A few nights ago I’m sitting on the patio.  The weather was fair, I had a good book in hand, a cool drink on the table beside me, and a stogie the size of Delaware between my fingers.  At the moment life seemed to be pretty good.  And I knew it.  A short time later a noise was in the air and in an instant I knew what it was.  It has a distinct sound and I’ve heard it enough to be sure what it was.  As it grew louder I dropped the book and looked upward to try and catch the first glimpse of it.  This noise was an emergency helicopter moving in to land at the hospital right down the road.  The tilt of the rotor blades gives it away long before you see it.  It moves in low and loud and usually circles once before landing, most times it goes right over our house.  Tonight was no exception.  I remember a few years ago when it first was able to land down there.  It was about 9:30 at night and in it came, what a sight it was.  I was sitting out as I was on this evening and just for the heck of it I decided I wanted to go watch it land.  I got the wife and off we went.  I figured we pull up, watch it land out of the truck windows and when it was all said and done drive home.  When we got there it was like the circus was coming to town.  Everybody and their neighbor was up there.  Holy crap.  Talk about a town with little excitement and nothing to do.  How did they all get up there so fast?  The adjacent parking lots were all trucks and tailgates down getting ready for the show.  Anyway that was the first and last time we went.  I found out later they announce it over the police and fire band radios and everyone hears it on their scanners.  Regardless, after it passed over our house and started its descent I got to thinking that right now there is someone being prepped for the ride and in desperate need of something that the local hospital could not provide.  There are more than likely family members and friends that are there as well, most likely in a very worried state.  Unsure of what was to come next and as soon as that bird is gone so will they, chasing it in their cars to the next destination.  As bad as I piss and moan about how difficult some days are I realized that any one of those folks up there would give anything to trade places with me at that very instant.  I know I’ll still complain, we all do, but I now have the visual image of that helicopter and all the worry, pain and suffering that goes with it etched in my mind.  I believe it will become a vivid reminder that things could be so much worse when I think the worst is in front of me.

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