Strangers in a Hot Tub

Strangers in a Hot Tub
First of all, I’d like to point out that it has been nearly 7 months since I have posted anything on this Blog. My life has been full even though these pages have been empty.
So, beginning this first day of a new year, I’d like to set in motion a new resolve write a little everyday.

This past year we volunteered to spend 9 months laboring for free at the Holbrook SDA Indian School in Holbrook, AZ. At first we thought that this would be a warmer alternative than spending another Winter in Bozeman, MT.

OK, nearly a thousand miles south should do the trick, but the elevation in Holbrook is nearly the same as Bozeman. So, the temps may not plummet as deep, but they are STILL cold. And the wind… did I mention the wind?

As a treat, we took off for the warm desert areas for a couple of weeks during the Holidays, going first to spend Christmas in Las Vegas with Evelyn’s brother and family. Should be warm in Vegas, right? Guess again. Well, it was, but we still encounter a snow flurry. Fortunately it had disappeared by mid morning and didn’t impede our progress out of town the next day.

We made it to Yuma, AZ just after dark last Wednesday. We had set up appointments for some dental work to be done on Thursday at 9 am. We could not locate our favorite dentist, Beatrice Sotelo, so I began a search for available dentists in Los Algadones. I quickly narrowed the 300+ candidates to 3. Then began negotiations for the lowest price for the available time frame. Of course, someone in their office would also have to be fluent in English, since our Spanish is so rusty it squeaks when used.

Someone named Angelina from Castle Dental responded to my questions. She fairly exuded personality … even in her emails. So, we settled on Castle. Angelina, it turned out was the office manager, and the wife of one of the three dentists. She also turned out to be Personality Plus.

Even though we spent the next 4 1/2 hour in the dental chairs on our wedding anniversary, nine crowns and one root canal between us, costing only $2,050 left us mighty thankful for the way God had led us in this search.

But wait… I’ve been staying from the title topic. While we are waiting for the last two crowns to be made, we ran over to some hot springs just southeast of Holtville, CA. This has been a choice camping place for us in the past, so we feel quite at home here in the hot water.

The first night in the tubs we fell into conversation with a nice young fellow who just happened to look like a skinhead. When Evelyn said something about me getting nearly as bald as him, he said he didn’t think so. He was the recipient of Gulf War disease. As a result of his service there he has absolutely NO hair anywhere on his body, with the exception of eyelashes. But, as he explained, he feels so blessed, because a high percentage of his buddies have since died of cancer. He’d rather be alive with no hair than die a lingering death from cancer.

I felt rather ashamed that I had so quickly, judged and mislabeled a very articulate and interesting individual. I wanted to thank him for doing what he thought was a good service for America, then having to carry these scares for life. I wanted to apologize for the wickedness of my generation that would create and educate young people for that kind of service, then inundate them with dirty bombs and munitions that spread disease and sickness upon our own soldiers. I had trouble holding back the tears. I wanted to…

But I didn’t, and I’m sorrier for that.