Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This is the first Thursday since I have been in EMS that I have not had a regular shift scheduled on this day.
When I started in 1989 at a small ambulance company, I worked every Thursday. When I went to work for the state, I rode with a volunteer ambulance every Thursday night. When I became a full-time paramedic in 1995, I worked Tuesdays through Thursdays. When I went to nights, I worked Thursday nights. When my shift changed to being the contract medic in the suburban town, I worked Thursdays through Saturdays. This past year I switched to Sundays through Tuesdays as my regular shift.
So what did I do for my first free Thanksgiving?
I signed up to work 18 hours in the city. 18 hours at double time and a half, and because it is an overtime shift, it really works out to be triple time. For that kind of money, I can roast my turkey on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, one of the ambulance volunteers stopped by and said the Food Share turkey drive was 3,000 turkeys short. He left us $20 to go buy some turkeys, so my partner and I went down to the supermarket and pitched in some money of our own and bought 8 turkeys, which we brought up to the Food Share lot. They were so happy to see us their manager took our picture. Nothing beats giving for putting you in a good spirit.
What am I thankful for on this holiday?
That everyone I have known who has gone to Iraq has come back alive.
That I still have my health and am still working as a paramedic — that I have a job where I can help people — help which for the most part, they appreciate. And while it is not everyday I medically save anyone’s life, simply by being nice to them, talking to them, making sure they are comfortable, I can make a difference in their day when they are in need of a little compassion.
And I’m thankful for my friends and family, who I should spend more time with than I do, particuarly around Holidays.
Life never takes you where you thought it might, but I still appreciate the chance to walk through the leaves on November days.
“walking through the leaves, falling from the trees…”-Bob Dylan