I've often heard that saying when something 'big' is about to change. And, frankly, I've never been one to embrace any kind of change in my life. I find more comfort in total monotony. But, life is not made up of monotony...if you're wanting to be BLESSED, that is. And from past bottom-of-the-pit, tough, rough, push-through-it experience; it boils down to the fact that if you are going to LIVE, you will have CHANGE. There's no getting around it, because the opposite of "life" is DEATH. Fact is that each of us has a choice: to LIVE, or NOT. And if you're not living your life with all it's welcome, and not-so-welcome, changes, then you're just as good as dead.
That said, life brings AGE with it. It's one of the setbacks of life. I've decided that if I am gonna age, then fine- I'll age and have no choice over it. But, I CAN choose HOW I age: I choose NOT to GROW CRABBY! ;)
The latest of all the changes is that the ChiefHubby passed his 25th year at SIA (Subaru of Indiana Automotive) in Lafayette, IN. Back when the plant was built and first opened in 1988, he'd gotten hired that fall. Brian, our older Son, was just turning 6 months old, and we were all of 26 and 23 yrs enjoying finally hitting 'the big time' employment and celebrating our first full year in our new home. All that seems -so cliche'- like yesterday.
Then, one evening after David came home, while I was still trying to work at that time also, he brought up the fact that in our local newspaper there was an article about the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department. It was slated to close permanently from lack of volunteers. Of course, with his own Dad's Fire Dept carreer at Logansport FD since 1970, it didn't take a dummy to figure out that I'd married a man who just had "the FIRE running through his blood". His Dad, Larry E. "Buck" Larimore, would later retire from a 30 yr stint of firefighting with LFD and be named "Fireman of the Year" in 2000 in a City-wide celebrational dinner for him just before his last shifts.
So, in the fall of '88 when David brought up the subject of joining the GVFD (of which, the only station was right down the road south of us at the time), was I supposed to say "No,"?? Yeah, right. Like telling the guy not to breathe. Ever.
I guess I was not really prepared for all the TRAINING he would have to do, and the fact that TRAINING NEVER ENDS: real sit-down classes (hey, I thought you dropped out of PURDUE after the first year because you "hated classes"??), as well as hard physical training with 100 lbs of turnouts, tanks, and people tossed on. NOT my idea of "fun", but it was a huge hit with my man! I kept plenty busy as time progressed...another son was born in 1992, and from there, it was 'life passing before your eyes'. I lost track of just about everything in life except keeping up with my Husband, our kids, and the lives they each led. I always said that each person in my life has a special talent or gift...execpt ME. But then one certain person came into my life unexpectedly- through counseling during a very rough time in my life- and she said "I know what YOU are: YOU are a Professional Wife and MOMMY!", and it hit me that she was entirely correct. That was my life. And I was not only happy in it, but very PROUD of it! So, while all my favorite things passed me by. (Esp. fave TV shows like my "EMERGENCY" because once you are a Mom...forget that kinda stuff, babe, life like that is OVER!)
The payoff was well worth it! Our Sons are truly two kids we can be proud of and are off living their own lives. While our older Son went on to join GVFD and became a Captain, his moving out of this area made him drop off the Dept. He finished out 7 1/2 yrs with GVFD and just a few classes short of a degree in Fire Science from Ivy Tech. While the Older Son is not a FF at this time, the Younger PURDUE Nuke Engineering Son IS...or at least his job description says so, at Prairie Island Nuclear Facility where he was hired just a few months ago out of his May 2014 graduation from Purdue. He is to undergo training for being in their Fire Brigade. For a kid who always said "I DON'T wanna be a FIREFIGHTER!"...it kinda kills this Momma, lol !!
In the 26 yrs the ChiefHubby spent on GVFD, the community saw not only new trucks - including the Big Red, a $300K pumper that was desperately needed and replaced the old '64 (??) Boyer pumper that was purchased from LFD back in 2000 that replaced an even older, worn out, torn up pumper that bit the dust in 1999. David's DAD had his start driving for LFD with that same Boyer and it was David who ended up driving it under the title of Assistant Chief for GVFD. The remaining hardware of that pumper is now mounted on David's walk-thru office as I type here.
Then, there was a new building put up in Lake Cicott, north of the old station building in Georgetown (along the Wabash River, if you GoogleEarth it). The old pumpers just could not make it up that hill, which is set along the highest elevation point in Cass County, and adding a second station for storing the GrassFire Truck helped cut down the response times. Later, they built onto that small outbuilding and what is now standing is a huge, fully updated, fully functional building that houses all the trucks, inlcuding a newer, huge Tanker that was added several years ago. New radios, computer tech, and needed wi-fi for updates to the E-911 system are all there for saving lives and getting people the help they need. He had a handful of guys over the years who helped with all of this. They were each other's RightHandMan and had one another's backs over the years, too. Dave Armick was one of those, and he just stopped in December- a few weeks ago- after a good 24 yr career on GVFD.
So, what's up?? Well, The ChiefHubby has finally RETIRED. Not from work actually, but just from firefighting. It was time. Alot of things COULD be better; true. Volunteers are ALWAYS IN NEED OF EVERY VOL DEPT!!! And GVFD was no lesser in need through the years. It's always been that way, but in my own opinion: the Volunteer Fireman is a dying breed. They are very special men. They put their community first, and if you are REALLY BLESSED, they are also GODly men like mine is. And putting others before self is a MUST in GOD's way. Over the years, my ChiefHubby managed to be a Fire Fighter, Captain, Assistant Chief, Chief, Treasurer (and sometimes combined two of those at the same time out of need for the Dept to have the position filled), completed a 2 yr program from Seminary (out of Peru, In.) that ended up taking 4 years for him to get through because he had so many other things going on at the same time. One of those was being an Elder, a Deacon, and he also was the caretaker of church property keeping it all mowed and trimmed with help from others now and then. He made time to coach his Sons as they took up baseball, basketball, 11 yrs each of Band (Marching, Concert, Drum Line, and Jazz Band), as well as 8 yrs of each in Cub and Boy Scouts- being their Den Leader, CubMaster, Assistant ScoutMaster, and since both boys were in Honors Classes, they each had contests outside of regular school, and Awards Programs. He didn't make it to everything because through all this, he worked at least 40 hrs at SIA on a normal week with an hour drive and another hour back home. Add overtime to that, and alot of OT was mandatory... Who was I to say "No" to doing something that was just "in his blood"??
And that's it. It just stops here. His last day was the "Annual Election Meeting" of January 6th. No big dinner. No celebration. Just a huge "THANKS!" sent up to our LORD JESUS CHRIST for helpin us get through these years and for giving BOTH of us strength to keep up with all that came with the JOB. Not the TITLES. I think the best 'title' we'll ever hold, besides that of "Mom & Dad" or someday "Grandma & Grandpa" will be that of "Child of GOD"...forever.
I am VERY VERY PROUD of David! And even though he is no longer on a Fire Department, he will always be MY Chief. :)
Thanks for checking in and sharing in this CELEBRATION with me!