Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Case Of Dozer Envy

When Rex moves, he really moves!

About six weeks ago my neighbor Rex began moving his family to a new home in the town of Macclenny a few miles west of Jacksonville. He owns some acreage out there in the pine woods where he’s building a new home himself. He’s building it from digging the foundations to mounting the chimney cap.

He has mechanical aptitude.

To landscape the new home, he decided to move some things to his new home before he rents out the old place in our neighborhood.

So Friday he showed up nest door with a bulldozer.

A huge yellow machine with metal tank treads, a digging scoop on one end and a bulldozer blade on the other. With surgical precision Rex lifted three trees, a bunch of border grass, and a dozen hedge plants (each between eight and ten feet tall) out of the ground and placed them in a truck to transplant at his new home.

I helped out by carrying him a glass of ice water.

Mostly I just watched.

My camera is out by our fountain where I’ve been stalking the elusive ruby-throated hummingbird to snap a photo, so I missed taking a picture of the dozer in action.

Now here’s the kicker.

Sid, Rex’s son who is about seven or eight years old, tagged along to help. Rex has taught Sid how to operate this big yellow dozer. During a break, Sid explained to me how one lever lifts the shovel and another dumps it. He explained to me how the dozer will turn on a dime if you make one set of treads churn forward and the other set in reverse.

Rex had time constraints so neither Sin nor I got to work the dozer Friday, but Rex says that Sid can dig an adequate hole once they get home--- I emphasize that Rex observes every safety precaution and supervises closely as he teaches his son skills which he himself learned as a boy.

Over the years I have watched Rex teach Sid how to peddle a tricycle, ride a bike, drive a battery-powered ATV. What a great Dad. Sid is growing up with a sense of confidence and such a positive self-image knowing he is loved and protected and that he can do mighty things.

I never learned how to do stuff like that.

How I wish my Dad had shown me guy stuff like this.

I wish I could have passed on such skills to my sons and daughters.

I wanted to drive Rex’s dozer and dig a hole myself so bad I could taste it.

A guy with that kind of dozer power at his finger tips must feel like Godzilla or the Incredible Hulk!

I wanted to try my hand at ripping up trees.

Wow! Picture me at the controls of a big yellow dozer.

How macho is that?

But, no time.

There was work to be done.

I didn’t get to climb up to the driver’s seat.

I never touched the controls.

I felt both disappointed and relieved.

Actually I was scared to touch the thing. Boy! Is that dozer loud.

So, I had to be content with letting a seven-year-old boy mater of factly explain to me how the big yellow dozer works.

Oh well, when it comes to gifts, God has endowed each of us with our own. When it comes to mechanical aptitude, I’m a whiz with a Scotch Tape dispenser.

Most of the day Saturday, Ginny and I lounged in the pool floating on air mattresses, holding hands, chatting, and napping.

We enjoyed lunch at Georgie’s BBQ where we briefly talked with the manager, the guy whose heart red-lined once when we were there. I wrote about that back on July 29th “One Thousand And One…” and on August 3rd “Was It Something I Said” in 2007.

By God’s grace a roomful of people jumped in to save his life.

I could not help but reflect on the difference between that situation of responding to an individual having a heart attack and the CERT Training we are taking to prepare for dozens or even hundreds of victims in a major life-threatening situation.

Our training gears us for major disasters such as an atomic bomb, a Cat Three hurricane, or a terrorist attack when there will be multiple victims in bad shape and no outside help can arrive for days on end.

In such scenarios, if we survive ourselves, our goal is to do the greatest good for the greatest number—Keep ‘em breathing, Keep ‘em from bleeding out, and Keep ‘em from further shock.

And, of course, if the place is on fire, to Keep ‘em from burning.

No CPR. No holding hands. No splinting broken burns—just do the essentials for as many as possible knowing that many others will suffer and die of our reach.

I wish more people on our block at signed up for this training.

We have no guarantee that we will survive, but if by God’s grace we do, it’s going to feel awfully lonely out there.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 9:13 AM


At 1:43 PM, Blogger agoodlistener said...

I used to work for a Caterpillar dealer, so I got to drive a track loader and a hydraulic excavator. It is very fun, but scary. When you climb a pile of dirt and plunge down the other side, you are certain you will flip over and be crushed. Our six year old grandson will explain video games to you, if you like.


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