Sometimes I can be as hard as rock candy and other times I am just a sentimental slob. I think the past two weeks have brought out the sentimental side of a lot of people in the area.
Last night, was my sentimental slob night.
Due to the temps dropping down into the upper 30’s the past couple of nights, the fire crew that was going to be staying with us in tents needed to find REAL shelter. They came from Missouri and were not prepared for these cold night conditions. If you remember, it wasn’t that many days ago that the fire fighters were fighting their own battle with dehydration and heat exhaustion. And even the nights were warm. As it is, the DNR had gone to the Sr. Center to purchase 2nd hand sweatshirts for the crews that had to “tent it”.
So because of the cold temps and a couple of the crew members developing a cold, we lost our crew. Some others had shipped out, so motel rooms became available and these guys and gals could have a real bed NOT on the ground. Don’t get me wrong, these kids and supervisors are NOT weak about camping, but ya do have to keep them healthy in order to work on the fire lines.
Even though they only spent two nights here and we really did not spend that much time with them, it was an emotional “good bye”. The kids were on the bus, but Bob (one of the crew leaders) and another man (I can’t remember his name) came off the bus to thank us and say good bye. Dan was out watering his garden so he missed being able to say good bye to them, but I shook hands and gave each of the crew leaders a hug and if I could have gotten on the bus to hug each kid, I would have. The kids gave their “boot camp cheer” and yelled out a big thanks. AND THEY ALL SMELLED LIKE SMOKY BEAR!
I don’t know why this is such an emotional thing for me; it doesn’t even have to do with how close the fire was at one point. I guess what these people do (and all that the volunteers do) restores my faith in the human race.
While we all hope that the fire doesn’t last much longer, Dan and I hope that we do have the opportunity to have some of the crew as guests again at some point. We would like to be their home away from home. This was a rare chance to try to do something for these guys and gals. I'm sure the motel owners feel the same way.
As I understand it, last night's supper was brought in by Bay Mills Casino which I believe is the band of the Chippewa Native Americans. The outpouring of help from all over continues to amaze all of us!
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