Some short articles published in the journals of the American Society of Dowsers and the Ozark Research Institute (power if mind studies). Scroll down this page. They follow one another. There are seven of them.  A local newspaper article is last.         © Janie Tate 1996-2003


Dowsing is primarily thought of as a way to find water well sites.  This is indeed valuable but the opportunities are rare unless you own a well drilling company. After dowsing over 100 drilled sites in the last 10 years I have experienced a 10% failure, for who knows what reasons. This is traumatic for everyone concerned especially the guy who's paying the bill.

Personal, everyday use of dowsing, on the other hand, will greatly enrich your life, your philosophy, your love, and your health. It can help you make beneficial decisions, understand your loved ones and mistakes you may be making in your relationships, it can solve mysteries of the universe for you and improve your health by telling you what not to eat, breathe, or do.
It can take away your fear of dying.

Everyone has a guardian angel. They are constantly trying to tell us things thru' hunches, dreams, ideas, sudden thoughts out of the blue. It is a thrill for both of you to improve that communication.

Dowsing tools are spiritual interfaces. Virtually all dowsers credit another power for their responses, altho' some believe it is the tool itself they communicate with. A few take all the credit for their talents. How does it really work, what moves the tools? Gravity, energy waves, our own muscles by subconscious commands...all these are credited. Maybe there is truth in all of them. For me..I have asked my Angel and have been told she/he manipulates my aura and personal gravity field and electricity to move the rods  to correspond with the answer to be communicated. I accept that, as we have to get a simple theory in our minds and then let it rest and quit trying to figure it out. So I don't believe the rods feel the water energy, I believe my Angel is telling me where it is.

Be aware if it doesn't work instantly for you it doesn't mean you can't do it. My Dad had to walk about 20 feet to get a response to his questions when he first started. It takes continued efforts, time, and experience with making your mind a blank(so as not to confuse the communication.) Your angel can read your mind and you are interupting her/him by thinking when an answer is in the works. Another important thing and perhaps the most difficult is asking clear, specific,simple questions. I believe other people around you thinking strong willed thoughts can interfere. Get off alone somewhere to start this. Also you feel a little silly at first if someone is watching. I always ask if it's OK to ask about whatever I want help with. (That's my condensed version of the "May I, can I, should I" question.) Sometimes I get a NO answer and I always respect that. Perhaps my knowing the answer would not be beneficial to me or someone else. Perhaps I would be interfering with the Karma or learning process.

Walter Woods little book "Letter to Robin" has a good "program" to read to your angel to set the ground rules for your communication. He uses a pendulum over a chart for specific answers.
I like the rods because I can get an immediate answer and actually carry on a conversation as I walk.  I believe it is difficult for a spiritual being to move something physical. I also believe they have individual talents and are in a learning process as we are. Start with the question "Do I have a Guardian Angel?" and keep walking, keep trying with the L rods or Y rod til you get an answer. You can also use a pendulum but the feel of something pushing on the rods is so spectacular that you know it's not an accidental occurance. sometimes it helps to have another dowser walk alongside of you, touching you.

Here are some questions that might give you some ideas:
Did I say something that Mr X misunderstood?  Is it troubling him?
Did the thought I just had come from you?
Have I been breathing, or taking into my mouth something not beneficial to my body? (then name items one by one). this may disclose allergies, harmful foods or ingredients etc.
Is my daughters physical body safe?
When my body dies will my spirit continue to live? Where will it go? Can I be reborn? Can I be assigned as a guardian angel to someone? do I have a choice? ( this is heavy stuff, wait til you get good clear answers before asking about this)
Can you feel my joy? My emotional pain? (Always differentiate between the physical and mental).
Do you understand my concept of time?, of "now"? Do you know what I mean when I say 1 day, 2 weeks? Should I clarify time comments when I ask questions? (Remember they are eternal beings). Are you learning lessons also? Do you have a name? Can I call you_______?

You can ask alot of other questions besides " Where's the water?" One time I took my post hole digger to put up a for sale sign on a new listing, The property owner said I couldn't dig there . She had had an awful time putting in fence posts because of all the rocks. I asked for a soft spot and dug where I got the answer. I found no rocks and was finished in 5 minutes. She could hardly believe her eyes. I always look to the heavens and say "Thanks".

