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Find Your Mate - Part 1

An Emergency Story

By Donnalouise
 

A friend of mine called me up one night and asked me to come over for dinner.  I said “sure I’ll come”.  I drove over to Mike and Amy’s and went to the front door and knocked.  Mike answered the door and told me Amy was in the kitchen on the phone, come on back. We both went back to the kitchen and Mike offered me a coke while Amy finished her phone conversation.  We sat at the breakfast bar and Mike and I were talking and catching up on the news since we had been together the last time.  We don’t get to see each other as much as we would like, with Mike’s job as a chef at an Italian Restaurant and Amy as an intensive care nurse at the hospital, we hadn’t seen each other since the last holiday.  It was nice to catch up with the news about the kids and what they were doing.  Mike and Amy have two children, a boy and a girl.  Amy was still on the phone when there was a knock at the door.  Mike went to the door, just as Amy finished her phone conversation.  – It was work, as usual, there was a problem with a patient Amy had been taking care of earlier that day.  Amy fixed herself a glass of Ice Tea and joined me at the breakfast bar.   I asked Amy who Mike and she had wanted me to meet.  I told her Mike had told me that there was this really cute guy when we heard the knock on the door.  I reminded Amy that she should remember that I really do not like blind dates.  She laughed and told me “you’ll like this one”!!  

Amy said that she had met a nice guy at the hospital, and that he was an Paramedic for the fire department, and she thought I could get more information from him that might help me with my studies and that he was a someone she thought I would like and if it went any further, that was up to the two of us..  

Mike came back to the kitchen with a real cute guy, and introduced us - “Donna, please meet John Gage”. John, this is Donna, we have known you both for some time now and thought it was about time that you met each other.   John and Mike joined Amy and me and the four of us visited for a few minutes talking out our day at work and the weather among other things. Then Mike and Amy excused themselves and said that if they didn’t get busy, we would all starve to death, as dinner was not ready yet. 

Mike and Amy went into the kitchen to finish dinner and I fixed John a glass of ice tea,  he couldn’t have a beer tonight, he said, because he was on call,  the next shift might be short a man, and he might have to leave on short notice to get to the fire station.. 

We seemed to hit it off well,  I had questions on my college classes and the training course I was enrolled in to become an EMT and he really enjoyed his job and had a real knack in explaining what I could expect in the courses I had yet to take.  John said that it was not going to be easy for me with carrying a full schedule as waitress and going to school at night, that it was going to take me longer, but he assured me that it would be worth it.  That EMT’s have a very interesting job and that it is usually really rewarding only a few runs are not.    
 
 

Mike and Amy called us for dinner and we went into the dining room.  Mike had fixed his specialty, a real Italian meal, and John and I both agreed that we were hungrier than we had first thought. 

We all visited more, Amy asked about my family.  She asked how my mom was, and about my two sisters and brother and their families.  I told John that I had a brother named John and that he was married and had two children, a boy and a girl.  I told him about my mom and my two sisters,  he asked me what they did and how many children they had,  I told him Peggy has four, three boys and a girl and Mary has two a boy and a girl.  I told John I missed seeing Amy’s two children, and asked where they were.   Amy replied that they were spending the week at her mom’s and dad’s at the lake.   She was looking forward to the week end; they had both arranged to have the week end off and were going to the lake to pick up the kids.    Amy asked if we would like to go.  I told her I had to work and John said he did too. 

We enjoyed dinner and it took some time to actually finished dinner.  When we were done, I offered to help Amy clean up while Mike and John went into the living room to find something on TV to watch, if there was anything interesting to watch. 

Amy and I cleaned the table and put the dishes into the dish washer and cleaned up the kitchen.  Amy asked me if I would go out with John.  I told her that if he asked me I would, but if he did not ask me tonight, I would not be disappointed. 

We finished cleaning up and took coffee and dessert into the living room.  Amy had bought my favorite French Silk Pie and we carried the tray into the living room to join the guys.  Mike and John were watching the last part of the movie when we joined the guys and we all had dessert while we watched the last part of the movie.    I helped Amy clean up after dessert.  When we were finished, we went back into the living room.  I excused myself from Mike and John and told them that I had an early morning shift and that I had to get home, finish my homework and get to bed so I could get up in the morning. 

John said it was getting late for him too and he would walk me to my car.  We walked to my car and John asked me if I would like to go to dinner later this week.  I replied that I would love too.  We finally decided to meet at a Mexican restaurant and that we would talk again tomorrow evening.  We got to my car and John opened the door for me and as I was getting into the car, he gently kissed my forehead and said “see you Wednesday” 

As I drove home, I could not help thinking that John was a “really nice guy” that most men would have tried to more than a light kiss on the forehead. 

The next two days were a blur.  I was so busy with school and work, that I really did not have time to think much of the dinner date I had made.  I had talked briefly to John every night, but because he was on duty, the phone conversations were limited to 5 minutes.  We made firm date to meet at the restaurant in some ways; the days flew from Monday night to Wednesday.  I just got off work late and trying hard to get home on time and get ready for our date this evening. 

John will be here in an hour and I’m not ready and I don’t know what to wear for our first date.  John won’t tell me where we are going on our date.  All his said was that he is taking me to a restaurant and that he was taking me somewhere after dinner.  He won’t tell me if it is a nice restaurant so I can get dressed up or if I could just wear Jeans and sweater.  I just wish he would have told me where we were going for dinner and what we are going to do after dinner.  I like a good movie or we could maybe go dancing.  I hope that his is a county music fan because I love great county music and I wouldn’t mind to go dancing to.

