An SOS To The World ~

As a believer in strong communications. I have used several mediums to send written messages to  this end all my life. Well, at least as long as I have been writing, and although unable to be my reality  I actually do not remember not ever writing.

Today sending my own hand made greeting cards, has been another way I love to communicate that “I am thinking of You” to those in my life. There was even a time when I was known to send flat smooth shaped rocks,  I would use embossing powders and stamp one word messages: Balance, Dream, Energy, Bliss, It was a really an enjoyable way to communicate on occasions, surprising people with an odd message was great fun. and  hey, it was the 1970’s. I soon realized however that the rocks were costing me more in postage than I was paying for just stationary and the concept of free was soon lost on me. Family and friends were thoughtful and kind enough to see them as gifts, and most rocks are still in use by my family & friends in their homes, & offices. I even spotted one in a daughter’s purse. Good friends are hard to find, and when they look past any eccentricities cherish them always.

The most different way that I have used to send a message was in a bottle. Literally. I also had no clue who the marooned intended islander would be, which this made the experience even more fascinating, Maybe even with a sense of wonder I went into this. Whoever happened upon the bottle would be my recipient. I loved the randomness of it.

The idea that I would finally set sail a message in a bottle was born out a conversation with my friend Lynn on my 39th birthday. Lynn is one of the other three Dirty Mother;s in my life. who I have been friends with since we were babies. We rarely missed sharing birthdays with one another while our daughters were growing up. A perfect justification for girlfriend road trips Not quite Thelma and Louise, but close.

The thought of sending a message in a bottle actually became more than an idea and a plan on my 39th birthday, sitting crossed legged in the sand on a favorite stretch of a quiet Oregon beach. After years of saying I would one day send a message in bottle the plan was put into slow motion. We discussed what we would be doing on our 40th birthday’s. Lynn born in the summer of 1955,  I the spring, We had been celebrating one another birthdays together for a couple of decades already. It soon become our plan that I was going to set sail a message in a bottle to commemorate my 40th birthday. Same friend would be along, same Oregon beach, Why would we change something that had worked for us for 22 years? We made our bi-annual pilgrimage to the beach on my birthday in the spring  and hers in the summer.

After sharing a bottle of Oregon wine  from the Nehalem Bay Winery as we were picking up the trappings of an impromptu dinner it occurred to me that I had no need  to wait until I was 40 yrs old to set a message sailing. I had a perfect vessel to set sail right there and then in my hand. The Oregon Pinot Noir empty wine bottle There were certainly no rules about sending a message in a bottle that I was aware of,  and I was not tied to it needing to be done on my 40th birthday. I really just wanted to send the message via a bottle for its ship. My 39th birthday was a fine and  suitable excuse.Send my 30’s decade sailing was a perfect sentiment. I have loved things that are serendipitous all my life, so why not just go with the spontaneity of it?

With the help of a very kind woman at the hotel we were given paper & pen as well as a candle. I had no clue why I would need a candle. It had to be explained to me. I learned that the candle was to seal the bottle and its cork with a water tight seal  to keep it from filling and sinking. How brilliant people are! “Someone has obviously done this before me.” I commented out loud to the hotel desk clerk. I think she was simply humoring me because she just smiled an all-knowing smile and politely said nothing.

Writing my message was simple and to the point. I simply said who I was, why I set sail this message, the date, from where the vessel parted ways with land, and my own home address. Rolled up into a tight cylinder the paper message slid into the neck of the bottle just fine and unfurled itself  a bit inside to round out and fill the belly of the bottle. Placing the cork back inside the lip of the bottle and  over old newspapers we dripped the hot melted wax from the lit candle to seal the seam.  We let the seal dry, and repeated the process a total; of three times. All the while Lynn & I are speculating how far the bottle will get before being found on shore. Japan  Maybe? We occasionally will find glass floats from Japan our shores so it was a possibility.

