A Subscription, Rodney, a Civic and a Swowobile…

Grateful Blog: Day 74: I got my annual ‘SnoWest’ snowmobiling magazine today. It comes delivered to my house exactly once a year after most of the snow has fallen and is on its way out around here. I’ve been getting it now for 15 years. I get to peruse the latest and greatest and most powerful models from Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat, Polaris and Yamaha. Most of ‘em have more power and bigger engines than my 1980 Honda Civic station wagon did (although few would survive a barbed wire fence at 80 miles per hour like my Honda did).

I went snowmobiling a number of times in college. It was a blast. It was even more fun when you’d been drinking. And then it was not only fun but it was stupid and dangerous as hell. You’d lay on the throttle and suddenly your whole body would slide backwards, damn near off the seat (which would’ve hurt). The only thing still keeping you held on was a death grip on the handlebars, which were squeezed tight around the throttle. The ‘Catch-22’ lasted until you could scoot back up and regain your position—and composure on the seat. Once a guy I was snowmobiling with hit a tree. Not going all that fast, but he still hit a tree. Wrecked it pretty good. I think we were smart enough to be wearing helmets…I think…

Somewhere along the line I developed a healthy respect for those powerful machines and decided it wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t my thing like motorcycles and firearms. And redheads. No offense ladies but I know beautiful trouble when I see it. But I still get ‘SnoWest’ magazine without fail, every year. I don’t pay for it. In fact, it’s addressed to someone named Rodney G. U’ren who used to live here before I bought the place in 1997. I have no idea why they keep sending it. Is it a lifetime membership? Just totally free to every household inAmerica(do YOU get one too?). And what else was Rodney G. U’ren (if that’s even your REAL name Rodney) in to??? The mind reels and my spine shudders…

The thing is Rodney’s been doing me a favor, once a year, every year for 15 years. When I get the magazine I actually read through it. It’s filled with that certain bravado and machismo that almost all guys get when they’re about to do something exciting (Read: borderline crazy) and downright dangerous. It’s that “Hey guys! Watch THIS!” moment. That magazine reminds me that yeah, once I did dig riding snowmobiles at outrageous speeds. It reminds me that I use to like redheads maybe a little too much and I used to climb rock formations with no clear plan how to get down. And I once crashed a perfectly good Honda Civic station wagon in Spanish Fork Canyon, Provo County Utah into a perfectly good (until I got there) barb wire fence going 80 miles an hour. I have the arrest record to prove it…

All I’ve got to say today is that I’m Grateful for having survived those reckless and maybe somehow necessary transgressions of my youth. And I’m Grateful for Rodney, wherever he is, for somehow setting me up with an annual subscription that reminds me that I need to slow down, take a deep breath, and take my hand off the throttle for a bit…

P.S.: I just looked up Rodney on Facebook…and sent him a friend request…stay tuned!

A Car, A Girl and A Business Card…

Grateful Blog: Day 73: I found an old business card of mine today. It was funny. It had my name on it, right there in royal blue. ‘DanWeber’. And it had the company I worked for ‘Favorite Nurses’ and their address and phone #. The works. Pretty standard deal. My first thought was ‘Welcome to 1996’. However, I instantly remembered that guy who it belonged to. The car he drove, the job he had, the girl he was in love with and thought he gonna marry someday.

And then I thought ‘I HATED that job’ and was so Grateful that one day my awesome boss Judy said ‘My boyfriend needs someone to be his Real Estate Appraiser apprentice, know anyone?’ And being the smartass I am, I said ‘Yeah, me!’ She shot that idea down instantly. So did I. I’d be taking a huge cut in pay and she’d have to hire someone new. Nope, that wasn’t a very good idea for either of us. Then 5 hours later, while at home, she called and said ‘I know I’m going to regret this, but why don’t you come over and meet my boyfriend.’ I went right over. It was Friday afternoon We talked. About anything and everything. We actually each had a couple of coldCorona’s. That was the interview.

I got the job, with its cut in pay and I never looked back. I really dig my job now. Have for a long time. And I’ve not missed that old job a single day, not one. Finding that old business card reminded me how Grateful I was for fate intervening on my behalf. But the truth is I actually DO miss that old car I had, a 1977 Buick Skylark, the one I drove everyday to that job I hated, when I was in love with a girl that I thought I was gonna marry someday. Turns out it’s the same car I drove to my new job, and it’s the one I drove away from the church dragging tin cans and a sign that said ‘Just Married’ on the back. You know, I wish I’d have kept the car and thrown that business card away…