Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Story- Pay It Forward

Here is a followup on the cabin troubles.

I mentioned how my mirror was broken on my truck by someone. Well after I scraped off the windshield I found this card on it.I thought this was a weird place to advertise in the middle of the Uintas. Then I turned it over:


I contacted Mark yesterday and he gave me his story. He had broken and wrecked two snowmobiles that day and was pulling out of the lot when his truck slid sideways and hit my mirror. And I thought I had a bad day! Well he insisted he would pay for it and I said I would do the labor and put it on. But being a power retractable mirror it was over $500! I told him I would pay it forward someday.

What better day to do that than on Christmas! I got $500 cash out of the bank today and went to work. I gave the cash to the nurses as a gift to all of them. I instructed them to use it however they wanted but they had to have it spent by the end of the day. They considered using it for some of the staff that were struggling and gave $100 to a single mom CNA. They alsot gave $20 to a 12 year old boy who was in the ER for a sick younger sister for half the day. He was very patiently helping translate for his mother. After he got the cash from the nurses he said that was the best Christmas ever! The rest of the money is being spent right now by the next shift. I'll be interested in hearing what they've done with it.

This made working on Christmas actually fun for us all. I sure made up for all the poop patients we had today- over half had diarrhea! Yuk! Lot's of sick kids too. You know they had to be sick to leave the new presents on Christmas.Who knows this may have to become a tradition. Thanks Mark!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If It Wasn't One Thing Then It Was Another

Yes. I messed up! Let's get that out first. But it certainly was fun trying to fix my mistake with friends! This might be long but it should be worth it. (it was for us:)

Carson, Scott and I headed up to the cabin to "check it out" and to do some snowmobile cross-training. Up in the Uintas in the winter we have to snowmobile into the cabin about 2.5 miles. With all the snow we've been getting- it was DEEP! The adventure started with it taking over an hour of getting up to the cabin with the snowmobiles. It's good to have friends that do as you tell them- and extra. We were in some deep stuff and there was a section that I told Carson he would have to "gun" it- and he did-more than I expected. He jumped over 20 feet and buried the sled! Finally, between dodging downed trees and getting Unstuck we were wet, frozen and spent by the time we got up there. We were ready for some heat. I went to turn on the furnace and nothing happened. I went outside to check on the Propane tank with a bad feeling in my gut. The 500 gallon tank was empty! Why? Well I guess I had left the heat on 3 months ago when I was last there! If it was anyone else up there with me we'd have turned right around and headed home. But no, the guys were ready to rough it. We got the fireplace going and huddled around trying to dry off and get warm. Well we at least had water which I had just turned on.

Once warm, I went to the fridge to get dinner ready, opened the door and a wall of water came gushing at me! I had forgotten to put the water filter back in after winterizing the cabin last time. Do you know how cold your hands get cleaning up a flood in a frozen cabin? &*%$#! COLD! Yes, we were off to a great start, but it didn't end there.

I had to figure out a way to get heat to the cabin for our families New Year trip next week. Dot was NOT going to be happy and I was dead meat! We brainstormed some great ideas cuddled together by the fire. I knew I was up there with some good friends when many of the ideas were LIE, LIE, LIE! And they were willing to vouch for me! In the end I told them I would find a way to get more propane up there to heat a whole cabin covered in over 3 feet of snow. There was doubt in their eyes. Thank God Dot didn't call that evening to check on us! The plan was not yet fully implemented.

We all slept in front of the fireplace (details will not be divulged) taking turns stoking the fire (except for Scott- somehow he slept through it all) and awoke ready for a mission. I called my dealer- Propane dealer that is. Unfortunately, his wife answered and I had to admit to her I had a guy problem and she got her husband. Us men concocted a plan to drag up 4 170 lb tanks of propane; in 2.5 miles, up a big *ss hill in 3-4 feet of snow. The guys were ready for the challenge! I went into town to pick up the tanks and Carson and Scott cut all the downed trees, packed the trail and even did the dishes! I love you guys!

So what else could go wrong? Well I got to the truck and someone had broken my R side mirror! And the truck was stuck! I managed to get out, find the promissory note from the guy who broke the mirror, got the tank, and my buddies were waiting in the parking lot to help me get the tanks in. AND they were still smiling! We installed the tanks surprisingly without TOO much difficulty and the heat was ON!

We even had time to hit the powder! For over an hour we plowed through tons of powder, got stuck, dug out and did it again! I think that finally put them over the edge and they weren't smiling anymore once we got back. We were exhausted, but, yet, no words of complaint were emitted.

We headed home, hit a rainstorm, and rush hour traffic, but that was nothing compared to the challenges we had overcome without one whine. That was a good 24 hours with the guys.