My best story was when I needed a short length of chain to secure a gate for a client of mine who had piles of junk scattered over 1/2 acre. It was fine that  friends had  treasure hunts but the gate had to stay for the new buyer. Both rods pointed me in the right direction when I asked for the chain, I followed them until they swung out wide, which is my sign. I had negotiated around all sorts of stuff but where I got the response there was nothing at all. I scratched the leaves with my foot and there it was.--- A 3 foot long piece of steel cable with a loop at each end. I wrapped it around the hinge side of the gate, put on my padlock and hurried off to work after saying "thank you" and dealing with the goose bumps. Coincidence?..Sure.. This was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was guided to the exact spot.!

DON'TS-- don't violate someones privacy, don't use the phrase"should I do something or other", because either way you'll learn something, ask if it would be beneficial to whomever if you___...
Don't ask about the future, don't expect an answer about someone your angel does not know thru you or thru' someone you know. (I have found that without a chain of spiritual contacts it's like looking for that needle in a haystack for them.)

Here are the responses I use. You may use others -just make them clear to your angel. Some people have installed a program of crossed rods for a positive answer. It may take some work to change that.  Perhaps you should start with a simple yes and no altho' I learned a lot from the "rephrase the question answer".


Yes, love it. If you don't it will do alot of complaining and get sick more often. Just like a child.
If you haven't yet read "The Secret Life of Cells"or  "Quantum Healing", do so. Get respect for the "Backster Effect" --it happens.
Don't look down at your pot belly and hate it. Heck, you put it there...maybe you weren't aware that storage unit has a one-way door.  That's OK as long as it's not stressing out your heart keeping it fed. Underneath that insulation are some very busy guts. If it's healthy be happy with it. Love your belly. Pat it once in a while.
I look down at my arms and I notice krinkley skin and speckles and freckles, I stop myself from thinking negative. I have to appreciate my skin. It protects the vulnerable tissue underneath from terrible infections. Do you know how amazing that is? Areas that aren't protected get infected all the time. Eardrums, throats, inner nasal tissues, gums inbetween teeth. When your skin gets burned over a large area your life is not only at risk from infection but from loss of valuable body fluids. Another job it has is to keep us cool. We'd be in trouble without sweat. Love your skin.
Eye bags---drinkers store their good memories there. If they smile at themselves in the mirror and recall some of those memories they'll know they will look OK to others when they get their happy vibes.
Protect your lungs. They are so pink and fragile. Don't breath in bad stuff. Hold your breath, wear a mask, ventilate the area when your working around fumes and dust. I screwed up my lungs by working in smokey bars. Do you know how much I regret that? Before that they took me over the Sierra Nevada mountains. Love your lungs. I wish I had loved mine more.
Think about all the things we women do to abuse our bodies, all for the purpose of attracting a man. To feed our beauty oriented ego we wear high heels that hurt our back and feet. We wear tight things around our waist to improve our figures (our poor guts). We put all sorts of chemicals we can't even pronounce on our face. Did you know that whatever you put on your skin gets into your blood?  Read what's in your skin cream. Would you eat that? It all ends up in the same place, good grief! You might as well be eating it. Try using Safflower oil for skin cream. Most of it soaks in within 10 minutes and then you can wipe off the excess. It makes it real smooth, especially after working in the garden or with concrete.
I used to be addicted to curls. When I realized permanents were trashing my hair and tried to quit I had frequent withdrawals getting used to straight hair.  I really didn't like my looks. Eye make up is addicting also. I still can't kick that. Wearing false eyelashes and stage makeup really makes you hate your face in the morning when it's the real you. And sunshine---boy when I think of the hours I spent trying to get tan as a teen-ager. Now I see the injury to my skin.
How about your liver, it needs to be appreciated too. It has to process all the garbage you take in. What an amazing organ that is. It has so many jobs. It stores fuel and vitamins, breaks down poisons if it can...if not it hides them in the  makes bile digestive fluid, anti-coagulants...big drinkers pay a heavy price when it gives up. Love your liver, be aware of it. Take care of it, don't poison the poor thing.
Your kidneys also are miracle workers. They are always crying for water, none of us give them enough of what they love. And there they are...working 24 hours a day sgueezing  body left overs and trash out of our blood, they have alot of tricks they use to keep just the right amount of minerals in our blood, just the right chemistry, which is very critical by the way. Laying around is bad for them you know. There are people that would kill for your kidneys. You'd better love them.
How about your digestive system. It's a chemical lab and a recycle plant, while slowly coaxing your food down almost 25 feet of fragile pipes. Are you giving it enough fiber to grab on to? Are you putting big demands on it? Like eating a 16oz steak it will have to break down into individual do have friendly pet bacteria there that help the process. Be aware anti-biotics kill those little helpers and let the fungus take over. Eat some yogurt once in a while on general principals. Love your guts. That sounds wierd doesn't it? Love is the healthiest, most important emotion you can cultivate. Love everybody, hate makes you sick. Love all things that are alive. I'm working on loving spiders, not doing well...I will admit they are interesting.
Have patience with your brain, don't be mad at yourself for forgetting something. You can give it some exersize, you can educate it...but it has a big job to do and as we get older our "hard-drives" get full up. Love it like it is. Why would you want to alter it with drugs? You can feel drunk and join the party without ever drinking a drop. Use the "Placebo Effect". What you pretend comes true... what you imagine your body perceives as real.
You know--I really like my white blood cells, they do such  good job for me. The interesting thing is whenever I get what they perceive to be an attack they hide and a herpes virus breaks out of jail and makes a hole in my lip. Now that can be just a verbal attack, totally harmless, but it bothers me enough to weaken my immunity. I can see why high stress people get cancer and other diseases. It's really not easy to keep your stress level down. Do it for your white blood cells. I guess they are pretty sensitive.
Pleasure your body once in a while as a reward for being a good vehicle for your soul to travel around in. Park it in a hot tub, get a rub down. Whatever is harmless and feels good.
If you have ever experienced  someone's physical body that is no longer alive...that the spirit has left and moved on, you have to have been impressed noting that without the soul that resided there the body is just a thing. A rag doll. No life communication that makes it function. The spirit is an awesome thing and has miraculous control over the body. You are always communicating with your body.
Love yourself, your mind, your soul, your body. It will definitely make a difference in your life.
No, your toes aren't ugly.
Janie tate

