Three months ago. Saturday. 8:04 AM. Work rings. Never good. Answer phone.
“Dee’s mom called. His wife is a nurse and woke up and heard him gurgling. She called 9-1-1 and started CPR. They don’t know how long he was without oxygen. He’s at the ER now, but non-responsive.”
My heart sunk. We’d worked together 23 years. Dee’s a quality guy. I knew then I’d never see him again, not the same. At minimal, brain damage from oxygen deprivation would forever change him.
~~Something awakened Dee’s wife, Alanda, at 6:15 AM. She heard Dee gurgling from fluid filling his lungs. She flipped on the light, called 9-1-1 and started CPR.
Alanda saved Dee’s life. He’d crossed death’s doorway, but at the threshold, Alanda grabbed the tip of his little toe toenail and began pulling him back.
Five minutes later paramedics arrived. They took over CPR and used an AED.
One electrical shock to the heart. Two. Continue reading You Come From Good Stock
One of the most consistent things in life is that it changes.
Change constantly swirls around the atmosphere of life in the spiritual, emotional and physical spheres.
Change allows sunshine, and rain, to fall below.
It’s not all bad, not all good.
It is, however, inevitable.
Yet change, maybe just for me, is usually difficult and often seems unkind, unremitting. Continue reading Life Changes
I have one vice, coffee.
Coffee is God’s special gift! On the sixth day God made man, but decided he needed help, so God topped creation with an exclamation point, a woman!
But God leaned back tapping His chin thinking just one more something special was needed, so He made the coffee bean. He sat back and said, “It is good!” I’m pretty sure that’s how it reads in Genesis.
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyway, coffee is good!
Granted, it’s probably not the best thing for lunch, but occasionally I drive through the local coffee shop window for a cup of life nectar as a lunch substitute.
The tall, skinny guy taking my order had dark hair curling from under his toboggan. He had a piercing through his eye brow and a tongue stud that clicked when he talked. He wore a “Save the Whales” t-shirt that was too tight and a big wide belt that had holes riveted all the way around it. Continue reading Coffee House Blues
There was a long line for the first interview. It was person after person in rapid succession. I wrote “high risk, high reward” on his application because everything pointed to him striking out as an employee, but IF he made it he would be a home run.
A few days later I was getting pretty desperate and went back through applications. There he was. After a bit of head scratching, I called and left a message. Within minutes he called back as excited as an elementary boy alone in a candy store.
He was 15 minutes early to the second interview the next day, which is a good sign, but hyperactive as that same elementary kid who ate ALL the candy!
I asked him to tell me about himself. A gun fired and the race started. Without breathing, he told me he had graduated from high school seven years ago and everything about himself except which was his favorite tooth. Continue reading High Risk, High Reward
She has road rage. She laid on her horn while passing my truck near the University. I looked beside me and there she was, driving a little blue car yelling at me like a demon possessed llama with rabies. Reading lips isn’t my forte, but she wasn’t blessing me.
I quickly thought back. I’d been driving in the same lane for half a mile, going the speed limit, and hadn’t run a red light or anything else to tick her off. Yet here she was at the red light, saluting me with one finger, with no idea why.
She zoomed by going faster than a NASCAR speed limit while she hugged the center line like she was tight roping across the Grand Canyon.
Oh well. I kept driving. Continue reading Road Rage
When it goes right, home repairs and DIY work is fun. On the other hand, Bessie hold the barn door closed when it goes wrong!!
I updated a bathroom. There wasn’t exactly pressure to get it done quickly, but with four teenage girls in the house at the time, taking one of three bathrooms out of commission makes day-to-day life a bit more hectic, and when they’re all doing their hair at once, dangerous!
Each phase of the potty house renovation was down on paper, (that’s notebook paper, in case you’re wondering). I pulled up the commode first, and other than an unexpected splash of water in my mouth when moving it, it was easy as pie, or easy as….well, never mind.
The floor and wall tiles came off with a little elbow grease, and all was going as planned. Yay for a bathroom paper plan!
Continue reading Just Six Inches Away
It was a short run into the grocery store before work for a few apples and coffee creamer, but the only checkout line was long, too long.
The lady at the front of the line was an elderly lady and the bagger said something I couldn’t understand, then walked out with her to put her groceries in her car. The next person checked out and was on the way out when the bagger returned.
The man bagging was probably 65 years old and had a round face with sharp features and a big pleasant smile. The lady in front of me checked out ten or twelve items and the man’s face seemed locked into a smile. He’d grab a couple of items, glance at the checker and customer, as if searching for something in their faces, and then bag the next items.
After the lady paid, the man handed her grocery bags to her and said something, but again, I didn’t understand him. She smiled, spoke back to him and he laughed out loud beaming a huge smile.
I wasn’t paying attention when the checker checked me out. I swiped my card, spoke to the checker and turned to grab the plastic sack from the bagger. I caught a glimpse of his hearing aids just as he said in garbled words like someone severely deaf….at least I think he said, “I love eat apples! And coffee!” Continue reading Smiling Eyes
There used to be an old tire store up Main Street surrounded by properties that have all seen better days. Years ago it was a full-service gas station built in the late 40s or early 50s out of cinder blocks and mortar.
For the most part, however, the old building was insignificant. If it hadn’t been for the man outside, I would’ve never even noticed the place.
Years ago the tire store was painted white, but oil, grease and dirt make a dark entourage at the base of the walls up to a chalky, white at the top. The concrete around it was patchy and dark, stained with layers on layers of grease, dripped motor oil and a host of other dried automotive blood. Continue reading The Waving Man
Several years ago, I stopped by a friend’s used car lot at lunch time. I didn’t need anything, just figured I’d stop in and chit chat for a few minutes.
He told me he almost sold his integrity earlier. He began:
An older man came in early that morning and wanted my friend, Dan, to buy a truck he owned. The old gentleman didn’t want a trade in, but to sell it outright. He had a nice, older truck with low mileage that was clean as a whistle. He’d bought it brand new and maintained it well over the years.
Dan had never seen the old, country gentleman before and the man seemed, well….sad.
Dan asked how much he wanted for his truck. The man hesitated, almost wincing in embarrassment, and said he hoped to get $3,000 because he had some expenses he needed to take care of.
That’s when Dan said he was tempted! Continue reading Extra Mile Integrity