My Dad is the Fire chief of Big E's volunteer fire department. As the chief, he has radios, and scanners always attached to his hip, and in the pickup, and in the house. Anywhere Dad is, there's some kind of radio. He always has the radio turned on, and since he's hard of hearing, it's rather loud and annoying to the rest of us.
Right after we moved, in fact, it was the weekend of my birthday in January, there was a big fire. Oh, it was in Oklahoma, but the wind was blowing and they were calling for help of all the area fire departments. But, Dad was at my house, not at home. He was ready to drive home, but Mom made him promise that he would stay and visit with us. He was a nervous Nellie. He kept listening to them call out one county, and one town after another until they had a pretty large force called out. He fielded phone calls from his fire-fightin' buddies, who wanted to know where he was... He pouted. He worried, he wondered if they were getting it under control, and he wondered how they were managing without him.
They managed. It burned over 5000 acres, and they got it stopped--without Dad's help. But, he was so disappointed that he missed out on a big one. Now, my Dad is 65. He has asthma, and his lungs aren't good, haven't been since he burned them with anhydrous ammonia years and years ago. So, being in smoky air isn't good for him either...but you tell him that, cause we all have, and he refuses to listen.
There was another fire recently, one that Dad did get to fight. He was like a kid in the cookie jar, excited, talking about how they couldn't get to the fire because it was at the bottom of deep canyons, so they waited up top for the fire to come to them. He talked about how ceder trees burn and explode. I swear, if he was a teenager, he would have used adjectives like "awesome", and "cool" and would have used sound effects.
Along with fighting fires, the fire department is responsible for storm watching, watching for tornadoes. Last Thursday was Andy's birthday, so Mom and Dad came up to have supper with us. It was stormy, and we were in a Thunderstorm Watch. It started to look bad, and a report of a tornado came over the radio. So what did Dad (and Kev) do? They went outside, with binoculars, and watched to see if they could see any tornado's form. The wind was blowing, the sky had some lightening, it was that dark, dark blue-gray...and they were standing outside watching for tornadoes. Actually, they were hoping for tornadoes.
We did see some try to form, saw some short tails drop down, but they would go right back up and none ever touched ground. But, Dad had to watch, and he was on the phone with his cronnies, sharing what they could see from all their viewpoints. Dad's phone would ring, or someone would call over the radio... "Woody, where the heck are you?" "Is anybody else around to watch? "Yeah, we're at the Meade Junction, there's nothin' here." "What the heck are you doin' in Bucklin?" "Oh, well, you need to get home, we might get to see some action." "Well, you just tell your wife that you need to come home!" And Dad, is agreeing, and laughing, and sharing what he could see and finally, telling them that nothing is going to happen tonight. They all finally agree and the excitement is done--for tonight.
Who says boys grow up? I personally don't think they EVER do.