Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday walk in the park

Miles hiked...17


Wildlife seen...mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots

Grizzly bears seen...none

Temperature...about 60

People seen....quite a few

People we caught up to and passed...almost everyone

People who passed us...2

Food brought...lots of energy bars

Huckleberries eaten...not enough

Summer days left...not many

Friends....the best!

Monday, August 25, 2014

walks with friends

All has been pretty quiet here on the western front.  It has been raining so much that everything is green again.  Fire season here is over, not that it really began.  We show up every day, but don't expect to go anywhere.

Chris starts putting skirting on our office trailer.  He doesn't even work for us, but has adopted our trailer as his personal project.  I go to the hardware store and look at paint samples, determined to make the trailer look better, and settle on a dark gray called "Sooty Lashes."  We wonder how to get a job naming paint colors and notice that a lot of the grays have cat names: Tomcat, Mr. Kitty.  Most nights, we are done with work at five, like normal people.

I go meet my friends J. and D.  After dinner we drive to a trail where I have never been, and stroll past a small lake.  We point out meadows where we would like to build a cabin.  The sun sets as we arrive back at the trailhead.  I realize that I don't do this often enough.  Usually I charge up a trail, determined to get a good workout.  It's good to slow down sometimes and look around.  Especially with a friend or two.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

the rainy day diaries

It rains.  Pretty much every day.  It's generally accompanied by thunder and lightning, but it's far too wet for any fires to start.  We dash inside the hangar and listen to the rain fall on the roof.  On the lawn, a couple of sprinklers still run optimistically.  It feels like September.

The minions are starting to fade.  A couple have left already, having accepted "real" jobs as a software analyst and a music teacher.  Another leaves soon for nursing school.  The rest hang on, hoping for another assignment.  But the ones that were out get released due to torrential rains that cause mass demobilizations.  D. escapes to the sure thing, a tour with the type 1 helicopter, and ends up chasing it to southern California.  The rest of us stay here, watching the rain.

Karl decides to build a picnic table, and spends hours with a tape measure and drill.  I count flight gloves, inexplicably finding 5 right handed ones but no lefts.  The pilot and mechanic take over the barbecue grill, producing hamburgers and some delicious cheesy potatoes.  Some bigwigs appear for an inspection.  It rains some more.

Those of us who have been around for awhile know how to do this, though.  Some summers are like this.  Others are ablaze, and you end up in October exhausted.  It all evens out.

Thanks to those who commented about my kitty.  I miss her terribly.
Athena 1999-2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

a blogger's prerogative

So, I just wrote a post about how I was going to delete my blog, and immediately got 2 nice comments from A  and Linda, and realized I'm not ready yet. But...
For those reading, what would you find interesting to read about? More of my daily life as a firefighter? Days off activities I do like hiking? Different jobs a firefighter does? How we keep fit? I'm taking any and all suggestions. I feel like my blog has gotten a little boring.
And for those of you who commented on kitty, she is hanging in there, but not well. I'm spending every moment with her.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


My cat Athena is dying.  Two different vets disagree on what is killing her, but the one thing they are in agreement on is that it won't be long.  She will be the second cat I have lost in eight months.

One day she was fine and the next day she wasn't.  I had just left for a fire assignment.  It was supposed to be a short one, but my pet sitters called and said I should probably come back.  I woke up at 3 am and started driving through the darkness to be with her.

And I just stay with her.  I don't leave the house.  I don't exercise.  There will be time for that later.

I will never be anyone's mother.  For a long time I never wanted that, and then when I thought it might be okay, it was too late.  Instead, I had cats. 

That was okay too.  People don't unconditionally love each other, even if they think they do, but pets love you this way.  They aren't critical or defensive or say they hate you when they're mad.  They greet you the same way if you were gone 5 minutes or 5 days.  They forgive you if you irritate them by getting a new kitten.  You can wear yoga pants all day and not brush your hair and watch the Kardashians and they don't judge you for it.  They don't grow up and move away, or break up with you because they met a new person.

I tell Athena it's all right if she needs to go.  That I've loved every minute of the last 15 years with her.  Maybe, if you believe in these things, and I want to,  my other cat who adored her will be waiting for her somewhere.  They will be together again, happy and healthy.  My heart is broken, but she needs to be free.  I have to let her go.

Monday, August 4, 2014


We have had lots of lightning the past few days, and I haven't had time for a real post. Here are a couple of pictures instead.