Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Condition is Genetic.

When I mention finding a tool to someone I usually receive an odd look and a carefully structured comment. Some people find it amazing, others annoying. Most people don't bother stopping to pick up anything on the side of the road or in the middle of the road for that matter. I am under the impression that people often don't see anything on their way to and from work or anywhere else.

My condition is different. I am genetically programmed to see opportunity anywhere and everywhere. My grandparents were in their twenties and thirties during the Great Depression. My parents were born during WWII. Everyone learned to do more with less. If you found something that could not be returned or was not claimed you considered it your good fortune. And unless there were extenuating circumstances you didn't pass up any opportunities.

When I was growing up my father always used a rubber gripped, steel shafted hammer. When Dad said "I need my hammer." no one in the family had to guess which hammer. One of Dad's favorite stories is how he obtained the hammer. While on his honeymoon Dad spotted this hammer in the road. He stopped traffic and grabbed the hammer. The hammer lasted over 30 years before the handle finally separated from the head. If Dad still has the hammer I'll get a picture next time I'm home. (My family also has a bit of the pack rat gene.) Through the years Dad has stopped to pick up tools and lost pairs of leather gloves. Sometimes as kids we were present and had to run back down the road to pick up the tool.

History often repeats itself. On my honeymoon I found a hammer (more later). My wife didn't want me to stop, but the pull of nostalgia, history or genes caused me to turn around and go back for the hammer. That hammer is a reminder of my past and future.

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