Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Patrol!

A Day in the Life with Badge #407.

Tuesday has come and gone and again, I had my 'ride along' with the local law inforcement!

At 7 a.m Tony arrived in my driveway and blew the horn. He was ready to roll. I got in the car and of course, we were headed down to 'Bristol' once again to go fishin!

There were a few State Patrol boys playing in the sandbox as well, so we knew it may be harder to catch a bite, but as normal, it wasn't long before the line was snagged!

Here's our first catch of the day. The sun just up, the day had begun.
After pulling a few here and there on the 'Bristol' course, Tony said ..."Let's roll down to Talladega, Bristol is the small race track posted 35mph, Talladaga is the long track posted speed: 50mph, just east of Bristol". So away we went.
Now, you can pull speeders one at a time all day long, but if you're like Tony, he'll catch more fish on the same line then anyone I know! We were crusin on 'Talladega' when the radar hit on three cars, all following close to each other, the radar blinked in a bright red..reading 67 MPH. "WOW..three of which one are you going to get?" Tony got all three!

He flipped the car around, got up behind the three cars, the back two pulled over to let him by as he cruised up behind car #1. When he motioned for car #1 to pull off, he kept his car in the road, brought it to a stop with sirens going and lights flashing, jumped out of the car and with a wave of his finger, pointed and motioned the next two vehicles over. They pulled in behind car #1. Tony backed the patrol car up till he was behind all three vehicles and pulled over to the side of the road behind the last vehicle.

Three fish, one line!
When I snapped the picture, I could only get 'two' of the cars in the photo, but trust me, there are three vehicles pulled over here. I watched as Tony went to each car individually, gathering the pertinent information..'license and registration please' and he came back to the patrol car and began the process. As we sat there writing up the tickets, one of the State Patrols drove by and came over the radio asking "407...Do you have a permit for that parade!?" Cops do have a sense of humor, never fear!

I had watched Tony for several days now and noticed that each time he walked past a car, he always put his hand, palm as flat as he could, on the back of each vehicle. I finally asked him "Tony, why do you touch the back of each vehicle you pull over?" The answer he gave me surprised me.
"I touch each vehicle so that my fingerprints are on it. Should something happen to me at this call, then there is evidence." Wow..I had no clue! He said they are trained to do that, and many do and just as many don't. (something new I learned today!)

We gave out many tickets this day, and our day was coming to a close when a call came in about a 'vehicle' fire in our area...Dispatch called again to add 'there are weapons and ammunition in the vehicle.' Tony whipped the car around and away we went, down backroads, curvy and straight gaining speed the whole way.
Oh yeah, here's another thing I learned today. When you're going 125mph..your ears WILL lay back and if you turn your head to the side, you can't focus on ANYTHING! OHMYGAWD! Oh yeah, you know those yellow signs that say 'curve ahead max safe speed 45'? Pfffft! Try them at 90! No..wait, don't try them at 90. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!...I will say Tony has been trained to drive how he drives and he's never wrecked his vehicle.

We arrive on the scene, and here is what we see.

Oh yeah..on FIRE!!!

Tony gets out of the car, assesses the situation, moves everyone back and waits for the firetrucks to arrive. When the first fire truck pulls up, Tony strips his protective vest and prepares for the 'fight ahead'.

Oh yeah, just so you know, Tony was a firefighter for 10 years before becoming a police officer. Fighting fires is something he started many years ago as a volunteer first when he was in his early 20's.

Pulling a hose is not new to Tony.
The first truck arrives and without pausing one moment, Tony begins 'pullin' the hose. Once in position he yelled for the water and the fight was on!

He fought with the fire for about 20 minutes while the firemen were getting their gear on.

With this being a vehicle fire, one always has to be concerned with gas and any other items of a combustionable nature. Once he got the major flames under control, he slipped up closer to the truck to give it some needed close up attention, and a blast of cold water!

The fire now getting under control on the truck, some of the area grass had caught and was spreading. By this time the firefighters had their gear on and were ready to take over the fight. Firefighting is hot tiring work. There is a lot of pressure behind that hose. It can take a man down if he's not ready for it! With the firemen ready, Tony handed over the hose and let them go at their job. His fight was over.

When the paper work, the details and phone calls made and finshed up, our day was done.
WHEW! Never knew that cops do it all did ya? Well, not all of them do, but this one does.

Tony's philosophy "Police; City and/or County, Fire & Rescue, EMT all of us..we are all the same team and should work together on all of it, so I do my best. I'm a deputy, there should be nothing I'm not willing to give a hand in to help."

