Eight years ago. . .
We had plans to travel for Thanksgiving. Thankfully we were driving, because everything went pear shaped. Last weekend’s stomach bug is still lurking about, so a 9 hour drive is out of the question.
Today’s post is for small thanksgivings:
I’m thankful half of the family lives close enough that we can still spend the day with them.
I’m thankful that I can still watch two separate things on Netflix at the same time. I can only take so much Cartoon Network.
I’m thankful that the second supermarket I tried had French fried onions, and I’m thankful for Riverview Pizza.
Happy Takeout Day, everyone!
Work a swap 24 on the transfer truck. A few quick errands on the way home, shower, meet attorney to close mortgage refinance. Pick up Beth from half day at school, spend afternoon at the science museum. Check out the newly remodeled planetarium.
Home for dinner, change, then off for Daddy/daughter time at the Pumpkin Ball, the fall elementary school dance.
Sleep late Saturday.
24 on the transfer truck, check. The overnight shift was easier than expected.
Errands, check. Shower, check.
Run to answer ringing phone. Rush to school to pick up sick child before lawyer arrives. Sign paperwork. Watch lots of TV; alternate Tylenol and ibuprofen for fever. Make futile attempts to comfort uncomfortable little girl.
Commiserate over inability to attend dance. Promise a Daddy Date at some unspecified point in the future.
Send everyone to bed early so I can get up to medicate again at midnight. I’ll sleep in some other day. *sigh*
I promise to go back to the gym. I really do enjoy it, but life has been busy lately. I promise to try to eat better, and to do whatever I can to be around for you.
I want to be there for your high school graduation and your college commencement. I plan to walk you down the aisle someday and to be there for the birth of your children, assuming that’s the path you choose.
I had the distinct displeasure today of coding a patient in front of his young daughter. He was my age. She, while younger than Beth, was old enough to remember every detail. A cardiac arrest is messy, barbaric, loud and confusing. We all know what we have to do and why, but to a layperson it’s a horrific experience.
Today was the worst day of a young girl’s life, the day she lost her Daddy; and she had to witness it all. I’m sorry. We did all we could.
The other night I transferred a patient from Suburban Children’s to Big City Trauma Center. At 15 years old he was having trouble with his implanted pacemaker. Without it, he would have been dead years ago. It was an interesting case, made more so by events in my private life.
If you work in EMS or any type of emergency medicine, you’ve seen the work of Wilson Greatbatch. Slightly more than 50 years ago he invented the implantable cardiac pacemaker and changed the lives of thousands of people forever. The Smithsonian has a good biography of him here.
Equally important here at Mosquito Hill, Wilson was Mrs. Mack505′s grandfather. She has wonderful memories of playing with her cousins in his ‘shop’ as a child. Other children’s grandfathers might have a workbench or a table saw; Grandpa Greatbatch had oscilloscopes and bubbling beakers.
I first met him almost 18 years ago now. He was brilliant in an interesting way; he was always seeing ways to improve the world around him. Most never worked, but when they did, look out! He has been quoted elsewhere as saying, “Nine out of ten things I dream up never work, but the tenth will pay for the other nine.”.
He was also a genuinely nice guy.
I leave you with Grandpa Greatbatch’s own words, recorded for posterity 15 years ago.
Godspeed, Grandpa Greatbatch. Say “Hi!” to Grandma and Uncle Peter for us.
I highly recommend following the links. It’s a fascinating story.
8/17 – stalls @ the Big E
8/21 – feeling a bit artsy
8/30 – Second grade!!
9/2 – Seen on the Mass Pike. I’m not sure what it means, but I bet the local fire marshal might find it interesting.
9/3 – Family weekend in Buffalo. You get to see a lot of Beth.
9/4 – Thirty Mile Point, Lake Ontario
9/5 – Medic 9 (but not mine) on the move
9/6 – Saturday I officially become a Soccer Dad
That’s all for now.
As we enter the restaurant, I fear I’ve made a grievous error. It’s over 90 degrees outside. This place is locally famous and includes the word “Barn” in its name. Little did I realize that it was an actual barn, converted to an eatery 40 years ago. It’s dark and rustic, with tiny windows and no air conditioning.
Still it’s dinner time, we’re hungry, and the pizza is locally famous. It’s worth a try, but I worry The Princess will balk.
The seating consists of picnic tables of a dark brown copied from the nearby National Forest. These versions can seat at least 12 people and are varnished to a mirror gloss. We choose one near a window in hopes of a breeze, and The Princess decides she wants to sit next to me. She cuddles in under my left arm.
The menu fills a 5×8 card: Pizza, three sizes, a dozen or so toppings. If you insist, they will make pasta or garlic bread for you. Beer and soda.
We order an old standby and settle in to wait. The Princess monopolizes my phone, playing Angry Birds. As I scan the crowd, I begin to notice the jukebox in the corner behind me. I don’t know if someone has pumped it full of quarters, or if it has a very good random program, but it’s replaying my childhood. I begin to sing along, and she joins me. We belt out off-key renditions of “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Margaritaville,” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
And she smiles.
(I’m mildly surprised that she knows the Meatloaf lyrics. I blame Mrs. Mack505, but then she blames me for the fact that the Kiddo can sing “Crazy Train” with the best of them.)
The pizza was pretty good, too.
Weekend worth of Diesel fuel: $120
One night on a deluxe campsite: $46
Pizza and four drinks (hey, it was hot): $18.21 with tip
Having your seven year old make a fool of herself in public with you and smile about it: PRICELESS.
I should be annoyed.
It’s a holiday weekend, and I had to work a 24 Sunday instead of spending it with my family. It’s been HUMID; not hot, but wet and sticky. We wished for a good thundershower to wash the air and replace it with ozone. We never got one.
It did look kind of nice, though.
The shift seemed to be overly populated with folks who think they know how to do my job better than I do. For the record if you are not my boss, my family, or someone I admire, I’m not going to lose much sleep over your opinion of me.
Regular Partner is on vacation, but Partners du Jour were all good people.
This morning I did a few chores and then set off to meet the family in the Great Green North. It’s 85 degrees, the windows are open, and the music is good. I took a few extra laps around the Route 1 rotary in the TDI just to enjoy the G’s.
My polarized shades show a fabulous bright blue sky with puffy clouds in front of me, and the forecast is for four more days of the same. Bring it on!
Beth and I spent some time in Boston’s Public Garden and the Back Bay today. She loved these flowers. I find them very Seuss-ian.
We strolled down Boylston Street looking for lunch. Boylston is one of Boston’s fanciest shopping districts; I see expensive stores and well-dressed crowds. Beth stopped suddenly and pointed up. ”Look, look Dad! Look!” It took me a minute to notice this ratty old brownstone being subsumed by stores.
Sadly I’d left my good Nikon at home, but the iPhone takes passable pictures if you are careful.