2015 Fire School—Dinosaurs and Sock Puppets?!

I wait for fire school in Grand Island all year long.  No kidding.  This year was no exception.  I have a day and a half of class time done already, and we’ll finish up in the morning.  I made a new, funny friend in class this year…(hi, Sabrina!), and I hope she reads today’s blog post!  She has been more like a partner in crime.  🙂

My fire school adventure started earlier in the week since there were so many things I had to do before I could leave for fire school.  Thursday was a blur.  Between teaching Spanish classes and not eating lunch at lunch time, I took off the trash and delivered my pups to Koko’s Palace (for doggie day care).  Then I had to drop my little car off at the body shop in North Platte (75 miles away) and pick up a rental.  I had specifically asked for “a small car that’s good on gas.”  I got a double-cab Hemi.  Not exactly what I was expecting, but it does have some power.  I was bummed from the beginning about putting gas in the dang thing because that came out of my spending money for the weekend.  I had plans for that cash….

Wes drove a fire truck to Grand Island, and I followed so I wouldn’t get “misplaced.”  (He tried to ditch me, but I found him in Broken Bow!)  We arrived early enough to shop at the vendor booths.  Wes helped me find a booth where I could order my badge (the one I’ve been wanting for the last few years!) before we had to go to class.  It took the lady at the booth a little while to find a badge like Wes has, so I had to keep checking with her after Wes left for his class.


I had learned (from the guys) that they all paid for their own badges, so I paid for mine out of my spending money.  Funny thing is, though, that all of the guys had neglected to mention that they had billed the badge to the department and then reimbursed the department.  I found that out after I had paid cash.  Hmmm.

In class after the badge business, one of the teachers put up a picture that made me and Sabrina laugh.  She said it looked like a dinosaur.  I agreed, but added it was similar to a sock puppet.  I took a picture, texted it to Sabrina, and we both posted it on our Facebook pages.  We even showed the teachers this morning.  After that, they watched for us to grab our phones when something funny was on the screen.  Joe and Chuck were kind enough to give us time to snap a pic.

This looks like a sock puppet dinosaur, but it's really about the parts of a fire.

This looks like a sock puppet dinosaur, but it’s really about the parts of a fire.


Sabrina and I roamed around after class to see what we could discover.

Sabrina and I roamed around after class to see what we could discover.

I had spent all of Friday and today griping about the extra gas money for the truck.  It cut into my shopping.  Wes finally told me about the badges being billed to the fire department, so I went back and got my cash so the very nice lady could bill the fire department like she had for the all of the other guys!  That made it possible for me to buy the shirt Wes had pointed out to me.

Stay tuned for more fire school news….

Unexpected Blessings

Have you ever been blessed while waiting in a Wal-Mart checkout-out line? Usually I’m really cranky if I have to wait more than five minutes to make it to the cash register. Once, not long ago, I waited 20 whole minutes….and got a blessing out of it. I struck up a conversation with the lady in front of me. We were, after all, trying to pass the time pleasantly while waiting in line. Either that or misery loves company…..at any rate, Tammy shared that her teen was redecorating her room and was “done” with her zebra stuff. Let me leave Wal-Mart for a minute and step into my classroom.

As a teacher, I get a really good idea of what my students love or collect as I see them in class and hear their chatter. I knew one of my girls LOVES the zebra pattern on anything. Now back to the check-out line.

I asked Tammy, my new best friend, if she would be willing to sell me the zebra stuff. I was determined to get it for my student, you see. I learned that Tammy is a gracious, generous lady who wanted to “pay it forward.” As we talked more, we both agreed that every time we have needed something, someone has been sent to provide it for us. You might call this karma or the hand of God, but either way, I know miracles can and do happen. Tammy shares that belief. We swapped phone numbers and agreed to meet another day so I could pick up the zebra room décor—lamp, flowers, wall hangings, everything. The day came, and I was thrilled to see her again. She is truly a wonderful person. She even brought a couple of pairs of shoes that were not needed by her teen. Wouldn’t you know that my daughter could wear one pair and her friend could wear the other!

We don’t usually equate Wal-Mart with awesome new friends, but it can happen. Don’t you just love those wonderful, wacky Wal-Mart women?