The hardest part of it the whole experience was getting the tide to take the bottle out to sea on the other side of the break. The bottle kept coming right back on to shore in front of my feet,  every time we attempted to throw it out into the ocean as far as possible.  It was never far enough.. Even with this part of the Oregon coast being notorious for “Under Toes” this message in the bottle returned to the sandy beach over and over. Lynn and I were both becoming more frustrated by the moment seeing it roll back onto the beach. each time we launched it. Now what? In mid March the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean on the west border of the state of Oregon is typically no warmer than just above freezing which is not conducive for wading past the ankles. Even for a couple of Oregon girls. The beach quiet and pretty deserted this time late afternoon in March.

Heroes come in many disguises, Walking out from the tall sea grass which hides the parking, carrying a  surf board came a tall lean kid with a healthy tan and long har. He was not a Oregon boy with that tan. Maybe he was just an illusion?  Oregon does have its rare surfer despite the just above freezing water temperature and we seemed to be in luck this day. A young man who very much looked like a California boy ( later learning  he was ) who we learned had been watching our struggles from his car. I imagined him laughing from his car but that was not where i was going.

This young man became my hero for the day.

After a very brief few words from my newly proclaimed  hero, the surfer took my bottle tucked it under his chest between himself and his board and he paddled his way out past the breaking tide into calmer waters. As he started paddling  out faster we could see him look over his shoulder, maybe judging the distance from shore. He finally stopped, seeming to like the spot, he looked back at the shore line,  gave us a high thumbs up sign,  then pitched that bottle as far as he could throw. I lost in sight of it. We waited for him to ride a wave back to where we’re standing,  the three us watched and waited for the message in the bottle to also come back  ashore. yet again.

My message in a bottle was on its maiden voyage.

( Of course I could not resist this song )

I thanked this kind and thoughtful young man. My message in its bottle was really now on ts way.

For several weeks I watched the mail every day hoping for some kind of word. Nothing came. Life soon took over all other abstract thinking which this had been certainly. I soon just chalked it up to a great experience  a fun afternoon, something Lynn and I enjoyed together, then I  shined on whether I would ever know where my message landed or mot. I got on with life, or it got on with me.

It tool almost 9 months for me to receive a reply, but I did . My message was found on the coast line in southern California,. The receiver, a young woman sent me a small note via the US Postal Service but she respectively declined to divulge her real name or home town.  I appreciated this, I really just cared about knowing was where it had landed. This I knew was on a  beach in San Diego California. From Rockaway Oregon south to San Diego California in 9 months.

The “marooned islander” who received my message gave me so much more in her note she sent then a geographical location. Ironically (or maybe not so much) this woman had done a similar thing in her 20’s while on her honeymoon. She said sadly they never did hear about their message being found and it had always stayed with her that maybe one day she would still hear something.  She shared with me that when she found my bottle it was such a strong connection for her but she thought  her friends must were actually playing a trick on her. She could not believe this was a genuine message that she happened upon.

Then she shared with me in her own letter the most awe-inspiring, and astonishing  piece of personal information. Paraphrasing; her letter; she  explained briefly and without any details that her marriage had ended just 6 weeks prior to finding my message in a bottle.  The letter went on to tell me that although she had never found where her message went that she had sent,  but she knew now that it was meant all along for to find my message. Me message, she shared with me had set her heart free. She knew “from that point on she was going to be okay.”

All from one little communication sent in message in a bottle?

Communications may be the most powerful expression of love for one another we have, Have you reached out and touched someone lately with a letter, a note, or maybe even a message in a bottle?

Go on, go ahead and do it today. Some one  there waiting to hear from you.

©tjhelser2012

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40 thoughts on “An SOS To The World ~

  1. Toni, this is an awesome, awesome tale.

    Firstly, I do wonder what happened with that woman’s message, second, I love the gorgeous surfer who came out of nowhere and tucked your message under his arm & sent it on its way but most of all – my gosh, the connection between you. Absolutely awesome. Truly awesome. And she was set from. This is just plain old life in all its purity.

    Great post, Toni.

    • Thank you Noeleen. Your words of praise very meaningful to me, you are such a talented writer. I am always in awe of what you say.

      I have always wondered if this woman had ever heard about her message. Lots of scenarios pop into my mind. And yes the strapping young man was a delight. That he even had spied us and what we were doing amazed me. He was an astonishing beautiful spirit too. .

      Her story resonates deeply with me. Thanks my dear friend, I always am touched by your visits.

