Gifts

I just hit my 20 year mark with the company. For this, I received my choice of anniversary gift. You go to a link and they have various gifts you can get depending on which anniversary it is. 10 years ago, I got a set of Henkels knives. 5 years ago, I got a GPS which I gave to my now wife because she was always calling me asking for directions. She lost the GPS so it was a bit of a wasted gift. This time around I got another set of knives. While I got 13 the last time, this time I only got 7, but these are larger and a higher quality of knife. Included was a steel to sharpen the knives with and a pair of kitchen shears. The same set sells on Amazon for $299.95. If I make it to 25, I get an even fancier and higher quality set.

In my younger years I worked as a line cook for a year when I lived in Iowa. The Chef taught me the value of a good Chef’s knife. If there is only one knife you are going to get, it should be the Chef’s knife. You can cut, chop, slice, dice, whatever you need. It is a tool of the trade, what makes a craftsman a craftsman. I bought an 8” chef’s knife back then that has lasted me until this day, although it is showing some serious wear just like its owner. I was hoping this set would have a replacement knife. It does have a 6” chef’s knife, but it is also not the same quality as the one I bought. My ten year gift set had an 8″ chef’s knife, but it wasn’t the highest quality either, and thus has just sat in the drawer — no threat to my best knife. This year’s knives are better quality, but still not the absolute best. Not a bad quality, but still not as good as the one I bought. I am hoping the 25th anniversary set will have the 8” Chef’s Knife and it will be of the absolute best quality.

I did not bother to look at what they offer for 30 years. I thought a few years ago, I could keep up at this until I am 72 when my daughter will graduate college, but I don’t think I will make it that far. To get to 30, I will have to work till 66. All I can do is hope for good health, and a very slow physical decline.

Today is a cold icy day, and coming into work, my one goal for the day was to make it through without slipping and falling. We did a third floor carry down and then outside down a set of icy steps, and onto an icy sidewalk. My partner and I took our time. Stopping on each landing, making certain one of the firefighters was watching my back as I went down backwards, carrying the foot end, using the tracks when we could, lifting when the turns were too narrow.

The next call was a young woman with abdominal pain. I don’t hear so well anymore, but I believe she said she had pain in her lower left abdomen going down into her “boom pie.” I have never heard that expression before and of course am not certain I didn’t mishear it. She may have said something else, but that is what I heard. Regardless, I got the general impression that she may have pelvic inflammatory disease. While my hearing is getting bad (my wife tells me I need to get it checked. What? I say.). My sense of smell was still going strong as this woman smelled like she had been smoking weed. I took in a deep breath just to confirm my impression. Yup, smells like weed, I thought, and found myself looking back on my own life and times. One of the hallmarks of getting old seems to be that you are always thinking about the past. People ask what it was like to be a medic in Hartford back in the day. I say, while for one, the expression “Back in the Day” hadn’t been invented then, or if it had it certainly wasn’t in common vocabulary. I’m not certain when I first started hearing people say that, but I know it wasn’t being said around here 20 years ago.

All told, I have been in EMS 26 years, but you obviously don’t get credit for the gift awards for the years you weren’t with the company.

The sun is up now and the ice is melting. I take off my winter jacket. My partner is snoring next to me in the driver’s seat. My wife says I also snore, sometimes so bad she goes and sleeps on the couch. I don’t think I snored so much as a younger man, but maybe it is because I am more tired these days. Nevertheless, it is clearly warming up as melting ice falls on the windshield from the tree we are parked under outside a Dunkin’ Doughnuts. Instead of eating a frosted glazed doughnut like I used to, I have been snacking on my stash of organic food bars, including a tasty 100% Grass Fed Beef Habanero and Cherry Epic bar with 13 grams of protein and glutten-free. Trying to stay healthy. Trying to stay in the game.

I really do want to get that 25 year Knife Set.

***

Here’s what I wrote about my ten year gift. (Yes, I have been blogging that long!)

Steak Knives and Molecules

Back then, my blog was called Paramedic Journal: A Year on the Streets

I wrote almost every day. Not so anymore. But I still consider it a gift to be here, working as a paramedic, and writing when I have both the energy and the inspiration.

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