Moments before this picture was taken.....the cell phone rang. Moments before the cell phone rang.....we were walking hand in hand watching the sun set on the bay. I was left to sit and watch the sun dip below the horizon with my hands in my pockets, rather than hand-in hand with my lover.
It happened again the next day.
We were walking hand in hand along the most beautifully manicured pathway.
We were giggling as we passed by the valet parking attendants and were admiring the lush landscape of the resort we were staying at for the weekend. It was a romantic moment.
the cell phone rang.
I continued walking the paths alone.
But, I came back to torment Bradley with the camera as he sorted out the problems on the other end of the line. Our romatic moment was disrupted by the ringing of the phone.
And today, as the dawn was breaking. The cell phone rang again.
We had a late night with a house full of little birthday party guests. Our living room was strewn with sleeping bags and slumbering boys. They would be up and hopping soon. Our house would become a hive of nerf gun activity...alive with boys who would be hungry and who would need to be readied for church. But, since the cell phone rang, I would be accomplishing those tasks alone.
Who is the caller that keeps luring Bradley away?
It's always the same. There is a manufacturing plant somewhere that needs him. And somebody is in a panic. And they are desperate for Bradley's expertise in solving electical problems.
Everyone knows that doctors are sometimes "on-call" to be there for people who get sick after hours. Everyone knows that when a storm is coming that meteorologist will be there. Everyone knows that firefighters work based on when an emergency calls them out.
No one knows that some electricians work this way.
No one knows that the phone rings all hours of the night and day.
No one realizes that there is no such thing as going on vacation or having a birthday party without the threat of the phone ringing.
Except their families.
We have learned to decode the calls from our end of the line. We hear a lot of lingo that we don't understand.
"Do you have power to the main?"
"Your overloads are too small."
"We may have a bad sensor."
"It sounds like we need to check the PLC to eliminate the problem."
Actually, I can't even remember what he is usally saying on his end of the line, because it is so technical, it sounds like a foreign language. Nevertheless, we can usually tell by Bradley's responses and posture, whether or not he will be leaving soon to go fix the problem.
Until I became the wife of an electrician, I never really realized the important role they played in keeping this world ticking. I'm not talking about a light in your house going out.....I'm talking about industrial electical problems.
You know, the industries that provide jobs around here....like chicken plants and steel manufacturers.
When parts of the production line goes down in manufacturing plants....people can't work. Products can't be made. And people can't pay their bills.
And when things go wrong in a plant.....it's usually not a simple fix, like fixing a plug that is out in a house. We are talking about some major brain cells put to use to figure this stuff out. Bradley has tried, in vain, many times to explain to me the simplest of problems in his job field. My brain is not capable of understanding such complex issues. I swear to you, Bradley is nothing short of a genius. He will not admit this, but it's 100% true.
I don't begrudge Bradley for leaving me alone for work. I know that what he does.... pays the bills. I know that he is very good at what he does.
I can tell that he is very good at what he does because of the phone calls.
I know that he is better at it than the others because when their cell phone rings with a problem, it is handled like this....
They hang up.
They call Bradley.
I am proud to be married to someone who is indespensible in his field. I am proud that he can work circles around other electricians. I am proud that his brain can solve such complex problems that it leaves everyone else in a daze. I am proud that sometimes, his work calls him away, but he always returns to me. I am proud that he is mine.