How I explain dowsing to my clients

"Wow" They always say, scratching their heads. They see the rods move even tho' they are pointed slightly down and have to fight gravity to swing out. "It's a spiritual thing", I tell them. "We're getting help from above."
They never doubt that because almost everybody already knows they get help from above in one way or another. They just don't connect it with dowsing. When they hear me ask other questions like "Which way shall I walk to cross a good underground stream of water?," or "Is this water within 150 feet of the surface?" then they know it's not some mysterious gravity warp or some invisible magnetism. They know I'm not a magician or a witch. I'm just the messenger. The rods are an interface as are all dowsing tools. Body feelings can be an interface also (as in deviceless dowsing), and of course intuiton, but that's another subject.
Focusing tools are sometimes used by dowsers, various mechanical devices. None of them would work without help from above.
Clients ask, "Do you have to use a particular type of metal, or wood for a forked stick?" "Only if it's your belief connection," I tell them. If you are convinced you can't dowse on Fridays then that helper from above will work within the range of your understanding. We are really held back in our understanding because our human brains just can't handle it all. That's why the questions are so important. The real story is very hard to communicate with just a yes or a no. Sometimes they just can't be answered that easily.
We dowsers can help our clients in many other ways besides finding a well site. Once they find out other questions can be asked they may want to know what they are allergic to or if it's a beneficial location for their new home. I once had a client ask me if his 1/2 brother was his Guardian Angel. I only got a partial "yes" answer. He said, "That figures, he would always avoid me when he was alive." When they are told it is only for good works when we do this I think it makes them aware that someone is watching and knows what's going on down here. I think I leave them with a new philosophy of doing good things in this life.
One of the best things we can do is teach them to dowse and how to ask questions. I have found about 1/2 are able to get a response from the rods immediately. Hopefully the rest keep trying.
A Doctor was brought to tears once when it worked for him. I imagine after 12 years of hard scientific education and cold fate experiences, to find out it all has meaning and hope is a thrilling experience. A friend of mine, a musician, was also brought to tears by his immediate response and his mind was greatly relieved by a few questions that he asked. They need to know though, not to do anything real important with dowsing until they become experienced messengers. More than once I have been called to a site where the driller had a laborer that dowsed the very edge of a stream and they wondered why they only got 1/4 gallon per minute.
About charging for your service... It doesn't take much for me to feel guilty about charging money for the gift that I have. I have to tell myself though, that gas costs money, wear and tear on the car costs money, and I only have so many days to live. I can't give away my work time to dowse for nothing because then I have to spend my rest time working to make up for the lost time (If that makes sense).
Bottom line is we have a great opportunity to share this great reality when we get a call to dowse a well site. Don't waste it.
Janie Tate


