A steady stream of firefighting moments

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Ned is performing an heroic service. A huge,resounding applause for these men who risk their lives for us and help us when we are in desperate need. Fire
men saved my life once, and I am eternally grateful. Bless them all.

Originally posted on Ned's Blog:

image I’m fast approaching my fifth year as a volunteer firefighter. In those five years I’ve experienced some of my life’s greatest emotional peaks and valleys while fighting fully involved house fires, searching for lost hikers, transporting injured ATV riders off the dunes, educating kindergarteners about fire safety, and extricating both the living and the dead from mangled automobiles — sometimes within arm’s reach of one another.

Most of those images will remain reels of mental footage tucked away in my memory like the VHS cassettes of my youth; waiting for me to find them some day when, more than likely, I’m searching my mind for something else entirely.

As I sat here at the breakfast table quietly eating a bowl of Froot Loops, I began scrolling through some of the firefighting photos on my iPad. Among them are moments of fun, intensity, fear and camaraderie built on a shared understanding…

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No One Spoke

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This is a beautifully told story of true worship. We all need moments like this. Thank you, Storyshucker.

Originally posted on Storyshucker:

Friends and I enjoyed sun, sand, and surf with other beachgoers on a recent Saturday. Sitting slathered in sticky sunscreen beneath our umbrellas, we pointlessly brushed sand from our legs as we discussed evening plans. The seagulls overhead laughed louder than the swimmers splashing in nearby waves while those of us on the beach napped, read, or simply watched people. My friends discussed how relaxing it was and how nice it would be to sleep late the next morning.

Sleep late? I mentioned to them that we only get so many sunrises in a lifetime. Shouldn’t we get up to look at a few?

They stared blankly for a second then shook their heads in unison. No.

In the wee hours of the next morning, alone in the dark, I started the short walk from house to beach guided only by dim lights above the boardwalk. It was eerily quiet at…

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For Patricia

http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com:

Thank you, Melissa. I love it and will treasure it to the kitchen and back.

Originally posted on Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth:

A deja vu, a feeling hits
And I am taken to
The city’s past which lies outside
My kitchen window’s view

With streets that seemed to call my name
And beckoned to me nightly
When it appeared the stars did shine
Just a bit more brightly

“Let’s meet up at midnight down
at Hollywood and Vine
And drive in dad’s convertible
To the Hollywood sign”

And I remember starlet’s glow
And still smell their perfume
As they floated princess like
Into my living room

So different and yet so much like
The life they led on stage
As I would play a background role
Hollywood’s Golden Age

And I remember tears were cried
And I remember death
And the words that they’d speak to
The girl behind the desk

And I remember stories told
In passages I’ve written
But I can’t for my life recall
Why I came in the…

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I FORGOT!

Elbert Hubbard,businessman, artist, writer, and philosopher of the early 1900s, wrote,”A retentive memory my be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.”  A 75-year-old friend of mine recently asked, “How can we be expected to  remember everything when our minds are so packed with knowledge?”  How, indeed. I manage to remember  both these bits of wisdom when my mind totters, grappling for a word or a fact or a name I have always known. It’s a more soothing sop than senility.Besides, there are advantages to”forgetting” in my ’80s.

I can forget names of people I never wanted to know in the first place. I can forget to wash my hair often because what’s left needs the oil. I can forget about understanding teenagers because I know they will grow up to be as dumb as they think I am now. I can forget to diet by reassuring myself that I am not overweight, just undertall.

There are blessing to failing eyesight, too. I no longer cry when I see myself in a three-way mirror or in photographs. Other people’s lines smooth out and I feel younger.The words I misread in newspapers are more interesting than the printed ones. “Police squealed off the streets,” instead of “sealed.” “Power outrage” instead of “outage.”  If my hearing is growing dim,I am spared a lot of senseless prattle, unfounded rumors,and the cacophonous noise of motorcycles,helicopters, jets, and unmusical rappers and bands. I first came to  terms with being “a lady of a certain age when I reached down one day to straighten my stockings and realized I wasn’t wearing any.Now, I can just say, ” I forgot” and laugh all the way to the Funny Farm.

GHOST RIDER

“An old cowpoke went ridin’ out one dark and windy day…” except  that Stan Jones, cowpoke, Park Ranger, songwriter, and actor…was not old when he died on December l3, 1963 at the age of 49, leaving his wife, Olive, son, SJ, friends from all walks of life, and a musical legacy in John Ford and Disney films, western television series, educational radio shows, and, of course, his most well-known song, “Riders in the Sky.”

For five years, my daughter and I lived with Olive and Stan, a household alive with music, laughter, and the comings and goings of various friends in the movie industry.The day after his death, people started arriving at the house with condolences and food…..Harry Carey, Jr. and his mother,Olive, Dorothy Ritter (Tex’s wife and once a schoolmate of Stan’s in Arizona),Ken Curtis and his wife, Barbara Ford(John’s daughter),Joanne Dru, Helen O’Connell, Wendell Corey, and The Sons of the Pioneers.The rooms were filled with memories and laughter and tears. It was a true Irish Wake for a beloved Welshman.  During the next few days, calls came in from Fess Parker, Ben  Johnson, Lorne Green, Dale Robertson, James Arness, Ken Tobey, John Bromfield, Rex Allen, Walter Brennan,Brian Keith, and on and on from composers and singers, all expressing their condolences, friendship, and offering to help in any way.

