Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To My Wife on Valentines Day

Rather than wax poetic, I think the best way to sum up what a great friend, companion my wife is would be to dish some snippets of our actual dialogue.

NOTE: Before proceeding further, you'll need to know that my wife is a proud Irish lass, but more importantly, she likens herself a writer, so her banter sounds more like prose than conversation:

After watching a few minutes of Teletubbies:
Mrs - Why are there no predators in Teletubbie world?

Mr - What do you mean?

Mrs - Well, they're so plump and slow, it seems predators would flock there in droves.

After meeting a local politician of Irish descent:
Mrs - You two really talked on the same level, you should go into politics.

Mr - No thanks.

Mrs - But if you got in good with [politician of Irish descent] you could harness the power of the blarney!

Mr - "Harness the power"? What am I Skeletor?

Mrs - Don't be silly, Skeletor only wants to harness the power of Grayskull. [Mrs recognizes that I'm not continuing the conversation.]

Mrs -(Grumbling) I'll bet He-Man would want to harness the power of blarney.

Mr Prepares Valentines Breakfast of Oatmeal:
Mr - We got all the ingredients for your favorite breakfast, we got Quaker Oats, raisins, and maple syrup.

Mrs - Yay!

Mr - [Five minutes later.] Okay hun, I've got for you a nice hot, steaming bowl of love .

Mrs - (With mock disappointment) What! I wanted oatmeal!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Inspiration to Serve

One of the defining features of Jefferson County small towns are our volunteer emergency crews. With no more incentive than a desire to help their communities, men and women volunteer their time, and in some tragic cases sacrifice their lives, to aid those in need.

They've undergone many hours training - 86 hours for the basic interior firefighting - with travel expenses coming out of their own pockets. And with the volunteer crews getting smaller and smaller in Jefferson County, and funds getting more and more limited, training courses need to be consolidated in a central location within a vast area -- meaning a trainee from Oxbow may have to drive an hour to attend a course in Adams.

With the tragic death of Mark Davis in Cape Vincent, I'm hoping people will not fear the sacrifice, strain, and heartbreak inherent in volunteer firefighting and EMT. I'm hoping that Mark's memorial, with so many fire departments and emergency crews attending - crews from all over Jefferson County, from NYC, from Ontario, and from Boston - will inspire the sons and daughters of Nothern New York to serve as a volunteer fire fighter or volunteer EMT. And if you feel you are unable to serve, I hope you'll be inspired to donate your time and/or money to the funding of your local fire department.

Mark, you will be remembered, and memorialized among heroes.