Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By Jill Magri - Chief Operating Officer
Northern California Health Plan - San Rafael
As children, our parents often implored us not to run with scissors. Day Four's blog serves as an homage to the wonderful team-members who ran with other sharp things today: saws, axes, pruners, laupers, machetes, hedge-clippers, pick-axes and a not-very-sharp rake. (Truth be told some of the other items weren't really very sharp either, but that wouldn't help our stories!) Bedeviled by mounds of fire ants and swarms of mosquitoes, …
wary of alligators coming to chase us from the bayou, attacked by springing blackberry brambles freed from their comfortable homes, taunted by long green vines of poison ivy, the Kaiser Trail Blazers sliced their way through the forest adjacent to the Twelve Oaks Nature Preserve to create a nature trail to serve this weather-torn southern Mississippi community. Today's team of Scott Shattuck, Jim Hopkins, Eric Hoyt, Judith Gottlieb, Michelle Teng, Shirley Langlois and I (known affectionately as the Lumber Lads and the Lauper Ladies) worked as a cohesive group to battle the heat and high humidity and slice our way through the lush underbrush, clear and create trails and fell trees to serve as trail markers. As one team-mate pulled up tree trunk runners, another snipped the ends with laupers and another passed around drinks of water. As another pulled a dead tree from the woods, two colleagues fell in behind to help carry the load to the pathâ€˜s edge. As Eric and Jim and Scott wielded their axes on a tree and stump assortment that meddled with the middle of our new trail, the rest of us dived for cover, in the interest of that good old-fashioned Kaiser Workplace Safety. When finished at day's end, we admired our work and felt great knowing someday a Biloxi family will walk these trails and find peace, comfort and a refuge from the memories of Hurricane Katrina…Katrina, the hurricane that blew in, sat down for awhile and then stayed for lunch before leaving (according to Tara, one of the Hands On workers who watched our progress) instead of quickly rushing in and out like her ugly step-sister and predecessor, Hurricane Camille.
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