Posts Tagged With: Love

~ I Know It, and He Knows It ~

One of my recent ‘husband’s career’ posts entitled “The Cost of Search and Rescue” prompted a reader to ask me if I was ever afraid of other women luring my catch of a husband away from my side.


She asked me if I had considered that by exposing him, and in such a positive light, to the general populace on my blog the way I do, I might be making him a target for aggressive women on the prowl.


She asked me if I worried he might be tempted by the thrill of other women who want the hero in him for themselves.


My answer was, “Well, er, no.  At least, not until NOW!”

And golly, thank you very much for putting that little nugget of hitherto unsought anxiety in my brain.


I was going to see My Captain today to take him lunch at the station.  He was working Over Time for another 24 hours after his normal 24 hour shift, and I had not packed enough food for both days.

And after having the exchange with the reader who wondered if I wasn’t setting myself up for ruining my marriage, I decided to put a little effort into my appearance before I left to go visit him.  You’ll note I didn’t say MORE effort.  I just said effort.  That was intentional.  Some people dress for success.  Some for good first impressions.  I dress for comfort.  Some women dress with the purpose of attracting men’s attention.  I dress with the purpose of avoiding chaffing.

Don’t judge.

But like I said, after that confidence-shattering exchange with the reader, I put effort into my appearance.    I brushed my hair, smelled my armpits, and put on clothes that weren’t made entirely of stretchy cotton knit and had the words “comfort waist” somewhere on the tags.

I think I looked pretty daggum nice, really.  I kind of felt pretty.

I arrived at the station to feed My Captain.  Distracted, as always, he gave me a peck on the cheek without really looking at me, and said he’d be right with me.

20 minutes later, he re-joined me at the kitchen table, long enough to snarf down the food, and wipe his mouth,  when the alarm tones sounded, and he ran off to a high-rise fire without so much as a look back.

This is how his life has been since I’ve known him.  It is one of the things I love about him…being so needed by the world.  I’ve never minded sharing…well, MOSTLY… so today’s visit should not have bothered me so much.

Except that I made an effort, you see, to be, er, attractive.  But since he doesn’t usually find me attractive that way, he wasn’t paying attention, you see.  And at first I was hurt.

But upon reflection, I remembered that he is not attracted to my fine eyes.  Or my above average height.  Or my once fine,  but now slightly saggy, boobies.

He never was.

He fell in love with my intellect.  My wit.  My ability to care deeply for people.   My sensitivity.   My intuition.  These are the things that REALLY mattered to him.

And still do.

I had not been giving him enough credit.  He’s not some 20-year-old whose groin makes his decisions.  He’s a seasoned and wizened 50-year-old, who knew he’d made a lucky catch in the chubby, but hilarious, and seriously loving, me.


Are there women around him with more visually appealing traits? ……uh, YEAH.  Like a kabillion gillion of them.

There are female firefighters he works with quite often who are drop dead gorgeous, physically strong, wickedly courageous, and would therefore be triple threats!

There are women on any given work day who see him in his uniform and give him the ‘Come Hither’ look.   That’s the curse of any man in uniform, I suspect.

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I can’t worry that any one of them would make a single difference to him.

Because,  1) if they did, I’d rather he leave!  And 2) as wonderful as they all are,  they ain’t me.  And I’m the best me there ever was.  Or ever will be.

I know it.

And he knows it.


Categories: Family | Tags: , | 1 Comment

~ A Matter Of Grave Importance ~

We stopped at McDonald’s for a healthful Shamrock Shake, and My Captain brought his Kindle Fire so Critter could show him what the big deal is about MineCraft.

Not really that interested in the game, I sat across from them and watched the male mind work.  Oh, and I took pictures to tease them with later:

2013-03-01 08.11.11The set up. (Explaining game rules).

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Task Force Staging (Designing his fort).

2013-03-01 08.12.55Conflict Strategization.  (Building forts with defense from zombies in mind.)

2013-03-01 08.13.04Crisis Management. (Zombie Attacks.)

