Friday, July 13, 2012

Giving - it's addictive

Last night, after swim lessons, after the "Best of the Best" soiree (Old Town Pizza, we're #1!), after we all showed up at home a wee bit pooped from the heat, we decided to go out again.

It started with an urge to help.  The fire that is raging not far from us has transformed our town into a fire-truck town.  They are everywhere.  The fairgrounds is a staging area and looks like a small town itself.  Giant tents set up, emergency folk everywhere, generators, semis.  It's pretty incredible.

So here we are, contemplating our move.  My thought: go get some bread, peanut butter and jelly and hand out sandwiches to evacuees (which we would learn later would have never worked since the Red Cross won't accept it if we made it in our home).  Ethan, brilliant man that he is, suggested pizza.  And so it was.

We brought 15 pizzas to the firetruck staging area and gave them to a man who was a lot grateful and a bit overwhelmed.  They had just received a bunch of watermelons, he told us.  Apparently there is no shortage of generosity, well done community!

Next we made the trek out to Foresthill.  We found the Red Cross evacuee station and were met with smiles and plenty of thanks.  One woman was in awe that we had driven that far (it's about 30 minutes).  Others just looked in shock.  This location was a more sobering experience, watching people's faces all twisted in worry.  An older couple walked past us with blankets in hand to set up their cots in the sleeping room.  It all became very real.

Our drive back, past countless firetrucks, was an introspective one. There was a time when we had so much stuff that a request to get out with what we could fit into a car would have created a panic.  What would we save?  Ethan and I both agreed that our life is no longer so overrun with "stuff" and our list of must-haves is a short one.  I suppose talking about it and actually doing it are two very, very different things.
(don't ask me why this next section is in white..I don't know)
Arrive at today!  Rosanna and I brought cookie and bread plates to two fire stations.  First we went to Ophir.  What an amazingly friendly and grateful group of men!  They were working on their new truck when we arrived and they couldn't believe what we were up to.  I thanked them for taking on the job of 'fireman' and we were ushered in, out of the sun.  They urged us to sit in their new truck (they were quite proud), they took pictures of us and sent us off with a pencil, ruler, coloring book, erasure, sharpener and sticker badge.  They thanked us over and over, apologized for their sweatiness and made us feel like we made their day.  It was awesome.  We also brought a plate to the fire station up the street from the restaurant.  It was a fulfilling day.
My wee-one, driving the big new truck

 She REALLY didn't want to stand with the strange sweaty man, but I made her

 Momma's gotta see the inside too

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