If all goes as planned and I don’t ruin everything, Kent and I will be celebrating our 12th year of marriage next month. We picked October to get married because it’s National Disaster Month and we love, love, love disasters, especially the natural kind. I know that sounds disgusting and selfish so perhaps I should say that we’re extremely fascinated and excited by all the facets of everything hitting the fan all at once. Is that nicer?
There is a benefit to knowing people like us and when there’s any disaster or fire around here we get lots of phone calls from friends and family. We have generators, flashlights, emergency medical equipment, giant rubber waders, beef jerky, handy wipes, and all kinds of scanners and radios. We know much of what’s going on and how to handle it. We thrive on it.
One of my favorite dates with Kent was on New Year’s Eve a few years ago. There had been heavy rain and flood warnings for a few days. The excitement was building in the community thanks to the news and their fancy graphics and sound effects zapping the Average Joe At Home with message after message of: “FLOODWATCH 2005” and “STORMWATCH ‘05”. The newspeople had their predictable cautionary warnings and candid interviews with dirty wet cold people who were preparing for the worst by schlepping around sandbags and tarps trying to save their pretty river homes. Sometimes I looked closely at the weatherman to see if he’s got a hard-on from all the weather drama. He lives for this kind of shit. Especially here in California where, in terms of weather, we’re kind of ho-hum.
That night, we saw the new King Kong movie which was a real movie. It’s the kind of movie that I come out of and say “Now that was a movie!” It was about 11:00 and raining so heavy we could barely see through the windows. I had my little SUV in 4-wheel drive and it was getting hard to maneuver. So, we did the only sane thing to do: We went home at got the truck … and the handheld police/fire scanner. We grabbed our rain gear too and asked my son if he wouldn’t mind watching the girls for just a bit longer so we could go out and drive around in the storm. He rolled his eyes, gave a smirk, and said “Sure, go live it up.”
As we drove down the highway, we’d make waves so big they’d hit the side windows of our Ford F-150. I had the wipers on high and Kent was listening to the scanner. Our night came to a climax when we heard about a mudslide into a house nearby. We headed over to view the activity. Sure enough, in the middle of the night, a wall of mud had slid right through this lady’s house. The ambulance was taking her away when we got there. Luckily she had not been hurt, just shaken-up. Really I must say that as much as Kent and I do love action, we never want anyone to get hurt. I may be revealing this fact about us a little too late, for your opinions of us may have already formed. But it’s true, we always want to help people so it’s really just the opposite of horrible.
There were firefighters, cops, newspeople, power and electric employees, neighbors in their nightgowns, and us. Kent and Sharon out on the perfect date. Barely talking except for the occasional question I’d have for him. It was heaven. You see, when we fell in love many years ago, we worked together as firefighters in a small town. I admired him from afar as being the smartest nicest grown-up I’ve ever met. I wanted to be his friend so that I could be more like him. I don’t think I ever became more like him, and he’s never become more like me. But we fit together perfectly. It’s been a wonderful disaster.