Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The Younger Daughter headed out this morning on her first wildland fire detail. It's a job that as a forestry technician she's trained for, she wants to do, and she's relatively psyched about. I know she's smart, she's competent, and she's not an adrenaline junkie. And she has already had experience putting her training to use: she spent most of the spring participating in controlled burns on the Sabine and the Angelina National Forests, one or two of which apparently turned pretty interesting, but controlled burns are never the same as dealing with an unplanned fire on unfamiliar terrain.

Still, she's not going to California where stuff is burning for sure. Unless something dramatic happens during the next two weeks she may in actual fact spend most of the detail just sitting and waiting on-call somewhere out in western Texas in the general area of Fort Stockton, wherever that is, and never go a near a fire at all. There's been an engine from her Forest sitting out that way for most of the summer that's apparently seen only sporadic action. So why am I worried?

Because she's my baby, of course, but I'm not about to tell her that. The fact she's half a foot taller than I am and can tote that drip torch around as easily as I'd lift a can of Coke is irrelevant. In my mind she's still the munchkin who couldn't get to sleep without her blanket and her favorite Ewoks. I figure I'm safe saying I'm worried here because by the time she's back with steady internet access, I'll have managed to find other stuff to babble about. This post will have moved far enough down the page (or been archived) that she won't see it. She rarely reads my blogs anyway; she has an actual life.

Stay safe, kid, your mother doesn't need more gray hair.


  1. fort stockton is in the between 'no where and down the road'...it's beautiful if you love the desert..they have a great resturant there...if im remembering correctly..a mexican resturant..great food..
    it's hard to let that last one go...my baby is 35 years old and she just called with problems and upset..talked to her for 30 minutes or so and she hung up with 'you always know the right thing to say'....ha..I still have it...

  2. Cute picture... and if I may say so, an endearing glimpse beneath a certain hard-bitten exterior.

    Anyway, having been on more than one project fire myself, I can offer you some assurance that the odds say she'll come back with nothing worse than blisters, and those only if her boots aren't broken in. Keep us posted!

  3. I love it that she's joined the family business, so to speak.

    That is a great picture.

    Sadly, they don't come along and remove the worry bone from moms when the kids are grown, do they?


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