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    Home | Restoration Under Way »

    A funny thing happened on the way to my life

    By Jack Webb | May 20, 2010

    With only two weeks remaining before the April 30, 2010 expiration of the federal tax credit for new home buyers, I decided it was time to get off my duff and get my house on the market. In the downturned market, I really wasn't anticipating much response, despite the tax credit. Much to my surprise, I received an offer from the very first prospect. Now what? How does one get rid of a lifetime of "treasures" in a matter of a few short weeks?

    I had hoped that I wouldn't need to store anything, but eventually realized that I had too much equity invested in all those possessions to simply give them all away. So I decided to rent a storage unit long enough to make a reasonable attempt to downsize in a more logical and calculated manor.

    So, off I go to the local office storage facility in order to inquire about ways to handle my challenge. While there, I engaged in conversation with the site manager about my upcoming plans to go cruising and perhaps a circumnavigation. Beatta is a quite delightful woman with an obviously quite sincere interest in people and their lives. On the way back from viewing the various rental options, she mentioned that she had inherited an old sextant from an uncle who had used it while doing service in the US Coast Guard. She said she knew nothing about the instrument and had simply kept it in her home as a "nautical decoration" in her study. Having downsized her home, it was mpw stored away somewhere. I told her that I did not have a sextant and would certainly consider purchasing it from her, if it was in working order and if it did not so much sentimental value to restrict her from parting with it. I asked her to think about it and decide if she might want to sell it, and if so, to decide on a price.

    When I arrived to sign the contracts, there was a plastic bag on the counter that did indeed contain the sextant she mentioned. When we finished our business of renting the storage unit, Beatta told me a very moving story...

    Beatta told me that when she bed the previous evening, she asked God to help her determine a fair price to ask for the instrument. At 4 am the following morning, she awakened with an answer to her request, which she then transcribed to paper. In addition to what was written down, Beatta indicated that she was asked the following...

    What price can a man put on his life? I speak a truth to you: There will come a point on his journey that all his modern technology will fail him. But this instrument, if he chooses to hone his skills with it, will save his life.

    How can you sell something to someone, when it already belongs to them? When this sextant was first made, it already had Jack's name on it.

    So, now I ask you... What do YOU consider a fair price?


    As the result of a gracious gift from a very special woman, I am now the owner of a quite remarkable C. Plath sextant, manufactured in 1945. The instrument is in excellent working order and I immediately reconditioned it and made a new case to safely protect it.

    How does one thank another for such a timeless and thoughtful gift? My belief is that all of Beatta's thanks and rewards have already been calculated and lie in waiting. God does work in mysterious ways!

    Topics: Cruising General |

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