 
I got home about midnight.  The restaurant was Mexican and was quite authentic.

Then we went dancing a nice club not far from my place.  We had a couple of drinks and danced till ten O’clock.  We left the club and Johnny walked me to my car.  I followed him to his apartment and we watched TV and talked more.  It was so relaxing; we have discovered that we have a lot more in common than we first thought.  I was starting to get sleepy.    I started wondering if I was going to be able to drive home.  John asked me if I would be able to drive home, I told him I think so.  John asked me one more time “are you sure, if not you could stay here”. 

I looked at him and asked “where would I sleep?” I told John that I wasn’t ready for the next step and he replied that “you could sleep in the guest room; I have a really nice guest room” I told John “No!! I’ll be OK I really need to get home.  I’ll call you when I get home”.  He told me goodnight and kissed me and told me he would give me about 30 minute to get my apartment.  If I had not called him in 30 minutes, he would drive to my apartment to make sure I got there okay.  I told John that I would be OK and that he needed to get some sleep too, because I know that his tired and needed get up early.  He was probably more tired than I was because he had a big fire run that he had gone to just before his shift ended.  “I said I would call him as soon as I got home!” 

I gave him a kiss got into my car and headed home.  I drove with my window down and my radio up hoping that I wouldn’t fall asleep.   

It only took me 15 minutes to drive home.  I called John as soon as I got into my apartment.  I told him I really had a good time “thank you” and that we could talk tomorrow, you had better get to bed. We told each other goodnight.  I told John that I had really enjoyed the date and could not remember when I had so much fun.  I also told John that I’m glad that I have the next day off so I can sleep.    

John and I agreed that he would call tomorrow after he got off work and we would plan when we could get together and have dinner at my place.  I want to spend some quiet time with John, I want to know more about him, his hobbies and what he likes and dislikes.  We have so far liked most of the same things.  I also would like to know more about his family, we haven’t had much time to talk about our families. 

I want to take things easy, I don’t want John to think I’m pushing or prying for more information about his family and hobbies.  I have already told him about my family and my hobbies.  John will tell me more about himself sometime in the future. 

John called the next day, and we made plans for when we both had a week end off.  “There is another couple I want you to meet” John said.  It would be nice if Mike, Amy, my friends, you and I could get away for the week end.  It would be nice to have a long week end together and go to the lake, just the six of us.  Do you think that Amy’s folks would keep her kids; I’ll ask my friend if they can get a sitter. 

I told John that I would ask Amy which week end they could get away! And for him to ask his friends what week end are best for them.  With enough advance notice, I can ask for any week end off that would work for all of us. 

John and I agreed the plans for a long week end sounds good and that we will talk more the next couple of days and try to decide which week end will work for all of us. 

John asked if I had hiking boots, sleeping bags, blankets, air mattress and outdoor type of clothing, including any camping gear.  We will need warm and cold clothing as it gets quite cold at night at the lake.  And sleeping in a tent can get cool at night. 

We continued to make plans, leaving early afternoon on Friday and returning home on Sunday evening.  

We tried to plan the menus and what and how much we needed to take in the line of food, beverages and clothing.  There are several camp places at the lake and we also need to call and make reservations.  It would be nice to get a site next to the lake and not too far from the dressing rooms, restrooms and showers. 

We would need to take two vehicles, one to pull a small trailer with our supplies and tent and a second vehicle to pull the boat. 

I am so glad that I love to water-ski and swim.  And because my family had camped out quite a bit, I had a lot of things left over from our vacations. 

The plans are coming together just great.  Amy and Mike are going to drive their van to the lake.  They will pull the trailer and drop their kids off at Amy’s mom and dad’s place.

John and I would ride down with his friends and pull the boat. 

I told John that it was okay with me.  Just let me know what time we are starting out so I can be ready and so I can tell Amy so they can be ready when we pull up at their place.  We had planned to follow one another down to the lake so if someone has any car trouble, we can stop and help.  

 We talked little longer and made plans to meet tomorrow and go over all the plans to make sure we hadn’t left any of the details out. 

I asked John to come over for dinner and that we would have a quiet evening at my apartment.  “We don’t have to go out to eat or go dancing – we can just too stay here and eat and watch TV.  

John came over after he got off work, about seven o’clock.   We decided to order pizza and watch an old movie on TV.  We went over the plans for our trip and after the pizza delivery man came, we ate and settled down to watch TV and talk some more.  It was nice to have a quiet evening in.  We kissed a little, talked some more, and before we knew it, John look at his watch and said “its 11:30 and I have to get up early in the morning to go to work”.  I told John that I could at least walk you to your truck and give you one more kiss good night kiss. 

I told John that “I’ll call you in the morning to make sure you get up okay.  Thanks for a good evening; I had a great time just spending it with you.  We should do this more often, just stay in for the evening and watch TV.  I don’t care if we save a little money and not go out so often.”  

I set my alarm and turned in.  When the alarm went off, it seemed like I had just gotten to bed.  I called John to make sure he had gotten up – “Well Good Morning to you sweetie guess you got up okay.  I was wondering when the telephone rang so long, that I might have missed you and thought that maybe you already left for work.   When do you have to leave for work?”  John replied that he had to leave in 10 minutes or he would be late.  John said “I had better let you go or we both will be late for work.  I’ll call you in between runs”. 

John called me at home after his first shift and told me that his Captain has told them that they had to pull a double shift.  He won’t get home until Wednesday morning.  We made plans to have breakfast when he gets off.  We discussed his crazy shifts and I told him that it was good to know how his shifts were, because when I became an EMT, my shifts would probably be like his. 

