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peak:

Still soaking up the glow that was my Wednesday.


valley:

Thursday was nowhere near as interesting as Wednesday.


noise:

Nothing.


sustenance:

I'm about to eat spaghetti for dinner.


thoughts:

Dinner.
Tomorrow.
The weekend.


365:

June 14: Serial killers and horny neighbors.


thursday, june 14th

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Quote Du Jour:
Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action." (Benjamin Disraeli)


There could be benefits to starting my day before noon afterall.

There were several times Tuesday night that I could have -- that I should have -- crawled into bed and went to sleep. However, I kept putting sleep off... until there was no time left to sleep. I made the decision to stay awake and try to have a productive Wednesday. That was a smart move on my part. In fact, yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a long time.

I'm a firefighter. I'm a hoseman to be specific. I squirt water. I work inside a burning structure. I'm not an engineer. I don't operate the pumps on our engines and I certainly don't get to drive them. Well, that is... until yesterday.

I dropped by one of our stations early in the morning and ended up riding out with a deputy chief on an inspection. Following the inspection, he pulled the pumper we were riding in onto a side road and let me take the wheel. This was cool. I love doing new stuff. The first time you do anything is always about a million times more exciting than the second time... and I hadn't had "a first time" in a long time.

The size of a fire engine is almost intimidating -- especially when compared to the much smaller pick-up I drive every day. I never really noticed how narrow roads could be until my eyes started darting between the driver's side mirror, the road and the passenger side mirror. This truck literally filled up the entire lane of traffic on most roads. The other thing that I worried about was the 1,000 gallons of water I was carrying. Water is heavy. And 1,000 gallons is really heavy. Sharp turns at higher speeds and quick stops can cause disaster... Disaster being something that I really wanted to avoid my first time behind the wheel.

Before my first trip was over, we stopped and switched seats. The station where the truck is assigned was built in the 1930s and is quite small. There is little room for error when backing the trucks into the bay. I was happy to let him tackle that job. However, shortly after returning from our first ride, we took another in a different rig and I found myself behind the wheel once again. This time, I did get the task of backing the truck into the bay when we returned. I'm glad I got the chance... but it was tough. It involved lots of stopping and wheel turning to go in straight. Luckily, the only witnesses to this event were the folks in passing cars (who probably couldn't care less). If that had been the highlight of my day, I would have been happy. But there was more.

About 2:30, we were dispatched to an accident with one person trapped. Upon arrival, I found a four dour car upside down in a (dry) ditch with the roof crushed in and the horn stuck. I normally would have developed the knot in my stomach that appears at the scene of bad accidents. However, as soon as I approached the scene, another firefighter reported that the lady inside the car was talking and said she was okay. We quickly cut open the door and raised the car slightly. The woman was squatting and trapped by her seat belt. As soon as we cut her belt, she got up and walked away from the wreck. That was the best feeling I'd had in a long time as it was certainly more exciting than driving a fire truck. This woman should have been dead. Even with a seat belt, she shouldn't have had a chance. Who says miracles don't happen? I'd love to hear from you... because I saw one yesterday.

The third and final highlight of the day came yesterday evening when I got a phone call from Amy. If you will recall, Amy was once my friend Jonathan's significant other of sorts. The three of us have been on two very memorable trips together and I thought the future would hold continued friendship. However, out of the blue, Amy sort of dumped Jonathan in favor of a former fiancee. She also dropped out of touch with both of us. I had no idea what she was up to or how she was doing until she called last night. We had a good chat. It felt as though we sort of put things back on track. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

copyright © 2001-02, Thomas Fletcher. all rights reserved.