A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 1}

A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife-Part 1; Country Wife Chronicles

As I’ve mentioned before, there are two seasons when living the Wildland Fire Life—fire season and not fire season, or the off-season.

These two times of year aren’t necessarily written in stone, they are a general guideline, but each year is different and the length of each fully depends on your geographic location.

For Wildland Man and I, at least currently, the fire season seems to out-length the off-season. Something I’m still getting used to. For us, the trade-off is more experience for my husband during the longer fire season. Then, eventually, hopefully, we can afford to move somewhere with a shorter fire season.

But for the purposes of illustrating how a day in the life of a wildland fire wife looks, we’ll examine my day-to-day in both seasons over these next two posts: “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 1}” and “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 2}.”

Disclaimer: I live a pretty mundane life. I’m not a thrill seeker or even much of a social diva; I’m a homebody who does well with daily structure. So, if you are looking to read this post with the hopes of hearing harrowing stories of firefighting (that’s Wildland Man’s day-to-day, not mine) or some eventful, amazing daily anecdotes, you probably aren’t going to find it here. Sorry, not sorry. This is my real life…

 Not Fire Season

 In our current circumstances, mid-fall is typically the start of the off-season. Wildfires across the country have usually died down by then and there’s a short gap before prescribed burn season picks back up. You can learn a bit more about the difference between wildfires and prescribed burns here

In other places around the country the entire winter season is the off-season. For us, that is not the case, winter is busy with local and regional prescribed burns, which might mean long days for Wildland Man or even short stints away helping others burn. It’s still a better trade off than full-on fire season where he might be gone for a full 21-day detail to who-knows-where anywhere in the country.

It goes without saying that we don’t try to plan much during fire season. And when we do plan things during the off-season, we often have to be prepared to change those plans unexpectedly if the weather window is good for a prescribed burn. Usually, though, we are able to do a few fun things from mid-fall to early spring before things get too hectic for Wildland Man.

As we are just beginning to transition into the fire season, I’ll start with my typical daily schedule for the off-season (or not fire season, as I like to call it). I’m a very structured person; I like routine…it’s my A-type personality, I suppose. So this is pretty much my day by the book. Sure, changes happen here and there and over time this schedule may shift around a bit, but at the moment, this is what my average day looks like.

A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife

6:00am—Wildland Man usually rises a bit before me…which is weird. And new. I used to be the early-riser, I’m not sure why or how this switch has occurred, but it has. I take a little while to become functional in the mornings, so I usually mosey on out to the kitchen in my PJs and start my coffee a few minutes after Wildland Man has gotten up. Then I help him finish getting his lunch together for the day and send him out the door with a goodbye kiss before he leaves.

6:30am—By now I’m usually awake enough to get myself some breakfast while the coffee is brewing. Then I like to pour myself some cream and sugar with a bit of coffee 😉 to sit down in peace for my morning quiet time. In case you were wondering, Wildland Man does do coffee, but he’s into cold coffee these days so I usually make a full pot in the morning, pour myself a cup and then put the rest in a glass in the fridge for him to have the next morning. This little system works out just right for us!

7:15am—Lately, I’ve been going on walks with my neighbor a little after 7:00am. We walk anywhere from 30-60 minutes on any given day. It’s sort of hit-and-miss, but I enjoy connecting with her and getting to know her more while also kick-starting my day with a brisk walk in the cool morning air.

8:00am—After getting back from my walk I like to put on a podcast while I pick up the house. I have several podcasts I listen to, mostly in the faith and health genres. I like starting and ending my day with a picked-up house, which also usually keeps things pretty neat and tidy from day to day so I don’t have much upkeep. Then, I’ll take a look at my meal plans from the day, set out any items from the freezer for dinner that need to thaw and prepare anything ahead of time that needs it. I also like to take a moment to think about any intentional marriage efforts that I can make today. Sometimes it’s something as simple as setting my alarm on my phone to be present to Wildland Man when he gets home from work. Other times it’s getting out the candlesticks and setting the table for a nice evening meal. It varies daily, but you can check out “5 Ways to be Intentional in Marriage Today” for some more ideas.

9:00am—I like to try to get in a daily sweat, and at the moment, my workout consists of a HIIT workout on DVD or a walk/jog outdoors followed by some light stretching and pull ups. Other times it’s yoga or lifting weights. I’m trying to move away from hardcore running as I’ve been feeling a little burnt out these days. After my workout I’ll hop in the shower and get myself ready for the day. One thing I’ve been struggling with is wearing yoga pants all day long. I mean, it’s not really a struggle to wear them, because I love them—they are so comfy—and it’s not like I see anyone throughout my day. Heck, even Wildland Man tells me I’m cute in my sweats and a t-shirt…but, I do want to feel like a professional while working from home. And I know making the time to get dressed and ready for the day gives a boost to my confidence. Not to mention, I do like to surprise Wildland Man once in awhile when he comes home to find me with my hair all did and a real outfit on. Oh, and a non-elastic waistband every now and again really does curb the snacking. So, there’s that. Some days I take a little longer to get ready, other days I just throw on the comfies and get to work.

