Salty air, gently rocking boat, warm sunshine and the thrill of catching fish - sounds like life on the ocean! David Kruh, 3 year resident of Middlewoods of Farmington, spent most of his life on the Connecticut shoreline, having grown up in Old Saybrook. From an early age, he developed a love for fishing and the open water.
Although David sometimes goes to Old Saybrook to fish with his brother, he admitted to staff members at Middlewoods of Farmington that he hadn’t been on a charter boat in a very long time. After hearing this, the Middlewoods Dream Team, led by Activities Director, Tanya Janeczko and Maintenance Director, Mike LaMere, worked to make David’s dream come true.
A deep sea fishing voyage was organized through the Sunbeam Fleet out of Waterford, CT. Because it was a private charter, the Dream Team had the opportunity to invite another avid resident fisherman who shared David’s dream to join in on the trip. Ed Hibyan, 87, a resident at Crosby Commons, another United Methodist Homes community located in Shelton, was thrilled to participate and he and Crosby Commons Maintenance Technician, Jim Tomchik, planned to meet the rest of the group the morning of June 18th for the outing. Clearly committed fishermen, the group, consisting of David, Mike, Ed and Jim, left their communities at 5:30am to make it to the boat by 7am.
David had never been to Waterford, CT and enjoyed getting some history and facts about the shore and islands as they sailed into the deeper waters on the boat. During the five hour trip, David and his shipmates caught many fish, including a striper, bluefish, and many porgies. David even caught an 18” sea bass but, to his disappointment, had to throw it back because the boat briefly crossed over into New York waters. The first mate cleaned and filleted the porgies and gave them to the group. David later gave his to a friend, admitting that he didn’t much like eating fish, but rather enjoyed spending the time on the water. “I never get seasick,” David explains.
The highlight of David’s trip was being out on the water. He smiles, “The water was like glass. It was a great day.” He loved to see Ed having a great time and remembers a moment when Ed was sitting on the deck of the ship with his arms open wide looking up at the sky and saying, “Ahhh…now this is how it should be.”
Once back at Middlewoods, David shared his experience with the Dream Team, “Even if I had not caught one single fish, I still would have enjoyed the trip. I enjoy watching other people have fun.” He had a great time getting to know Ed and chatting with Mike and Jim.
Ed was relaxing in the Crosby Commons café when he returned and shared his stories from the trip, grinning from ear to ear. “It was just wonderful,” he said. “Just to be out on the water and feel the sea air - a change of scenery is always great.”
“It’s true,” David concurs, “that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work. Just to be out in the fresh air is wonderful.”
Special thanks to Captain Bob and our friends at Sunbeam Fleet, for being part of this special dream and for their generous support and accommodations.
If your loved one lives at a UMH community and has a dream or wish they would like to see fulfilled, talk to us today! Contact your community’s Activities Director to learn more about how we are making dreams come true.
UMH provides assisted and independent living housing and healthcare options in several locations across Connecticut. Among them are Wesley Village (Shelton, CT), Middlewoods of Farmington (Farmington, CT), and Middlewoods of Newington (Newington, CT).
UMH, as it stands today, is proud to carry on a 140- year tradition of caring for people across the continuum; seniors who are independent and those needing assistance, those living with dementia, and those rehabilitating from illness or surgery. To learn more about United Methodist Homes, please visit www.umh.org or contact us at 877.929.5321.