Through it all, the music of “Riders in the Sky” and the theme from “The Searchers” kept running through my mind, along with memories of listening to Stan play his guitar while composing a new song, and recording sessions. There were memorable days from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the sessions conducted by Carmen Dragon and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Stan’s songs for The Standard School Broadcast, to being approached by Frank Sinatra’s company to use some of his songs in his latest motion picture. They wanted the music, but only if Frank’s name appeared as co-composer. Stan’s reply,”It appears only if he wrote it, and he didn’t, so the answer is ‘No’. ” He was turning down thousands of dollars because integrity was more important.After I left Desilu, I worked as Stan’s assistant for two years before his death, the time filled with creativity and wonderful people.

There were times when we had religious discussions, and I will never forget what he said to me in utter frustration one day. “Why do you keep pretending you’re brass when God made you pure gold?” That remark struck home, and I have passed it on to hundreds of my students who, turn, remember it as well. He revered the gifts of God in nature and people and expressed them in his music. Stan was a composer/storyteller, and his stories were usually about men of the West. Take a look and a listen to “The Horse Soldiers,” “Wagonmaster,” “Ten Who Dared,” “The Searchers,” or the series “Cheyenne” or “Texas John Slaugher,” or “Spin and Marty,” for examples. One of his songs, “Wringle, Wrangle,” popular in the 1950s, was a light-hearted ditty, but “Riders in the Sky” says it all about the Western cowboy.   Farewell, Stan, and I hope you’re surrounded by the red cliffs and sage and land that you loved, riding a lot of trails, and composing new songs.

As our paths cross……

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Purplerays gives us this this inspirational thought.

Originally posted on Purplerays:

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Photo & text credit: Snecana Imper on Facebook

“EVERYONE IS MY TEACHER .
SOME I SEEK .
SOME I SUBCONSCIOUSLY ATTRACT .
OFTEN I LEARN SIMPLY BY OBSERVING OTHERS .
SOME MAY BE COMPLETELY UNAWARE
THAT I`M LEARNING FROM THEM ,
YET I BOW DEEPLY IN GRATITUDE.”

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Today’s Quote

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Here is a thought for every day. Thank you, Soul Gatherings, for posting it.

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:

bluebells

When I run after what I think I want,
my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;
if I sit in my own place of patience,
what I need flows to me, and without pain.
From this I understand that what I want also wants me,
is looking for me and attracting me.
There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.

~ Rumi ~
_________

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THE PUNISHED GOOD DEED

The saying is “No good deed goes unpunished,” and “tis true,’tis true.

Tom and I have been close friends for 43 years As we say, we need to be because we know each other’s secrets.  He is about to turn 70 years of age this month. I am 88, He has been having internal problems and was informed by his doctor that a surgical procedure was necessary. He is also the owner of Danny, a 110-pound, blond Labrador/Greyhound mix. Now neither of these facts seem to jibe except that while Tom was scheduled for the operation on Wednesday and would have to stay at the hospital overnight, at least, it would mean that Danny would need to be fed and coddled and ministered to. This is a  BIG dog, and he is a sweet dog that I have known since Tom adopted him several years ago, and so when he asked me to stay at his house with Danny for three days and a night, I, of course, said, “Yes.”

Tuesday, the day before his operation, Tom picked me up to drive to his home in a town that has no convenient stores, bookstore, or movie theater and doesn’t care.  The house is on a hillside with the driveway and stairs slanting downward to the street. I’m used to navigating them.  Inside, Spanish slates lead to the sunken (one half-step) living room. I have been to this house many, many, many times. I know this half-step exists. For most of Tuesday evening I navigated this step. Then, after dinner, I walked into the living room. Correction! I fell into the living room, square on my left side rib cage. Shaken, rattled, and rolled, I grabbed Tom’s hand and got to my feet. Agony on the left side. Ribs outraged.

And so it went and still goes.No time to get to a doctor for an Xray. Tom was due at the hospital very early in the a.m. After he left,Danny and I languished in the living room for the next couple of days, he moping for Tom, and I moping because I wasn’t recovering as fast as I did when I was 25.  Yesterday, Friday, Tom and Danny drove me home.

I still hurt. I still grip my left side when I get up or down. I still sleep in chairs. Gradually, gradually, the pain is subsiding except when I cough or laugh.  I think my good deed has been punished enough, not only because of the  fall, but also because I was unable to read your blogs for those days.  I have a lot of catching up to do…….and I am really watching my step.

Oscar, the Garbage-Can Kitty

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Calling all animal lovers, especially cat people. This is a story that will first alarm and then charm you.

Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
April 21, 2003

Oscar was named after the Sesame Street character who lives in a garbage can because that is where we first became acquainted.  I was working at a pizza-delivery chain and had been assigned garbage duty.  While tossing bags into a dumpster, I heard a faint meow.  I began digging through the trash, and several layers down I found a cat – bruised and thin.  I wasn’t sure if the cat had crawled into the Dumpster to scavenge for food or if he had been put there purposely.  Our establishment sat directly behind an apartment complex, and unsupervised and abandoned pets were common.

Back on solid ground, it became evident that the cat had an injured leg.  He couldn’t put any weight on his right hindquarters.  The situation created a dilemma for me.  Finances were tight, and I was moving back home to my parents’ house…

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