How many times have you read about a new drug being tested where it is reported that 80% of patients improved that were on the real drug and 25% improved on a placebo(sugar pill)? I prefer to use the placebo effect myself. It's cheap, no side effects...let's examine how it works.
Those patients who are thinking positive believe they have been given this new miracle drug and are going to get better. So they do! It's not imagination, their body actually takes care of the problem because the mind and spirit visualize that happening. That sends communication to the organs or systems involved and directions are followed. As a matter of fact some of the patients on a placebo are probably thinking negative ( "I'm wasting my time this is probably a sugar pill"). If it weren't for that factor probably the percentage of improvement of the placebo patients would be even higher.
Here's another factor that might make the percentage go higher. Usually the tests  are "double blind" tests, neither the Dr. or the patient knows which pill is which. However medical science does not often consider the fact that there is a network of spiritual communication going on out there and everybody's Guardian Angels or Spirit Guides know exactly who has the real drug because they are in contact with the person that put the numbers on the pill bottles. For that reason there is no such thing as a "double blind" test. If a patient on the placebo has some kind of a spiritual interference with healing, then that would weaken the body's ability to heal itself. We'll ignore that for now and deal mainly with the "Power of Thought" within your body.
Let me tell you a couple of stories...
When I was working as a nurse in a local hospital we often had a patient who was requesting their pain medication before their "every 4 hours" Dr's orders said they could have it. This might be after a surgery or traumatic injury. We would give them an injection of normal saline (sterile water with a tiny amount of salt to match body fluids). We would tell them "Now you will feel better" and they would!
One season of my life when I was suffering intense emotional pain and these waves would come over me that were almost crippling I resorted to a 15 year old prescription bottle where I had saved 2 tranquilizers from a previous crisis when I was told my husbands heart could fail any moment. Meprobamate was the drug and it took the edge off the devastation I was feeling. I had only used 1/2 pill as a dose in the past. You know emotional pain can feel like a knife in the kidneys and you need to do something about it. This time when I was down to the last 1/2 pill and I knew I could not get a refill, and by that time in my life I didn't want to use chemicals anyway, I decided to try something. I knew that somewhere in my brain that chemical disconnected something. I wanted my brain to know how to disconnect that feeling without the drug. I took the last 1/2 pill and sat down to concentrate. I told my brain to notice what the chemical was doing, to notice what it disconnected and remember how to do it. I put my fingers to the back of my head and kept repeating those directions as I became aware of the drugs mellowing effect. I sat there for a good hour. Luckily no-one disturbed me.
Guess what? The next time that painful "wave" came over me I put my fingers to the back of my head and said"disconnect, disconnect". I felt better, really better. I used that technique to manage the problem until the pain dulled. Don't quit if you are regularly taking a medication. If your body is used to some kind of chemical help it shuts down certain functions and you can be in big trouble if you suddenly stop. I think this technique could be of help however.
Another series of stories can be found in hypnosis histories. I have heard of  people blistering when touched with a pencil thinking it was something hot. How about the hot coal walkers? I know from my experiences as an EMT responding to auto accidents that peoples pain can be eased if you say the right things to them in the right tone of voice.  Your body has it's own morphine and if you can learn to activate that you can use it in a crisis, or help others.
I once used a placebo-Aloe Vera. I had sizzled my finger on a hot grate and I knew it would blister. I had no Aloe Vera. Here is where knowledge of your body comes in handy. I knew that alot of the injury from burns comes after the incident when your body overreacts. I told it not to do that, I told my finger it was over and not to be blowing up cells and bringing in alot of fluids, I imagined holding Aloe on the hotspot. The next day there was nothing there but a shiny area.
Am I convincing you? You have to be convinced or it won't work. Keep reading and studying about the power of your mind until you are confident. Read all you can about how your body works. All your cells are alive and communicating, it's so miraculous.
I have a mental Dristan I use all the time. If my nose is stopped up from allergies I imagine massaging the puffed up sinus tissues, coaxing the excess fliuds out and opening up the channels. I also imagine the pollen being friendly little fuzzy harmless pets,stroking them and tell my body that it is not a threat and to quit reacting to it.
How about this one...We were once called to a bee sting reaction where the person was having difficulty breathing. That can be extremely serious. We had no meds only oxygen to give him until the ambulance arrived. I softly  told him to imagine his breathing tubes opening up, expanding, relaxing, letting the nice cool air in... that kind of talk over and over. His croupy, noisy breathing sounds stopped and he was less afraid. The right chemical could have given his body the same message.  It's only a message folks, are you convinced yet?
The placebo effect...I love it.
Janie Tate

