Winching, levering, pushing and pulling, we slowly raised the ramp up the beach to its intended perch. But the last few inches seemed out of reach. It was a combination of too many blocks on too short a line bunching up and jamming on a piece of wood that got twisted in the way and denied us the last, say, foot. At most. We were hanging by a foot!
And then D drove by in his boat. Good ol’ D. He of the mountain-man variety. The guy who falls trees and then mills them to make his own boat from scratch. And then lives in it! In the wilderness!! The kinda guy who once used a tree to ‘lever’ a stuck pick-up out of a ditch. Good ol’ D.
“So, looks like you are comin’ along with that ol’ ramp quite nicely, eh?”
“Not so nicely. Last ten inches or so….(puff, puff)………can’t quite get ér…….(puff, puff) …..don’ wanna talk about it. Really. Nice to see ya. See ya later.”
“Now, now………let’s just let Mr Exasperation settle down……..can’t get much done when your face is all red and all, now can ya? Thought of a lever?”
“Yup!” (said with a look that could kill while I quietly wondered where my shotgun was). “Yup. Thought about a lever. Yup! Thinkin’ about something else right about now, tho….!”
“OK. We’ll just give Mr. Exasperation a few more minutes, shall we……….(tick tock, tick tock)………….so, now how ’bout tryin’ a lever thingy? Long levers move the world, ya know? We can just pick it right up. Easy like?”
I claim maturity. I claim sanity. I claim reasonableness. But those are just claims. Not facts. Any maturity shown under trying conditions is really quite the exception, really. I harrumphed. I simmered. I glowered. And I talked Mr Exasperation back into the dark hole in which he lives. I relaxed. I took a deep breath……….“Geez, a lever, you say? What a great idea. Just how would you go about afixin’ that lever now?”
A few minutes later D was on the job, the giant lever (made from a beam of steel that I hadn’t considered because it was too heavy to imagine working ‘easy-like’) was expertly put in place and we lifted the ramp onto the perch like a sparrow landing in a tree. Thanks and congratulations all around and D left to carry on rescuing others. We cleared up and stopped for tea.
“Silly, isn’t it? I needed help getting that last foot up. Bugged me. Just being silly about it, tho. It was good. D was great. Me just being silly. Glad it is up. No one was hurt. D made it simple. We are good. It was good. I am glad.”
“We woulda got it.”
“I know…………but……well……..D is pretty bloody good at thinkin’ outside the box. ‘Specially out here. The guy approaches things differently. It’s like convention never crosses his mind but simple and direct does. He’s remarkable that way. And why is it that simple and direct is not conventional? Should be. But it isn’t. That kind of pure thinkin’ is a delight to see. Guess I am just a little jealous that I was not that far out of the box.”
“Well, lighten up! The guy could teach a course in thinking outside the box but we’d never get him in a boxy classroom in which to do it. He’d just say, ‘No one learns anything in a room except maybe how to paint walls. Ya wanna learn about livin’ out here…ya gotta live out here. Kinda chicken and egg, if you know what I mean?’ So, you OK?”
“Of course. Better than OK. Great, really. Good impression of D, by the way. I just got another lesson on thinking differently, is all. Got a lesson on outside the box. Another degree up on the off-the-grid learning curve. And it is all being taught in an outdoor classroom. That’s the best part, really.”