      • You’re so lovely, Toni. I like your new gravatar, too. Where did the feet go? hee hee!

        I loved this adventure, this day you had, and of course the result. I really really enjoyed this post – it was very basic barefoot down at the shore, casting messages out to whomever’s hands were fated to receive it, whereas so many posts are about cooking and traffic!

  2. Wow!
    What can I say?
    Astonishing story indeed!
    Communications certainly are very powerful expressions of love.
    The lady who happened upon your message will certainly cherish that moment forever.
    You’ve got such a beautiful heart that reaches out and that certainly makes you unique and special.
    I am so glad that your creativity and enthusiasm are paying off positively. It is good to sieze every moment as an opportunity to make a soul breathe easier.
    Keep up the good work, my dear friend!

    • ” It is good to seize every moment as an opportunity to make a soul breathe easier.”
      Your words always touch me so deeply Tee. Thank you much mu dear friend, You are the epitome of a graceful friend ~

  3. what a beautiful communication. From the young hero who set you bottle on its journey to the woman who received it at just the right moment. When we send light out into the universe, it goes on to bless the receiver as well as us. namaste.

    • Hello Stranger!
      Joss, it is SO GOOD to see your smiling face adorn my blog page again.
      I think of you & your Crowing Crones often. Knowing I missed out on being part of the Crone’s has never settled well within my own heart. I j hope you and everyone is doing well?
      Thank you for your lovely comment, part of what I have missed about you. These people will forever light my memories with good feelings towards them and human nature in general
      Sending you back a shining Light Joss, to shine directly over your own heart
      Thanks again for stopping by, hope to see you again soon. ~ BB

      • I’ve been thinking about you and came looking. Ever since I switched from email notifications to the reader in WP, there are blogs whose posts I’m not getting. The Crones are well. I’m starting up a new blog – only one post so far but you might like it. ccwow.wordpress.com

        • Oh Joss you delight me!! Thank you I understand about the email alerts. i am just coming off a 10 black -out of my all my email alerts I finally just changed email accounts. Can I ask you if you are using Hotmail? It was my issue apparently because once I used another my inbox was flooded. This was per WP support too.

          I am grateful to you for sharing your new blog, am on my way there now I know there will be no question whether I want to follow or not. Of course I will!

  4. Hello Baroness! I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. I hope you will accept. My acceptance of the award begins tomorrow and my questions for you should you choose to accept come out on Sunday at Reinventing the We’ll

    • Hello Jillie! How wonderfully kind you are!
      I will gracefully and with much humbleness accept an award fr om you. You honor me and I am touched to tears by you. Oh My Pj.

      You have made my Friday a day to celebrate your friendship. which has become a significant one in my blog world, You lift my spirit in ways that make my heart sing. Like today I celebrate you my friend~

  5. My Dear Lady, I imagine it was then, worth the wait as you did more than merely communicate. You touched the heart of someone unknown yet, someone so close.

    You gave someone an opportunity for song over tears.

    I’m sure there could have never been a better conclusion. A memory for a lifetime.

    You brought someone in as a friend but, if only for a moment, and bet she’s never forgotten your friendship if only, for that moment.

    Cordially, I Remain….

    • Hello Grooviest,

      Thank you Dave for your most charming comments, this one is no different.

      The timing of the whole journey was written long ago on the life lines involved. I was just another player in the theatrics of living life. An idea sparked an action which resulted in a loving and kindness unknown to me prior.

      I am still grateful and humbled by the whole experience today. It has stayed with me always reinforcing that we are never alone here, and that if we just reach out and touch another soul it will shine a light on our very own.

      I love what you said about bringing someone in as a friend if only for that moment, it is reciprocal in that I was truly blessed by this woman’s act of reaching out and touching my soul right back. I will always be connected to her in some way.

      Love to have your most welcome feedback Dave, keep your light shining today and always ~

  6. My dear BB — what an important message, in such a beautiful story, about which you’ve written in a lovely way. It lifted my heart just to read it. Thank you for the reminder you give, and for being the wonderful lady you are. Love from your bloggy little sis!

