There Goes My Hero (Watch Him As He Goes)

Posted by mwallach on October 8, 2010 in Happy Holidays, My Kids, Tribe Members |

Dear That’s Life,

For what seemed like a supersized Sukkot (two three-day blocks of no showering will do that to a person), people complained about the abundance of family togetherness, the incessant eating, the bizarre weather and the Yankees. Some were just trying to look for a glimmer of proof that life was returning to normal. And yet my life simply went on the way one would expect. Yom Tov is no break from crazy.

Leave it to us to go away on a family trip during chol hamoed and experience not one, but two blackouts, during our stay. As always, I am thankful that my husband must have been a boy scout or MacGyver in a former life and so he had two flashlights in his car. As for me, I used the flashlight app on my i-Touch. Not old school, but still good.

It was a wild storm that ripped through the area that forced us to abandon our yearly trek to Hershey Park. There was no point in being soaked at an outdoor theme park when we could be soaked at an indoor water park where getting wet was actually the activity.  Quickly regrouping, we called for reservations at Great Wolf Lodge and were told there was availability. I was quoted a price that seemed reasonable and then began seeking the discounts I have received in the past. The AAA discount was not bad, but then I tried something else. After September 11th, many businesses began offering discounts to emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, etc. as a show of thanks. Luckily for me, such a program was offered here — except there was a catch.

“Do you have a ‘first responder’ discount?” I asked the operator at the Lodge.  “Oh!” she replied.  “Did you mean our ‘Howling Heroes’ package?” I cringed; that was going to leave a mark. Having to tell my husband that we were getting a significant discount would be the easy part; having to refer to him as a ‘howling hero’ was going to be more than I could take. “Um, yeah,” I replied and she began to apply the discount to our reservation.  “Will he have a valid EMT identification card with when you check in?” she asked. “Sure will,” I said.  “And he’ll also have an oxygen tank, and a defibrillator as well, if you would prefer.”  “That’s okay,” said the operator, unfazed.  “The ID will be fine.”

I had a brief panic attack as I imagined him actually being handed a cape when we arrived, but my fears were not realized nor did I have to call him ‘hero’ for the duration of our stay. What a relief. Frankly, with the power out, we had other things to keep us busy like preparing dinner and keeping the kids calm. The hotel did a pretty good job of keeping us informed of the situation and monitoring the progress of repairs. They even handed out glow sticks to patrons to help guide our way. Going on a family trip for 36 hours only to lose power twice at our hotel for extensive periods of time might qualify as crazy to some people, but to me, it’s just Tuesday.

So when I walked a mile-and-a-half in the pouring rain on Simchas Torah morning to make sure our lunch guests knew to not eat meat at the shul Kiddush because lunch would be dairy, that was not crazy either — I had had a vivid dream that our friends were having p’cha for breakfast. Anyone whom I passed that morning who knew me asked what in the world I was up to so early. They noticed that I was completely drenched and headed in the opposite direction of the rest of the world that was walking to shul while I was walking home. I simply explained my mission and despite the incredulous looks I received I offered the same simple observation over and over: this was NOT the craziest thing about me.

Welcome back to normal.


As seen in The Jewish Star Oct. ’10

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