2013-03-01 08.13.14Disappointment Mitigation. (The zombies ate him.)

2013-03-01 08.13.58Overcoming Obstacles.  (They started over.)

Look at those faces.  Serious stuff, man.

Add a boatload of paperwork, some lawyers and politicians, and you’ve got a FEMA task force in the making.

Only with Zombies.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

~ Social Climbing ~

I just wanted to do something unusual with my family AND at the same time, see some friends we rarely get to see.  Our friends, Paul and Heather had a gem of an idea: Wall Climbing at EarthTreks in Columbia, Maryland.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” was the response from the under-age peanut gallery at the little cottage.

“You’ll enjoy it!” I promised, as I packed snacks and drinks.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” They cried.

“It’ll be an adventure!” I urged, as I organized everything into the car.

“NOOOOOOOOO!” They pouted.

“Get in the damn car!” I barked.

And off we went, just like that.

Life really is so much easier when you just get straight to the barking.  Everything else is just for show.

Varmint was honestly scared.  She is not a fan of heights.  We could rationalize everything ad nauseam:  My Captain has a ton of rope training and experience from his time on Maryland Task Force One, he would never leave her side,  the ropes are incredibly strong, the floors are very padded, the harnesses will not give.

It didn’t matter.  She was shaking, quite literally, with fear.

Critter, on the other hand, does not know he is mortal, and we have to take the opposite tack with him:   Yes, you have to wear a harness.  Yes you have to wear a rope. No, you may not jump down from the top.

And so the day began.

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This is Paul.  Paul is demonstrating two things:  1) how strong the harness is and 2) how strong he is.  You may remember Paul from the Bethany Beach Fourth of July Blueberry Pie Eating Contest.  He rocked it three times in a row.  He’s my hero.  I’m going to be him someday.

With less facial hair.


Varmint got ready, looked her fears right in the eyes, shot me a dirty, reproachful, “HOW COULD YOU MAKE ME DO THIS?” look, and started ascending the wall….   2013-01-27 14.40.44

…..hating me every bloomin’ step, and muttering to herself quietly enough that I could not discern the exact foul language she may have been employing.

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My Captain had her safely in his belay the whole time, and she eventually trusted that.  But she still hated me for being so dadburn pushy and overbearing.

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That is, until she reached the top.  And then she beamed.  And she glowed.  And she decided to climb up the wall a few more times without me pushing her into it.

And she proved to herself that she had more ability than she ever fathomed.

Oh, she still hated me, but I can take it.  She’s only eleven, after all.  I’ve got a few more years of being hated to go, I reckon.

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Critter, on the other hand…..

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…is blissfully unaware of his own mortality.

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And is wickedly adventuresome….one might say, beyond the voice of reason.

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One might even venture to say he is foolishly, zealously, brazenly over-confident.

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And rather callously unconcerned with his little ol’ mama’s skipping heart.

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In fact, you might say he’s an imp.

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A cocky one, at that.

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This picture has nothing to do with the story.  I just like the looks of My Captain in a climbing harness. 2013-01-27 15.42.57

Paul’s daughter, Zoe, reassured me that there was no need to worry about Critter.

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“Aw, there’s nothing to it,” she promised.  “He’ll be fine.”

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She said this as she herself scrambled like a monkey up the wall….as if gravity were optional.

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This picture has nothing to do with the story either.  I just love his arms and shoulders, and, er backside.

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“Hmmm,” muttered Critter, “I bet I could do that faster.”

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“Me, too!” answered Paul.

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And then he did!

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Rather nimbly, I might add.  Not bad for an 85-year-old man.

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I just wanted to look at this guy again.   BOY HOWDY.

Can you believe he is married to me?  I sure as heck can’t.  I keep waiting for him to realize the enormity of what he’s done.  But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the view, thank you very much.

Wait, what was this post about again?

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

~ Search and Rescue ~

During Maryland Task Force One’s deployment to Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey, several of the team were injured, among them My Captain.

Don’t worry, he’ll live to rescue another day.

But unfortunately, another task force team member who was injured more seriously, has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

His name is Fonzie.