Ride along with me next time "ON PATROL"..

Wow..never would have thought you could visit the farm and see such things did ya?? LOL...well, the excitment never ends around here one way or another! Come back and visit never know what we'll get into ...down on the farm.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Ride along adventure

It finally happened! I have been wanting to do a 'ride along' with the PO PO for a long time. For whatever reasons, it's been a long time coming but finally last Thursday was the day!
Tony picked me up in the patrol car at about 4pm. He was working from 3 to midnight and I was invited to 'ride along' for a little 'police adventure'!
I packed my fanny pack with my phone, my camera, my ID and my bank card and away I went!

First though........'here's the rules!'
As I entered the car that's what I heard "Here's the rules".
1. This car is your best friend
2. You can't get out of the car
3. If anything happens to me, you pick up this mic and tell them.
4. This car is your best friend. (I's a repeat, but that's the way it was told to me!)
5. Put your seat belt on (I knew then, I was in trouble!)

And away we went!

"We're going down to Bristol", Tony said. I kinda looked confused for a moment and am thinkin'..what like 'Bristol Va/Tenn'?? Tony said "Yeah, like Bristol the racetrack! They are speed demons down on 17 going into Charleston, they think it's the Bristol speedway!"

It took us about 15-20 minutes to get to that area (Colleton County is a very very large county) and within minutes we had our first speeder of the day.

"This is like fishin'" I said to Tony.
"Yeah, the difference is, I KNOW I'm gonna catch something!" he replied.
He had got our first 'fish' on the radar doing 59 in a 35, a little red 'cooper'...cute cars by the way.

We just get back out on the highway and lo and behold another bite! This time, a black SUV. We had a problem though, the traffic suddenly became cramped..and bottle necked. Here we are speeding away to catch the SUV and the traffic stops, dead in front of us. The cars are all pulling over and Tony keeps edging up to the front. To our left, in the oncoming traffic lane, this is what we see. Except, no one was standing there..the accident had just happened.

Tony rolled up beside the SUV, rolled MY window down and the SUV rolled theirs down. He pointed a finger and said "SLOW IT DOWN!" The lady inside nodded as she stared at the mess of truck beside her.
At this point, Tony whipped the car around and pulled up behind the big rig. The one still in the road was loaded with 40,000 lbs of paper.
The one he hit in the rear, was loaded with beer. Here's where that one ended up.

It was rainy day and well, I guess either someone wasn't paying attention or someone had to brake too fast too soon, but however it happened, the paper loaded truck hit the beer loaded truck in the rear and sent it flying into the trees.

Our blue lights flashing, Tony made the call on the radio to get what he needed for the accident.

This time, I WAS allowed out of the car and I'm sure there were plenty of pissed off people on Hwy 17 that day. It happened just as the traffic was getting heavy with people returning home from work. I bet every cell phone in the area was going off that day saying stuff like "you better order pizza, I'm gonna be here a while!"
Traffic was let through, lane at a time until the wrecker arrived and ladies and gents, this was no ordinary wrecker. This wrecker had to be a big boy in order to 'haul' this load outta the woods and off the road!

Ahh there's the wrecker!

Now, I know that pictures do not show things in reality a lot of times, because this wrecker is a monster! It's HUGE! They ended up sending two, the blue one below (the Monster) and another red one, a bit smaller.

It takes some doing to get a big rig loaded with many many pounds out of the woods. The first truck (the one in the road) was hauled off pretty quickly, and as they could, the officers let traffic through. But when it came time to haul the one out of the woods, traffic had to be stopped either way for an extended length of time. You can't just 'pull a truck' out in a snap, it has to be done, slow and steady, at least with this one it did or it would have flipped over. Then everyone would have been way late for not just dinner, but breakfast too!

..He was in there good and the front of that truck got real acquainted with the bottom of those trees! It's a slow and steady process, but with the truck finally freed, the wrecker drove around front and hauled it off. With the accident cleared we were back on the road. The total time it took to get this accident cleared up was 2 hours or better, so we headed straight for dinner since it was almost 7pm.
We ate at the local seafood place and watched the 'Bristol speeders' go by as we were eating. Once we got back out there, it wasn't long at all before the next fish took a bite!
After "Bristol Fishin' a little while we went up on I-95 and Tony began teaching me what they look for when it comes to finding 'drugs and such'. I learned a lot. (and will learn even more next week!)
We caught one speeder on 95 and let me tell you..when you have to catch up to someone doing close to the 90's and you're in a parked position is not a trip you can take slowly! When Tony pulled out of the median, he turned on his headlights and floored it. The last time I looked at the speedometer it was reading 122!! OHMYWORD!
We went on several other calls that night. One chasing down three men who had pulled guns on people (one was caught) and even a 'disturbance' at the local McDonalds.
My evening was coming to a close, it's almost 11:30 and Tony begins heading on the road near my home. I was wide awake and ready to go all night, but alas, even a cop gets to have some 'off duty' time I suppose.
The entire night was an absolute blast and I can't wait to do it again! I get to do a ride along with Tony next Tuesday (if all goes as planned) so that I can see some 'daylight' work and be taught a little more about 'what to look for' and such. Join me next week as I go on my 'PO PO Patrol Adventure!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Look who left me a note!

