“Some years ago I bought a portable sawmill. It had all the bells and whistles — hydraulic lift, computer for cutting, etc. I convinced myself I bought it to build a mill the timber off my farm so that I could build a house (which I did) but, in fact, I just enjoyed playing with it.
I looked for any opportunity to saw up some timber. I found it relaxing and fun.
I lived in the country. Most of my friends lived in big towns or cities, and they would often come to visit me and do stuff on the farm. Drive the tractor, target practice, fish, some hunted, and saw logs into lumber. There was something about the mill, my friends who came all wanted to try it, and I loved demonstrating it and letting them have a hand at it.
One day, my old friend, Ray, stopped by to see me. Ray is a very successful businessman. Very successful. I really didn’t think he would have any interest in the sawmill, he just wasn’t that type of fellow. When he came to visit, we never did anything outside, but just sat talking or went out to eat.
But when Ray arrived, the sawmill happened to be in the front pasture, and he asked me what it was, and I told him and asked if he’d like to see it in operation. To my surprise, he said yes.
I got the mill going, loaded a log, and showed him how it worked. Then I loaded another log and he gave it a try.
It was windy that day, and the sawdust (very fine dust) was blowing everywhere, including into my eyes, which were watering a lot due to it. Ray, noticing my watering eyes, commented on it and asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine, and sometimes the sawdust got under my contact lenses and irritated my eyes.
We stopped our milling and went out to eat, then Ray was on his way to whatever business he had.
A week later, I received a telephone call from a Lasik Eye Surgery office in Ray’s town. I was to set up an appointment with them for eye surgery. I thought they were mistaken in calling me, as I hadn’t sought such services, but they told me the service had already been paid for by a ‘Ray’ and I just needed to come in for my first consult.
I called Ray, and he said he worried about sawdust getting in my eyes, and he noted I obviously had great fun milling the logs, and he wanted the experience to be as enjoyable as possible for me.
I told Ray I wouldn’t be able to repay him, and he said I already had. He said none of his other friends would even have asked him to ‘play on the farm’ and he had a great day. He said he appreciated I always just treated him like a regular guy, and he appreciated our friendship more than he could say.
I’ve always been quite fortunate to have a friend like Ray.”