Friday, December 4, 2009

Report From Ladder Company 40 Day 81

Hi Team!!!!

I am really happy today, can you tell?!!!!

First the boring parts: I drank my fluids today, well nearly. I didn't exactly keep track but I am sure I am in the neighborhood of two quarts. I didn't sleep well last night, but it was not for lack of trying. My hubby left to go hunting last night and every time I fell asleep my little dog pestered me by barking, whining or walking on my chest and stomach! But Pete recorded 6,388 steps and that was when I had a lot of sitting today so I am pretty happy with that result. 1.5/3... I can live with that today.

Ok, now the fun stuff!

Today was the final day of the Fire Department Awards Ceremonies. As I drove there I realized that I was being followed by two fire engines who were also headed to the event. I approached the driveway to the training center, put my blinker on and... drove right past!! I dorked out in my car!! It is bad enough to do it when face to face with the firefighters, why did I do that??? I felt even worse when I had gotten turned around and came back. Pulling into the parking lot, the crews from both engines saw me. It's pretty hard to miss me when my license plate is MOMMY! There was no doubt that I was the crazy broad who put her blinker on to turn and then didn't!! SIGH

I got to attend more of the ceremonies today than any other day of it. As the week progressed, the speakers were more and more entertaining in their presentations of the materials. Poor guys, they had to present the same materials several times a day for four days! I have to say that they really did do a good job and it was great to see so many happy firemen every day. I really enjoyed getting to meet the FD brass and appreciated how welcoming everyone was. The Fire Buffs certainly are appreciated and loved. I am very proud to be a part of this group. And that brings me to my next bit.

Tonight was our Fire Buff's Christmas Party. The fire department's top brass was there and the Fire Buffs were there, of course, along with friends/family. There were not as many people there as we expected, but having just had the recent set backs within our leadership, I guess that is to be expected. We can and will bounce back. (I know I have been vague about details and I think it is best I stay that way. Suffice it to say every organization has its ups and downs and we are no exception.) Despite the lower turn out than usual, I think a fun time was had by all. There was lots of friendly bantering and cajoling as was to be expected. Mike did an excellent job at selecting table decorations which were given away as prizes after the event was over and I am happy to have taken one home for myself and they gave me an extra for my mother-in-law. I offered to buy it but was told to just take it.

Our president pulled a fast one on me and officially introduced me as a new member. This was what I have been waiting for, dependent on the background check coming back. I was set up to be "honored" tonight and was of course expected to give a small speech. I hate public speaking and half the group was fire department people! AAAACCCCCKKKKK!!! I just gave them the short short short version of why I joined the Buffs and what direction I hoped to go. I survived. Nobody at all believes I am shy. Cat (the president) made a pointed reference to that and announced that they cannot shut me up! That part is kinda true, I have to admit. Get me talking about something I am passionate about and I can't stop.

We held a small silent auction with the intent of putting the money into the club funds, but in light of the four murdered police officers from Lakewood, we voted on the spot to donate the funds to the memorial fund for them their families. My first official vote, and it felt good to be part of such an important one!

From that auction, my dad bought three shirts and some glasses among other things. He gave me my pick of the shirts. They were all from the Philadelphia Fire Department and I chose one from the station in China Town. It is a medic's shirt. Perfect. Dad gave me the coffee mug and glass mug also from the Philly FD and a Philly FD patch that was inside one of the glasses.

In the gift exchange I received a very nice FDNY 9/11 memorial T-Shirt. And happily, although it was a round robin style exchange, nobody tried to take it from me!

The only real bummer of the evening is when the Chief had to leave early, just when he was about to perform the installation ceremony for our new officers. Apparently he had a sick child. I sure hope his kid feels better soon. The Chief is a very nice and jolly man. He seems to always be smiling and joking around. He gave Cat a "Chief's Coin" for me. It is a nice heavy collectable coin. It has the TFD logo on one side and a memorial design for fallen firefighters on the back. The back also says, "Teamwork Professionalism Integrity IAFF Local 31." Cat tells me it is very important to keep it on my person at all times. She says if I was out for drinks and someone laid one on the bar and I did not lay mine down, I would be the one buying the rounds. This is apparently fire department tradition. Also the coins are blessed by the chaplain.

The very best part of all of this is that my dad was able to come and share the evening with me. I was very excited to have him join me and meet my new friends. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself, too.

Before I wrap this up, I want to add one more thing that made my day today.
One of my kids, whose dad is a firefighter, came up to me to let me know she would not be coming after school today. She said, "ButI have a present for you." Her dad works for the Edmonds Fire Department and was promoted to Captain last night. Apparently while she was attending the ceremony or dinner that was held for him, she got an Edmonds Fire Department patch which she presented to me. What a sweetie! That is the third fire department related gift my kids have given me this week. I am so blessed and I really feel the love.

I must get some sleep because it almost time to get up again! Until next time, stay safe!!

Hotflash out.