Saturday, February 13, 2010

That Big Wheel

What goes around come around, eh?  Remember a snippet of the lyrics from The Steve Miller Band's 1977 "Book of Dreams?"

"I've got to keep on keepin' on,
You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin' around.."

That catchy little phrase has always stuck in my synapses as a metaphor for "all in a day's karma," as Dear Friend Wayne R. would say.  What is it about our lives that always causes the Big Wheel to bring us back...back to the past...and back to the future?

So it was yesterday with NVUM.  I'm not going to digress on the meaning of that acronym at this point--that comes later.  First, I'd like to tell a story.  When we retired the first time in 2001, we had a magical summer up in Dixie.  (Now, it's Down in Dixie.)  We thought we would be going back to Dixie forever.  Meanwhile on New Year's Eve of 2001, we discovered NVUM online.  We sent an email to the individual listed as a contact and were amazed to receive a reply only a few days later.  One thing led to another and we became Secret Shoppers for NVUM, a life change that lasted over 5.5 years and took us into perhaps 50 National Forests in roughly two dozen states all over America. Our involvement with NVUM was truly life changing.  When we look back on our lives, there is no doubt that NVUM and our Supervisor had a profound impact on our future, changing it into what it is today.  The timing of our NVUM discovery on December 31, 2001, is now viewed a a key turning point and milestone in our lives.  We will be forever thankful and indebted to Our Supervisor for the gifts of our participation in the NVUM program.  THANK YOU, SUE!  (Cue online applause and virtual standing ovation for Sue.)

Well, our NVUM involvement closed on an incredibly poetic note in October 2007.  Susun's Mom and Sister came to visit us in Idaho Falls.  We invited them to go to Slide Lake on the Gros Ventre River north of Jackson Hole to do an NVUM interview there.  The day turned out to be way beyond magical and we wound up standing on the shore of Jenny Lake snapping a photo of Susun and her Beloved Mom.  Who could have known that a mere year later, Susun and her daughters would be at the same spot scattering Doris' ashes at that special place?  Our last NVUM experience was so special to both of us that we decided it would have to be the last--it would be impossible to create anything more special than those golden moments.

Meanwhile, time passed and that Big Wheel?  Well, it kept on spinnin' around.

Here we find ourselves at yet another critical juncture in our lives--one filled with opportunity, challenge, mystery and surprise.  LBR's know that's the very reason we're writing this lumbering blog--to chronicle how these changes are taking place in yet another milestone year.

LBR's know that we've Crossed The Rubicon as far as our job is concerned and as Major Powell said before entering the Granite Gorge, "We know not what lies ahead."  Susun and I are big on omens.  A little omen here and there goes a long way.  LBR's know that we observed a key omen on January 29 when we made the phone call to Kent in Boise.  (Click here to review that omen.)

Meanwhile, time passed and that Big Wheel?  Well, it kept on spinnin' around.

In the back of my mind, I have been wondering when the next omen would appear.  What would it be?  What would it look like?  How would it manifest itself?  Would we recognize it?   Well, wonder no more.  It happened yesterday right about the time I got off the clock at 2 pm.  We re-discovered NVUM!!!!  Can you believe it?  Well, lemme tell ya,  we even had a hard time believing it.  How poetic, how perfectly timed and how Big Wheel is that?

Just when we really needed a sign we could almost here the Blue Collar Tour comedians intoning. "Here's Your Sign."  It was (is) a great feeling and totally filled each of us with a whole level of energy and expectation.

So, what's so different about NVUM this time around?  Good question!

In our past life with NVUM, we were Secret Shoppers.  In our newly reincarnated NVUM life we will be either a contractor in charge of an entire National Forest or we will sign on to work for a contractor so that we could actually become real interviewers.  Back when we were Secret Shoppers, we often said to each other, "Wouldn't it be fun to be the interviewer?"  Well, now that's what we're going to do this summer in some capacity most likely on the Sawtooth National Forest--our old stomping grounds here in Idaho.
The gubmint has put the NVUM process on the Sawtooth up for bid--all 242 interviews from May 16 to September 30.  I'm not real sure I can get a valid bid in by the upcoming Thursday (2/18) deadline, but I'll betcha a dime to a dollar that whoever wins the bid would hire us in a heartbeat to be field interviewers.  We've already scoped out a potential win-win situation for ourselves.  The extra cash we're going to earn from this gig will be just what we need to bridge ourselves from the job to the upcoming increase in interest rates we need to make ends meet.

Some of you LBR's might be thinking, "Hum, aren't they counting chickens before they are hatched?"  Well, sure we are!  However, the karma of this whole thing is so compelling, so poetic and so profound that it's one of those things that could only happen to us.  Hence, we'd be pretty much 99% certain that we will once again become involved with NVUM on a whole new level.  That Big Wheel sure is amazing!

(Editor's Note added about 10 am--Gee, I just noticed that this is the 100th post of this blog since it started on New Year's Day.  More karma, huh?)

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