playing doctor and other bright ideas – help victims of Eastern Washington fires

It’s ok. I play a doctor on TV.

I have several amazing girlfriends who are in the field of medicine. Whether they’re nurses, soon-to-be PhD’s, paramedics, etc., these amazing women are true heroes and should be recognized as such.

For those living or have loved ones in the Pacific Northwest, you may have heard about the recent fires in Eastern Washington, specifically within the Ellensburg, Wenatchee, and Cle Elum area. My heart breaks at the fact that so many families have lost their homes, only to have their hopes slightly-raised with the short-lived rain, just to be followed up with more fires kindled from lightning strikes.

Prayerful and hopeful that these fires cease soon with as little damage to the community as possible, I am at least grateful that those dear to me who live in the area have not yet needed to be evacuated.  If you’re as concerned for our Eastern Washington neighbors as I am, there are several ways you can help:

1) Check out “Ron and Don” from MyNorthwest for a list of charities accepting donations;
2) Donate to the Red Cross, Ellensburg Chapter

To those fighting the fires, to those taking care of victims of mother nature’s dark side, my prayers go out to you and my heart is filled with hope that your transition after the fires are out is quick and as painless as possible.  To the victims of these fires, your Western Washington neighbors are here for you.

I am proud of my girlfriends who work tirelessly to tend to the sick and weary everyday without complaint.  Today’s DWC is dedicated to you.

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 13: Your character has a whole day off to do whatever they want. Write a scene of them enjoying this free day.

“Bom-bada-bom-bam… My Sharonaaa!”

My feet pound against the pavement. Enjoying my favorite part of the deep night, the moon illuminates the city, making it glitter with energy.  As I power through the last mile of my jog, a guy about ten paces up is wearing these ridiculously large headphones, signing along with what seems to be an eighties flashback.  And he was god-awful.

I chuckle again as I watch him run. Well, anyone driving at night would have a tough time explaining lack of visibility on this guy.  Neon orange shorts and a bright white plus a reflective shirt, slightly damp from sweat made this guy as inconspicuous as Darth Vader in a white room. He didn’t realize he wasn’t alone on this path. And why would he? At two-fifteen in the morning, I don’t normally see anyone here either.

Now you might wonder what a slightly-more-than-mid-twenties-single-and-alone-gal like me is doing, jogging out in the middle of the night?  Well, I’m not on shift for the next couple of days, but it’s easier if I keep up with my evening schedule.  My job as an Emergency Medical Technician usually had me working in the ambulance, the cab, during the graveyard shift.  I haven’t seen a sunrise in roughly six months.  Plus, I train in self defense regularly and carry pepper spray in my fanny pack. Yes, I wear a fanny pack. Let’s not dwell on that, shall we?

It having been awhile since jogging next to another human being, I decide to introduce myself.  Pushing myself faster, feeling my long blonde ponytail tapping against my shoulder blades, I catch up to him.  “Hi there!” I say in a bright greeting.

“Huh? Wha- Ow!” Startled, he glances at me and trips, tumbling to the ground. Oh no! I stop and quickly rush over.

“Oh my gosh! Are you ok?” My eyes quickly assess his fall. Light scrape on the knee, slight laceration of the elbow, no swelling at the ankle or leg, clothes a little dusty now. Just cosmetic injuries, easily taken care of with a quick wash and a sterile bandage.  “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

He takes my hand as I help him to his feet. He looks down and brushes himself off, and I can’t help looking at his particularly well toned chest while he does so.

“Thanks. Nah, I’m fine. You just caught me off guard.”  I see him do a quick glance up and down at me. I was wearing a purple jogging shirt and matching knee-length jogging pants, complete with purple running shoes.  “I’m Ethan. And I take it you like purple?”

“Once a Husky always a Husky,” I shrug nonchalantly.  He smiles at me, tilting his head slightly to the side, “Well, go Dawgs… I didn’t catch your name,” he said slightly cocking his to the side.

I look to my right.  “Here, there’s a bench. Let me check you out- I mean, let’s get you checked out. It’s the least I can do for making you trip.”

“I didn’t trip, I was unprepared to test gravity,” he grinned at me.  I laugh.  “Sure, ok.” We walk over to the bench and sit, him peering down his left side taking a quick glance at his bleeding elbow.

I open my fanny pack and take out my travel-sized first aid kit.  His eyebrows rise slightly as he examines the medical supplies I carry with me.  “Well, you’re quite the girl scout, aren’t you?”  I glance up at him as I wipe his elbow with a sterilizing wipe and stick a wide bandage on him.

“Never was a girl scout. I’m a paramedic.”

“Really?” His eyebrows lifted higher as he looked intrigued with me.  “I feel like a wimp now.  I take it this must seem like a pretty lame injury compared to what you’re used to.”  I give him a little smile in return.  “That’s really awesome.”

He winks at me. “Shame about the girl scout thing though. I wouldn’t have minded seeing your uniform.”

“What? A uniform of that size would never have fit well as an adul-… Ah. I see now.” He laughs at my naiveté. It’s a nice laugh, hearty and full of life.  I continue, “It’s a good day whenever my services aren’t needed.  Here, let me get your knee too.”  I sterilize the wound and place a second bandage on him.

“I have to admit, I’m having a wounded soldier kind of feeling right now,” I say boldly.  He was even better looking close up. Green, deep-set eyes, brown hair with a Grecian nose.

“Well, tell you what,” he says spreading his palms wide in an open gesture. “Anytime you need to check my knee again, free game.”  I laugh and give him a slight slap on the knee.  “Hey, ow!” he says, playfully giving a mocked pained look.  Feeling warmth towards his sunny disposition, I find myself not wanting to part ways.

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, when I was younger I was a candy striper… And I still have the outfit.”

He stares at me for a moment. “Seriously?  That’s pretty hot.”

“Want to get some pie?  There’s a great diner about two blocks from here.  Besides-“I stand up and give him a businesslike nod. “After an injury like that, I may have to observe you for twenty-four hours to make sure you’re all right.”  He laughs again and I feel a warmth growing from my core at my enjoyment of listening to it.

“Sure, that sounds really great.”  He stands and we start walking to Ally’s Diner. “Hey, what are you doing out here by yourself anyway?”

“Me? I’m not the one with headphones on, caterwauling and oblivious to my environment,” I teased.

“Oh,” he reddened slightly at that. “You heard that?”

I say deadpanned, “I think all of King and Pierce County heard that.” He laughed loudly this time, doubling over and grabs his sides.

“Yeah, I never did have much of a talent for singing,” he said wiping a tear from his eye.  “Hey, you never did tell me your name.” He tilts his head again in the same adorable fashion.

“Sharon.  My name is Sharon.”

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