    • Thank you Judith!!
      A firm believer that talking is never over rated. it is through our communications we share how much we care about one another. Thankfully we do not have to guess.
      You say the nicest things to me Jude, communicating feelings is an important human factor. Love right back to your own heart ~

      • Thank you, sweetie! I had gotten to the point where I barely interacted with anyone. Then I started this blog. Now I have a host of friends, of which you are the very best! Love you, big sis!

        • I do understand about shutting down. We soon lose the art of conversing I found, I saw that even saying hello was awkward for me, and that is not who I am.
          Feeling alone when there is a world there wanting your company is not a good feeling.
          Reaching out and touching someone emotionally is a responsibility I never take lightly. I believe completely I was made for challenging people who have tuned inward. Which is why i had to have my own experience with it to get it.
          We are not a species meant ever to be alone despite that solitude is also a necessary component to a balanced life.

          I know there are those who for whatever reason will always remain just acquaintances, and I am most grateful for these people too…..
          …This blogging community has blown my mind and my heart away more than a few times, I have met some of the most charming people who I invite into my heart because they have affected me so.
          Anyone who takes the time to comment on what I write,. and do some connecting and bonding is a unique experience for both of us, one that i am unable to exclude anyone from . ~ the honor is all mine

  7. A fascinating story! I always wanted to send a message in a bottle, but never did. Now I’m too old to go to the beach and I live in mid America, far from the sea. And, yes, communication is so very important. The best part of the story, of course, is what it did for the person who sent you the letter. What a great experience!

    • This was absolutely one of the top highlights of my life to be sure. Than j you so much oldsunbird for coming by, taking the time to read and then leave me a comment on your thoughts I love that it spoke to you. Please come back ~ BB

    • Oh My! Great video, Love the connection. My Kind Sir.
      .An artists I did not know and once again you have opened a new door.
      Thank you for this, and for the continued great sense of support you give me.
      You are the greatest best friend Gerry a Baroness could have.~

  8. What a great story. I didn’t know Oregon was on the coast! My knowledge of American geography is zlich 😦

    I did ‘guess the record’ with Partner, and it took him two whole der der der der derrrrrrrr ders before he got it! They are fast chords though.

    I never liked it originally, thought it was too repetitive.

    I used to work in Wallsend where Sumner came from.

    ooops getting distracted with music.

    Great to do something like send a message in a bottle 🙂 Just, wonderful. And I adore the rocks, what a beautiful idea. I love rocks, pebbles, shells, – and a personalised one? I would have saved it too. How totally thinking you are, well outside the box and in a special way 🙂

    MS

    • Thank you MS Coming from you weighs like gold in my mind.

      I was actually thinking about whether you and Partner would do the name that tune with this, and I somehow knew you would kick his der der der’s all the way to this tune. Just because of it’s tempo.

      The Police are not a band I was ever into albeit Sting doing solo has caught my ear a few times. Saw him do a James Taylor tune acoustically that struck a deeply held chord.
      It was the conception of the lyrics to Message In A Bottle that I chose this tune, only. Could not thing of this post without. I agree it is much too repetitive, the refrain I could only hear once and it was enough is enough kind of thing. Again. I also feel it was my much too commercial for my liking.

      Not to worry MS about not knowing anything about Oregon – We have those who live on the East coast of our own shared country who think w in Oregon are still driving cattle through our main streets of our towns.
      (We actually only do that once a year) 😉

      You are going to tell me MS that you too collect rocks, shells, dried plant pods, and little natural elements? So like this Oregon girl does as well.
      Is that not what pockets are made for anyway?
      You would maybe like the Della Robia Wreaths I create with all natural items like pine cones, un-shelled nuts,sea shells…. you get the idea;

      Good seeing you again ~ You bring a fun spirit to my blog MS that I appreciate completely~

      • It’s been a name the tune night, played it over on Cyklopps with Lennon too. 🙂

        I’m not into Police either, although they were around in my university years. I probably liked Roxanne better.

        It is interesting however, to live somewhere where famous musicians come from – Liverpool and Beatles, Newcastle and Sting, Dire Straits (who I do like), Batley, Robert Palmer. etc etc.

        Ha! We have goats, horses, draught oxen down our streets in Spain all year round. We are much more hick than Oregon!

