Jim’s Maxim

Played out in risk sensitive fields. The electric outlet not GFCI protected becomes the favorite to run extension cords out to parties on wet grass. The corporate exec who uses “password” as password.

As a pastor and insurance adjuster, this maxim to capture the Delta-V of where you are likely to experience a loss. It is a moving target. In my last church, now over 80 years old, we inspected and protected every outdoor outlet with GFCI “ground fault” protection. To my shock (forgive the pun), the lawn carnival, water slide vendors, not finding a nearby outlet, opened the nearest door and plugged extension cords into 20 amp nonprotected electrical outlets.

Using “Jim’s Maxim,” the jump-house people, who assured us that all their equipment was “GFCI protected,” admitted to me they either didn’t have GFCI or forgot to bring it. Now we had 500 youth and children on campus to enjoy the nearly inflated water slide. We had a choice – shut down the main event …. or make a Home Depot run for a solution:

Solution: a 20 amp GFCI extension cord.

-Pastor Jim

Costco Lady in the Mask

Today I exited Costco of Prescott with two $43 boxes of Newman’s coffee pods and two bags of cauliflower tortillas and 3 bags of Keto cereal, placed the items inside the rear hatch of my Acadia, and pressed the hatch close button. Then I saw a 4×4 pickup waiting for my spot like a Robin for a worm. So, I plopped behind the wheel, removed my Covid mask and visor, backed out and pulled forward a few feet. The pickup crept behind me like someone lacking social distancing. But there in center isle ahead a silver haired woman cut across my path, with a blue face mask that covered all but her blue eyes … focused on me.

Is she looking for her car? Did she need help? Was she disoriented? I don’t feel like socializing. Great, now she’s pointing. Is she pointing to her spouse in a vehicle behind me? Now I’m caught between this lady’s hand signals and her husband. Did she belong with the 4×4 truck who couldn’t get into my space? I wondered how much patience this truck would tolerate this wayward senior. This turned into a scene.

Oh, no. She did not gesture at another vehicle but waved at me. Still pointing at some mysterious apparition. So I accepted my duty to assist the poor woman. I put on my face visor like crooked glasses, rolled down my window and greeted her. She crept to my driver’s door, bent her head and whispered loudly for the hearing impaired, still pointing, ” Did you know your rear hatch is up?”

Glancing in my rearview, I indeed saw my hatch up and the 4×4 still idling, now with other cars gathering behind it. Certainly their conversation swirled around the poor old man rescued by the silver sneakered doo-gooder. Because the two Costco size coffee boxes blocked the electric door path, I had to exit the cab, wave at the sympathetic eyes of those watching a man about to scatter 200 coffee pods across six lanes of traffic.

The silver angel disappeared with approving nod and hidden masked grin of “I told you so.” The truck parked. Traffic passed.

As I left Costco, I called my wife who said, “You see, you can’t go to Costco without me!” I have advanced to the ranks of I can’t go anywhere without my wife, and she has proof. What’s next? Coffee cup on the roof? Card left at the register? (I did check for that before I left the lot).

Self-checkout: In our mid-Covid, post-Capitol time of prepare for the worst and trust no one, I had a masked reminder of why we need each other. We need to learn to trust again. Kindness cannot exist without trust. When I roll my window to give a dollar to a homeless person, I take a trust risk. When I pause to help one who lost her way, I trust that I won’t lose my way. Kindness shown means kindness received. Rather than a political agenda, let us muster a kindness agenda.

Love is patient, love is kind. - I Corinthians 13

– Pastor Jim