Fighting fire

Wow, what a day. It was already feeling full when I wrote this morning and even then I forgot another big detail about yesterday, I went outside and chopped down the tree growing in my fenceline, with the hatchet from my car. Details lost, the tree mostly stayed in place, yet now fully detached from its roots. Anyhow, on to today (beyond my earlier writing already critiquing yesterday.)

I woke up shortly after seven, asked alexa for the time, then just laid there. No smoke waiting for me downstairs, and the ocean was still playing. I rolled a bit before I got out of bed. When I stood up I checked the time again, ten after eight. I guess I had fallen back to sleep a bit. I took my pills and headed downstairs.

Opening my laptop and looking at the list I had started last night, I picked up right where I left off: applying for a federal student loan. So for all I’ve ever known about student loans I’ve never considered getting one… now, although an odd choice perhaps, this loan would ensure I would keep my house long enough to earn a degree (and wait for disability to get approved, if I ever file for it.) A lot of click, click. Three steps each between the jccmi site and the federal fafsa site, all done now- and perhaps I shall soon have the first “disbursement” of my student loan, one semester’s worth, $4750?

Then I typed what I typed this morning. Thinking about this now, what difference did it make? I could have cashed the check today, now I’ll wait a few more days until I have the funds. Next I thought about my xfinity bill I needed to pay today, and would have to take money from my blue ox account to manually transfer to my chime card. Thinking better of this, I decided to see if I could open a debit card/checking account at blue ox. Then once the insurance check clears, I could spend it in place without needing to ‘cash’ anything to move to chime.

About halfway through the process of opening my account (I am really starting to like the staff here at my local branch,) a customer came inside and asked about the fire. The fire? I thought.  Some of the staff seemed to know what he was talking about as they pulled out their phones and traded online rumors. Apparently, smoke plumes were just behind me as I walked to the bank. My new account opening complete (thank you Madison!) I walked back home and never made it inside.

From the bank driveway, I stood watching the blaze- the whole neighborhood was outside watching. After a while, I took a walk up the street to see if I could get some good shots (see attached below,) and see my neighbors, fire seems to bring everyone outside.

I saw our City Manager and Police chief in a discussion with the JFD incident commander (which was nice when I approached this conversation and was not shooed away.) Approaching from behind the chief and within sight of the other two, I chimed in loudly, “Who’s got marshmallows?” as the chief quickly spun to see me, then a smile returned to his face. A quick nod to acknowledge them all, and the firefighter went back to telling our Police and Fire Chief his appraisal of the situation and the next steps for incoming departments – it was a full County-wide response. Perhaps as many as eight different departments. Be sure to look through the images, some departments were upwind and shot water from their tower trucks. Other departments were downwind in the low spot of the tracks and worked through the smog.

Timing is everything. Had I not gone to the bank, from inside my house I would likely not have noticed the fire. Once I walked down there, if I wouldn’t have had the conversations I did, I would have walked back home sooner or later. If my pace was any different, etc…

On my way back as I had crossed Cooper and was turning back to the south, I was recognized and called by name by an attractive woman. After hearing my name, I turned to look at her and saw her smile. As she was beginning to say “Its…”, surely to follow with a name that might cause me some recognition however I was already smiling brightly- a beautiful woman calling my name, it didn’t seem to matter as much what her name might be.

Once her name was spoken, I felt as if I paused for several seconds as my mind rewound the last few decades searching for the inferred references, cataloged the information, and postulated my best response. The conversation seemed to go really well. As best as a conversation can be as two neighbors catch up on over three decades of history while participating in the shared social gathering and observation of a local neighborhood structure fire.

The conversation never quite seemed to end, and I mentioned the last neighborhood fire I remembered- she remembered it too, she lived in the area then too, and had also come outside to stand and watch. Slightly shocked, I asked, So this is our second neighborhood bonfire together? and she replied “Yes, but it’s the first one I’ve been single”, or something like that (we’d already traded # of children, marriages, and our current status.) Having already walked a bit to get up there, I didn’t really want to stand around much longer. I suggested I needed to get home and that I hoped we could continue to catch up with a drink sometime, or maybe a smoke as I winked.

That seemed to be taken well, and was returned with another wink and a hug; our phones came out to share our Facebook connection and I think once all accepted, there may be a messaging conduit there soon. That is interesting. Glad I went to the bank today and noticed that there was a fire. Oh a few other things, I did run out of cannabis. Then, after my walk back from the fire I felt compelled to re-supply myself there. However, no more nicotine. I may be smoking a bit more cannabis to relieve the urge to smoke something.

That’s okay for the short term, especially if it’s effective. I can’t say that I’m really having any firm cravings- so much nicotine confusion that my brain doesn’t know if I want a cigarette between my fingers or a pipe in my hand or just to sit in my chair. Maybe a few more days and I won’t even remember what I’m missing anymore.  Okay, not a firm budget yet, and the preliminary numbers look good, real good and I haven’t even applied for a single grant or scholarship yet.

With only loans and the reconnect program, I can cover my living expenses for a year to earn my first degree. Once my pell grant kicks in, any other grants and scholarships I receive will just be icing on the cake. In theory, today was flawless. In practice, lets see if I can make stuff work out.

Time to rest.





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