No Place to Go
Friday night, Son Tim’s rescue company had a medic call off, so T doubled over and brought the medic response truck home overnight. (Briefly, the radio ID for the first medic truck 25 years ago was “Pervert 23” - Paramedic Emergency Response Vehicle with Emergency Response Team. OK, that was a stretch, but it seemed awfully funny at the time and I just loved to go on the radio, “Pervert 23, responding.”) I sleep lightly and heard his tones around 3 AM. (“Tones” are pure sound at a perfect frequency which operate the electronic equivalent of switches and turn on speakers or alarms in radios.) I arose to (1) answer “nature’s call” and (2) make a smart ass comment (“You taking this call or you want me to?”). T said he’d handle this one and headed out the door.
I had to force myself to turn and go back to bed, for I didn’t want to see the light bar reflecting off the fog as he pulled out. The worst feeling in the world for a rescue man (gender generic, women included) is missing the truck. It’s been over 20 years, and I still get that feeling. But, damn, I’m proud of Tim and the entire company. Some of the very senior people there are ones I trained. Hopefully, when they come to haul away my pulseless carcass, it’ll be people Tim trained.
Penthouse or Garden?
We live on a ridge in the middle of Fairmont. A close neighbor, Sharon, is a Ph.D. English professor at Fairmont State University, and she bought a vacant lot beside us “just” as a little botanical sanctuary. When I came home today, she was working there, and she and I had such a peaceful conversation about plants and beauty and life. (The intelligent parts came from her - I’m rather lame in botany.) At the end, we mutually posed the question: Who has the better life - She who can say, “I have a penthouse,” or she who can say “I have a garden”?
Oh, I know what the “correct” or approved answer is supposed to be, but be honest: What is your real answer?
E-books won’t do this:
A few weeks ago, I read 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helen Hanff. Do you read? Are books friends? This book is worthwhile. Indeed, it is deeply touching. It is a collection of correspondence between an American writer and a London bookshop from which she purchased books and developed deep friendships over four decades.
When talking about real, physical, paper, used books, Hanff says one of the wonderful things is that such a book “keeps falling open at the most delightful places as the ghost of its former owner points me to things I’ve never read before.”
Don’t Tell Me About DNA
My second father is moving back to Fairmont soon. After my Dad died, Jim became more and more dear to me. Family - sometimes it’s genetic, sometimes that has nothing to do with it.
Brother Pete in Nebraska has a long lead on me with the understanding of meditation. I’ve very recently relearned something: The chanting or music or whatever is not the point or the worship or whatever. It’s what draws all of the cacaphonous tracks of your mind together and lets you focus all of your mind. A Gavin Bryar CD, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, which is a Christian meditation, has finally gotten that through to me.
An extra lesson in that CD is that an ordinary voice, untrained, may have a role beyond the confines of the shower. As trained voices go, mine still piddles on the floor, so I’m somewhat hesitant to do any volume. But this was encouraging.