        Yes, I forgot to mention that I do have some pebbles/rocks in my bathroom, and some shells 😉

        Nothing special, just, they came from somewhere, ended up in my pockets and then in my bathroom 🙂

        • I so want to come and hang out at your home and play Name That Tune with you all. 🙂
          What fun!

          Every time I hear Roxanne I see only the comic/actor Steve Martin doing a parody of the song on television show called Saturday Night Live.
          i could never take that song serious.
          My music collection is heavily influenced and filled with music from bands of the UK, many from the very areas you mentioned.

          I do say My MS that your Spain certainly makes my high desert look like a big metropolitan City. Love the sound of such a colorful community.

          Your Bathroom? This will not surprise you as it did not me,the surprise to lean about where you keep your rick finds. is that this was not a surprise. My main bath is done in everything sea. All the blues of the ocean and the tans of the sandy beaches. The personal things are the rocks, shells, & lighthouses that decorate the space. Small world, yes?

  9. Omg Lil Sis, what a wonderful story. It must have been such a joyous day when you got an answer to your message in the bottle. This is truly a cherished memory in your life, such a treasure.

    I too had the thought of “Time in a Bottle” as I read your story.

    Love and Blessings ~ Maxi

    • This has been some time in coming telling this memory. You and life in the 50’s and Beyond both touch on Croce’s Time in a Bottle that has too personal & significant meaning for me to have used it here. I was telling that the guitar chords are printed and framed on my bedroom wall.

      My friend Lynn & I have many like event happenings in our 57 yrs of knowing each other. Our most wicked times were when we would take those Gal pal road trips to the beach.

      Thank you Maxi My dear Big Sis. Love, hugs, & Blessings from your Baroness sis. ~

  10. Oh I loved where this story went… it gave me goosebumps. Since I live smack dab in the middle of Ohio messages in a bottle are not something I had considered although I could throw one in the river I guess.
    I have had several communications that while at the time seemed just casual, turned into something more… something that was meant to be. I have considered blogging about these, but haven’t; done so yet.
    This is a beautiful story….how something simple can mean so much to someone else.

    • I think we are people who are meant to form attachments to each other and when we find a connection with someone it is a kind thing for both persons involved to follow through.
      I have two friends I met online, one about 10 yrs ago and another 2 yrs ago. We do not communicate online anymore except through emails We have moved forward to snail mails and phone calls. Had I ignored these sweet connections I would missing out on two very beautiful people in my life.

      Meeting others in online and connecting in a real way for our generation has been a foreign response I believe. But it is one that has surprised, delighted and affected in ways I had no about.

      Please write your stories Ruth and share. I for one am fascinated with how we process friendships and keep them near & dear to our hearts. I will be looking for then now that I am receiving email alerts again when you newly post.
      -) I’ll be waiting 😉

  11. WOW, what an incredible story, Tj!! I’m big on communication too–though my efforts for most of my life have been largely unsuccessful. I don’t know if it was my style–or whether the recipients just couldn’t deal with it–but I gave up wondering, and moved on. I love the romance of the “message in a bottle” notion–and obviously it’s more work than I’d thought–but well worth it in this case. God bless you Big–love, sis Caddo

    • I do know what you mean Commando< I for the most part am blessed with people who are also big letter writers and love to communicate. I think me not being a big phone person is what led my way to letter writing.
      You know that I tend to write novel size letters and notes having been the receiver of some, so my family and friends that appreciate my communiques are loving kind people to tolerate such communications.
      My message in a bottle is only one of the quirky things I have given myself permission to do over the years.Those same family & friends who accept me? They also accept my idiosyncrasies.
      I am blessed beyond~

      • Of course you did Ruth! And I so love that you did. Ironic you mention that fabulous song, it is a song I cherish today. I was recently sent the guitar chords for this tune which I printed out and framed. Makes a perfect statement on my own wall.
        Thanks for stopping by Ruth. It is always a delight to share music with you~

    • You are my most welcome J. It has been in a long hand draft for about 12 yrs now. Just recently in the last 2 yrs am I finally started to move from outline and drafts. Your words are the encouragement is that which helps keeps me writing.

      I thank you from my heart jelillie, God’s Big blessings to you my friend~

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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