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That’s a picture of my new garage door opener, a thing of beauty and joy. Let me explain.

As we have collectively emerged from our personal Covid caves, among the many responses we share, one appears to be a certain intolerance for distressing situations, an impatience of sorts. It is almost as if we have tolerated so much that we have run out of whatever is needed for further tolerance. I call this the Short-Fuse-Syndrome (SFS). It is easy to notice in others: the irritation at long lines in the grocery store, the refusal to wear a mask at the CVS, the upgraded levels of tailgating and urgent driving. It is often harder to face in oneself.

It has been a hard, cold January in Johnstown, OH, and my daily walks have been sacrificed too often to frost-bite threats. While yesterday was a balmy 40 degrees, we are all hunkering down for the next vicious, soon to arrive, arctic blast of snow, sleet, ice and more frost-bite…and my aged fragile garage door opener sputtered, and died. SFS time. I researched options, made a call, the entire time rehearsing how I would try to stay polite while I dealt with the 10-day process, delays, and inconveniences. The man who answered the phone had a noisy event of some kind in the background (SFS temptation) and requested information about name, location, etc. while the noise banged on. He said he would come immediately, which startled me. I was skeptical.

No one showed up for an hour (SFS activated), when he called and confirmed my address. He had the wrong road (all that background noise) and I provided the correct address (SFS – of course he had the wrong road!). I busied myself, moving my car out, leaving the garage door open. He arrived, surprising me (SFS confusion).

We toured the garage, he said he could come back tomorrow and I noted the storm was coming (SFS confirmation ceremony). He laughed and said they could work in the cold. Then he paused and said he wanted to call his technician to see if they could do it immediately (SFS disorientation). The answer was yes, and we stood in the “balmy” outdoors by the garage as he told me of his recent trip to Florida, his years running his company, the span of services he provided, why he thought quality service was important. My skepticism was taking a hit. His technician, a serious, focused and efficient young man arrived. I went inside.

One hour later I had a new garage door opener (photo provided). I will need to take a half day to study all its wonderful technological virtues, but its greatest one is that it opens my garage door. I moved my car back in, triumphantly closed the door with the touch of a button….and pondered SFS.

I am not naturally patient. This has helped me be dogged in many endeavors, and probably has irked many coworkers along the way. Yesterday, I had to work hard to manage my SFS tendencies, and discovered by finding my small space of potential patience, what I had treated like a disaster had turned out to be a gratifying experience of a couple of helpful people providing me with superior service.

We have need of patience during our post Covid cave days. We are all a bit frayed around the edges, and all need, and deserve a dose of patience. We also might find ourselves awash in the gratitude that patience can evoke, as the relationships we create bring surprises and rewards.

If you live in the vicinity of Johnstown, OH (probably not a very large number of folks) it is "Jess Garage Doors” to contact as needed.

“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate one another.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


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