After the winter we’ve had, I don’t think it’d be too much to look forward to Spring as some sort of relief. But, uh … nope. I mean, just look at this:
On the bright side, we haven’t had to do any lawn watering yet, which is weird because it’s mid May, when everything’s usually veering toward brownish and crispy. But the early freeze last winter broke our sprinklers (as well as a big hole in our bathroom ceiling), so now we have time to figure out how to fix that… and … I can’t remember where I was going with that whole upside thing.
On the downside, we have a river at flood stage running through the middle of town, and winter storm warnings (a month before summer, you guys!) to the north and east of here, which makes escape pretty difficult.
It really isn’t any wonder I’m thinking lately about how ready we’d be for disaster and whether Mike had the right idea when he put together our collection of bottled water and canned meat last winter.
When my friend Nicole emailed me recently to invite me to an American Red Cross event recognizing local acts of heroism, I could hardly refuse. After all, she addressed me as – and I’m quoting here (hence the quotation marks) – “one of our best community bloggers,” which rather sealed the deal. And it was Nicole who asked. Nicole, who jets around pulling people from swollen rivers and burning buildings and, noticing my squeamishness about all things blood related, and gave me a thumbs up for donating anyway when Jack declared it an item on his bucket list.
Another friend, Molly, chaired the event. Molly can party like it’s 1999, and won’t hesitate to give you a piece of her mind if you need it. She can also rock a chignon while addressing a crowd of several hundred, and is closest I’ll ever get to being buds with Audrey Hepburn.
And she regularly recommends topics for my blog. Because she’s a giver. So this time that topic is (partially) you, Molly.
Regardless of what got me there, it was refreshing to spend 90 minutes or so applauding the efforts folks who were flabbergasted to even be recognized as heroes, although that’s actually what they were, from the lady who pulled dogs out of an icy pond, to the father who clambered down a cliff and swam a reservoir to fetch the woman who’d flung herself from the bridge above, to the woman who said “I had an extra kidney, and there’re about 123,000 people in this country who need one, so I gave it away,” to the woman who came upon a car accident and held a four year-old child’s head and neck immobile and kept him calm for 45 minutes until paramedics came (lifesaving, yes, and also miraculous considering how rarely the words “calm” and “still” are used when describing a 4 year-old, I mean, come on).
And there was this guy: 8 year-old Jayden, who knocked on a neighbor’s door one afternoon, politely introduced himself, and then let the occupants know about the smoke billowing from their motorhome.
All I do is show up to these things and take photos with my classy girlfriends.
In any case, I asked Nicole how one could possibly lend a hand without crawling out onto a frozen pond or donating a kidney, and she told me:
- Donate, here or to your local chapter of the American Red Cross
- Give blood (and then give again in six weeks or so when you’re eligible. Don’t worry, they’ll remind you)
- Brush up on your first aid or CPR, so you can be ready to help
- Nominate a Hometown Hero for next year. This link’s for Idaho, but find one in your state and make sure these people get the recognition they deserve. It’s not hard. Not like donating a kidney hard, anyway.