Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fire Season 2013: Where We're At

In past seasons, I have given a summary of what our fire season has been like to date. I have been avoiding this year for so many reasons. The first time I started this post was back in June, roughly one week before the tragic loss. Every time I have restarted typing it up a lot of stuff I didn't want to deal with started coming up.

More than any year in the past, the first few months this season really weighed heavy on me. I was emotional, and not coping well with Berkeley's long hours and working days off. I was irritated any time his work schedule fluctuated from the norm. Every compromise, change of plans, and late dinner seemed like a another sprinkling of salt in an open wound. I was harboring so much resentment towards him and this life we live.
Berkeley was sent to the Doce Fire on June 18, the day it started. When they were ordered, it was only 5 acres, but in the hour it took them to arrive on scene it grew to 100 acres and by the end of the day it was 5,000 acres. I was so incredibly annoyed knowing that he was going to be stuck down there. Throughout the first week of that fire, I ran out of cash on hand, the car broke down, the neighbor was obnoxious and a whole list of other things that just didn't go the way I had envisioned them. I spent nearly a week in a funk.

For some reason though, something changed and I finished out the last few days of that assignment at peace with it. More or less. I was still irritated by different things including the fact that the fire had already transitioned and so many people had already been cut loose and they weren't, but that irritation wasn't directed at Berkeley anymore.
Fast forward another month, all the craziness that was coping with personal tragedy, and Berkeley is in Northern Idaho on a prepositioning assignment. All of July I was dreading this. Even though I had such good feelings at the end of the Doce Fire, I was so nervous about Berkeley leaving.

When this post goes live, it will be Day 14 of his assignment. Normally, around days 7 and 8, I lose it a little bit. I get antsy and feel unsettled. Not this time. I didn't even realize it was the halfway point until two days later when Berkeley told me there were only four days left. Normally, the last few days I get super emotional. It just didn't happen this time. I am really at peace. I mean, it still sucks that he is gone, but it just doesn't seem like the inconvenience it has felt like in the past.

I really hope this sticks. I hope I am finding my stride and my place in this crazy life of ours!


Caitlin A. said...

I find that everyone I know in fire has a hard time in a different time of the roll - mine is in the mid-range. I hate days 6-8, like you. My friend Lindsey always hated the last few days. I'm glad it's easier for you this time around...I hope it only gets better!

Ashley Armstrong said...

Days 6 to 8 always suck, but sometimes I get a little antsy the last day. It sounds like he'll be going back out in the next 3 to 4 weeks. Hopefully, I can keep it cool for that assignment too.

Caitlin A. said...

Ugh good luck. Rob's coming back this week but there's plenty of time for one more roll. Le sigh.

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