Rudee Tours of Virginia Beach specializes in combining wildlife and boating. For years, that has made them a preferred source for whale watching and dolphin watching tours for that area of the East Coast. These types of excursions often alternate between peaceful and exciting, with experienced guides locating pods and floating just far enough away to avoid disturbing the sea creatures while remaining close enough for viewing and photography.
Recently, they’ve taken to working with a different type of wildlife: goats.
Goats aren’t normally the first thing that comes to mind when watercraft is mentioned, but the tour group partnered with an organization named Fun With Goats to bring their animals on 90 minute trips around the water of Rudee Inlet. Rather than watch cetaceans playing in the waves, visitors can spend time petting soft baby goats.
This is adorable, and it’s relaxing. And because the tour group requires masks despite being outdoors while having reduced capacity to minimize contact, it’s a fairly safe activity even for those who are immunocompromised during a pandemic.
And, despite the opportunity to link to one of my favorite cartoons from the online strip Sheldon by Dave Kellett (it’s amusing, click the link) that level of safety is what brought the organization to my attention.
Craig Spector just recently celebrated his wedding anniversary by going on the tour with his wife. I’m not certain as to the specific anniversary; I believe it was their 61st. This might seem odd for a man who has recently turned 63, but there’s a special reason. Craig and his wife got married shortly before he had been diagnosed with stage four cancer in June, 2016. Rather than dwell on the problems he was about to face, he embraced life for the duration he has left. In case the pair didn’t make it to their second anniversary, they decided to hold one every month and make it a special date night.
Spector had already achieved a level of fame and wealth. As co-author with John Skipp, he’d been part of a successful horror writing team during the 1980s and early 1990s. He’d had bestsellers, he’d written a movie (A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child), he’d had cameo roles in films. Then he’d moved on to a career as a solo author, editor and eventually publisher (Stealth Press).
With the diagnosis of terminal cancer, he’s focused on the love of his life and an artistic pursuit he’d always enjoyed but had set aside for the writing: music.
He’s since produced three albums and is close to releasing a fourth. The topic, naturally, is life. And here’s his view, clipped from the web site he uses to promote his recent work:
None of us know how long we have. We all die. But we’re not there yet, so live. Appreciate every moment. Be who you really are. Make your dreams a reality. Take care of yourself, take care of your people, try to leave everything a little bit better than you found it. Love intensely and fiercely. Exercise radical kindness. Take no shit, and give none, either. Fight against evil in the world, starting first and foremost within yourself. Create light in the endless darkness. Find the art in every single thing. Elevate everything you do to an art form. Live courageously, unapologetically. And remember that so much of what we do seems thankless, because we forget to say thanks.
And when the cynical say to you, how can you have hope when the world is so fucked? Tell them, because if I don’t the world will still be fucked, but there will be no hope.
So fight, like your life depended on it. Because it does.Craig Spector
A few days ago, part of that light in the endless darkness was hanging out on a boat with a loving wife and some baby goats for an hour and a half, a trip made possible because the tour owners took precautions suitable for a man dealing with advanced radiation therapy to prolong his time on Earth just a little bit more. That’s what life’s supposed to be about.
Thank you, Mr. Spector. May you favor us with many more years.
Question of the night: What’s something you’ve done recently to make someone’s life a little bit better?