Skipping Stones on the Flathead River


Skipping Stones on the Flathead River

Skipping Stones on the Flathead River

As a teenager, I would enjoy this little exercise: When asked the time, I would just blurt out the correct time. Next I would check my watch to verify my accuracy.


As a young parent, I could hear Sweet Mom quizzing a kid on schoolwork in another room. The door was closed and their conversation was muted and inaudible. I shouted, “Boxer Rebellion!” Entering the room, I found that my answer was correct. This may sound normal except that I could not hear the question, nor did I at that time know what the Boxer Rebellion was.


A customer once asked how many BTU’s a gallon of diesel fuel provided. I responded with the correct number. We looked it up and the number was correct.


While skipping stones at the river, I mentioned to the kids that I used to know the world record, but had since forgot. On the radio the next day they announced the world record for stone skipping.


Looking down on the valley from the Lone Pine cliffs, I pointed out the treatment plant. I stated that I didn’t know if it was for water or sewerage as it was located only on Treatment Plant Rd. The headline story in the next day’s newspaper was about upgrade work at the sewerage plant.


Many are believers in chance coincidence, but I tell you that an answer comes because a question was asked. It’s as if the answer was conceived simultaneously with the question, waiting only for the moment to present itself. On countless occasions I have put this to the test and have never been let down.


One could go through life in the flow, depending only on instinct and gut feelings. With business this would be imprudent. We must work hard and use reason. Well, I’ve done it both ways and will tell you which I prefer.


When writing a job proposal, I start knowing what I’m going to bid and what I am going to accomplish. Next I do spreadsheet, time studies, contingency planning and visualize all the details of the project. After all the work, the figures come out the same, as I knew in the beginning.


The fun begins when the contract is awarded. Known to become very intense, I focus on the job at hand. Pacing sixteen hours a day, taking countless notes, and researching all aspects of the project, I seek the ultimate solution. Every avenue has to be explored to its conclusion. Entertaining as this may be, it is nothing compared to what occurs with the most daunting problems. The solutions come from previously unexplored directions. A eureka moment, solutions come, not because of, but in spite of the diligence of the problem solver, once they allow them to manifest themselves. Invariably answers come through serendipity once we learn, or remember to allow it to just happen.


My heart pounds with excitement when I see a solution materialize. Some have said that I like a challenge, but in fact, I am hooked on a feeling. Every time I have received one of these gifts from an unseen dimension, I feel what I have only been able to describe as “Alive!”



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