11:00am-2:00pm—Usually by now I’m in work-from-home mode. I’ll check my calendar for any pressing items that need taken care of during business hours. Then I’ll get started on my daily blog routine. I usually break for lunch around noon and catch a few minutes of The Chew while eating or catch up on some magazine reading to get a break from the computer screen. Then, it’s back to the grindstone.  

2:00pm—I like to break up my work hours during the day to give my brain a rest and get a few more things on my to-do list knocked out. I always feel more focused after taking a break. My afternoon break usually ranges anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, it really just depends on the day. I usually try to tackle a couple more items on my calendar, maybe water plants to get some fresh air, and complete my weekly cleaning chore for the day. I like to split out my household cleaning across the workweek, for example: Mondays are floors, Tuesdays are bathrooms, Wednesday is the kitchen, and Thursday is dusting. Everything else, including laundry, is picked-up and done on a daily basis.

2:30/3:00pm—By now I’m usually back at the blog until my husband calls on his way home from work. I like to stop what I’m doing and talk to Wildland Man about his day on his commute. If I multi-task at all, I’m usually just making sure I have everything set out to start making dinner when he gets home. But, really, this is a daily intentional effort I like to make for Wildland Man, my focused attention on his drive, good conversation, and a kiss at his truck when he arrives home. I need him to feel appreciated as the provider for our household and I love that I have the freedom to do just that with my schedule.

5:00pm—Once Wildland Man is home he usually grabs a light snack, helps me with any tasks I need, and if there’s time, he’ll hop in the shower before getting dinner going. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Wildland Man is the cook of the family.  I’ll cook if I have to, but he is by far better at it. And it causes him less stress, in fact, he so enjoys it, I think it actually is a stress-reliever for him. We make a good team though, I plan the meals and get everything out and ready while he pulls it all together for our dinner that night. Often times I’ll set the table while he is cooking or sit on the countertop and read some Bible excerpts that we can discuss. I absolutely love spending time in the kitchen with my hubs, it is a great time for him to decompress and for us to catch up. We try to sit down to eat by 6:30pm or so and do a quick clean up of the kitchen afterwards. I like to think ahead to Wildland Man’s lunch for the next day and prepackage leftovers accordingly to speed up the process for the next morning.

7:00pm—After dinner we might need to tie up a few loose ends for the day, but I really try to do my best and have everything taken care of before dinner so that we can just truly relax into the evening. Some nights we’ll sit outside on our deck, go fishing locally, take a light walk or visit with our neighbors. Most nights, we like to just snuggle in and catch a good show on TV. I like to start winding down for bed by 8:00pm, so the computer gets shut down, lights gets turned off, PJs get put on, and phones get put away while we cozy up on the couch a bit longer.

9:00/10:00pm—Off to bed. Sometimes I’ll read a little more in bed while Wildland Man gets ready for the night, other times it is just straight-up lights out. Just depends on how tired we both are. This much I know, the older I get, the more precious and dear my sleep is to me. I need my sleep. For too many years I took it for granted, running on 4-5 hours of sleep like it was something to brag about. Nope, not anymore. I need my 8-9 hours of sleep to feel well rested. And if I don’t get it, I’ll take a nap the next day to catch up. Because I’m no fun when I’m not rested. I’m doing everyone a favor when I get my sleep.

So, there you a go, a peak into my pretty boring, not so unusual day as a Wildland Fire Wife when it is not fire season. You can see how this schedule changes when fire season is upon us in the continuation of this post, “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 2}.”

You can also learn a bit more about how Wildland Man and I ended up in this Fire Life with the post titled, “Living the Fire Life.” And for all things Fire Life related, click here

I feel so blessed to be able to live this life with Wildland Man. I’ve been beyond fortunate to be able to find my niche in this blog-world and be able to construct a career I’m passionate about from home. I love my day-to-day, no matter how boring it may seem. There’s freedom in it, and I cherish that.

Join the conversation below:

  • Are you a blogger? Do you work from home? What do you love about your schedule?
  • Are you a Wildland Fire Wife? How does your off-season schedule compare to your fire season schedule?
  • As a Fire Wife, you cherish the moments when you do have your husband home with you. How do you show your husband support and encouragement in the off-season?

 Be Still & Know…

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