August 22, 2016

Gone more than home

This season has been very busy for my husband and his crew.  He's been gone more this summer than home.  The kiddos spent most of their summer with me and some of their friends.  I spoke with another firefighter friend today, who reminded me that we are half way "hopefully" through fire season!!!  The bummer part of it, is he'll miss our daughter's first day of preschool tomorrow, and our son's first day of 2nd grade.  Just another part of the job, is they miss out on fun moments like that. Thankfully with the technology we have, I plan on taking a video and some pictures of her going to school.  Praying that your guys are all safe and just to remind you "for most of us" that fire season is half way through.

August 12, 2016

And when you are away.........

 I couldn't have put it so nicely as this woman who shared this letter.  After 20 years of being married to a WFF, these words basically sum up every part I feel about being a WFFW.  Thanks for putting into words what our hearts want to say, Christina Rico.

And when you are away...
To love a wild land firefighter means much more than accepting the life style and obstacles. It is more than just being patient while he is away. It extends further than just yourself. Because while you twiddle your thumbs at home with the kids, whether you are sick, sad, or trying to balance the household responsibilities, he is just as lost in solitude as you are. One thing to understand as the wife of a firefighter is that this is who he is. And I mean this in the sense that it sure takes a special heart to be in his place, just as it takes a special woman to stand by his side. A man that is loyal to his crew and is as hard working as him is someone I will forever deem my hero no matter how many times he denies being one. Digging line for hours, working more over time than one deems possible, and smoking more cigarettes and putting in yet another dip than cancer allows… they live for those moments. Lost in the peak of heat with a soot, snot layered face while they laugh and complain about the 60lb+ pack they carry all day long, they chose this because they love it. The way his eyes light up when he tells me about a roll is a feeling that warms me to my core. The exhaustion they go through is inevitable to complain about, but so is the passion that they carry with them when they are called out of state for another 14 days. Knowing that he is living an adventure that I cannot grant him is a reward that makes it all worth while. Missing him results in tears I cannot contain. Endless moments waiting by the phone. Nights staring at the same stars I know he sleeps under. It is not easy being away from him, but I know that he feels the same way.
So my love while you are away I promise to not only be patient, but love you even deeper. When you are away I will be the support I know you so deeply need. For when you get home I will ensure that you are caught up to speed of what you missed.
Holidays, birthdays, and anything the rest of the world categorizes as a special day will never be just that for the family of a fire fighter. For our time with you are our holidays, our special days. When you are home, our heart has again embraced the warmth it has been missing. My phone will flood with pictures and videos of any first’s of the kids you may have missed. And the kids will fill the palms of your hands with the drawings they worked so hard on the night they couldn’t sleep because we missed you. And my lips will warm your skin with the radiance that has been calling for you since you walked out of the door. I will be the family’s pillar while you are our foundation. When you are away I promise to remind our family of how much you love them, how much you wish them a good day at school. I will be the representation of our family no matter the event, regardless if I am missing you wrapped around my arm. When you are away…know that there are souls that are filled with anticipation, that will unleash with such love the second you are done hibernating.
I admire you for the blisters you come home with. The smoky residue you leave glued to our home. I admire you for busting your ass with that one crew member that annoys the hell out of you. And even on days you literally sit on your ass for hours and wait on the sidelines, I admire you. It takes such an incredible man to be in your place. We chose each other knowing there were circumstances that needed more strength than we ever thought emotionally possible. And from that moment forward I realized that loving you was so easy, so natural, just meant to be. And so loving a fire fighter I feel i can speak for most women, is the most rewarding. strength that we endure as a couple makes every second count. Makes every moment with you the most special. Being away from you will never become easy. And my well of tears behind every good bye will never dry out.
Like I said before, being away from him is not just about me. It extends further. But after every roll, every moment I dwell in boredom without my best friend, my heart is overwhelmed with a bitter sweet joy. He is doing what he loves, being who he is, and being damn good at it! And those two weeks of sacrifice are not just to fulfill his dreams, they are to support ours too. So I say this, being with a man of his type is the biggest reward life has granted me. For I have found strength I never knew I had, emotions I never knew existed, and growth I needed. The mountains he hikes, the ferocity of the flames he faces, and the time he is away will never be the equivalent to how much I simply adore him for being the man he is building himself to be.

