Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Walk

It’s been 51 days since the Yarnell fire took the lives of 19 young hotshots working to save the town threatened by the fire. Right outside the fire department the the Granite Mountain Hotshots were based out of there is a memorial walk that has sprung up from the hearts of the people of Prescott and the families of these men who were lost. It’s staggeringly large and in every square inch is a heartfelt thank you… It could be in the form of an antique helmet left to symbolize solidarity… or in a teddy bear surrounded by the well worn collection of matchbox firetrucks left by a little boy who wants to be a fireman and saw the death of 19 of his heroes.
I walked about half a block away from the site and still couldn’t get the entire thing in my frame. 
In the time that has passed since I took these pictures the city has blocked off parts of the road for heavy pedestrian traffic.
  
It grows daily as more and more people visit the site.
 
Full of beautiful gestures…
There are turnouts and shirts from all over the country.
Firefighters come and walk the wall in silence and reflection.
It is impossible to see everything… there are pieces from every walk of life… honoring those who have fallen.
Other hot shot teams have been here…
 They’ve left a heartfelt nod to their fallen brothers.
An axe… a pair of boots… and 19 shovels.
 Every foot of this walk is heartbreaking…
And staggering…
 19 flags… each with the name of one of the fallen…
It is right across the road from Fire Station 7, home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
There is a woman that comes out to care for the plants left to honor these men.
She does an amazing job of keeping them looking their best.
 19 water bottles placed in a heart.
19 full sized flags… one for each of the fallen. 
An antique helmet with a note for the lost.
Turnouts signed by an entire fire station. 
I think this was the thing that brought me to full tears. A teddy bear surrounded by a collection of matchbox fire trucks from a little boy who heard of the death of 19 of his heroes.
 This is an awesome thing to behold in the wake of such a tragedy.  I hope the city does right by the families and decides to go ahead and pay benefits to the widows and children of these fallen men.

Courtney
 

Falkor and the Neverending story of a boy and his dog!

 Today, August 17th 2013, we brought home the newest member of our family, and his name is Falkor. 
 Ryan and I can’t wait to watch Falkor and Isaac grow up together!!! 
There are many years of happy companionship in our future and I, for one, feel like our family is complete with a dog in it again. 
 I have missed my boys for three years now… and I know that I know that Falkor will be to Isaac as they were to me.
  
Stay tuned for, The Adventures of Falkor, The Neverending Story of a Boy and His Dog!

Falkor Makes Four!

My husband, Ryan, and I have been talking about getting a dog again for about a year.  We lost our boys 3 years ago now and our short ownership of Spock, pre The Year of Hell (a.k.a. being stationed in Turkey) didn’t cure us of wanting to be a dog family.

Now that we are stateside for a while we decided it was time to think about it again… So, we started to research and talk to people in chat rooms and a decision was made… Golden Retriever and now not later.  This may sound crazy to everyone but us… but the pros of doing this now instead of waiting for the move just out weighed the cons 10 to 1!

Today Isaac and I made a turn around trip to the valley to pick out a puppy.  What we found was love all wrapped up in a sleepy, wriggly, fluffy bunch of kisses.  


I showed Isaac pictures of the three pups we would be allowed to choose from the night before we left.  He told me immediately that the puppies looked like baby Falkors.  (We are thrilled as that name made the short list of names for our next dog!  Imagine him picking our favorite name all on his own!?)  
We walked in this morning and he played with all three for a minute.  I asked him, “Isaac, which one is Falkor?” and this was his way of answering me…

He looked each pup in the face very carefully and then said, 
 
“This one is not Falkor but he’s sweet. This one isn’t Falkor either but I like him. 
THIS one is Falkor… he’s my puppy… my baby dog Falkor!”
From that moment forward he had eyes for no other puppy (and that’s a big deal as there were seven).  He followed Falkor around on hands and knees… SO CUTE!
Falkor is a 5 week old white/blond Golden Retriever.  We’ll get to bring him home on the 21st of August and we can hardly wait.  It’s been so long since I saw a dog and thought, “That’s the one!  That’s the dog for us…”  That happened the moment I laid eyes on Falkor, and then my son CHOSE HIM! 

There isn’t much in the world better than seeing a boy and his dog… unless it’s seeing my boy just radiating joy at the playful lick of his very own, “Baby Falkor puppy dog!”
My heart is full of puppy dog tails for the first time in a long time.
Courtney