God’s Day Off

Isabella Glenna Heinz

from phone 194

4-18-2008

Source: God’s Day Off

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More Than A Bench

April is here!

Oly's Old Dad

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If you are ever in Olympia, stop by the farmers market and spend some time on Ron’s bench. It is something that Megan and I and now Oly do often; we took Oly there when he was just three months old. The Olympia’s farmers market is a special place in a special town. Like most urban areas, time is catching-up to Washington’s capital city. There are more homeless people than there used to be and the fads are different than they were when any of us were young. But, at the farmers market, if you get a chance, relax on Ron’s bench and watch for Ron’s spirit. It is there among the apples and crafts. Maybe it is floating on the music. You will notice the flavor of the people; Ron was one of them.

Ron worked in the same hospital in Olympia for 30 years. He was a mental…

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I Hate Wednesdays!

BACK AT IT. KICKIN SOME BUTT

Oly's Old Dad

I don’t remember much about the Wednesdays of my childhood. I think, I always thought positive about Wednesdays. According to Poo or Eeyore or maybe Owl, “Wednesday’s are blustery days.”Image That’s probably why I’m thinking about Wednesday on Monday; last night was blustery. The wind was coming from the south and slamming into Oly’s side of the house. It felt like Wednesday.

One good thing about Wednesday is that it is in the middle of the week and that means the weekend is closer. I don’t care if you work weekends or have them all off, weekends are the best days: football, camping and more people enjoying life. Weekends rock.

Today, Wednesdays are when Oly’s Aunt Debbie goes in for treatment. It is the day that she does some cancer butt-kicking. This cancer butt-kicking will last another two dozen weeks or so. So, for now, Wednesdays suck. I can’t wait until I get them back…

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Questions From the Past

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I received an email from a student at the University of New Hampshire this morning. She wanted to know about yellowstone and some of the park’s natural relationships. Her name was Veronica and she ask 3 questions.

1. Were you a ranger during the 1988 fires? If so, what did you do during them? Did you have to evacuate anybody, or was it fine where you were?

2. How is science used in the park? I talked to someone and they mentioned fire science. There is the physical science aspect as well. It is hard to explain, but I feel like science is used all the time there

3. How will climate change effect Yellowstone? Will it extend fire season, will it have no effect on fires?

My reply.

Thanks for the email. I was not a ranger in 1988; I worked at the Canyon Lodge for the park concessionaire. We got evacuated from the lodge in mid-August (?). We got notice that we had to leave late one afternoon and we had to be out of the park the next morning. We were all in our 20s so we had an evacuation party. The fire that threatened us was called the Wolf Lake Fire and it was burning from Norris Junction toward us at Canyon. Working in the park was much like a college campus to us. You work, study, hike, party and sleep. When the season ends, everyone goes their own way and that group of people are never together again; at least not as a whole. So the evacuation was swift and gave our group of friends little time to say goodbye. Late that night a small group of us hiked into the woods just west of Canyon Junction and walked through the burning forest. The weather that night was calm and we were able to basically stroll amongst the burning trees. We had been told that the animals were rushing away from the fire as if it was a Bambi movie; that was not the case; elk and bison were just methodically weaving their way around the burning forest. We watched two massive bull elk sparing in the smokey haze as the sun came up. It was surreal. Before leaving Yellowstone that fall, I got a job working at the Wolf Lake fire camp. I worked the roads back near Canyon. We would let fire trucks and workers through and answer questions for tourist driving on any open sections of road. With 52 fires and 793,880 acres burnt that summer, there was always some open roads. We worked 16 hour days seven days a week. A friend of mine Jay and I rented a cabin near Lake Tahoe for winter with all the money we made as fire fighters. 80% of Yellowstone’s trees are lodgepole pine and they reseed naturally during fire.

Nearly every decision made about how to manage Yellowstone is based on science. You should do some research on the Yellowstone Center for Resources or YCR as it is referred to in the park. It is staffed with some of the best biologists, geologists, historians and geographers in the world. Much of the research money comes from other places as college professors and other professionals study different aspects of Yellowstone.I worked out of there as a Wolf Project technician during a winter wolf study.

Climate change is already seen in Yellowstone. Rivers and lakes are thawing an average of 22 days earlier than they were just a few decades ago. Plants that live at the upper tree-line, which is determined by temperature, will adapt and move into the alpine zones just upslope. Less alpine will have effects on the plants and wildlife that utilize that zone. Longer growing seasons at lower elevation will change the makeup of plant communities as some out compete others. Invasive species from different climate zones will move into spaces that may not have been available previously.

Its a crazy world out there in nature.

Thanks for the questions and good luck. George Heinz

What is it About a Boy?

I know, I know, it took me longer than most. But today, when I look at a picture of Oly, it brings a tear to my eye. I’m not sure if it is the fact that I’m an older father or the fact that I’m a father at all. I think it is that my mind goes to a place and time that is far away. I wonder what Oly will think when he sees these pictures when he is old. What will he remember about his dad? I hope he remembers that his dad taught him to love his mom. I want him to remember holding my hand, floating our rivers and sailing big water. I want to teach him to dream and I want those dreams to come true. I’m sure it is what we all want for our kids. The details of your dreams for your kids would be different, but the idea is the same. Hell, I hope he has a tractor.
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Clarification

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It seems like yesterday. Really, it is windy and blue; it is just like yesterday. Anyway, Megan is not having another baby. My Big Things post stemmed from a glass of wine that spilled on my computer a while back. Meg, Oly and myself were playing with a beach ball in the house. It was like slow motion as I watched a full glass of Shiraz land smack on my keyboard. My computer was fried. So, after a time thinking and psyching myself into believing I could write something big, my new computer arrived for Fathers Day. As I sat quietly at that new beauty, nothing came to mind. Not one idea. Not a small one or a big one.

But, as people began to misinterpret my meanings, an idea came to mind. It has to do with why I know Megan is not pregnant. A short time after Oly was born, I went to get snipped, if ya know what I mean. I was promised it would be a smooth painless ordeal. As I was lying there in all my glory, the doctor began his procedure. Every muscle in my body but one was as stiff as a corpse, as he worked on the first side. The one non-stiff muscle was hiding, like he was saying, stay away from me motherfucker. You know, they grab this little vein and clamp it off. That is just not a good thing. So, after he finished with the first side, he looked me in my silver-dollar sized eyes and said, “Do you want me to keep going?”

Well, my mind thought hell no, but then the idea of being half fixed was strange. I did not know anyone that was half fixed. Half crazy, half red, half blue, but not half fixed. So I reluctantly motioned that he was good to clamp away. Several minutes into this new undamaged side, I heard something hit the floor at the same time a severe jolt of pain forced me to sit straight up. The doctor looked at me, as the squeezing got tighter, and pointed to the wall behind me. All I could see was blood running down his arm as he said, “Can you push that red emergency button behind you?” 

My arms flung backwards as I tried to find some lifesaving button that was just out of reach. When I located that SOB, I about pushed it through the wall. Soon, a dozen nurses came rushing in the room. As it turned out, it was a problem with clamps. So as I layed there in all my glory, bloody and battered, clamped here and there, I thought that it probably would not have been that bad to be half fixed.

  

Big Things Coming Soon

There are big things coming. Well, not that big. It is a thing, but I guess it is sort of small really. If it was big, I’d say so. And it isn’t coming that soon. Ya know, it may be some time before, you know. Well you probably don’t. But big, I mean small things are coming in a while.IMG_5558