Of course, the partiers in question are mutual friends. I guess you could say we're the "old crowd" from the Search & Rescue team: Grant (the housesitter) and Brad have retired from the team; Steve, Bob, and I are still active (well, Steve and Bob are, but I'm on the board, so that's a certain sort of active). We're all in our sixties, which also makes us old (or rather, as a recent page-out for a 62-year-old lost hiker in the Sierra put it, "elderly"—and yes, I did have words with the thirty-five-year-old deputy who so phrased it. . . not that he paid me any mind).
|Steve, Brad, Grant, Bob|
I joined the SAR team nine years ago, and met some of my now best friends there. I love these four guys to pieces. I climb more or less regularly with a young woman on the team, Serena. I meet up with Miranda—and get wicked smiles and licks from her awesome search dog Marcy—as often as possible (we used to go hiking, but Miranda broke her foot, so no more of that for now). I consider Nadene (also on the board) a good friend, although we don't socialize all that much—the occasional hike. Another Steve is one of my fellow wilderness rangers.
|me, Serena, Nadene|
|"The other Steve," training in swiftwater|
|Marcy the wonderdog|
I don't socialize with the deputies on the team except on our missions and trainings, but just that has allowed plenty of opportunity to get to know several of them fairly well. The team leaders Jesse, Ken, and Ivan sort of feel like friends.
|Ken, at a weeklong winter search management training|
(yes, we had to build a snow cave—
in one foot of snow—and then sleep in it
. . . but it worked, beautifully)
But back to the party that I alluded to at the start: it took place this evening, and it was so nice spending time with my peeps, some of whom I hadn't seen for months. We talked about everything from baked bean recipes to proper disposal of a meth lab to the painting of high-end cars. Several of us found all eight bathrooms in the mansion. We enjoyed sitting out on the patio in the sunshine. Grilled chicken and sausage, German potato salad, Greek salad, Grant's special beans, olives. Lots of beer. And great conversation.
I love these people. I am so glad I found the Monterey County Search & Rescue team.