Sunday, 30 September 2012

Yesterday afternoon.

Our house is on a very narrow, small cul-de-sac.  It's very tight to turn a vehicle around in too.  Partially because some driveways are too narrow to get a car up, necessitating that they be drawn up, half onto the pavement half on the road, but also because all the neighbours drive there are simply too many cars to fit on their drives, so the road is made even narrower by parked cars.  Imagine then my interest when a fire-engine drove up, a ladder-engine.  Hang on, is someone's house on fire?  Look for smoke...signs of panic, shouts, people?  Not a sign.  What a relief - all quiet, just the usual Saturday afternoon in the suburbs of the city, not a soul in sight.  The engine stopped, presumably ruminating on how to get out of the situation without pranging anything.  Two lovely young firemen jump out and go to the rear to direct operations, up a bit, left a bit, forward, back, shunt shunt, eventually the great red engine managed to park up, and sat there.  And sat there... I'm watching through my bedroom window, I could just about see inside the cab they were just chatting.  I suddenly thought of all the dangerous things these young men do for us.  Bright young men doing a job not everyone could contemplate.  Downstairs now, I'm rummaging through my larder.   Do I have chocolate somewhere?  No.. but I have biscuits, completely covered with chocolate.  I fling on a sweater and some shoes and make my way outside into the sunny September afternoon.
As I reached the engine the door swung open and six lovely smiley faces peered down at me.
" I don't know why you're here." I ventured,  "But, I just wanted to give you these." handing up the packet.
" You don't know why we're here? We're here to fit smoke-alarms, do you have them?"
"I do."
"Do they work?"
"They do, yes.  Anyway...... I just wanted to thank you all for what you do.  I think you do a brilliant job! I know you sometimes get abuse and even rocks thrown at you, but the people on this road are all nice people. So...Thank you! I think you're all brilliant!"
Six lovely handsome faces grinned down at me.
"Well.....it's not often we get this kind of treatment, thank you. We're not supposed to accept gifts but seeing as they arr..r..e chocolate! Thank you very much!"
They all waved as they drove off into the afternoon, it was lovely.  Afterwards I felt emotional thinking of the brave job that they do, these ordinary men who do extraordinarily dangerous jobs for us all every day.

It's not often we get a chance to be able to say thank you, I'm so glad that I did!
Photo: Wikipedia

18 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane:
What a lovely, thoughtful and very kind spontaneous gesture. We are so glad that you did this for, like you, we really do feel that we all owe people like the fire service, who risk so much, a huge debt of gratitude. And we are certain that they were hugely appreciative and went away feeling valued - which is something everyone needs to feel.

Veuve said...

What a sweet story, and a lovely gesture on your part-- I'm sure they really appreciated it!

Anna said...

Hello Jane!

I'm writing from my desktop, now, and I can see all the "bits" I need, in order to be able to actually post a comment.

SO>>> TESTING! TESTING!>>>>>

ANNA

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a good thing to do. We need to value and express that value in very real ways, as you did. Just lovely.

Teresa Evangeline said...

We need to value these people and express it in tangible ways. What a lovely thing to do.

WOL said...

I know the feeling. I think next time I visit my car-mechanics, I shall have to go with donuts in hand.

Ruthie Redden said...

Hello dear Jane, fellow Autumn soul ;) what a sweetheart you are, that is such a lovely, heart touching story. If only the world were made up of folksies liek you what a beautiful place it would be. Thank you for visiting 5 precious and your lovely words. thinking of you ans sending warm thoughts x x

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oh Jane,
You are such a lovely soul .....what a kind thing to do ...... I'm sure that our fireman can't resist a choccy biscuit and must have felt good to have heard your words. We are all so quick to tell people when they do something wrong but not so quick to praise. One of our oldest friends was a fireman ( now retired) and my friends son is a fireman here in our town so, I know the stirling work that they do.
Sorry that I haven't been around much lately .....still getting to know my new computer !!!! Hope that you have had a lovely Summer and that you are feeling well. Thinking of you and sending love ...... thanks so much for your lovely comment today too. XXXX

June said...

What a sweet thing to do Jane! I'm so glad you did it too, because those are things that make their jobs worthwhile. My husband was a police officer for 25 years and the things he cherishes about his job are the people he could help like those stranded on the road when their car broke down or those that had slid into a ditch on a slick Winter road.
He even got a couple of cards and letters from people he had stopped for speeding telling him that they appreciated his friendly nature and the respect he showed them.
I remember reading one card that came in the mail addressed to him (not realizing it was for him) and it was a young girl who had been in a bad wreck and when he got to scene she had been thrown from here car and was hanging upside down in a barbed wire fence. He saved her life and she was grateful. It was things like that card that made his job a pleasure.
sending hugs,

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Teresa,
I know! I'm SO glad I got the chance to say "Thank you!", it's important I think. You hear so many stories these days of the services being sworn at and having things thrown at them...it's disgusting!

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Ruthie,
Thank you...it takes one to know one you know, I think we have a lot in common you and I, except I'm tons older and more wrinkly ;))

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear WOL,

I used to take my favourite car-mechanic a Mars bar sometimes, so a Krispy Kreme Donut would be welcomed I'm sure!

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Jacqueline
No apologies needed I know how it is, especially when Christmas is only 12 weeks away.....;)) Bet that's cheered you up no end Jackie!!

Hugs Jane x

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear June,
How wonderful that all those people sent cards and thank you's to Dale. I think if I was in those situations I too would be calmed and reassured by a kind face and firm hand to hold.

Hugs my friend,
Jane x

Cait O'Connor said...

Firemen are a special breed I agree........what a wonderful random act of appreciation, well done you.

Debra said...

Jane, you dear heart, I want to do that too, tell a police officer or fireman or serviceman how grateful I am for all they do to keep us safe. But to surprise them with treats, now that would make their day! You are such an angel and an inspiration.

columnist said...

What a truly kind and I'm sure very welcome thing you did. I have read of some awful treatment of those in the Emergency Services, which boggles the mind, (both the nasty bits and the ES personnel's endeavours to make lives better). Although I'm coming to this very late, I do find it has rather made my day!

Bex said...

This is my first visit to your blog here and I don't know anything about you - yet - are you in England? Where? I will look further.

The biscuits (you must be in England to call them biscuits and not "cookies") for the firemen was genius and saintly. God bless you.

We are Anglophiles in love with England and especially YOrkshire who are stuck living in the USA now.