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ThotsJuly 7, 2008

Tiny flowers in the grass. At most, a quarter of an inch across.

Two thoughts, one bigger than the other:

1. The reason I am so tired every night: Although I always work 12 hours shifts, I am not usually THINKING so hard for twelve hours straight without a break. (Also, I'm going on my seventh day now). I know how to do my job at home, so I just do it. Here, I'm constantly having to ask questions. How do I find a cultural specialist from the Yurok tribe to go to the fire that's close to the Hoopa when he's not listed in the national system and he doesn't have a house phone? How do you track an engine that's now being staffed with all new personnel, some of whom still show attached to another engine miles away? Dunno. I'm learning. It's great. I love being outside of my comfort zone. In most things. Not when it comes to pillows, though. Hells no. I need a flat pillow. Period.

2. You people make me a better person. Everything is linked, I know that. Everything is connected. The fact that you send me love and the best comments anyone ever had leaves me with exponentially more love to send out. I have learned more about compassion in the last month than in my whole 36 years. I've learned that love isn't just words said out loud, it's action. The washing of dishes. The emptying of a bedpan. A smile. Any motion that's driven by compassion is love. So from me to you, I send love in these typed words.

2.1    I am sooo tired that I'm more touchy-feely than normal, and that could be explained by the fact that I'm in Humboldt, I think (no, not THAT. Come on). I believe they're pretty granola up here. But I mean it.


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Um, if I was involved in the effort to save Big Sur etc I think I'd be pretty effing tired. Not to mention anything else that may or may not have been going on in my life at the time. You do make it sound fun though. Lord, I can barely manage to throw my shit out so movers can come in and pack my house...

I need two flat pillows under my head and one squishy huge one to wrap my arms around..... lol

The right pillow is sooo friggin' important!

The right pillow is SO important! I have been known to travel with my pillow.

Stay safe up there. Don't inhale, who knows what is on fire. ;-)

OMG, I always travel with MY pillow. I usually put a wild pillowcase on it so it doesn't get mixed up or left behind -- there have been only a couple of times when it's been left behind (universal shifts, I'll tell ya).

Humboldt. I was clueless, here in NE Wisconsin. In searching for a college, Katie needed to be near the sea (land of her father), closer to her birthplace (northern OR coast), and oh my she was very granola then... HUMBOLDT! I had no idea about THAT! All I needed to do was walk across campus.

Wow. It was five years ago I was preparing for that trip to take my daughter to school half-way across the country -- talk about shifts in the universe. Your being there is bringing it all back -- and that's okay. You wanna talk touchy-feely? We needed something light and saw Freaky Friday together before I left -- and I cried through the ENTIRE MOVIE. Freaky Frickin' Friday fer fucksake!

I'm so glad that you have such a rewarding job. My sister is a paramedic and firefighter, so I have a lot of respect for people involved in emergency type work.

As for the pillow thing, I think it should be law that each person be issued their own special pillow to be used solely by them, and never be forced to use a sub-par replacement. But that's just me.

It probably feels good to immerse yourself in work right now for several reasons, but do take care of yourself physically. Don't let yourself get totally depleted.

I've been contemplating saying something for days, and this morning decided I would comment on your cows post. But this is so much better. I live on the other side of the Trinity Alps - I can see the plumes of smoke from all the fires between here and there though thankfully we are very nearly fire-free in Shasta now. We hear daily updates from the CalFire bosses about containment, and new flare ups, and the horror of understaffing. Knowing that someone I read (even as a dirty lurker) is out there helping make all those things happen is amazing. Thank you.

You are such a dear heart, Rachael. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Well, you help us be better people. At least me.

Happy Birthday still!

And, Hey! I know those flowers! No idea what they are. I'm not so good with the CA flora.

Thinking and interacting and problem-solving without break is exhausting. Especially if there's not much physical activity at the same time. You're doing great!

Oh, thanks for that reminder that love is action, not just a word. So important. And good lord in heaven, go and get thee a comfortable pillow. It's the least you can do for yourself while doing the very, very important work that you're doing.

Thanks for all of your hard work!
It is quite inspiring to hear about what is involved in your job.
I just move papers and emails around ...
Maybe the hotel offers the buckwheat kernel pillow option? I tried that in a hotel in China, and I really like it as it confirms to your neck.
best wishes

What I did as I read.
And what I send back to you.

Finally I found something we have in common. I need a flat pillow, too! The funny thing is that I always think I want the brand new squishy pillow, but then I wake up the next morning with a headache and a stiff neck. The doctors say that a flat pillow gives you a stiff neck, but not me.

Hi, Rachael the Firefighter!
Could you slit the end of the pillow & temporarily (or permanently, heh heh!) remove some of the offending stuffing? And if that turns out to be feathers, maybe you could let 'em fly...out the window...especially if you're on an upper level...and there would be a story in all this, too.

Pleasantest of dreams,

Four posts behind on your blog, so here's a lump o'comments:
*love your dress, and thriftown is awesome! I used to live 5 minutes from there
* HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!! (belated)
* I think it's awesome what you are doing for work right now. Very cool.
* If you are still up north and need sushi, please let me know and I can make a call or two. I have friends in both Ferndale and Eureka.

I forgot to say Happy Birthday in my last comment! Oops - well, happy belated birthday : ) And thank you for all the hard work. My husband got an early morning call this morning so will probably work the Hoopa base today instead of the Orleans fire camp. Sounds like it is crazy smokey up there! All this hot weather is not helping, though down here it's nice to not have to wear a coat. Could you believe the crazy red sun this morning? I hope you get to have some time off to rest soon.

"Any motion that's driven by compassion is love."

That is my new favorite motto. Thank you so very much for saying that.

Hoping you find a nice flat pillow soon.

"Any motion that's driven by compassion is love."

That is the most true (truest?) comment about love that I've ever heard.


Just know that even though I haven't commented in a bit, you are still in my thoughts daily.
I just can't find my voice all the time.
Always sending good thoughts to you.

Love to you too kiddo. I am so bummed that you're up there with the fires during my short window in the Bay Area before heading back to India. Had hoped to maybe see you for a cup of something that doesn't contain soy lecithin. BTW, you've got me noticing soy lecithin in everything now. It's almost as pervasive as the modified food starch to which I'm allergic!

I'm still trying to figure out how to take another pillow back to India with me. The pillows there suck. They are neither flat nor fluffy, but thick and lumpy. And small. So you can't fold or mash them up to make a neck prop or to read in bed or any of it. Maybe your hotel has some flat pillows you could ask for?

I'm heading into 5 days of 12 hour work days starting tomorrow. I'm expecting to be completely fried when they're over. I don't know how you're still managing, but anyway, thank you for what you're doing. I know that a lot of your job involves keeping people safe so thank you because you are doing something that's really reaally important!

First, happy belated birthday!

Second, I believe that flower is called Filary.

Third, thank you for this important work...

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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