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How The @#$% Was Your Summer?

September 1, 2017

Summer is not my favorite time of year. I love Fall. I love the change in seasons. I live in Utah, so we get lots of Fall color. I love the start of football season, and the baseball playoffs. I love the Fall holidays starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday then New Years.

Summer is not my favorite. So, I didn’t expect to love Summer 2017. I didn’t. I hated it. Easily one of the worst summers of my life. Not quite as bad as being banished to the desert wasteland of Central Washington as a youth, but very, very close.

First, let me say that, I’m fine. No, really. Yesterday I took a slight turn through some introspective thoughts that gave you just a peek into my psyche. I don’t want anyone starting to worry that I might disappear or do something rash. Really, I’m FINE.

But, there are times. There were times this summer when I was definitely not fine. I’ll talk about just three.

Maxim #32: Anything Is Amphibious If You Can Get It Back Out Of The Water

Let’s start with the easy one. I wrecked my car. Drove it. . .actually crashed it into a creek driving up a muddy road in Spanish Fork Canyon. I was totally in control until my wheels lost traction and the car took on a mind of its own. All I could do was helplessly hold on and wait for the car to stop.

I wasn’t hurt. The car faired slightly worse. Hole in the front bumper. The actual steel beam that is the bumper was wrapped like a horseshoe. The radiator was trashed as well as the AC condensor. Cost $500 to pull it out of the creek and haul it back to my house. Then, $400 worth of new parts to get it fixed. I did the body work. My neighbor did the AC and his son did the radiator. I love my neighbors. I didn’t even have to ask, they just showed up.

You’d think a car accident would be traumatic. Or at least unsettlings. Nope. It was mostly just inconvenient. I kept waiting for the shock to set in. It’s been over a month. I’ve quit waiting. But, it was the start of worse things to come.

It’s Time To End My Pain

A close friend decided she’d simply come to the end. She texted her family and friends announcing her intention to end her life. She lives here in Utah but travelled to Arizona to confront her boyfriend before ending her life in a way that was “fast and don’t think I’ll suffer.”

One of the worst days of my life. We were all frantically texting her. We tracked her phone to Phoenix. But, she figured out what we were doing and turned off Location Services. We called Phoenix police, her boyfriend and anyone else we thought might be able to contact her. For 18 hours we didn’t know. We didn’t know if the next text would be someone saying they had found her body. I’ve never felt so helpless in my life.

Call me! Or call your sister, or your mom! Call someone. Let us know you are safe.

It worked. Eventually, she realized that at 22 she has her whole life in front of her. She’s back in Utah and putting her life back together. But, we still worry.

Her First Helicoptor Ride At 3 Hours Old

My daughter had a baby this summer. That should be a happy coda at the end of string of bad experiences. But, there was a problem with the baby.

We thought we’d Life Flight her down to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, but I think we need to send her up to Primary Children’s

I watched the paramedics load her tiny body surrounded by a cargo-hold full of medical equipment into the distinctive red and white Life Flight helicoptor. It lifted off from American Fork Hospital circled around the South end of the hospital and made a beeline for the 13 minute flight to Salt Lake City. I stood there in the parking lot and realized that once again, I was powerless. The attending doctor was with me,

She’s a pretty sick little girl. I hope they can figure out what’s wrong

They weren’t sure she’d make it through the first night. Then they were hoping she’d make it a week. And all the while they were telling us what wasn’t making her sick.

She’s better. She’s still in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU.) But, she’s now breathing on her own and best of all they figured out what was making her sick. It’s very rare. We’re not sure what that will mean for her long term recovery. But, for now, we are just enjoying the time we have and praying for the future.

My boss is one of those who believe that things happen in threes. I want to believe him. We have the normal stresses that affect all parents of teenagers. Life is good. It really is. Things could be (and in the past have been) so much worse. I have a wonderful lovely wife whom I adore. I have a job that I love doing. We planted 3′ tall bareroot Maple trees three years ago. Those trees are 20′ tall and look great as the leaves turn this Fall.

So, bring on the cooler weather. I’m more than ready to put Summer 2017 in the rearview mirror.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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