Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Break in the Routine

(A True Story)
Early this morning Mom steps out of the house to feed the cats and the glass door swings shut, locking behind her. Now she finds herself locked out of the house with no phone and no way to get back inside. She walks around the house a couple of times imagining that if she found a window unlocked that she could somehow find the strength to pull her 85-year-old frame through a window that is five feet off the ground. At her peak Mom never stood more than five foot two.

She walks to the garage and explores for a tool that will multiply her strength to help pry open the locked door. She locates a small hacksaw and grows hopeful. After a couple of minutes of plying the narrow gap between the door frame and lock. her effort proves futile. She then resorts to brute force, deciding to utilize the oddly shaped 20-pound rock set by the door as a keepssake.

The new plan is violent. She pictures using the rock to smash the 30x48-inch plate glass on the door to gain entry. She utters a short silent prayer and hefts the relatively smooth white rock waist high then swings at the glass. To her surprise it resists the first timid blow. Now she swings again with greater force and the glass deflects the second blow. Then, in the process of adjusting her grip on the rock for a third try, her thumb catches a sharp edge of a griphold and it cuts her. The small wound is deep. She sets the rock down and examines the now bleeding thumb. Droplets of blood are falling steadily from the cut. They paint crimson discs the size of a quarter as they splatter on the wood planking of the porch she enjoys so much in the cool of the afternoons.

Mom sees a soiled rag draped over one of the chairs clustered around the metal table next to her and reaches for it. She wads it up and uses it as a compress against the wound and sits to collect her thoughts. She looks around is reminded of how very alone she is at the moment. She prays.

A tenacious spirit all her life, Mom decides to walk the five-hundred feet that separates her from the highway, presently, her only link to human assistance. She will stand between the road's edge and the cattleguard to flag down help. She needs a phone and every soul motoring  today's roads carries one these days, thank the Lord. The traffic is sporadic. The few motorists that pass from north to south and south to north exchange friendly waves to the little old lady cutting the air with waves of her arms. It is an uncommon sight, but not alarming enough for them to stop and examine the circumstances.

Finally, an older couple passes, waves back, and continues northward, but before the vehicle disappears beyond the crest the hill, they slow and return -- Good Samaritans this morning. What follows are examining questions and the accompanying answers to shed light on the situation. A phone is produced and a son is on his way. Thirty minutes later Mom is back on routine and in town playing bingo with her friends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Day at the Office

Just another day at the office standing on the top of the world... lookin' down on creation... please hold my calls.

My nerves cringed every time this guy hoofed it around the top of the water tower; the heels of his work boots treading lightly on a steel platform 130 feet off the ground. His dance with death high up there was eye-riveting and I found myself envying the man.

I finished my lunch then climbed back into my pickup and headed back to the office for three-and-a-half hours of sitting on my ass at the keyboard; the whole while in the company of females. I wonder if guys like him have ever envied guys like me?

Later, I saw his company truck and trailer parked at one of our two local eateries. He and his crew were likely having lunch. I didn't have time to stop or I would have gone inside and shook his hand and told him that he performed admirable, if not entertaining, solo work.