"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson US essayist & poet (1803 - 1882)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Pseudo-ceremonial passing of the gavel

Last Saturday was the Anchor Bay Rotary Club's installation dinner. Which means i went from President-Elect to President and our President becomes our Past-President, and somewhere another person went from President-nominee to President-elect.

A lot of titles for the guy that just rings the gavel and bell twice a meeting and tries to stay on the topic of top secret Rotarian stuff during the weekly lunches.

Well not so top secret and i keep saying i will someday post about why i joined a Rotary Club. But not today, it is relevent to the rest of the post with relation to a rotarian motto "Service above Self"

And more on that later but first on this 4th of July, a running update:

Yep, i'm running again. Not as fast as i would like, but running.....yippeeeee!!! After Sunday's Bronze medal winning performance, i went out for a nice 5 miles. i averaged a 8:35 pace, and as slow as it feels, it feels good to just run.

Weight: 194, so no big gain during the off time and still lots of time to improve before Chicago. i have a little tightness still in the hamstring, but the stretches are working and it's not a pain to run, more of nagging tightness.

...and running stuff...Great Article about my favorite running store clerks. If you get Runner's World you can see a picture of Brian Sell in the middle of Paint Creek Trail. The PCT gets a lot of publicity via a few southeastern Michigander bloggers maybe this small view of the trail helps explain why.

....the article is good, but the true wonder with the distance project is when a beginning runner goes to buy your first pair of shoes at their store. The runners are the most humble, helpful....it's hard to put words to the feeling. Fun Guv got her shoes there and the clerk, Melissa White (picture in the issue) helped her, it was me who asked about her running in Chicago, and i asked how far she runs in a week.

When i bought my first shoes, i mentioned trying to run a marathon and the clerk, Trent, not pictured in the article, was so positive about the ability i will have for finishing. That i should stop in with any questions during the training. Anybody there would help.

At first, i thought it was just a pitch....but he made no attepmt to sell me the most expensive pair of shoes. Heck...he didn't even push a Brooks on me. But i got the best shoe for me and i try to be a loyal customer. See it's a little service above self here....

Once in a while an event can occur which defines man. No i don't mean, Defines "a Man". That would be some personal individual moment. i mean, what it means to be a man, what is expected and how we react, as a gender. i had one of those moments last evening and this morning.

Lynn is my next door neighbor. She's a single mom, 40 ish with a 14 year old son. Thank god, who was at his dad's last night. Around 1:00 am our phone rings. Lynn can't find one of her dogs, Brandy. Brandy is a little old but she can still jump a fence if she thinks about it or gets scared. With the number of fireworks going off in the neighborhood, and our own cowering waterlogged dog, it's easy to understand how Brandy may have gotten spooked. Or, she's old, maybe like dogs try to do...she found a hidden corner in the back of the yard to curl up and die. i have always heard that dogs are more comfortable dying alone and will try to avoid their owners this way.

So i went through Lynn's yard with a flash light and every possible corner of her basement. Brandy is a medium sized dog, but a little girthy as most old dogs get. But....no Brandy.

7:00am. Phone rings again.... Brandy is found. Lynn went looking for her a 6:30 and found her in the middle of 19 Mile Road. She had been hit. So she called us for help. Lynn was a wreck and i wish she hadn't seen her dog this way. She wanted to help bring Brandy off the road, but Lisa stayed with her while i went with a blanket, and, this part is a little gross, a shovel to get all of Brandy off the road.

i didn't want Lynn to see her dog this way. Although she had driven by, she hadn't seen what i was able to see, or had to pick up. Basically 19 Mile Rd, by our house, has a 45 mph speed limit. This is Michigan, so most people go faster. It was night, and Brandy was a black dog in the middle of an unlit street. At least she didn't suffer.

So as i stand in the middle of the road. First i figure Lynn will want her collar. i had to remove that, and then figure i need to clean it before giving it to Lynn. Then i have to roll Brandy and parts into a old blanket. Then make sure old blanket rolls her up, completely wrapped and pick her up, making sure stuff doesn't fall out, and put her in the back of my van.

I should have brought some large black garbage bags with me. A lot of blood soaked through the blanket and got on the back of van's carpet. Which meant it soaked through onto me as i picked her up to place in the back of the van. Yay

Get back home and then make sure Lynn is distracted while Lisa goes to clean off the collar. And use two big black garbage bags to surround Brandy and duct tape overlapping ends to spare Lynn from seeing all the blood soaking through the blanket. And oxy-clean the crap, outta the back of the van. Oxy-clean does a good job at this.

i get wigged out cleaning fish. i don't hunt because the idea of field-dressing a deer makes me want to hurl. i love zombie movies because they are fake gore. Real gore and me~~not a good combo. But it was either i do this or Lynn does.

This isn't a macho thing, but these type moments define what makes men, men. i've had a few hours to take it all in, and being a terrible situation, i'm glad i was able to help my neighbor. i'm glad she was able to call us. i'm glad her son didn't have to be involved, or her ex-husband.

Ironically, Lynn's on-again/off-again boyfriend/one-time fiance was over. He bartends and had gotten over about 3:30am and they are spending the afternoon at his parents house. He didn't get up to help. Too tired.

Service above Self

Thanks for reading


L*I*S*A said...

You are a good man.

Brandy thanks you, and so does her owner, I'm sure.

Service above self.

Gknee said...

Service above self. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we all adopted this? You Rock!

Anonymous said...

That was wonderful of you to help out like that!

Kim said...

Glad to hear you are getting back on track with running. And way to go in taking care of Brandy and not let the owner know...you earned some major Man Points!

Animal said...

You da man. 'Course I already knew that, seeing as you're such a good kisser.