We decided to meet at my place for breakfast on Wednesday.   I told John that I would hide a key for him in case he got there before I did, he could start breakfast, and I’ll get there as soon as I can. 

The day went so fast.  It seemed that I got off work just a little bit late, finishing a party, and was in a hurry to get to school.  I didn’t have time to go to the store before the store closed, and I will have to get up early and pick up the few things I need for breakfast. 

I went home from school, studied for a while and went to bed.  It was almost midnight and I knew the alarm would be going off about 6:00am. 

 
It was sure a short night, the alarm just about blasted me out of bed, for some reason it was louder than usual.  I got up and dressed and got out of the apartment as soon as I could.  The corner grocery store was open when I got there. 

I needed some Danish to go with the eggs and bacon that I already had, and I needed to pickup coffee.  For some reason, I don’t have coffee on hand when I need it, I guess it’s because I normally drink diet coke and just buy a small can of coffee when I am having company. 

John got to the apartment before I got back from the store and had started frying the bacon and eggs, I got home in time to make the coffee and set out the orange juice and Danish I had gotten at the store.  With both of us fixing breakfast, it didn’t take long to get it on the table. 

We had just sat down for breakfast when someone knocked on the door.  I told John, I wasn’t expecting anyone. “Please excuse me while I answer the door”.  I opened the door to find a policeman standing there.  I asked the officer “is there a problem?”  The policeman told me that someone in my building had called in a report that a strange man had broken into my apartment.  I asked the officer in and introduced him to John.  “This is my friend, John Gage, he is a paramedic/firefighter and when I had to go to the store this morning before he got here, I had hidden a key for him.  We had just finished making breakfast when you arrived.  

John said “Well I can’t believe that your neighbor would do that!”  I told him that I know she does the same thing to all the single ladies in the building.   She always thinks our boyfriends are breaking into our apartments.  I have told her before to mind her own business or I will file a complaint with the manager of the building.  I guess I will this time, I have told her more than once and she just doesn’t understand.  I hope the manager can get her to understand that this type of false reports just cannot continue. 

I thanked the officer for taking time to check on me.  That I am ok and I appreciated him taking time to check out the neighbor’s report, even though it wasn’t true. 

I let the officer out and turned to John saying “Let’s finish our breakfast before its get cold.”  We still need to go over the lists of groceries we need along with the last details of the trip. 

John asked “Are you ready for are trip?” I replied “yes!!! I’m really looking forward to the long week end, so I can get away from the city for a while.  It will be nice to relax, swim and rest. 

We did the dishes together and talked about the trip.  John still won’t tell me about his friends, and I could not get very much information about them. 

John decided he had better get to work, he had to be on the 11:00am shift and he did not want to be late. 

We made plans to go out after he got off work, pick up a bite to eat and go to an early movie.  The movie was over before 9 and we called it a night because we have to get up

Very early. John drove me home and walked me to the door and kissed me goodnight, saying, “I guess we should call it a night so we both can get some sleep.”  As usual, I asked John to call me and let me know that he made it home okay. 

I had washed my hair and was getting ready for bed when the phone rang.  It was John,  he had made good time getting home.  It had only taken him 25 minutes.  We just talked a few moments then we said good night. 

I told John to call me at 5:00am.  I finished getting ready for bed and set my alarm for 5 o’clock am.  I had planned on getting ready and finish my packing in about an hour in the morning.  I had everything ready; I just needed to put it in my overnight bag.  Grab my sleeping bag and favorite pillow. 

The alarm went off way too soon, it was hard to get out of bed and get ready for the trip.  I called John to make sure he was up and getting ready.  He said “I’ll pick you up in by

6 o’clock”.  

I finished getting ready and carried my over night case and sleeping bag and pillow to the front door.  I grabbed a left over Danish and a glass of juice to tide me over until we stopped for breakfast. 

I had just finished washing out my glass and fixing my to-go cup with a Diet Coke when the door bell rang.   It was John, I grabbed my purse and answered the door.

John grabbed my over night case and sleeping bag and I grabbed my pillow and we went out to the van. 

John opened the door and said “I want you to meet Roy and Joanne.  They have been my best friends for more than five years.  

Roy and Joanne, this is Donna, the lady I have been talking to you about.   

I replied “It’s nice to finally meet you both”.  John and I got into the van and Roy asked for directions to Amy’s and Mike’s.  It was surprising that Joanne and I had so much in common; we visited and got to know each other on the trip to Amy and Mike’s. 

It didn’t take us but about 30 minutes to drive to Amy and Mike’s.  They live in a cute little town just south of the city.  We pulled up into their driveway and John and I went to the door to help them load their pickup and help them put the kids in the back seat and get them buckled in.  

Amy said Mike will be ready in a minute. I asked Amy, “Do you have all your thing in your truck?  Are you  ready?” Amy said “Yes, Mike in the bathroom getting dressed and we’ll be ready to hit the road”. 

Amy, John, Roy and Joanne and I discussed where we would stop and have breakfast,  we decided we would drive for an hour and then find a restaurant south of town,  we won’t be half way yet, but we can at least get out of the Metro area before we start looking for a place for breakfast.  Mike came out and finished loading the children’s bags and agreed that we would get out of town before looking for a service station and restaurant. 

