Day 150: Good deeds on call

Today I had three, count ’em, three calls from the same company offering duct cleaning services.

My ducts may very well need a good spit and polish, but you have to be in the mood to face such tasks and, well, I just wasn’t feelin’ it today, as my sister would say.

I very politely told the first caller “thanks, but no thanks.” When I explained to the second caller that someone from his company had already phoned, he kept insisting that that was impossible. I managed to remain calm and convince him that not only was it possible — it had just happened!

Now, it was the third call that required all the good-deed spirit I could muster. Again, the man had difficulty accepting that two other staffers had already contacted me. “Tell me about it,” is what I felt like saying, no, SCREAMING.

But I reminded myself that these guys were merely doing their job and, using my inside voice, I helped him understand that there would be no point in a fourth call…. So far, so good.

cessna182High-flying hero
The good deeds practiced by the everyday hero I’d like to mention today were significantly greater than mine — you could call them sky high, in fact. Herluf Nielsen was a 67-year-old Alberta pilot who’d spent 20 years rescuing others — in his spare time.

Mr. Nielsen was one of Canada’s 20,000 volunteer air search-and-rescue force. These brave men and women are on call all day, every day. They routinely risk their lives to recover lost hikers, stranded rock climbers, sinking boats and missing Alzheimer’s patients. As volunteers, they may have to spend $500 or more on their own boots, ropes and other equipment.

Last Saturday night, after a practice exercise, Mr. Nielsen crashed his Cessna 182 in dense fog near Innisfail, Alberta. He was found dead in his plane early Sunday morning. A hero, indeed.

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