So I'm sure you guys have been starving for an update, but before this week, there really wasn't much going on. We spent two weeks at Peck Ranch, located in the beautiful Ozarks, raking fire line in preparation for a prescribed burn coming up. It was a lot of hard, repetitive work, but it felt good, and at the end of last week, we finished the 2 and a half mile stretch through the woods. The fire line we made was about 6 feet wide, and raked down to the mineral soil, so that the fire wouldn't jump across the line. we had to do a lot of lopping (using loppers to trim/cut away small branches and thick undergrowth) and blowing (usuing huge industrial strength backpack leaf blowers to blast away the soggy leaves), in addition to the regular ol' raking.
with all the hard work, came a nearly insatiable stomach. My tummy definitely can tell time when we are in the field. Here's the routine:
6:30 wake up, get dressed
6:45 eat oatmeal and/or bagel with cream cheese and jelly
make two peanut butter, jelly and apple sandwiches for lunch
7:00 load the trucks with tools and gear
7:15 drive to eminence forest service office (sleep the whole way there)
8:00 load the rest of the tools there and check in
8:15 arrive on work site and begin service project
10:30 eat an apple and/or a cliff bar
12:00 eat two sandwiches and the other apple
4:00 load up trucks and head out, (sleep the whole way back)
stop for groceries or gas or duct tape on the way
5:15 arrive back at Peck Ranch and start making dinner
6:00 serve dinner for 10
7:30 clean the kitchen
8:00 finally sit down to read or watch boys play video games or just zone out with hot cocoa
9:00 fall asleep in the middle of whatever I'm doing
10:00 shuffle my feet to bed
This week, my team stayed in St. Louis to do some maintenance around the office and help the education team with an after school program at a nearby elementary school. The kids have been fantastic. I taught a kindergartener to do double digit addition in columns today and he got every problem i put on the board right, even though he still counts on his fingers and writes most of his numbers backwards. I also worked with a girl in second grade who came in with almost all of her homework complete, and then proceeded to write all of the word puzzles on the board for me and had me solve them before checking her paper... which was flawless. I also was given hoola hoop lessons and a jump-rope reminder crash-course, as well as many emphatic high fives.
I love my job.