When I heard a strange sound and the lift on my van began operating erratically this weekend -- with me on it -- I knew what that meant: a trip to the repair shop. Fortunately, I was able to get an appointment today. That was a good thing, as the lift completely stopped working after I got inside the van. But that was okay because I figured that as long as I got in the van, it would be the repair shop's problem to get me out!
In these days of instant gratification, I hate to wait for things as much as the next person, but I have to say that I always meet someone interesting in the waiting room whenever I go to get the lift repaired. The truth of the matter is that no one wants to be there, sitting around waiting as time wastes away, for what figures to be an expensive bill. But aside from looking around the showroom at the equipment and vehicles you only wish you could afford, watching whatever the person who got there before you put on TV, or staring aimlessly at the wall, there's only so much you can do you. So you end up talking to other people, asking the inevitable "So, why are you here?" or "How long have you been waiting?"
But you never know where a conversation will lead or what you might learn. On one occasion, I met an engineer who taught me about some of the specifications of my wheelchair. We have actually become friends since our initial meeting. On another occasion, I met a retired law enforcement agent, and together we watched a news broadcast of the funeral of a fallen police officer.
Today, I met two Vietnam veterans. The two men did not know each other, but it was interesting to listen to their conversation. I'm not sure that I would have supported the Vietnam War had I been alive at that time, but you can't help but be amazed by the strength and encourage of the men who serve in the military during times of war. People often tell me that they couldn't imagine living my life, but let me tell you, I cannot begin to imagine the horrors that face soldiers on a daily basis, even today.
After meeting the two veterans today, even my $300 bill didn't seem like such a horror!