I’ve spent a life of keeping my wants and needs in check. Don’t get me wrong I have fun and don’t think I’m a monk but on the whole I keep things simple. I find it ironic that the one thing I truly longed for never materialized the way I wanted it to. It came in another form so I must be content with it. The key word in the last sentence is content.
What is it to be content? The other day someone reminded me to buy a Megamillion Lottery ticket for the jackpot was estimated to be 300 million dollars but in the same breath they had to mention that the I.R.S takes half. I thought to myself, “So 150 million wouldn’t change your life. To be content you’d need the full $300,000,000.”
There once was a man who had little in the way of stuff. He saw others with stuff such as cows. He said to himself, “I need a cow.” He went out and bought one but with the cow came the need for everything that goes with owning a cow. He ended up quite unhappy. This story is of 3000 years ago but it applies to this day and age. I have everyday stuff but I’m not tied to it.
We all need food and sleep to survive on this plane of existence and who doesn’t like a good piece of See’s candy from time to time.. This too will pass.
They say believe only a half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear. Those percentages might be too generous and here’s why; No one knows the whole story when it comes to the cause of tragic events. You’ve heard reporters on crime scenes where they ask the next door neighbor, “What kind of relationship did they have?” The usual answer is, “They seemed happy. They would smile as they left for work. They were always working.”
I’m bringing this up today because it was 5 years ago when at the end of the day, one of my fellow technicians pulled his truck into his assign parking space went home and killed his family. He knew what he had done and took his own life. I didn’t know the man for I took his place at this garage shortly after. I walked into the crew room this afternoon and on the blackboard someone had scribbled a memorial.
Obviously things were not what they appeared to be. The police said he was in debt and at that moment he thought death was the only way out. Isn’t it true they say rather than commit suicide seek help? The other day a morning shift worker called me and asked if I could lend him a grand. I had to tell him I didn’t have it but offered him alternatives. If it had been Ed, Rob or Pete I might have worked out a plan to help.
He must be in dire financial times. I’ve helped him a couple of times with my ladder truck but other than that no other personal contact. Ever since he asked for the money I’ve expected distressing news. I can only help a circle of souls and I wish I could of helped him.
The day had started with a bounce but then don’t good roller-coaster rides do the same thing? I got up and checked my Husquavarna to see it it indeed would run after filling it with diesel. The engine turned over easier than I even expected it would. I jumped in the car with keys in hand and headed to do my two hours praying and exercise in the forest. Ok I use a chainsaw instead of rosary beads.
Upon arriving at the property I began to chainsaw the previously downed tree trunks. The trick in using a chainsaw is this; there is never a reason to bear down on the wood for that makes the engine work that much harder. I piled up my rounds of oak and began to split my pile into nice pieces. The only noise was the two stroke engine humming away. A family of deer watched while I split the wood and the funny thing was they had no fear.
This freezing morning I decided to drive to Staryucks for a hot chocolate and a muffin. Oh I know it’s not cold compared to other places in this country today but it’s bitter cold for here. Toonce meowed, “Come back soon. You forgot to feed me or don’t forget the keys on the counter you left.” The door closed behind me and I walked out to the car and reached into my pocket…. I said to myself, “Oh no!” Earlier I had said to myself, ”Who needs a thick coat? I’ll jump in the car and turn on the heater.” The T-shirt offered little warmth and I could only think, “What would those television survivalists do in this situation? What would that Canadian guy do?
Now I wasn’t out in the wilderness but I might have well have been. I knew front door was locked, so what’s the point of trying it. I went to the side gate where Nora greeted me with a meow. I heard in her meow, “You let me out at 1am and I tried to get your attention to let me in. How does it feel being cold?” Nora followed me to the back area where I tried every door and window, of course they were locked. Would it be anything different? At the sliding door sat a warm Toonce looking out and meowing, “I told you to take those keys. By the way I am hungry.”
The darkness was not going to go away for another hour and the cold was intense. I could have walked over to one of my neighbors but I wasn’t at that point in the event yet. Nora followed me constantly meowing, “Why aren’t you opening the door silly man?” I said, “Please Nora. You got fur and I have no fur.” I walked back to the car and realized that I hadn’t locked the car door last night. I pressed the garage door clicker and I was in. I said to Nora, “Thank God!” I ran in shivering and received a meow from Toonce saying, “Are you going to feed me now?”
I found my keys on the counter right where Toonce had told me they were. As I went to open the front door I noticed that the door never was locked….This too will pass…
It was just about now, seventy-two years ago, that 183 warplanes flew over a group of ships and did what they did. A famous Presidential Speech followed and soon hundreds of thousands were dead as a result of that one action. Many years later I traveled to the site of the event and there was not much to see. A sunken ship leaking tiny blobs of oil, a rusting piece of metal and a wall of the names of those who died.
I like doing the math when it comes to things like this so bear with me. Being that the attack happened 72 years ago, a sailor onboard one of those ships had to be at least 17 years old. That makes a survivor today eighty-nine years old but let’s be generous and say a crafty sixteen year old was able to sneak on one of the ships by fooling a navy recruiter; So let’s say 88 years old. The last survivor of that infamous morning will be pass away in the year 2025. In the year 2065 the last child of those survivors will breath their last around then.
I’ve mentioned before how at the Battle of Verdun during World War I, 300,000 men lost their lives over a nine month period. I defy anyone to tell me the name of one soldier who died during that terrible nightmare in 1916. Yes both events were terrifying and there was much suffering but now you need to Google it to get any information on either event. Soon the names of those lost on that Sunday morning in 1941 will be only remembered on that wall and then one day even that wall will crumble down.
Please don’t get me wrong for I am not discounting the heroism of those who died that day. The moment is what counts. This too will pass.
I’ve always looked up to Nelson Mandela as he was a hero of mine. He lived by my life principle of “This too will pass”. He lived a twenty-seven year moment in a small prison cell. Most others would have given up hope having nothing but a bowl and blanket. After his release and for a moment in time, he could travel anywhere he wanted to. I suppose he lived in the moment whether he called it living in the moment or not. He never lost hope that things would change…
Years later when he was asked if he hated the people who imprisoned him. He said, “I certainly do not, for if I did hate them, then I would still be in their cell.” Mr. Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize and it was well deserved. If that alone doesn’t qualify him for a peace prize I don’t know what would. To say he lived a good life might be a stretch but he lived a life…. This too will pass…
Okay maybe I’m not ready to be a journeyman operating engineer in Union Local 6. With Rob now in sick bay and limping for the next few days I was using the front end loader trying to pick up a 40 foot tree trunk after falling it and well….
I never said I was good at math or calculating center of gravity formulas. Thank goodness Rob was at least on site when it tipped. My weight kept me in the seat belt upside down. It was actually funny. We both got a laugh out of it. If I hadn’t been wearing the cabs seat belt it might not have ended so pretty. I wasn’t afraid when it tipped over. It actually happened in a split second… Rob’s neighbor owns a tow truck so it was no harm no foul for within a few minutes the 12,000 pound backhoe was on fours.
This too will pass…