A couple of weeks ago, a guy calls me
about painting a sign on a wall. Man, was that good news. Work was
nonexistent, but of course, the same couldn't be said of the bills. I
went to look at the wall, and talk to the man; always a good idea in
this kind of work. The texture and condition of each wall is
different. This one had paint coming off in sheets; but strangely
enough, the wall beneath the paint was very clean. Usually, the lower
layer of paint is disintegrating, and that's what releases the top
layer. Anyway, this guy is ticked that a new business across the
street has started offering the same product/service that he has been
doing for six years. His speech includes profanities, but I somehow
regard it all as a manly rant. We actually shook hands on a design
and price, but then I reminded him that he said the day before his
crew would pressure wash the wall. The sale fell through. Ouch, I
needed that work. He was stressed about the price I quoted, and I
realized that I was now the likely target of his next rant. I also
realized that complaining is complaining, profanities or not.
So I'm back to financial crisis; at
least from a limited perspective; it's not as though I'm two hundred
seventy thousand dollars in debt. The worst part of having a utility
or service cut off is having to pay not only the money I owe, but the
reconnect fee. It's like salt in the wound. Just to clarify,I'm
relating my tribulations, not complaining; you know that, right?
Yeah, so anyway, I'm all remorseful, while working on the kitchen
faucet, which has finally gone out. I'm twisted under the sink,
disconnecting hoses, and the phone rings.
The man on the other end is a family
friend; he runs a ministry where they bring troubled inner city kids
out to the country. He uses horses and activities to teach about God,
and important lessons. My children are rather knowledgeable about
horses, so they volunteer to help at these ministry outings. The
man's voice is halting and obviously troubled. He tells me that the
horse my daughter was riding reared, she fell to the ground, then the
horse fell on her. She was briefly unconscious, and a doctor in
attendance was rushing to her side. I told my wife, and we drove to
When we arrived, an emergency crew
was already there, and had my daughter on a board, with different
pads and straps to keep her head from moving. The crew said that a
helicopter was en route. I asked about all these procedures; and they
said that since she was showing signs of possible trauma, and the
fastest way to the only trauma center in the region was by
helicopter. The ambulance moved to a nearby empty grassy area, where
the 'copter could land. The helicopter pilots are obviously
experienced; on their initial approach, they hovered for awhile over
the adjacent pasture. This caused a couple of Llamas to flee, and
made the group of horses next to the grassy area move farther away.
They didn't go far, but were quite curious as to what this noisy
flying thing was.
By the time they waited to transfer
my daughter to the helicopter, the delay was such that any advantage
of flight over driving was lost. I voiced my skepticism, but they
said traffic might be heavy. Hmmm, don't ambulances just drive around
backups? Procedure is procedure, I guess.
At the hospital, her condition was
steadily improving. They administered some tests, and asked
questions. The doctor came, a younger guy with vice grip handshake.
He checked a couple things, asked her some relevant questions; then
engaged us in a discussion. He was actually quite attentive to our
opinions. We were surprised and pleased he would take the parents
that seriously. They removed the IV tubes, released her, and she
walked out. Never mind all the rest, she walked out. Thank you Jesus.
She could have been paralyzed, comatose, who knows, but she's fine.
Some details: I was given a ride from
the grassy area back to my vehicle, the helicopter is lifting off,
and a man stops me. He asked if I was the girl's daddy, I said yes.
Maybe the 'copter was loud, he repeated the question. I affirmed that
I was her father. He pulled a stack of money from his pocket, and
started handing me C-notes, five in all. He said he wanted mt to take
a few days off to spend with my daughter. All this noise and hurry,
and in the middle of it, this good news. By that time, a few
witnesses told my wife they had a better view, and that the horse
didn't fall on her. The three of us drove home, stopped at the Golden
Arches. It was late in the afternoon when we got back home.
Before I was under the sink, I told
my eldest son that we need to replace the faucet; his mother
suggested he look for a used one. I waited for awhile, then decided
this was taking too long; so I went on Craigslist, to look for one.
I found one that looked nice, $35 was nice for a guy in my position.
I left a message, but when the guy called back, he said he was sorry
he hadn't taken down the ad; but he just sold it a little earlier.
After this eventful day, I'm laying
on my bed, my wife is there sitting up. We were glad for the Lord's
mercy, even though my debt free status might be on a long vacation.
Hope that place has liability insurance. Oh yeah, is there a way I
can block the hoses under the sink; so we can turn the water back on,
my wife asks. Sure, I guess so, but let me tell you about my usual
less than stellar attempt to buy a faucet. Same old Craigslist story,
says I, same old stupid story. I had an irritated tone in my voice,
but wasn't entirely serious. I always joke this way, life is so
paradoxical that sarcasm and gloom usually overlap. At least for me.
Maybe there's a label for this particular psychosis, maybe it's just
Yeah, so anyway, I'm telling my wife
that it's always the same, if you're selling something, they never
show up, if you're buying, it's always: sorry, but that's gone,we
just forgot to take the ad down. Its always that way, Honey, always.
My son walks in the room, to ask how everything was going. We tell
him everything that happened, then he relates that he went out to
exchange his faulty smart phone, and on the way, he bought a used
faucet for $35. I asked if by any chance the guy's name was Bob. He
said yes it was. By this time my wife is having a gleeful bit of
laughter, and starts in on me with Nya-nya, Mr. Grumpy, Mr. Grumpy,
it's always that way on Craigslist, it's ALWAYS that way on
Craigslist, poor Mr. Grumpy. I tried my best to subdue my own
laughter, one must maintain appearances you know.
That was on a Saturday, Monday
morning came round, and the daughter who was in the mishap was
helping my wife with a chore; so I figured it would be a good time to
do some needed changes at my commercial website, and maybe work on
generating some sales. That was sorely needed. Afterward, my daughter
had other things to do, and I just continued my office stuff. I
reasoned that the stranger wanted me to be able to be at her bedside,
if she was at the hospital. But since that's not the case, well, I
can keep doing the office stuff. The same reasoning prevailed for the
first part of Tuesday, but then I gave it a second thought.
Sometimes, you just have to do the literal thing. Sure, maybe the guy
was talking about bedside time at the hospital; but if the Lord sent
the guy, shouldn't I just spend some time with her,and drop the
reinterpretation? Hmmmm. I re-enacted a scene from a movie I really
like, called Courageous. I found my daughter, held out my truck keys,
and asked if she had her learner's permit. (She's very familiar with
the movie.) She said no, and I said well, looks like we can't go out
for a pair of running shoes, but let's go to the feed and tack store
and look around. I didn't realize it, but the children don't have a
Lasso rope of their own and they need one. I really didn't want to
lay out the cash, but I ended up buying one for $43.
Then the phone starts ringing with a
number of good jobs. Here's a picture of an old stepside I'll
probably hand letter. For a sign guy that's been out of work, and
that likes historic stuff, this is just about as close to heaven as
it gets on this side of the river.