Friday, May 1, 2009

Burnin' down the house!

Today was the first day of Johns Fire Suppression Training for the U.S.Forest Service. And let me tell you, he is stoked! He will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week and the same for next week. Once he has successfully completed these 6 days of training he will get his Red card.....I am thinking it isn't anything like a Green card.... and will begin working out at the Forestry Service station outside of Soldotna. Woo-hoo! His dream is coming full circle. The ultimate test for him to pass this course will be running one mile in 3 minutes or less, with 45 pounds of equipment on his back. I do that every morning before work. That is how I have obtained my solid core and rock hard abs! He will have no problem passing this. He has a history of running track and the kid is buffed from weight training. The best part of it is so far it looks like it will not affect the time at his day job. I am not sure of the logistics with that, but it sounds like it isn't an issue as of now. So kudos kiddo! Make us proud! Fire season is a little backwards here from what we were used to in California. This time of year, right now is our fire season. It has to do with the fact that all the vegetation around us is essentially dead from being covered in snow and ice the past 7 months, and rainfall is typically very little in our Spring and early Summer. Eventually in the next month or so we will start to see the trees finally get their leaves back, and the fauna begin to green up and bloom Honestly, I can't wait! It is so beautiful here in the summers. This is also the time of the year that mama moose will start to drop their calves, and the Grizzlies will be out now scouring for food, which is really a hair raising thing. This is the time of year we will hear of maulings as people begin to enjoy their return to the thawed outdoors, and it is inevitable that contact will be made with protective Grizzly sows looking after their cubs.

We had a heat wave the past couple of days. It was like 65 degrees out in Sterling where I have been working the past few days, and I have been breaking a sweat! I think of the days busting out fire clearances in Dorrington and Arnold this time of year when the temps were getting hotter and the dust would fly, and then look at breaking a sweat at a mere 65 degrees now. Have I been reduced to a wimp?! Good God, man! John started raking the soggy leaves off of the grass this week as the snow is about history now. Break up is all but about done, although alot of the unpaved roads out here are still pretty muddy and soft due to the ice layer under the surface of the ground melting down. Paved roads are beginning to buckle, some quite heavily again due to the ice layer melting under the surface. The 'heaves that make the hoes'! We have ice as low as 4 feet down into the ground. I remember digging a post hole last June and getting about 2 feet down before the post hole digger came to an abrupt halt, vibrating up the handles and into my head! I had hit ice!! That was the longest it has ever taken me to dig a hole...3 days! We had a pair of ducks, the first water fowl we have seen for the Spring, do a fly over the lake tonight. Their landing gear was cocked, primed and positioned until they realized that there was no water. Yes, it is still frozen solid. But it is looking like the ice may turn here in the next week. And, and...we have locked down for the return of our annual migrating friends, the bats. Yes, they will be in a bit of a disposition this year as they arrive to find no vacancy at the compound. This past Fall John and I worked diligently as the temps turned and dropped fast after the last of the bats departed for the Winter. We sealed up all of the holes that were their favorite nesting resorts, so they are about S.O.L. Do I feel bad for locking them out of my life? Na. Not after the early morning escapades of last Summer, no in fact I assure you I will be sleeping much more sound this Summer!

I finally crashed and burned last night. After two weeks of checking out in the midnight hour or later, I was out like a light at 10:00PM Then I woke at 2:00 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep until 4:00 AM. Oye! I can confidently say though that it had nothing to do with light as it is very much dark at those hours still. But that is rapidly changing. We have those little fuzzy blinders you guys left last year Scott and Phyllis, so we will be handing them down to my folks in a month. They asked me if it is dark at 11:00PM! They will be in for an experience. I guess it will be time to pull out the 'frog and the melon' to illustrate the Alaskan theory of the earth and it's proportion to the sun to cause such a natural oddity! Redoubt is still erupting although it has been mild activity virtually not affecting us at all. The past few days with the clear skys have revealed a small plume of steam rising into the air. Although the lava dome is still growing so we are having to be weary of what may still come. Or not! Well, it's 10:15PM and I am not feelin the love! Will it be another sleepless night? Or will the hard work of today and the week long of "Monday's" fianlly catch up with me, rendering me passive retreat into the dream world.... Your kids sound like they are working this whole light gig Erin! I believe I may have to agree with their theory! ; ) Nite nite to all!!

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