I guess we got about half way to the restaurant, when I fell asleep in the van.  The seat was so soft anyone can fall asleep and get a good nap.  I didn’t wake up until we got to the restaurant for breakfast.  John woke me up at the restaurant.  I ask John “how long did I sleep?”  John said “about 20 minute”.  I sure felt like I had had a long hour or two nap.    I asked Roy, “Did we lose Amy and Mike? I don’t see them?”  John replied “they are getting gas over there.  I asked John “Come with me,  let's go and get Amy and the kids, and see if she wants to go in with us or wait for Mike inside.” 

 Amy asked Mike if it would be okay with him if she took the kids to the restaurant and get the kids to the restroom before we had breakfast.  Mike said “sure that fine with me”.

I helped Amy with the kids and John and Roy stayed behind talk to Mike. 

Roy asks John how much longer do we have?  John said “it’s about 3 more hours to the lake and we should be there by noon.  It’s only 9 o’clock.  It won’t take long to check in at the ranger station when we get there.  Everything should be paid for.  We made reservations weeks ago.  All we have to do is sign in, get to the camp site and set up the tents and the camp site. 

It didn’t take long to drop off the kids at Amy’s moms.  Their home is just before the cutoff for the lake.  We hit the road again, stopped at the convenience store on the corner of the cut off and bought our ice and the few things we had put off packing because we needed ice to keep them fresh.  We piled into the vehicles again and drove the short distance to the lake area.  The ranger station was just a few miles off the main road and we checked in and headed for our camp site.  It was by the lake and a short walk to the showers and restroom.     

John said “Well we are here finally and day looks perfect. Roy, park over there so we can get the gear unloaded and set up the tents. 

Roy said “Well ladies what are you planning to fix for lunch”.   While the guys set up camp, we girls started to set out chips, soft drinks and made sandwiches.  We wanted something light so we can go swimming after lunch or a take a boat ride.  

We ate our lunch and took the trash to the barrels, it’s important not to give the wild critters any encouragement, or we would have friends drop by in the middle of the night, little four legged ones, may be even the black and white ones!!   

We decided to take a boat ride and not go swimming after lunch.  When we got back to the camp site, John, Roy and Mike all went fishing to catch something for dinner.  We told the guys, “We ladies have decided to go into town and shop before dinner and see what we could find for gifts for the Amy and Joanne’s kids.   

We had just got back from town and found the guys were clearing fish for dinner we ask what else are they going to fix?.  Mike “said just wait and see! We are not telling you!” I asked “Do you want us to set the table, at least let us help?”  The Mike said “NO but you girls can clean up after dinner and do the dishes. 

Dinner was really good, eating fresh caught fish and roasted corn and potatoes on the grill sure taste better than when they are cooked in doors.  We told the Guys thanks, for cooking dinner for us, dinner was very good. 

It didn’t take us long to wash up after dinner; we had eaten on paper plates so all we had to wash was the skillet and the silverware.   Joanne said “Now that we have thing clean up let’s go and sit by the camp fire with the guys and decide what we are going to do tomorrow.  Also, we had the making for smore’s for dessert”.  While we haven’t really got to know one another, it was nice to visit and get to learn how much we all had in common.  

We talked late into the night.  Joanne asked Amy if they had introduced John to me.  Joanne said that while we were town, Donna had told me how she set her up with John.

Amy said “Oh yes, she did had introduced John.  John was at the hospital a lot on runs, and they had talked between paperwork and getting supplies ready for the next run.  I thought they had a lot in common and since neither was seeing anyone at the time, I did a little match making.” 

We had finished our smores, and had started planning what we were going to do Saturday.  We couldn’t decide if we wanted to go hiking or swimming.  And we all wanted to take the boat out, so we had a full day ahead.  The night looked so clear and there was a cool breeze from the water.  We all agreed that it had been a nice day.  The weather man had predicted that we would have good weather all three day. 

We were still setting around the camp fire talking and I just was getting sleepy.  I decided 

To call it a night and get some sleep.  I reached over and gave John a kiss before I headed for tent.  I told everyone “see you in the morning; good night all!”  John walked me over the tent and say “I’ll be there in a little while”.  I replied “Okay, but I may be asleep when you come to bed”.  John laughed and replied, “So I better not wake you then I come to bed!!” 

We said good night again, and I went to bed.  John went back to the others to make more plans and have more time with Roy and Joanne.  He wanted to help Mike and Amy feel more at home.  

I could hear the five of them talking, but I was so tired from working hard this week and going to school.  I needed sleep, if I was going to be able to keep up with them tomorrow.  I had just fallen to sleep when John entered the tent and was getting ready for bed.  He gave me a kiss good night; I guess he thought I was still awake. 

The kiss startled me, and John said “Oh, I’m sorry I scarred you, I didn’t know you were asleep.  I didn’t mean to wake you.   I told John “I’m okay; I had just drifted off to sleep.  I have been laying here listening to you all talking.  I just can’t get comfortable!  Would you mind, if you moved your sleeping bag close to mine?  I think if you held me, I could get more comfortable and get some sleep. 

John pulled his sleeping bag next to mine, and fixed it so he could put his arm under my shoulder and we cuddled close.  It was more comfortable, and John told me good night and kissed me one more time.  We drifted off to sleep, talking about tomorrow. 

I don’t know how long I slept, I hadn’t moved since John had fixed our sleeping bags.  I only know that I did wake up in the middle of the night and looked at John.  He was sound asleep and looked so sweet laying there with his arm under my neck.  

I slipped out of my sleeping bag, put on my tennis shoes and unzipped the tent.  I guess I woke John.  He rose up on his elbow and asked “where are you going in the middle of the night”.  I told him “I’m going to walk up to the rest room”.  John replied, not without me, it may not be safe for you to be out alone, you could meet some animal trying to find lunch from the trash cans.  I’ll walk up with you, I need the restroom too”. 