Health Maintenance Thru' Dowsing and Power of Thought.

I like to keep my dowsing simple. Rather than focusing on many different spiritual and physical energies I just work thru' my one primary Guardian Angel who handles everything for me. If an Angel or Guide specialist is needed for a particular task It will call them in. ( I say "It" because there is no gender ). If there is an energy that needs to be assessed It does that for me too.

My Angel knows what's going on inside my body. If I wonder what the source of a pain or malfunction is I have only to ask. I'm sure anybody can do the same thing using their dowsing tools. I use L-rods and my Angel answers my questions thru' them. It is essential to have more than a simple "yes" or "no" for your answers however. I like the rods because I can get 8 different answers (the most important one being "rephrase the question".) The rods are very positive in their response and you know it's not an accidental happening. I have progressed to where I can just take one or two steps forward and get my answer. When you first start you may have to walk a little ways before your answer is complete. Once you start to feel a strong push you know it is an invisible power that is moving them. I also use a full open position for "yes" as it allows for variations on how strong the "yes" is. I don't think it's a very difficult thing to reprogram your responses if you are used to getting crossed rods for a "yes" answer. Just be real clear in your thoughts and commands.

If you are going to ask questions about your body it is very important to know what you are talking about. You really must get a book on basic anatomy and physiology. If it's too complicated and advanced you won't get thru' it. TIME-LIFE  science library put out a great one years ago. I don't know if it's still in print. You need to know the different systems and their functions so you can converse intelligently with your Angel. Don't use words that you yourself don't really know the meaning of...foggy, abstract stuff. Keep it tangible. Ask if you need to know more about the problem to be discussed in order to understand the answers.

As in all dowsing, the questions have to be specific. You have to constantly evaluate your questions. Think about how many ways it could be answered or how it could be interpreted before you start looking for the answer. You need a question that can be answered only one way. If you get a not quite complete yes there may be more to it or some reservations to the answer.

Let's say you are trying to nail down a headache and you want to know whether to take an Aspirin or drink a cup of coffee, eat something or lie down, take off your hat or go to the Dr. Don't just ask "Should I take an Aspirin?". That's a bad question. (anyway it's best to ask "would it be beneficial to whatever" instead of "should I"). First get set up by asking if your Angel can help you get information about your headache. Here's where the book comes in handy. If you know something about what causes headaches you know what questions to ask. Maybe you could ask if the blood vessels in your head are dilated or contracted, or if it is caused by something you ate or didn't eat, or an infection. Maybe it's an allergy or a hang over. Once you know the cause of the discomfort you can ask your Angel how to treat it. Maybe you just have to eat something. If it's low blood sugar it can give you a long lasting headache tho', it may take a while to work.