August 11, 2016

A little selfish

I know this time of year is his BUSY SEASON!!  But after 20 years, I still feel a bit selfish when he's not home with us on his days off.  Yes, we all know the fire and overtime checks are a bonus for them being gone.  I can't help to feel like "gosh, I want him home with me" plus I feel like the few days he's been home weren't long enough.

Also, what do you prefer?

I would rather him go to work and leave for a fire than come home and leave early for an assignment. I guess it makes it harder, getting a kiss good-bye, watching him walk out the door and knowing that he'll be gone for a few days.  At least when he leaves straight from work, you've already seen him leave after he's given a kiss good-bye and you don't see him drive away.

August 9, 2016

Firefighters' Families

Firefighters' Families Weather Long California Wildfire Seasons

News article on Hotshot families left behind to hold the fort.

The summer months can be an anxious time for those of us living in places that are prone to wildfires. But imagine being the spouse of an elite, specially trained firefighter. Hotshots they call them: the men and women who take the fight to the front lines of wildfires in some of the most inaccessible terrain imaginable. Reporter:Annie Gilbertson

August 5, 2016

You go first....

I love getting phone calls from hubby when he's gone on assignments.  He thinks it's funny that I wait for him to hang up.  The other night he was on FaceTime with us, and he "pretended" to end the call and hang up.  I told him to hang up first.  I don't like to be the one to hang up first!!!  

How about you?  

July 30, 2016

A Fireman's Mate

Found this in one of my posts from 9 years ago.  It's worth sharing (I did not write this).  Happy Saturday!!

Dear Lord,  
I want to thank you for my husband. This wildland fireman that I love. 
Give me strength to give him support with your guidance from above. 
Make me a good wife, attentive listener, my husband's best friend. 
When I chose him I chose a fireman, and this job on which we depend. 
Lord, keep him safe when our plan's have gone awry. 
He's being sent to a vegetation fire where the brush is so dry. 
Keep the raging flames from being his final fate. 
Help me to cope with the trauma of being a Fireman's Mate.


July 24, 2016

The sister-hood of Wildland Firefighter Wives

So I have to say that when I created this blog, I did it with all of you in mind.  We as Wildland Firefighter Wives don't have enough ways to relate to others who "get it", share stories with or ask for advice.  So I created this blog almost 9 years ago and have seen in so many ways how it has been used.

Shortly after creating the blog, I made a friend who had a husband working in the exact same agency, also working on a similar group.  We started emailing each other, sent Christmas cards and kept in touch.  We met in person about 2 years into our friendship (via the blog).  So neat to meet, have our husbands meet and share experiences.  That friendship is still going, although now we both have kids and are much busier.

I recently met a bunch of wonderful women in Prescott, although it's not the way I've wanted to meet new friends.  The Hotshot Prayer was discovered after the fatalities of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, via the blog.  And now through Facebook and the blog, I keep in touch with those wives.  A couple of them, we've talked about visiting each other on a vacation.  Even though those women lost their loved ones, they will always be part of the sister-hood of us Wildland Firefighter Wives!!

Just the other day, on a Facebook page where fire information was being posted, I posted a comment. Next thing you know, two wives (husbands also work for the same agency in our area) contacted me through private message.  Funny thing is, I know one of the wife's husband.  He worked on my husband's crew and I also knew him when I worked for that agency.  So now I have shared the blog with her, another friendship!! The other lady has two young children so that was something other than our husband's working "together" we had in common, too.  Found out that both of their husbands were also on the same fire my husband was on!!!

Such a small world and it's wonderful to connect with women who have things in common.

I created this blog and yes I am the moderator, but it's here for you.  You can always post a story, or question, or comment in the comment section.  Other wives like to read the posts and some can relate to them.  It's fun to see how this blog is viewed world-wide.  I just created it on my computer with the hopes of it being discovered!!

PS- I don't like to use names, crew names or agency specifics when posting.  We need to protect ourselves!!