El Morya's Garden
Celebrating the Sangha and the Can-Do Spirit!
By Lloyd Leiderman
I have a lady friend who lives in the backwoods of Michigan. I live in Portland. I was close to her in the ‘60s and we’d been recently reunited, as it were, through a mutual friend via Facebook.
And when I say backwoods, I mean it. To get to her house from “civilization,” she parks her car at the end of a very rural road in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (between Lakes Michigan and Superior). Her driveway is actually a trailhead. Once she parks, she has to walk along a trail through deep woods for about 20-30 minutes – if the weather is good and there are not too many deep water washouts on the road/trail. (I typed trial there before correcting it, and it is indeed a trial: a 40-50 minute round trip walk just to see if she received any mail.)
She has a large garden. All electricity is solar. All heat is from a wood stove. All water is hand pumped from a well near the house (which she and her recently passed away husband built the house themselves out of hand-hewn lumber from the woods around them). Much cooking is on the wood stove, but she also has a small propane 2-burner stove for convenience; and a very small propane refrigerator, less than 2 cubic feet.
You get the idea.
So I get this call from her. She says that her refrigerator died and she could really use another one. But she has been unable to find one that small, and does not want a bigger one at all. So maybe miracle man Lloyd could help find one in the thriving metropolis of Portland, Oregon. Naturally, I said.
So I get online and peruse.
It seems that pretty much nobody wants so small a reefer, let alone a propane one. Hours of searching was unfruitful.
So then I get a bright idea. I remember sometimes passing an RV lot with tons of RVs in it. It’s about 40 minutes from my house, but what the heck. I get in my car to go there and see if they have a propane reefer for RVs that might do the trick.
Well, I drive for awhile, and all is well. Then the freeway I was on becomes a parking lot fairly far away from the RV place. I stick with it for a few exits, but finally I am ready to emit a few expletives that would keep me far away from the Darjeeling Council, not just geographically.
I’m trying to get to Powell on the 205 freeway. But I happen to know that I can get there on a parallel city street called 82nd Ave. Any exit in my current vicinity will hit that just by going west off the freeway. So, because of all this heavy traffic, I take the next exit and head west. Traffic is still very heavy, even off of the freeway.
So there I am, in a long line of cars, getting ready to turn right on 82nd. I’m sitting at a red light doing my trusty old Great Divine Director decrees just to try getting a move on better and to prepare the people at the RV place to know all about, and have on hand, just the reefer I’m in search of.
Then, before the light turns green, I notice that the establishment at the corner, just to my right happens to be an RV place. It’s definitely not the one I’m trying to get to, but, what the Hades. I quickly swing around to the right and pull into the lot. There’s no one in sight. It seems deserted. I get out. I look around and go into the office. It is empty. I’m almost ready to leave, when a big, quite down-to-earth, shall we say, guy comes walking toward the office. I spill my plight all over him and he lets me know he cannot help me. He doesn’t supply such reefers.
But… He just happens to know, and is on very good terms with, the main supplier of RV appliances in Portland. He says, if they don’t have it, you can pretty much give up trying to find it in this city – they are a wholesale outfit that only sells to RV dealers. We both notice that I am not an RV dealer.
No problem. He give me his card, and tells me the name of the guy I should ask for, and says I should tell him that I am working with him (the guy I’m now talking to) to find a reefer for my RV. He says he will vouch for me if necessary; but he knows it won’t be necessary. His name will be good enough. So he gives me directions how to get to this wholesale place, and I know exactly where he’s directing me to. So I drive right over there.
I walk in and give my spiel, and the guy looks for the reefer I’m looking for in his inventory. Turns out he has the exact one at a very good wholesale price. But I’ll have to come back for it tomorrow, since he needs to have it brought over from a warehouse.
So the next day, I go there and pick it up. Then I go to a UPS shipping place and pay them to wrap it real well and send it to the U.P. in Michigan. My friend received it soon after that and is very happy with it. Even used it myself when I later visited her for a month.
Now that was a memorable miracle. The Great Divine Director is a real champ. First he puts me in super heavy traffic. Then modulates my frustration so that I get off at the exact exit where an RV place I wasn’t going to was on a corner I had no intention of ever going to. And it turns out that RV place is one with an owner who is in good with the only (wholesale) place in the city who could probably help me. And I can buy it at all, and wholesale at that, just because I know the name of the guy in the RV place who told me about it.
All that happened in the space of about 2 hours. Blessed Master R, you are near, not far.
Wow, Lloyd, thanks for sharing your story. I will take a leaf out of your book and ask him to find my next abode. I really need to move to a more suitable place.