You can talk to your blood vessels you know. There is intelligence in every cell in your body. There are many books on that. Try reading "The Secret Life of Cells"or some of Deepak Chopra's writings. If you find they are constricted put your fingers on your scalp and tell the vessels to relax, all the while visualizing that happening. They have muscles in their walls. Concentrate on that for a while. It works and is much better for you than alot of Aspirin.

This also works for white blood cells. Your body communicates with them alot and there is no reason why your mind can't participate. You can put your finger on an infection and call them to the scene. Then visualize a bunch of amoeba-like things gobbling up the germs. It doesn't take more than a minute or so. Repeat it during the day a few times. I saw a film once in Nursing School shot thru' a microscope. It showed one of those busy little guys searching in and around all the little red cell "oxygen baskets", arms reaching out to grab up specks. It knew what it was doing, I saw intelligence there and I wish I had a copy of that film to show people. You can ask your Angel if they are winning the battle and healing is in progress or if they need help. Help might be in the form of a warm compress or more visualization. It might be to go see your doctor. You need to know danger signs and when your body needs emergency help. Bear in mind a virus will not respond to antibiotics, you are completely dependent on your own immune system. You can ask if you need more rest or more fluids. Your Guardian Angel knows. Ask It to help you communicate with whatever part of your body needs guidance.

You can ask about your aura and your chakras and see if something needs to be done there. Don't ignore your mental attitude and/or negative energies that might be involved. Your physical body is only part of the picture.

Most important...LIKE YOUR BODY!  Don't be saying "I hate my legs" or "I'm always sick" That is asking for trouble.

Love to all,
Janie Tate
PO Box 44
Albion,CA 95410


by Janie Tate

Aren't we here to learn? Doesn't it feel sometimes like you are a freshman not knowing where, when, or what your classes are, why you are there, or what you want to be when you grow up?

Life is not only a selfish pursuit but a series of interactions with others. That's where a lot of the confusion arises. Are part of our soul's lessons here involved with our relationships? Are we so concerned with the health of our physical bodies that we for get about the health of our souls?

With dowsing tools you can find out about your calling in life, lessons you need to learn, and your weaknesses. You can find out if others think you are egotistical or talk to much. Ask if you are making others uncomfortable with your demands and compulsions. Ask if you need to acquire more patience and tolerance of others weaknesses and ignorance. Are you single and do you want to know if someone is interested in you or feels you are a nuisance?  Maybe you are not ready for the person yet. Ask if your Angel will tell you when you have learned what you need to know to proceed with the relationship.
You can find out if someone near you is toxic or means you harm and what you can do to help the situation. Sometimes people who are not as evolved as we are tend to drain our energy. Maybe a job or a location is not healthy for us. When a person becomes adept at obtaining clear communication with our unseen helpers we can solve a lot of life's mysteries and get help on some pretty big decisions.

I have written before about communication with my Guardian Angel with my dowsing rods. If dowsing works for you at all, try it. You really need multiple answers, more than just yes and no. Your rods can react individually and move into quite a few different positions as well as pointing in unison to a specific direction. You can write down, memorize, and program the system to give you a variety of answers. If you use a pendulum, Walter Woods' chart in "Letter to Robin" works. I suppose even a forked stick or "Y rod" will work if you have answers written on a tarp on the ground or even scratched in the sand.  Be sure you include a "rephrase the question" answer. Varying degrees of "yes" is important also, sometimes there is more to the answer and you need to question further. I know many dowsers believe it is the energy of the substance they are seeking that gives the dowser the answers. There is more to energy than what radiates from the physical.  Recognizing spiritual energy is heavy stuff and if you are not ready for it let it soak for a while. One day you will experience great joy from this awakening.

When that time comes I'll say for sure you need to know who and what you are communicating with and that nothing is interfering with the answers. You definitely need to know if it's OK to be asking about whatever you have in mind. There are lots of things you are not supposed to know. Your privacy is protected by your Angel and that holds true for others also. If you mean no harm you can usually get helpful information about your relationships. Put instructions in place to protect yourself and be sure no other energy affects whatever dowsing tool you are using. When that is done there is no stopping you. Advance your souls progress thru' the challenges of this life.

