Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chilly Chalmers

I had a tooth extracted yesterday. Fun times. It was a baby tooth. A molar that did not have an adult replacement. It has served me well for the past 28 years (or 27 as I would guess I got it sometime after I turned one year old). Well, the tooth finally had had it. It was literally breaking apart. Time to have it out.

The roots of the tooth, although small, had become a part of my jaw bone. I had to go to an oral surgeon to have it extracted. Okay, Okay, I'll spare you details (whew!). This story is really in honor of my Grandpa Paul. AKA "Chilly Chalmers."


When Grandpa was in college he was part of a fraternity. I can't remember the name of the fraternity, but if I recall correctly it involved all young men who were studying engineering. Somehow Grandpa became in charge of the bookkeeping for the fraternity house. Well, to help save money Grandpa's remedy was to keep the furnace very, very low. No small thing when you live in Minnesota! If a member of the household came home to find it freezing cold, you could be sure they would find Paul Chalmers all bundled up, his books before him, content as can be. This is how Grandpa became known to his fraternity friends as "Chilly Chalmers."

This collegiate streak of thrift extended through his whole life. In fact, I believe it to be genetic.


Fast forward to my tooth extraction. It was not a simple operation, and I was offered sedation. I considered it. I weighed the pros and cons: Lets see... I am deathly afraid of the dentist. Having my wisdom teeth out was possibly one of the most traumatic medical experiences I've ever had. On the other hand, the thought of being totally unconscious freaks me out, too.

Well, when you have Chalmers heritage, the next obvious question is: What is the price? Turns out the procedure would cost $300 with no sedation, or $800 with. Alright, that settles it! I figured, I've had two babies without any kind of pain medication,and I survived the wisdom teeth operation even if it was awful; I think I can endure being awake to have one measly tooth pulled! (Especially if it's cheaper.)

So, I thought of Grandpa fondly today as I forked over the cash for the operation. I was nervous (a total wreck, actually), but no matter. A little pain has served those in the Chalmers family well when it comes to being wise (or just plain cheap) with managing what God gives us.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi, Kim. We've been blessed to read your posts about Gramps the past few days! I am sitting here with Gramma, and she says you are an amazing writer--you remember things and think so fast to write a beautiful story. You remember stories even I don't remember! We appreciate the way you are carrying on the family stories in print. We love you!

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