I have a hard time being around strangers or large groups of people. It’s incredibly stressful for me. If I know that is going to happen, I don’t usually go to a function. I will avoid them, give excuses, not go. This time, though, my brother said he was excited for me to spend Thanksgiving with him at the fire station he was working at. If for nothing else, I had to go because of that.
I got there after a two hour drive and my brother wasn’t there. His engine had just gone out on a call. Ugh. Now I’d have to hang out with people I didn’t know and try to feel comfortable. I’ve had to do that at other stations and it was so uncomfortable.
I shouldn’t have worried this time. These guys were awesome. They welcomed me, started giving me a hard time right away, and made me feel like they had known me forever. They were just like family.
My brother’s engine came back and I was greeted with a big hug by one of the guys who has known my brother since the Academy. I watched football for a bit with them (even though I know next to nothing about football). We talked baseball (talked lots of smack about the Yankees, heehee). We watched videos by Jeff Dunham (I showed one yesterday). One engine got a call and they had to go out. Then the rescue got a call. That left 5 of us in the station to finish up dinner. I offered to help but was told to relax. Ahem. Four guys in the kitchen. And they were hilarious, especially when trying to figure out how to make stuffing.
As the other engine came back, a man wandered into the garage with chest pains. My brother was out there helping him so I wandered out to watch. It was cool to see them in action. They had to call for a rescue since the station rescue truck was out. By the time the rescue got there, another pulled up moments after (so there were two rescues in the garage). They pulled out the bed (which was a cool bed and runs on a DeWalt motor) and loaded the man up and took him away.
Just in time, too. Dinner was ready. The rescue guys pulled in just as the tables were getting set up. Smoked turkey, ham, two different kinds of sweet potatoes (one with brown sugar and pecans on top — omigod were they good!), cranberry sauce (jellied and whole, homemade), mashed potatoes, and more.
Then another call came in just as we were finishing dinner. This time it was my brother’s engine and I got to go along for a ride. It was cool. A kid had been hit with a vacuum by his father (who was on meth) and they needed to bandage him up. The kid was originally from Bosnia (only in the States for 5 years, he was 19) and he was pretty layed-back about the whole incident. The police left the scene to go talk to the father (the kid had walked to a convenience store). We waited around a bit and then the decision was made to take him to the hospital. We all climbed in to the engine and headed for the hospital.
By the time we got back (1 1/2 hours later), we were up for dessert — some desserts were brought in by community members, which is awesome). I had a yummy blueberry pie.
Then I headed home. Two hours later, I pulled into my yard. I had such a good time. I kept telling my brother, on the phone, to thank them again. I wanted them to know how much I appreciated being made to feel like family. They made me belong, even if for only a day.