John grabbed the flashlight and we started for the restrooms. 

We were just about to walk out of the camp site when someone called my name I turn round to see who it was.  Amy asked me “where are you going?”  I replied “to the restroom!”  Amy said, “wait for me, I was just getting my jeans on so I could walk up there.  I hoped that I wouldn’t be the only one.  I sure didn’t want go by myself.  Lets hurry, the sooner we get there the sooner we will be back”.  Amy asked us “are you guys having a good time?  Are you sleeping okay?” 

It didn’t take long for the three of us to make the trip up and back.  We slipped into the tent and got back to bed. It was easy to go back to sleep.  I guess we are both still tired, we didn’t talk much before we were back to sleep. 

Sat morning everyone was up early.  We all worked together getting things together to start breakfast.  We had just started cooking when someone came into the camp and asked if anyone knew first aid.  John replied that “Roy and I do?  We are paramedics.  What seems to be the trouble?”  The camper replied “I can’t wake my husband”.   

John told Joanne and I to go to the ranger station and have them call for help and you had better wait for the ambulance and show them back here.  John asked the Camper what her name was and what camp site they were at.  The camper said “I’m Betty Smith.  We are at #16.” 

John said, “Amy, you had better come with us, we may need an extra set of hands”.

Roy asked me “Can you go down with Joanne and call paramedic and wait for them”. 

So Joanne and I left the camp site and headed down to the ranger station to have them call the trauma in.  We told the Ranger that we would stay and wait for the ambulance and rescue team to arrive.  We can show them where our camp is, so they can drive right to our camp site. 

Joanne and I talked about how John, Roy and Amy might be were doing, and what kind of health problem they actually had encountered.  We hoped that the three of them were able to make some difference.  We only had a very basic first aid kit.  No drugs or medicine.  But the all three of them have medical training. 

Joanne said “if anyone can make a difference and buy a little more time before the ambulance and the paramedics get here, the three of them can”. 

The ambulance got there in a little over 5 minutes.  It seemed longer.  We jumped in

Van and led the way back to camp. 

John, Roy and Amy were still working on Mr. Smith.  They had gotten his breathing started again, and he did have a heart rhythm, but was still unconscious.  Joanne and I stayed back out of the way.  Roy, John and Amy told the ambulance crew what had happened and what they had been able to do so far.  As soon as the ambulance crew had their drug box out and had replaced Amy and John, Roy filled in the crew with what they had encountered and what they had done up until they time that they arrived. 

There was nothing further for any of us to do; we talked briefly with Mrs. Smith.  Roy and John reassured her and told her that his breathing and heart rate were a lot better than when they had first started treating him.  That all indications were that the ambulance would take him back to the hospital.  We told her that if she needed any help breaking down their camp, we would be glad to help her later, when she got back from the hospital.  The Ranger had told her that he would keep an eye on her things while she was gone.  That this camp area was very nice, and there was never any trouble with things being taken. 

We went back to our camp, and started breakfast.  I’m glad we hadn’t gotten any further cooking our breakfast.  Joanne and I finished breakfast while Roy, John and Amy rested. 

It didn’t take Joanne and me long to cook breakfast.   Joanne called to John, Roy and Amy “Well breakfast is now served.  I hope you all are hunger because we fixed a lot.  It should be enough to hold us until lunch time.”  We sat down to eat and started planning the day, Joanne said, “ I think I’d want to go hiking and maybe take a swim when we get back to camp.”   

We ate, washed the dishes, put everything away, and got on our hiking boots. 

We walked around the cove and met some of the other campers.  We spoke to almost everyone that was camping near the water.  We didn’t stop at each camp site, we just exchanged a few “hellos” and “nice day isn’t it”.

We walked for about five miles before we started back.  It was a beautiful day.  The sun was bright and it wasn’t hot.  There was a nice breeze from the water.  We made it back to the rest area, washed up briefly and went back to camp. 

We decided to just have a sandwich for lunch so we wouldn’t have any dishes to do after lunch.  We all agreed that we should take short nap before lunch.   The morning had taken its toll on all of us.  We were tired, and the stress of a trauma can make a person tired.  Even if it’s an easy trauma a person finds their energy drained after the trauma is over. 

We took a short nap, about an hour or so and got up.  We all helped to set out sandwich makings and chips, and paper plates.  We each made our own sandwich and we sat down to discuss where we would go for a swim.  We had seen a swimming beach across the cove while we were walking.  There was a boat ramp close by.  We decided to take the boat across the cove and swim on the sandy beach.  It was better than swimming at our camp site and getting a fish hook in our feet from a left over fisherman.  We all agreed it was no fun swimming with our shoes on. 

We packed a few cans of soda and bottled water in our little cooler along with some ice and took the boat to the water.  It didn’t take us long to get the boat in the water.  The boat motor was just a really small trolling motor, but it was enough to get us across the cove.   

While we were in the boat, we decided to plan what we would do for dinner tonight.

We asked the guys if they wanted to go fishing again, while we went back into town, or did they want to come with us and we would eat in a restaurant. 

We decided we would all go into town, have dinner, do a little shopping and pick up some ice and other supplies before we went back to camp.  We had to buy our refrigerated food supplies a little at a time.  The ice chests were good, but there was not a lot of room to keep a lot of things cold at one time.  

We went into town about 5:30 pm.  We found a really nice restaurant on the highway, just before we got to the shopping center.  We went inside; it had an antique like appearance.  There were a lot of old signs, fixtures and other memorabilia on the walls and sitting around.  We had heard that this place was nice and served really big portions. 