Fonzie and his handler, Victoria, had a harrowing ride during the week of the storm.

Fonzie’s paw got stuck under a metal door, and he cut the tendon and flesh of one of his toes.  He bled all over the place, and it looks like he will lose his toe.

This is a big deal.  Fonzie is not just a ‘dog.’

He’s a true search and rescuer, with extensive training (to the tune of about $15,000!).  He relies on his paws…and all the toes therein…to climb through rubble piles where humans could not.

Like Pierce here (with his handler, and all around great guy, Mike).  A dog’s toes are of the utmost importance when they are in search mode.

Except here.  Here he doesn’t need his toes so much.

Fonzie’s primary job is to sniff out live victims.  When he smells the scent of life, he knows to start barking like there is no tomorrow and NOT stop until someone comes.

….yes, just like Lassie.

Victoria has been with Fonzie since he graduated search and rescue training.  He goes with her wherever she goes.

They are with each other 24/7.  He’s not a pet.  He’s not a co-worker.  He’s part of her life!

Victoria is a firefighter, an EMT, Fonzie’s handler,

a mommy,

and a wonderful wife (to hunk of a husband and Frederick Police Chief, Tom). But what amazes me (as if all of that is not enough…) is that throughout ALL of this, she maintains her true femininity (unlike your dear writer).

I’m serious.  I look at her face and I think, ‘Va Va Voom!’.  She’s got the classic female lines…fantastic eyes…kick ass smile…exudes confidence and strength.

I want to be her.  Somebody make that happen for God’s sake.

Back to the deployment to New York and New Jersey a couple of weeks ago…. Victoria says that while Fonzie did not have any saves this deployment, per se, he did absolutely make a difference.  How?  Apparently the victims would see Fonzie and get down on their knees and just bury their faces into his neck, sobbing with grief.  And Fonzie comforted as only a dog can.  She said Fonzie was the biggest balm I could possibly imagine.

I had never considered that.  But it certainly makes sense, doesn’t it?

To be a handler of a true Search and Rescue Canine requires an unbelievable amount of commitment and training.  Victoria’s life is so damn full, I wondered why she does it.

And then it struck me…  She does it for two reasons.  1) Because she has the very selfless heart of a hero, and 2.)


Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

~ Coming Out of It Alive ~

My Captain came home today from his Hurricane Sandy deployment with Maryland Task Force One’s Urban Search and Rescue Team!

They helped many.  They experienced much.  They slept not at all.

And we missed him awfully.

We sat around the dinner table tonight for the first time in too long, and listened to the stories of his adventures….

….and his misadventures.

This little doozy happened last Wednesday, apparently.  “Merely a flesh wound!” was his explanation.   Sheepishly he told the tale of a slight miscalculation, broken auto-glass, and a resulting new scar.  Oh, and something about most likely being teased for the remainder of his career.

Because the fireservice, if nothing else, is compassionate and forgiving.

Look at Varmint’s and Critter’s faces as My Captain talks about his deployment.   These children have never known the kind of hardship he is describing having witnessed.   I hope they never do.

During the media blitzkrieg of Hurricane Sandy, one thing has been bothering me.   I’ve seen stories about destruction, about heartbreak, and about misery.   But what I haven’t seen covered in the media is that fact that this storm….the most enormous storm in history….resulted in relatively few deaths.  Even compared to Hurricane Katrina, which was by all accounts a much smaller meteorological phenomena.  Yes, the structural devastation was incomprehensible, but what was destroyed was exactly that….WHATs.  Not near as many WHOs.   Lives were saved.  Incredibly in one of the most densely populated areas in our country…we did not experience thousands of deaths.

Why aren’t we talking about that as well?

There are a ton of negative aspects of this storm, yes.  Lives were lost…horribly, tragically. But by far most everyone came out of this thing ALIVE.

Why aren’t we focusing on that, too?

I look around the table at the loves of my life and I ask myself, “If we lost everything, but still had each other, would it be enough?”

My husband, my children, my mother…..


Categories: Family, Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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