing up in the area. He had one daughter, who incidentally lived a few miles away from where I resided. He then mentioned a very interesting thought. In the search of the most perfect husband, his daughter was still a bachelorette. I understood it was the father’s version and his daughter may have a different perspective. However, his words hit me hard, for most of us let go of the moments, people and sometimes love in search of the perfect universe.

The drive was uneventful and I reached the airport on time. With an advice to act upon and a lesson to ponder I am ready to spend my next 6 hours of flight time

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © Shantanu Baruah

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26 thoughts on “Life Lessons”

  1. Sandy is a storm I won’t soon ever forget. We lost power for nine days, and trees were uprooted all over the place. Cars were crushed from the weight of the trees. My office was closed that entire week that followed, but thank goodness we were all paid. Many co-workers that resided down the shore lost their homes, boats, cars, etc… One person was paid out for his losses, but never rebuilt down there again.
    I remember soon after the storm, we took a drive down there because we always spent Summers down there… I couldn’t help but cry by observing all the devastation that took place. Heck, people are still rebuilding down there. That storm packed a massive punch and left so many people wondering if they should move away after that.

    Liked by 2 people

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