We waited to be seated and lucked out with a really nice big round booth.  We looked over the menu and decided what we wanted.  The guys all ordered steaks, Amy wanted baked chicken, and Joanne and I decided that we would have the baked chicken too.  We had just been served our salad, when we looked up to see one of the servers throwing bread at the customers.  He was walking up the center aisle and was throwing bread to anyone who would try to catch it.  The guys decided we all needed bread, so they called to him and one by one, they caught each of the rolls.  There were nice and hot and so good.  I could have made a meal of just those rolls.  Our dinner came, our baked chicken was served in a frying pan, and it was an entire half of a chicken.  The guy’s steaks covered the bottom of their skillets.  The baked potatoes were huge.  We had just started to eat when serves started to bring by vegetables in large pails.  There were beans, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, and okra.  We each took our pick of the vegetables, and looked up to find the bread man throwing more rolls.  We each caught our own roll that time.  There was no way we could eat all of our meal.  The guys did finish their steaks, but we girls took about half of our chicken home. 

We stopped at Wal-Mart and did a little shopping before we went to the grocery store.  We picked up some eggs for breakfast, some danish to go with them. We also bought some biscuits from the bakery department and a pie to have as dessert when we got back to camp.  We found some really good looking steaks at the meat department and bought some steaks for Sunday lunch the next day along with some dry ice to keep the meat colder.  We also found some baking potatoes to cook in the coals.  We picked up some more sodas, bottled water and a few cans of beer for the guys.  We girls decided to split a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel wine. 

We started back to camp.  We were singing to the radio and having a good time.  It didn’t seem to take any time at all to drive back to the camp. 

We stopped by Mrs. Smith’s Camp site to check on her husband.  She was there.  She had just gotten back to the camp site a few minutes before we drove up.  She said her husband had had a heart attack, but the hospital didn’t think he was in any immediate danger and suggested that she check in on the camp site, get some rest and come back to the hospital in the morning.  That there was nothing she could do for her husband tonight.   He just needed his rest and they did have her cell phone number if they needed her.  We told Mrs. Smith, that we were going to be in camp all evening.  If she needed anything, just come over.  Mrs. Smith told us that she was an experienced camper and was not afraid to spend the night.  She had decided to break camp in the morning and get a motel room close to the hospital.  It would be a few more days before her husband would be released and she would be able to drive him back home.  She lived in the City too. 

We went back to our camp and started a fire.  We opened the wine and the beers and got comfortable.  The portable radio has some good music and we sat around and made plans for Sunday.  We girls cut the pie and passed the pieces to the guys.  It was nice to relax around the fire.  We talked about our plans for tomorrow and what we would do before we broke camp about two o’clock to go back to the city.  We started making plans, and decided we would get up early, cook breakfast. 

We all talked about our good week end – and how much fun we have been having.  We all decided we hated to see the weekend end.  And that we really didn’t want to back to the City and back to work. 

John said “We’re having such a good time, why don’t we plan on getting together more often.   We could try to do something together one night a week at least?  I don’t know about the rest of you but I will remember this for a long time”.   We all agreed that we would make plans after we got back to the city and that we’d see if we could all get the same night off work.  If we couldn’t do it every week, maybe we could get together every other week, or once a month, we all agreed that we would figure out something. 

I knew if I got too much more comfortable, that I would fall asleep in my chair and so I said “Well I think we all should turn in if we are going to get up early.”   We had all decided that we would take a walk down to Mrs. Smith’s camp site in the morning after breakfast.  We also had decided that we would go to the swimming beach again.  The guys decided that they would go swimming with us this time.  Then we would come back, and we girls would cook lunch while the guys broke down our camp site and loaded the boat and hooked it up to the van. 

I got up and said “I’m going to walk up to the rest rooms before I turn in, does anyone want to walk with me”.  We all decided to go together and to take the garbage out of the camp site before we had 4 legged visitors wanting a free dinner after we had turned in. 

We made it back to camp, and I picked up my flashlight and said “I’m going to turn in now; I’ll see you all in the morning”.  I went over to the tent, got undressed and into my p.j.’s and was just about to get into bed, when I felt John’s hand on my back.  I turned to give him a good night kiss.  I turned off my flashlight and John got ready for bed. 

John said “the others were going to bed too, and that they had decided that it would be a short night anyway, and that we all had better get some sleep. 

We both settled down in bed and got comfortable.  I told John “let get some sleep, but one more thing before we do, I want another kiss.”  John replied “OH!  I can take care of that….. Good night, I’ll see you in the morning.  If you wake before I do, let me sleep little more.  Wake me up when everyone else gets up.” It didn’t take long for John and me to drift off to sleep. 

 

Sunday morning came to quick.  I had been sleeping sound with John’s arm round my waist.  I didn’t to wake him but I needed get up because my side was hurting I didn’t know why.  I was just about to leave the tent when John woke up and said “where are you going? To the restroom?  I told John “I’m okay, go back to sleep,  I will be back soon”.  

I went over to Mike and Amy tent and open the flap, and woke Amy up.  I told her “I need you go with me to the restroom.”  I told Amy that I had woke up quite a while ago, I think just after midnight and my side has being hurting pretty badly since then.  It started to hurt when we were riding back from dinner, but I thought maybe I ate too much.  I didn’t want to tell john, so that why I woke you. 

Amy and I started for the restroom, it hurt to walk and the pain was going from my side down one leg and was hurting pretty badly.   We made it to the bathroom, and walking didn’t ease the pain any.  I wish I knew what I had done. 

