Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Springs to Salt Lake

A number of things happened on this leg of the journey that have never happened to me before.

1. As I was piling my things in the gray bin at security in Colorado Springs, a tall blond TSA man across the counter leaned over to me and said, without preliminary, "First Corinthians eleven, right?"

2. I sat beside a young woman who, at first glance, struck me as someone who runs marathons. It turned out that she's actually a smoke jumper, headed for headquarters in Missoula, Montana, and works all over the West. She's one of 30 women in a group of 400 firefighters. They jump in to the hot areas with food, equipment, water, etc. The first thing they do is make sure everyone is ok. They don't appreciate Oregon's tall trees because sometimes they land very high up in one and have to rappel down. Her scariest moment was when she parachuted into two snags that had fallen into each other. She hung there in her parachute about 50 feet off the ground while the snags "gave" about a foot and then stopped moving, to her great relief. After the crew is rendered ok they evaluate the fire and either try to control it or put it out. This involves digging, sawing, spraying, whatever. On a hard 16-hour day she burns through 6000 calories. When they leave, they pack everything out to the nearest road, sometimes as much as 16 miles with a 150-pound pack on each back. And yes, when she's not working she runs half-marathons to stay in shape.

3. The second I turned on my phone after we landed, it rang. It was Matt wondering if you can freeze milk, since it was on sale at Grocery Outlet and he wanted to buy in quantity.

4. I bought supper and turned on my computer and there was a Facebook message from my niece saying my mom was in the hospital with a "bad heart spell." So I was in a frantic interchange with family members, simultaneously on FB and texts and phone calls. Right now she's stabilized, thank God. Waiting for more word.

Quote of the Day:
"Boarding first class for Portland."
--the announcer. Not that I'm first class, but I'd better go.


  1. What a day!

    Praying your Mom is okay.

  2. I so enjoy reading the snippets of your life.
    How is your Mom doing today?

  3. Did you tell Matt it's OK to freeze milk? Cuz it is!

  4. That's funny, what the tall blond man said!