07 November 2009


Actively Collected Really Ominous Names You Must Say...

Happy Birthday to me,
I'm not 103!
I eat cake for breakfast
And write blogs for thee.


I am 46 today. GrammaJ asked me if I feel older. The truth is, not really. In fact, in some ways I feel younger (and groovier) than ever.

Perhaps it's because of my Groovy birthday I-pod:

Mulletman had the I-pod engraved with my "real" name and - get this - with "Groovy Old Lady"!! How could I feel old with that on the back!

Maybe I still feel young because I have 2 YOUNG children in my house. Because I had them later in life, I get to spend alot of time with mom's who are young enough to ALSO be my children. Tee-hee-hee!

Or maybe I still feel relatively young because of our new family passion... I hinted to you all in this post that we had a new infatuation, but I never told anyone except for Notcon4med what it was. I told her because she's my very, very good friend. And because she's nosy. ;)

Our family is just beginning to venture into the world of Search and Rescue, heretofore referred to as S.A.R. I have a sweet redneck friend, henceforth to be known as L.S. who is right into SAR and wilderness rescue and wilderness survival and hunting (she even designed her new bathroom so 2 family members can simultaneously hunt out of the bathroom windows. Yes, we're talking SERIOUS redneck!) She makes natural medicinals (her elderberry syrup is incredible!) and can recognize every edible wild plant in New England.

It was about 2 years ago that L.S. started pestering me to join her in some of her crazy outdoor adventures. I had to say "no" because, while I find the topic utterly fascinating, I know that pursuits of that sort take a great deal of time and education (classes and field work) and physical strength. There's no way I could commit to something like that without Mulletman's total support. I figured that would be a bust since he's not very keen on me investing too heavily in activities that consistantly take me away from him and the girlies (and rightly so!)

So, let's take a man who feels trapped in his job and life circumstances (ie. taking care of three parents who moved up here to be with us - bless their hearts) and a groovy old lady with a yen for adventure and couple that with an off hand invitation to attend a potluck dinner and MidCoast Rescue SAR (MCRSAR) meeting an hour away in some podunk town we'd never heard of...

Groovy: Honey, L.S. has invited to go to a SAR supper and meeting on Friday night in a remarkably tiny town in the middle of nowhere.

Mulletman: What's it all about?

Groovy: I have no idea.

Mulletman: What would we do with girls?

Groovy: L.S. says we can bring them.

Mulletman: You wanna go?

Groovy:: I think I do.

Mulletman: OK


And so we went. And we felt totally lost. Everyone there were wearing these official looking fire/police type shirts and, while L.S. went out of her gregarious redneck way to introduce us to everyone, only a couple of people spoke to us. Then came "the meeting". It turned out to be a business meeting! I had dragged my poor, unsuspecting family to a business meeting for some group we knew nothing about! Aaaaaack!

But we stayed. And to my surprise, Girly-Girl seemed completely absorbed. (Silly-Head, not so much - she just colored on paper plates and sighed alot.) We were trying to follow the acronym laden conversation and she just seemed to be soaking at all in. Suddenly she scooched over close to me, "Mom, do you REALLY think we could take the helicopter rescue training?"

So I asked and...YES, she could. Obviously she wouldn't get a jumpsuit and be allowed to fly on real rescue missions, but she and Silly-Head could indeed join us for all the training. They could accompany us for BASAR (Basic SAR) and be pre-trained for MASAR (Maine SAR). Presumably they'd also be qualified for NASAR (National Search and Rescue). In other words, they can learn first aid, field navigation, field nutrition, air rescue (helicopters and rapelling! Woot!), sea rescue: Anything we learn, they can learn too (within reason). Then, when an actual "incident" occurs, our junior rescuers stay at our field headquarters (HQ) and provide Rescue Support (R.S.). ie. Set up tents, cook food, give back rubs, run errands - anything a tired searcher needs to recoup.

Well, if Girly-Girl is excited about it, then Mulletman is too. He's an RN (registered nurse) looking for a little bit of excitement. What could be more exciting than searching for a lost child in the Maine woods in Winter? Or looking for a lost, hypothermic hunter? Or assisting FEMA in dealing with an "incident" or disaster. Or rescuing a cat from atop a tree. Or locating that hidden chocolate in my freezer. The possibilities are literally endless!

Even better, I just found out that the unit we met with out in Podunk is going to start a sister unit much closer. So now we're waiting for the next BASAR course to cycle around so Mulletman and the girls and I can learn how to navigate the Maine woods at night in the winter. Heh-heh-heh.

In the meantime, I am taking my first certification course to work with FEMA ( Federal Emergency Management Agency). I'm putting in about 10 hours studying the ICS (Incident Command Sysytem) for NIMS (National Incident Management System). Thus far I've learned how to file an IAP (incident Action Plan) and how to speak "in plain, common language without (*snort*) codes". This part is rather dull, but I have a feeling I'm going to like taking EMS classes and GPS nav courses. Then there's the physical fitness part - You gotta be tough as nails to carry a 25+ pound pack through the woods and in the mountains! And...after looking over the FEMA website, I'm estimating that we'll have to master about, oh, 897,000 other acronyms and codes before we're done. ;)

Be assured that as we progress, I'll keep you posted. I just heard a rumor that we may be sleeping in the winter woods one night next month. Maybe I'd better dig out my LLBean coupons and purchase some cold weather SAR gear!!!

While you're waiting for an update, you read more about SAR on this awesome Squidoo lens. There's lots of very groovy info here too.

And maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way, we can convince Mulletman that we need a dog...(Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!)

And finally, for one of the best birthday presents ever, my dear internet friend, Grandma Dawn, and her husband are coming to stay with us this Thursday! Their son is temporarily living here in Maine, so they have an excuse to stay with us for a couple of days!


Here's to keeping busy and staying young!


Susan said...

You are an amazing family and what a blessing you will be to this work. Dawn & I had lunch and met yesterday :o) I told her to tell you "hi" so you're getting it from me, too. Enjoy the visit. I know you will.

MaineMomma said...

sounds fun and exciting! what an incredible family activity!

Euri said...

Hope you had a great birthday!

Search and rescue is just up my alley. I love to search for squirrels and cats but I don't like to rescue them. I just like to chase them.

I wish you the best of luck in your new venture. You're doing a very nice thing.

notcon4med said...

Well, since I, your very, very good and nosy friend, already knew about the SAR thing (thought I will add that it sounds way cool!) I only have one comment:
AN IPOD?! YOU?! AN IPOD!!!!! Well, the wonders certainly never cease with you, my very, very good and ever growing and changing friend! Now, I can send you good sermon links, right? ; D

Oh, and btw: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Anonymous said...

I am really impressed. Search & Rescue is such important work. You will literally be saving lives. You really do make the world a better place, Groovy. Have a wonderful birthday! XXXX

Lauri said...

Groovy you and your family are indeed an inspiration! I'm seriously impressed.

Also- you look so young for 46! I'll be 46 in a few months and I wouldn't want us to be caught together in a photo. 8(

Dawn said...

Wow, I guess for sure you're not feeling older, if you're going into this new adventure!

I can't wait to meet Girly-Girl and Silly Head (and Mulletman, of course!)