We walked back to camp, and Amy decided to wake John and Roy to see if they had any ideas on what might have happened.  Roy and John both got up really quickly and of course Mike and Joanne woke up too.  Everyone was trying to make me more comfortable.  Roy decided that he would check to see if it was a muscle spasm or if it was more serious and we might need to go the emergency room. 

I told Roy that the pain in my side went down my right leg and had started on the way back from dinner.  It got worse a little after midnight.  Roy started to do a brief exam and found that one muscle had gotten very hard and that I had probably pulled the muscle when we were walking in town.  Then with the ride back to camp, the muscle had gotten harder and started to hurt.   

John decided that an Ice Pack would help, and got me some Advil and a plastic bag of ice to make an ice pack.  I took the Advil and John helped me back to the tent and put the ice pack on my side.   He also started to rub my leg and try to get the leg muscle to quit cramping.  It seemed to help.  We had agreed that if I did not feel better in about an hour, we would head for the hospital. 

The pain pills started to take effect and the ice bag did help.  John stopped rubbing my leg, his hands were getting tired and the muscle cramp had eased up.  

He lay down beside me and we both went to sleep.  I don’t know which helped the most the ice bag, the Advil, or the leg rub. 

Morning came way too soon.  I didn’t hear everyone get up in the morning.  I guess John let me sleep a little longer.   He didn’t wake me up until breakfast was ready.  I got up, got dressed and went out to join the others.  My leg was still sore, but it didn’t hurt so bad, not like last night.  John gave me some more Advil to take, and fixed my plate.  The girls told me to stay put, that maybe if I didn’t over extend my leg, we could still but in a full morning. 

It didn’t take long to eat breakfast.  Everyone else cleaned up and we decided that if I was very careful, that it would probably be good for my leg to let the warm water and sun help calm down the muscle soreness.  The guys half carried me down to the water and put me in the boat.  We went across the cove to the swim area.  It was a beautiful day.  The water was nice and warm and the warm sand felt good.  I sat on the beach with my legs in the water and watched the others swim.  Everyone took turns coming back to set with me.  The must have felt that I wasn’t having any fun, but it was nice to relax.  It was the most I had been able to set and do nothing for a long time.  I didn’t realize how tired I really was.  With very little sleep last night, I was getting sleepy setting on the warm sand.   

We went back to our camp about 11:30.  While the girls started lunch; Roy, John and Mike took down the tents and started packing the vans with everything that we were not using for lunch, the camp chairs out and the coolers.  The boat had dried off enough to be tied onto the trailer.  

We ate and then everyone pitched in to clean up the camp site.  I wasn’t allowed to lift a finger and I didn’t feel right setting down and letting everyone work.  The last thing was to drown the camp fire.  It was almost two o’clock when we finished getting packed up. 

The wet swimming suits were the last things to go into the van.  We all jumped into the vans and started back to the city.  We decided we would pick up Amy and Mike’s children before we stopped for dinner.  We thought we could get almost back to the city before we had to stop again for gas and dinner.  

We stopped at the ranger station to check out and ask if the ranger had any news on Mr. Smith.  The Ranger told us that Mrs. Smith had called him that morning, and told him that they would be able to leave by Tuesday or Wednesday.  That everything so far was going right on schedule for Mr. Smith. 

We asked if we could reserve the same camp site for next year, and we asked how much advance notice did we need to give.  We told the ranger that we all have had a really nice time, and wanted to come back.  The Ranger told us to call sometime around the first of the year, as soon as we had a definite date in mind. 

We started back to the City.  Amy and Mike decided to wait until tomorrow night to pick up the kids.  Amy used her Cell phone and called her mom.  Like all Grandma’s, it was no problem for the kids to stay another night.  And, they told Amy that they would drive up tomorrow afternoon after Amy got off work and bring the kids home. 
 

We drove until we needed gas, and found a restaurant close to a gas station.  We filled up the vehicles and decided on Pizza Hut.  There was one close to the gas station.  We all went in and ordered two pizzas’, salads and cokes for all of us. 

We ate and started the back to the City.  It didn’t take but about one hour and half to get to Amy and Mike’s.  We pulled up into Amy and Mike’s driveway and helped them unload the boat and the van.  We said good night to Amy and Mike and told them that we would call and try to get together by the end of the week or at least the week end. 

We all jumped back in Roy’s van and John and I were in the back seat.  I told John that I had wanted to have time to talk to him about my schedule at school and when I would start riding along with on training runs.  I asked John “Do you think that it would be possible to ask Cap if I could take part of my training on runs with you and Roy”.

John replied “Let’s work that out after we get back to the City, I will talk to Cap the next time I work.” 

John and I continued to talk about our week end.  I told John “I had a wonderful time this weekend.  I can’t believe it has gone by so fast.  I think we all needed to get away for a few days.  We do not get much time to take a break and be able to relax.  I know all of us work hard all the time”.  I told everyone “I know you all work hard; I hope you all feel a little more rested, even though we’ve been on the go the entire week end.” 

I know that I sure needed the long weekend and the break from work and school. I have trouble balancing school and work.  I am also working hard right now getting ready for my state license.  Then I can start my on the job training runs.  I don’t see how Mike and Amy can handle their jobs and two children.  Raising a family is almost a full time job anyway.  And Roy and Joanne both have a full schedule. 

