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Out of the blue

Well this one came out of nowhere.

Today was a very wet one at work. We are in the middle of a major series of storms and spent the day prepping equipment in case of a swiftwater call out. To tell you the truth the last thing on my mind was getting to cross something off the list.

It all started yesterday when another Captain was contacted by a woman that was looking for a place to crash for the night tonight.

The woman we met today was Jeana Moore, a grandmother from Washington, that is walking from Washington to L.A. and then on to New York to raise awareness for bone marrow donations and treatments. So in walks this small older woman with a backpack about the size of her with a yellow banner that says “Ask me about bone marrow donation” on it. She was bundled up and soaking wet from the storm that she had been walking through on her way to Ukiah. G gave her a tour of the station and we sat at the table and she gave us a little of her story and why she is out walking through the horrible weather. Her granddaughter was born with cancer and needed a bone marrow donation to hope for a cure. Jada, her granddaughter, was lucky and found a match in Germany. You can read the entire story at http://www.stepstomarrow.com. The experience had a profound effect on her and she decided to do something about it. Thus her trek across the country. She is relying on donations and the generosity of others on this journey for places to sleep and most of her basic needs. Due to the nature of the fire house and the possibility of major calls throughout the night the department decided to donate a hotel room for her. This way she gets some good sleep without people running in and out all night. We invited her to have dinner with us at the station. I was stoked that she said she was a vegetarian so I had an ally in keeping on course for my 30 day veggie vow. During our dinner she gave us more info on what she was hoping to accomplish and educated us on the shortage of bone marrow donors and the treatments that bone marrow is involved in. We all shortly registered with the bone marrow donor registry that can be found at their website, just go to the “Make a difference” link. Using the promo code “4jada” will waive the registration fee and get your swab kit sent to you free of charge. I strongly urge everyone to get registered and possibly help save someone’s life.

After dinner during the usual banter of the firehouse somehow it got brought up that Cartman might have a way for me to do a stand up routine and that it was on my list. Which led to what exactly was on the list and I shared the list with everyone here tonight. When I said that I wanted to learn to meditate Jeana said that she would be happy to teach her meditation technique.

Jeana Moore teaching meditation at 651

Charlie challenged me to complete something off of the list and this seemed like a great chance to take advantage of getting it done. So we set up in the dorm and Jeana taught G and I a basic Zen Buddhist meditation technique. We got into a tripod pose and centered ourselves. Then we focused on tongue and eye placements and how to set up our modras (hands cupped with thumbs close to each other but not touching) at the level of our belly buttons. We then had some breathing exercises and focused on being aware of what all was going on around us, but to not let it interupt us at the same time.

I swear I was relaxed when this was taken.

It was a great lesson and completely relaxed me even though it only lasted about a half hour. I really think that I will be able to use what I learned in the future. Jeana was a sweet lady and I wish her the best of luck in her endeavor and I pray that Jada will make a full recovery and life a long, full life. It was really great that she took an interest and helped me accomplish this item. I was also very impressed that G took an interest and took the lesson with me. For those that don’t know G he has been a part of Ukiah Fire since he was 14 years old. He pretty much grew up in the station. I wouldn’t have thought that he would have tried something like mediation or taken it seriously, but he did. Just goes to show that he has more of an open mind than most kids his age (early 20’s) and more than I gave him credit for beforehand.

I also have another supporter of my Bucket list. Charlie noted that I wanted to pilot some sort of aircraft and has set up with a buddy of his to go gliding as soon as the weather cooperates. He was very enthusiastic about the entire project and told me he’ll be on the lookout to help me get as many done as he can. It really means a lot to me when anyone not only takes an interest, but offers to help me out. Even if it’s just letting me know about opportunities or putting me in touch with people that may be able to help. I really didn’t know what most people would think, but it has been overwhelmingly positive.

Well, hopefully everyone stays safe through these storms. Until the next item…

  1. January 21, 2010 at 3:40 am

    That’s fantastic! Good for you for being open to opportunities to cross off some list items even when unexpected opportunities arise. And it’s great to have people around you who are interested and helpful in your quest. Great post!

    • March 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Thank you. Hope your having a great time and keep up the posts.

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