Several years ago I worked with a man named Kurt Rogers. Kurt had a unique and humorous way of looking at life.
He told me a funny story about a young boy asking what he did for a living.
“I work on shuttles son!”
Kurt said the youngster was all ears.
“Yesterday, I worked on two of them.”
The boy quickly darted away to tell his parents.
Kurt was a heavy equipment mechanic for the State of Alaska. The shuttles he referred to merely shuttled, or spread sand from a huge pile onto area roads and streets. Commonly the devices were called sanders.
Kurt Rogers had an imagination as big as mine; perhaps larger. Neither one of us saw harm in using imagination to make our day a little brighter.
Several years after the shuttle story, Kurt was involved in a horrific explosion. One of the sanders he was working on had a fuel tank explosion. It was a miracle that he survived.
In spite of terrible burns and other serious injuries, Kurt still carried a keen sense of humor through it all. He often joked that he’d not be winning any most handsome man awards like in the past.
When my children were young, I had my own way of making simple things seem large and important. After both were in the car or truck, I’d ask if they were ready to blastoff? That meant having their seat belts on. Only after all belts were securely fastened did I touch the ignition. I continued using the countdown even when they were in their teens.
When Gunnar and Miranda were in college, I still quietly counted down before starting the engine. It’d become habit by then. Eventually, I added a personalized plate to our truck with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 numbers. That lasted for several years until Joleen asked me to remove them. People inquired much too often on what the numbers meant. Some were totally confused.
Instead of telling a lengthy story, it became faster saying our license plate number was easy to remember.
Sadly, Kurt Rogers is gone. The shuttles are now being maintained by other trained technicians. Kurt’s most likely amusing people in Heaven with his clever anecdotes. My two children have kids of their own now. Hopefully they utilize the blastoff term like me, to turn a mundane car ride into a rocket trip to the moon. Some people say that imagination is hereditary. I hope it is!
Recently, I came across a pair of those 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 license plates in a box. Although they’re no longer legal, they were slapped on my car for sentimental reasons. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I thought back to those days of having little ones in the back seat.
“Are we ready for blastoff?”
Hearing no response, I assumed all systems were go.
Today’s unplanned solo mission is a trip to the grocery store for milk.