One woman in a volunteer fire department  by Janie Tate
(published Dec.1996 in our local newspaper)

Someone asked me the other day how one gets on the fire dept. I feel a need to answer that question and to describe what it's like because all I could think of to say at the time was "It helps to be crazy"
I guess it starts with a self-evaluation.
First of all it doesn't work with heavy drinkers or daily drug users. You can't respond to a call unless you're straight. If you're out of the district all the time it doesn't work either.
If you are a woman ...being small can actually be an advantage in some instances. Wrecked autos can have some pretty small areas to work in. Confined area emergencies make it difficult for a big guy. Also I've found that some injured people, particularly men, won't tell a macho person that they're hurting but they will tell me. Often after they've already signed a "refused care" form. A soft female voice can be comforting in a traumatic situation.
You have to be able to admit the down side though. My hands are not big, tough, and hairy. Sometimes I have trouble with connectors. My body can't accomplish the physical work that a man can and there are a lot of "guy things" that I'm not skilled at. But I'm quick and agile and I do my share in whatever way I can.
Your face gets smudged, your hair gets torn up, and you get wet and cold. The yellow suits don't fit and you look ugly most of the time, especially at 3 am when you have to jump out of bed and go rushing down the road with bad breath.
I think you have to be somewhat of a tomboy. You have to have a little mechanical aptitude or you'll do something stupid to the equipment. You have to enjoy physical activity and be in good shape so you can do your share. You've got to be able to handle excitement and fear. I guess these things have pretty well got to have been a part of your life for a long time, they are probably not traits you acquire overnight.
From a man's point of view I don't know what to tell you about being a fireman except I know they have the same feelings I have when you know you're helping someone who's in serious danger and is scared to death. I know they feel the same pleasure I do when the team works efficiently to avert a disaster...whether it's traffic control on a blind curve or helping the victim in that
overturned car around the bend.
When "was I scared? Well, I'll confess but don't tell the guys. Let's see, how about backing off a cliff with a rope rigged to slip through' a harness? That got my knees to quivering. As it turns out I'm too light for the rope to slip. I. had to lift it up and push it through all the way down. Once we did a training in a smoked up old house. We couldn't see and were breathing with airpacks. You had to find a connector on a twisted up hose and crawl along it in the right direction to find the door. I fought panic all the way. Fear is there for your protection but some-times you have to confront it. Your heart has to ask your brain "is this really a hazard or do I have control of the situation?". Like driving down a, narrow road, through' the brush heading toward a raging fire. Instinct is to go the other way right?, but you know there is a fire truck in there and the guys need help with the hose. You have faith in the team and you have confidence in your leaders. Our chiefs, Ricca, Sassen, Turner, and Feary, they're cool, clear, and knowledgeable. They say jump, I ask how high. So you park your car, check the wind, cross your fingers and go to work..
We have training a couple of times a month and meetings to make. We have work parties and fundraisers to commit to also. There is constructive criticism, and alot of yelling goes on sometimes, merciless kidding also. If you were raised with brothers you'll do ok. I feel like I have alot of brothers. I know Bettie Shandel feels the same way. She’s our mentor and teacher. A full time E.R. nurse, she's always with us at the right time. I think the wives depend on us to look after their fellas on a call.
It's important not to be a complainer, and to be a good hardy laugher. Off color jokes are thrown around now and then. Cussing is an important expressive communication when you work with men. People can't be watching their language and pampering your sensi-tivities in a hazardous situation.
I will say this, that the fire fighters/emergency medical volun-teers I know are conscious and evolved people who seem to be chosen to look after those that aren' well as those that lady luck has barfed on.
If you think you might fit the mold, a good way to start would be to join a new support group we are organizing here in Albion. We need help with a lot of projects and it would be a good way for us to get to know you and work with you. 3 of us have to sponsor and train new members and it's a big responsibility for us.
Of course, you can always help out by coming to our fund raisers, making sure your house numbers are visibly displayed, and letting us pass you on the road if we are answering a call with our blinkers on. You can also be ready to help your family and neigh-bors in a disaster. Store food and supplies. You know how isolat-ed we can get here. With enough trees and power lines blocking the roads you may end up in our shoes whether you intend to or not.