24 November 2005

Giving Thanks

Got a full belly?
Did you get to spend time with your family today?
I hope so.
I did, although it was much, much too short.

I'm back at work as I type, waiting for the phone to ring, and the chance to go help someone in desperate need.

I was up all night long last night, spreading three flights over twelve hours. I think I'll write about last night later, to give you a taste of what my life CAN be like.

As I get older, I continually think about how blessed we are. We take so much of our lives for granted.......as if much of it couldn't disappear in a fraction of a second.
My job continually reminds me of it, and for that I am thankful.
We need reminders of other things too:

I remember one Winter night long ago, waking in the wee hours to the sound of our oil-fired furnace making a funny noise. It was a metal-on-metal sound. Not loud, but loud enough that it woke me.
Then the noise stopped. It was mighty cold outside, and the temperature in the house began to drop. I pulled the covers up snug under my neck........warm as toast.

The next sound I heard was my Dad quietly making his way to the utility room. For several minutes I heard the tinkling of tools and other sounds indicating that the Old Man was "on the case".
And sure enough, the furnace started making normal noises, and the chill in the house went away.
I didn't say anything to Dad for getting out of his warm bed to take care of us.........I took it for granted..........it was his job.
How easy it would have been to say, "Thanks Dad. It was wonderful staying in my warm bed while you lost sleep and took care of the problem."
I wish I had.

One of our flights last night was to transport a prisoner from one of the State Penitentiaries to a hospital in the State Capital. When we pick up a prisoner, they send a guard with us to insure a safe transport. The guy they sent along last night had the job description of "Jailer".

Would you want to be a "Jailer"?
I had a helicopter student that worked full time as a Nurse in a jail, and he told horror stories about the treatment he received from the inmates, all for much too little pay.
It's a job I wouldn't take for ANY wages.
I thanked this man for doing a job I wouldn't want to do.
He was pleased to hear my thanks.

It's easy to think of those that are overseas, doing a nasty job that needs to be done, protecting us, and be thankful for them.
We all do, and that is only proper.

But there are others too.........
Last year we had an ice storm come through late one night and our power went out. We were mighty glad for the heat of our water bed!

With the power being off in the entire neighborhood at 3 A.M. or so, it got mighty quiet.
Sure enough, in very little time you could hear the trucks moving down the road crunching on the ice, and you could see the searchlights checking the lines to see where the problem was that needed fixing.
We went back to sleep, knowing experts were awake, "on the case".

When the power came back on, the refrigerator, furnace, and ceiling fans all came on and woke us up. I checked my watch.......the power was off for three hours.
The Power guys spent three miserable hours outside in the freezing rain, while we were in a heated bed, able to take others for granted.
(Remember that my Old Man worked for a power company, so I especially take note of them.)

So please, in your prayers of thanks for our servicemen and women, remember that there are so many others that serve in ways we easily forget.
Include them in those prayers.
And if you get a chance to personally thank them, as I did with the jailer, they'll just give the stock, "just doing my job" answer.
Doesn't cost a cent to thank them, anyway.
And you know what?
It'll make you feel better too!

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