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They Offered me Coffee…

This past weekend was spent with my family in Richmond. We stayed with my wife’s parents in Midlothian (my old stomping ground). I intended to get in front of the computer a little bit but it didn’t work out…and I am fine with that. Keeping up with The Fire Critic takes a lot of time. Between emails, texts, messages, phone calls, and all of the other ways of getting in touch with me I stay busy when I want to. The beauty of running this blog is that I work when I want to. Typically that is during the week when the kids are in school.

When we head to Richmond, I rarely have time for anything more than family. This time I was able to fit in a short visit to Rescue 2/Quint 10 in Richmond to see my Brother Danny Owens. I had been to that firehouse in the past, but it was brief and we were merely changing for the Virginia Fallen Firefighters Memorial. That was probably 10 years ago. This time I got there and Danny was out on a call. The Lt. and another firefighter welcomed me in. The firefighter offered me some coffee. That was it…I knew these guys were a great bunch of guys.

That simple gesture, which I have tried to instill in my guys is the simplest of gestures that lets me know I am welcome in a firehouse. I dare you to try it every time you get a visitor.

I got to sit down and chat with the guys while Rescue 2 was returning to quarters. Once they were back I got a tour of the firehouse. Then, before we knew it, Rescue 2 caught another call. It was a perfect short visit. I appreciated every minute of it. Short and to the point. My wife, daughter, and niece decided to wait in the car. You can catch the video of them heading out at the bottom of this post.

Danny and his Brother Robby (or Robbie, I always get it wrong) are great friends and students of the fire service. Robby works for Henrico. I wasn’t able to catch up with Robby while in town this time. Check them out at AverageJakeFF.Wordpress.com as well!

We were in Richmond for my daughters cheerleading competition. Jade is on a competitive cheering squad and we get to travel around to watch here compete. The last one was in Nashville where my parents live. Due to my schedule I don’t get to go to every one, but I do love seeing her compete. While I haven’t fully taken on the role of a cheering dad, I am getting there.

So here we are, Monday morning…the 28th of January. 36 years ago I was born. Did I mention that I have the best parents in the World.

I have found that in my adult life, the hardest thing is emulating my parents. They raised four children who turned out to be some really great people (yes, I am including myself). Everything I have done in my life can be traced to the upbringing by my parents. They made me who I am. Beyond that, the company I keep has done the rest. My wife, my friends, my acquaintances.

What more could I ask for. Nothing.

36 years and I cannot imagine it being any better.

Captain Wines offered to take me skiing today, but with such short notice I simply couldn’t make it.

He had a great week last week. He spent the week in Florida at Fire Rescue East, and ended the weekend speaking at the Lexington, VA FD 1st annual awards banquet. I would have been there if I didn’t have family obligations.

My life revolves around priorities. I have been blessed with opportunities that I am truly grateful for. Unfortunately, I cannot accept every opportunity due to priorities. My family comes first…my first family. My firefighting family is a priority too, and I spread myself pretty thin at times. But I have learned that if my family life isn’t squared away, nothing else will seem right.

36 years and I still feel like I am 21. We all know I still look 16. I’m not complaining.

Oh, and an update on the diet…

I am starting week 3 of the diet. I am training/dieting for a bodybuilding competition. Yeah, I know I am not the biggest guy, but my goal is more simpler the competition. I want to start over. We will see where I end up. The dieting is much easier than I thought. I actually thought the hardest part would be not having a beer on the weekends. That has been a piece of cake. The hard part is not diving head first into some of the foods my kids still eat.

I continue to work out 4-5 times a week and am loving every minute of it.

I have a lot of catching up to do on The Fire Critic this week. Bear with me as I get it all done.

In the meantime, be sure to connect with The Fire Critic Facebook Fan Page. That has become a supplement to FireCritic.com. There is so much more information shared there on regular intervals. Check it out.

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