It seemed we hadn’t been talking long at all, discussing the week end, when we pulled up to my apartment.  John helped me carry in my suitcase, sleeping bag and the things I had bought when we went shopping.  He unlocked my door and put my things in my bedroom.  John asked “Are you going to be OK tonight?  Has your leg and side started hurting again.  You need to take some more Advil, fix an ice bag and go on to bed.” 

John kissed me good night and said that he had better not keep Roy and Joanne waiting too long. 

John said “I’ll talk to Cap the first time I can to see if I can arrange for you to ride along for at least a few runs.  I’ll call you Monday night and let you know what Cap said”. 

John gave me one more quick kiss and ran out to Roy’s van. 

I was tired, and decided to take John’s advice; I fixed an ice bag, took some Advil and got ready for bed. 

The alarm went off way too soon.  I got up, fixed breakfast and left for work.  It was a very hard day.  I worked until 4:30pm.  I went from work directly to school.   It must have been about 9:00pm when I got back to the apartment.  I had just put my books down, when the phone rang. 

It was John.  He had talked to Cap and Cap had agreed that I could ride along for a week.  That one week was all he could justify a third person on a shift, and that he didn’t want to take a chance of breaking up Roy and John.  John and I discussed when I would start my ride along.  I had to pass my state finals, and get my state certification.  John also said that the Cap had offered to help me find a shift at one of the other station. 

We talked for about a half hour or more.  We discussed the week end and agreed we had both had a good time.  John and I made plans on going out Wednesday night.   We talked for a few more moments, before we said our Good-Nights.  I fixed myself a snack before I got in the shower went on to bed. 

The next two days went as fast as they usually do.   It seems like I get up, eat a quick breakfast, go to work, then to school and back to the apartment.  I get to talk to John for less than an hour a day, and then it’s to bed and then the whole thing all over again. 

John was at the apartment Wednesday night when I got home from work.  I didn’t have school on Wednesday.  We talked awhile and finally agreed that neither one of us wanted to cook, so we ordered pizza.  We watched TV and waited for our food.  It took about an hour to get the pizza.  We ate, watched some more TV and cleaned up the dishes. We both decided we needed to chill out that John’s week had been as hectic as mine.  It was later than we thought.  We decided to call it a night.  

John said “I had a really hard day today; it was one bad run after another.  It’s especially hard when one of the rescues was a child.  I don’t think I can drive home.  I am so tired!”

I told John, “Why don’t you stay the night.  We can set the alarm early enough for you to by your apartment and get a fresh uniform”. 

John reset my alarm for about 4:30.  It was now 10:00 o’clock.  We decided to go right to bed, we were both very tired.    We both were asleep almost as soon as our heads hit the pillow. 

We both slept until the alarm went off.  John turn off the alarm, got out bed, went to the kitchen to make him some coffee.   He came over, kissed me and asked “what time do you need to get up?  I’ll reset your alarm, and you can go back to sleep for a couple more hours of sleep.” 

John set the alarm for 8:00am and I got up to walk John to the door to give him a kiss goodbye.  John said “I will try to call you later today and we’ll make plans for the week end.  Let’s try to do something.”  I gave John another quick kiss and told him goodbye again.  I locked the door that went back to bed. 

Work was as usual, and then off to school.  The teacher, Mr. Johnson, was talking about job possibilities and advised that there was a list of station where there were job openings.  There was a list of stations that had requested students based on their grades.  Mr. Johnson went on to tell us that our last test had been graded and that he would pass out the graded papers.  We went on to do more review of the state test material.  I picked up my test and could not believe that I had gotten 100% on the test.  Some of my classmates did not do as good.  I guess that studying for a whole month every minute that I could find to study and review my notes.

 

I picked up the list of stations from the Mr. Johnson. I was tired, but it sure did feel good to know that I had “aced” the test.  If I could get as much study time in for state finals as I had on this test, I may have a chance to pass my state boards. 

I went to the board to get a copy of the stations that had job openings and to check the list of stations that had requested certain stations.  I was surprised to see that I was listed on two stations list of requested students.  I was on the list for Station 110 and Station 76. 

I went back to talk to Mr. Johnson and asked which station he would choose, if he had to make a decision.  Mr. Johnson replied that Station 110 would be an excellent choice.  And he also advised me that I had been approved for a one week ride along with Station 51 as a trainee. 

The Mr. Johnson told me “Good Luck!  You deserved to get Station 110.  That will be a big plus in your career.   We talked a few more minutes and he wished me “Good Luck!” again. 

I made it home by 10:30pm and looked at my watch.  I wondered if I would be in time to call John at work, or if he had already gone home.  I dialed the phone number and Roy answered the phone.  I asked if John was busy. Did he have time to talk to me; I had gotten some really good news. 

John came on the line, and I told him what my teacher had said.  I told him that I had been approved for one week of training at Station 51 and that Station 110 had asked for me after I had passed my state boards.  We talked a few more minutes, and Roy came back on the line,   John had told him that I had aced my test and been approved to work with them for a week.  Roy said “Congratulations!   Can you and John come over to celebrate?  Joanne had been asking me to ask you both to come over to our house for dinner since we got back from the lake, this will be the perfect chance to celebrate.” 

I told Roy that I would be very happy to come for dinner.  This week end would be perfect if they both were off.  I already knew my schedule, and I was off Saturday and Sunday.  Roy told me he would check with Joanne and John and one of them would call me back. 

   
 

                                   To Be Continued.

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The Characters of Emergency do not belong to me. They are the property of Universal Studios and Mark VII Productions. No copyright infringement is intended or monetary gain made. I merely like to toy with them and return them to their proper owner in good working order.

Copyright 2009
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