Day 19: Spokane, WA

Pay It Forward

It was a morning like any other,
doing all the morning things,
shower, coffee, breakfast, floss...
oops! pop goes a tooth crown!
And here I am 1500 miles from my dentist.

I can click the crown back in place,
and there is no pain, yet,
but I'm thinking it could easily come off
when I'm eating, and I could swallow the tooth,
and that could lead to all sorts of complications
not the least of which would be the need to
poke around in my own excrement to find it.
And, if I did find it, do I really want it back in my mouth?

A call to my home dentist is returned right away (Sunday!)
and as always, he is a calming influence,
saying that he would gladly see me tomorrow if
I jumped on a plane to get to his office, (which I would gladly do)
but advises that a local dentist could deal with a temp glue-job
that could last until I get back to home base.
More calls to local good friend Kate for number
of her family dentist, then messages to his home,
but he is on the road, on the way home,
so now it's just a waiting game.

It's always interesting to see how life can change
in an instant, and based on the smallest of details.
I am reminded of this ancient children's rhyme:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Within the hour, Dr. House, the Spokane dentist,
called me at the hotel, and offered to see me at his office
in half an hour... on Sunday! Wow!
And in no time at all, I was all fixed up.
We were walking out to the parking lot,
when I was struck by the fact that
he had not even mentioned payment for his services,
so I asked him: "How much?" and he simply smiled and said:
"Pay It Forward".
How incredible is that!?

I have seen the movie, and
I subscribe to the principle in my life,
and extend the same terms to those people I mentor,
but I was completely surprised to meet someone else
who lived by the "Pay It Forward" philosophy.

At a time when the world seems to be coming apart at the seams,
there are rays of hope that we may be intrinsically good enough
to save ourselves.
If it were possible to have a critical mass of people
committed to the Pay It Forward principle,
we just may survive, and prosper.

What can YOU do to Pay It Forward?

The Pool

The finals of the WPBA qualifier were extraordinary.
The winner, Canadian Joanne Ashton, was being crushed 5-0
and yet won the next 5 games to bring the score even,
and continued with a knock-down, drag-out match
and eventually won 9-8.
She played very smart pool, and I learned a few things
which I'm sure will help my game.
Congrats Joanne!

Sean and Susie didn't show up today,
probably already left for the long drive home to Seattle,
so I didn't get the chance to play him again.
I shot a few racks after the women's final was over,
but didn't get a game.

Tonight I treat Katie, Richard, Maggie and Evie
to a first class meal at the Luna Restaurant
(absolutely excellent, by the way)
for having taken such good care of me
for the last few days. I'll miss them.

Riding solo from the restaurant back to the hotel,
I dropped the top and luxuriated in the 82 degree
evening air, cruising slowly along thru curvy streets
still wet from sprinkler runoff.
It was one of those perfect summer car-times.
It could have been any car, and I could have been 18 again.
It felt great!

I leave Spokane tomorrow morning,
and have no idea where I'll go next.
Probably east, maybe south.
Another scorcher today, with temps over 105 degrees.

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