I woke last weekend, knowing that the hubby had taken 'The other women' out for the day with Little Red. (read: Gone FISHIN!).
What I didn't know was that he had taken our youngest 'furkid' with him. I didn't know UNTIL I go to my coffee pot. Hubby knows if he wants me to see a note or something important, the coffee pot is the place to put it, as that is my first stop every morning.

So here I go, trudging to my coffee pot and start realizing, that Maya the shepherd is at my feet, but Cami our Jack Russell has mysteriously not showed herself yet. I begin to look around at Cami's usual 'hang outs' as I start the process for making my coffee...and then I saw it.

A note.

Was it from the hubby? No, was it from someone else? No.. here is the note for everyone to see.

It was from Cami. And don't ask, but this is exactly the way it appears, the backwards lettering, all of it. I think my hubby has lost it.
I laughed my fool butt off! It was hard to make my coffee between the tears. I saved it just so I could show everyone who visits just what kind of man I have to deal with on a daily basis.
Ok..onto some other things. A few weeks ago, my sisters Wanda and Linda and I converged on Ashley's house to visit with her and Brayden, then we all met with Tony and Melanie at the Olive Garden for lunch! So, here's a few shots of our visit! Enjoy!
Linda and Brayden


Tony and Brayden

Wanda on phone (seems I see her that way a lot!)

..................Tony without his uniform!

Melanie, Tony's wife

We had a great time at lunch of course, we all love Olive Garden.

Well, that's what the last few weeks have consisted of, beside the every day in and out of normal living. We live a pretty mundane life, except for the occasional doggy note! ENJOY and see you next time...down on the farm!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm back!

Sort of!

For the past many weeks, I've been in the mud. Now if you know what 'in the mud' means, then you know where I've been, if you don't know what it means, let me give you a brief description......

It's called..Depression. I won't say true depression, but having dealt with a recent 'life changing event' it has sent not just me but my entire family into a tailspin. We've recently had to deal the the untimely tragic murder of one of our own. A man no one will ever forget and everyone loved and greatly adored. The damage has been done, and none can bring him back, all we can do now is move on, so today I begin to drag myself out of the mire of it all. I'm at least up to my knees out of the mud instead of nearly drowning in it.

Each of us show, share, dispense and deal with grief in our own way and sometimes, it's the hard way. When death comes knocking, many times we just simply wish to not open the door, but he always finds a way in. How we deal with it afterwards is sometimes difficult at best. There are no time frames for dealing with sorrow, only a walking through. Some of us are over it quickly, others walk a mile or more in it. It can be a dark and dismal path that we trudge but eventually the light starts to break through and the path becomes more clear and leads a way out. Sometimes the path will cloud over again, and we stumble along the way. Many of us do I'm sure.

I'm stumbling now, and it's still a long road to travel for me.

Dealing with things such as this will make one reflect on who we are, why we are here and when our own end will come. Add all those thoughts to the already loaded brain and it becomes a horrible mess in there that you eventually have to sort out and deal with, one thought at a time.

So here I am, back in line at the Hedgewives safe zone to deal with those thoughts, one at a time. To try not to see the world for the horrible place that it CAN be, and instead to see it for all the beauty it IT IS. To remember with love, the memories that I have and can grasp to each and every day instead of replacing them with the emptiness that has taken over.

I'll always remember with great joy, just a mere week before his death, the phone call I made to him, "Dennis, the figs are ready" and his excited reply of "I'll be right over".. and ten minutes later, together we picked and ate figs, laughing and joking with each other.
Oh the many times we walked this yard, are now the many memories I have as today I walk it alone. To let that memory walk beside me as Dennis walked beside me many times to look at the garden, to take joy in the figs, to marvel at the flowers. He'll still walk with me, I'll never walk it alone.

And I'll take another step out of the mud.