Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Near Misses

I am taking a break from trying to modify a pattern for a baby sweater. I am using different size yarn and have to modify slightly for gauge. I know…I actually did a gauge swatch.

It probably won’t be the last, despite that fact that gauge swatches DO LIE! I still try to convince myself that this is what the great knitters do and therefore I am. ha ha.

So on my little break, I thought I would get all sentimental with a recent encounter and ramble on to the blogosphere.

Yesterday as I was taking another break…you are going to see that I need a good deal of breaks lately. This was for lunch.

If I don’t take my breaks, I could break...who knows what would happen.

People are already threatening me with lockdown and paper clothing…

So as I pulled out of our driveway - onto the frontage road that we live on – I noticed a truck pass with someone I had worked with in a past life. This truck turns at the opposite end of our road and proceeds to follow me at a distance up the road.

Having Cherokee blood in me, you have to be much more sneaky than this to surprise me.

I assumed that he had just forgotten something at the job they were working at - just down the road - and was turning around to go back. (He is getting up there in age.)

Now when we worked for the same company, he was the foreman of one crew and I was either working as a trimmer or was the foreman of a trim crew.

Well, these two crews didn’t always get alone…call it framers vs. trimmers.

As a trimmer, the framers were…well, rough. And to the framers, the trimmers were “prima donnas.”

To a framer, an eighth inch here and an eighth inch there really doesn’t mean the end of the world to them. And in all honesty, it usually isn’t.

To a trimmer, an eighth inch is a big deal and not to be taken lightly.

The blatant disrespect of being called a “prima donna” cannot be taken lightly either.

The word prima donna is Italian for “first lady” and I found this highly disrespectful. It should also be noted that, in the Italian theatre’s of “prima donnas”, they were known to be unreasonable and egotistical.

Were as I was confident, not arrogant!

As I came to a stop at the end of our street, I paused for just a moment to see if he was looking to stop me, and he flashed his lights.

I parked in the middle of our road – it really is a small frontage road – and he parked behind me and we both exited our trucks.

He said he had been looking for me every time he drove by.

I could sense there was going to be trouble at high noon.

Bad background music: ouh-wee-ouh-wee-ouh, wha-wha-wha.

Come to find out, he had heard about my heart surgery from a few years ago and wanted to see how I was doing.

He told me of a near miss he had a few weeks back.

Took a header off of an eight foot deck and landed right on his head and left shoulder.

Laid there gasping for breath with the wind knocked out of him for a few minutes. But he finally got up without a scratch or bruise on him.

Had some x-rays done and nothing was broke…that was a near miss.

I let the truck idle as I exited the vehicle (sounds so cop like when I say exited the vehicle) as I thought the visit would be short and sweet.

We talked for at over forty minutes and I really hated to say goodbye. In some ways I felt like I was.

He has to be around seventy-five and still goes to the job site for a few hours every day.

This gentleman has been talking about retiring for so many years that I have stopped counting.

As the labor job force moves closer and closer toward technology, the experience of the past generations disappears, we will someday day forget the footsteps of this friend and of my father and what these "craftsman" could do. There were no computers to figure the rafter lengths and the angles of a hip.

It really is impressive.

Before the lifts, saws and cordless everything's, were men that did it by hand and with their backs, and when you shook their hands you knew it.

As I always hug my children when I am fortunate enough to see them and always when we say goodbye, a few months back my one son asked to shake my hand.

He said "I remember when your hands used to be rough..."

It made me think about the direction that life's path may take you.

But at that moment when he shook my hand, I also shook his. I could feel his work and I was proud of him.

Sometimes you need a little something from the past to help you see the future. Both the limitations and the potential.

And sometimes you need someone else to help you see the near misses we all face everyday…

I hope everyone stays safe during the holiday season and write in to tell me something you are thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thankful for a friend who listens, holds me tight, and makes me laugh.