Boots On Duty

Now seven weeks past when my husband died, I continue to mourn. I have literally lost at least half of what made me “me.” But life goes on, and I do too, one boot step at a time.

Readers may note…

…I changed the image in the header of this blog (refresh if necessary). I removed images of me on a motorcycle because I sold my Harley Road King in January and currently do not own a motorcycle.

I plan to buy a new, smaller, easier-to-mount/dismount and easier to ride motorcycle soon. I am looking at several, and not necessarily a Harley. Maybe, maybe not. I know what I want and don’t want, such as a BMW or “crotch rocket” sport bike.

I have tried to ride BMW motorcycles, and they are quite an adjustment with a significantly different center of gravity. I hate how the motorcycle feels “top-heavy,” so I’m not looking at them.

Also, remember the key word is smaller — not larger. I am definitely not going to get a trike, CanAm, Goldwing, or Indian. Again, I want small, not big. Something for the kind of riding I do — short trips, not all-day rides.

Whenever the weather breaks, which should be soon, I will go with my close friend who is a motorcycle training instructor and seasoned motorcycle police officer, to look and test ride some bikes. I will listen carefully to my friend’s sage advice. I’ll let you know when I find what I want and arrange to buy it.

Some really astute readers may also notice that I am growing a beard. I am still not sure about it. It is white and makes me feel old. I will not dye it… so white it is. I will try it out and see what happens. You can use the comment section below if you wish to let me know what you think about it.

In our shared history, my husband was always the one with the beard. He would spend hours grooming it. I would tickle his beard; he would look at me, smile, and give me a little snort. (That was “our thing.”) I’m not much one for male grooming. The beard will be scraggly… until perhaps it gets itchy when it gets warmer, and I shave it. Who knows… check back.

As it has been cold, I have been wearing leather while at home. I am comfortable in it and by wearing leather at home, I can reduce the setting on the thermostat (giggle — that’s me, always looking for cost-savings when I can.) I have always felt that “if you have it, you should wear it for more than fashion shows and posing.”

Lately these past several weeks, the boots on my feet have been my favorite duty boots — Chippewa Firefighters. Why?

Well, I am serving under the auspices of my local fire department as a medic. I continue to give Covid-19 vaccinations to priority groups on several duty shifts each week on a “TDY” assignment (or “loan”) from the fire department to the Department of Health.

I am also taking intensive training courses to regain licensure as a full paramedic, above and beyond my current licensure as an Advanced EMT/Cardiac Rescue Technician. This training is grueling, but necessary to achieve my goal of regaining that credential.

I am doing this completely as a volunteer. I am not paid when I give vaccinations or fill in for medic shifts for EMS response from time to time.

I collect volunteer hours which at the end of the year appear in a report provided to me. With at least 600 volunteer hours per year, I can reduce the taxable income for my state, which results in a significant benefit to me in having to pay less taxes. I appreciate that my state provides tax reductions for first responders.

When not on duty for the fire department or taking training, I have been at home. I am trying to sort through lots of “stuff” that my husband stored away. I separate this “stuff” into piles for donation, trash, or repurposing.

I also have found over $345 in coins. Yes, coins. Every night for the past month, I have been wrapping these coins and periodically taking them to the bank for deposit. Gives me something to do at night besides sitting at my computer.

I admit, I have been procrastinating the cleanup. I just don’t — yet — have the heart to go through all those things. I will, eventually. But I am not planning to sell the house or move, so I have time.

I still remain engaged as a leader for some local and one national-level committees. Those groups meet in the virtual space, but require as much if not more work to prepare for, facilitate, and follow-up on these meetings.

It is good to remain busy and distracted.

Life is short: proceed in honor, one boot step at a time.

3 thoughts on “Boots On Duty

  1. The white beard does not make you look old. It’s a good look for you. Very manly.

    My beard is salt and pepper, more salt than pepper, but I refuse to dye it. My husband on the other hand dyes his. It doesn’t look natural. I secretly wish he’d shave it off.

    Beards are great for keeping the face warm in winter, but can be somewhat uncomfortable in summer. That’s when I reduce mine to stubble.

    IMO beards and boots just go together.

  2. Larry’s right – The beard makes you look rugged and masculine. Lol – I found myself drooling over you. (And I’ve never done that before.)
    Aside from which, if you tried to keep everything the same after such a life-changer, the bereavement will hit you super-hard and from left-field, at the most unexpected moment. By embracing changes that you don’t even fully understand: (Selling your big bike, Growing a beard, Going back to get your Paramedic qualification etc), you’re already (subliminally) adjusting to your new reality. Which is a great ‘insurance’ for when the b’ment will really hit. Power to you, you’re doing super well, I’ve had a lot of pleasure from your website and blog…as have tonnes of other men, straight & gay – Thank you so much for that. Keep us posted as you see fit, I certainly enjoy knowing how you’re doing…and I think since you’ve always been a ‘blogger’…it’s your way of working out things. (Alongside biking, lol.) Don’t stop either. Ps: When the inkling comes…(and it might)…don’t fight to hard about getting a (low-maintenance) pet. Either a Hampster, Cat, Rabbit, Bird of some kind or a reptile if that’d be you. Ditto naming them your partner’s nickname. (You get to say the name out loud a few times a day 🙂 So it’s not such a contrast between before….then suddenly never calling out the nickname…(for obvious reasons). It’s like milk – it should be expressed, lol. Not left to build up in your ‘breast’. God’s speed to you xx

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I sincerely appreciate it.

      I’ve thought about a pet, but am waiting for a while. I don’t want to have to have someone else care for it while I am away on travel for extended periods later this year.

      I have a number of “fuzzy friends” that my husband got for me over the years, and they provide many fond memories, especially when “we” talk about him and funny things he would say or do.

      BTW — the beard is gone. Had to shave it because I couldn’t get a good seal with a mask, which is required for medic work. Oh well… it was a trial anyway.

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