Tonight we did the village’s sixth annual chili-cook-off and beer tasting with our fire station family. And for the first time, the station won the people’s choice award. (woohoo). This event required hours of hard work, planning and effort from many participating volunteers to pull it off. The event raises money for various veterans causes including the Honor Flight which makes me cry even thinking about.
While the cook-off was great, it’s the people who make it phenomenal. I have been lucky enough to be a part of the same fire station family for fifteen years now. That sounds like a very long time when I write it. In my estimation that is long enough to become a family, for sure.
It can be a bit odd being the significant other of a firefighter, especially if you aren’t in the field (or a related one) as your partner, as it takes a certain kind of person to be so selflessly committed to such an extreme profession. Cautiously I came on as girlfriend of, later wife of and now I’m pretty much referred to by my childhood nickname. Tonight I was surrounded by people who I respect, love, am rooting for and above all of that; people who I trust to have my husband’s back.
It is a beautiful thing to watch the evolution of these people, both personally and professionally and I get a little teary-eyed looking around and seeing so much genuine affection that this family has for each other. I used to feel like an outsider because I seriously lack marketable skills in this realm – no, I am sorry, I cannot help you if you are bleeding because I might faint, I am not super handy with tools and I can barely, barely back a pickup truck into a parking space (with the aid of a backup camera) so the fire truck thing is out too…But guess what? That quota is already filled in this group. So it’s come as you are and if you have a positive outlook and a smile, you will fit in perfectly. Although a warm cup of chili and a cold mug of beer seems to work too…