CALIFORNIA GIRL

 To get to know a person one should consider to talk to her or his mother first.

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This article by Susan, Martina’s mother shows how different people see different values in the same person. I am a believer in “If one wants to get to know any person one should ask his or her mother.”

 
CALIFORNIA GIRL
Her name is Martina and she is twenty-three. She has some experience as a waitress which needs polishing. Martina is scheduled to work with me and I learn to appreciate her as a hard worker. Talking about how enjoyable working is and the life we live in the Monterey Bay area, she sends me back into my corner with her viewpoint.
“I’m working two jobs. What I make daytime goes for the car, clothing and credit card payments. I would like to have a place to live on my own, that’s why I took this second job.”
“Where do you live?”
“With my parents. Sometimes I stay at my guy friends place.”
“What are your plans?”
“Make enough money to get out of debt first.”
“What else?”
“Find the right man and get married!”
“How many hours do you work?”
“Twenty plus at my other job and twenty or less here!”
“Why don’t you find a rich husband instead of working?”
“That’s stupid! I will always have to be ready to support myself for that’s what I have to do. I do want a man to have a family and that’s something different.”
This Martina she is outspoken and honest about her wants and ideas. She has no illusions about life and admits that it is a nice area around here but as she tells me “It’s true it’s a free country. But listen nothing is free it takes money to live around here.”
Martina does not mention the hours she spends as a volunteer firefighter. I see in Martina the waitress who is doing her best to please our customers. But there is more to Martina. Her mother describes Martina as:

THE LITTLEST FIREFIGHTER by Susan Martin

The littlest firefighter is my 23-year-old daughter Martina. At 5’3″, 110 pounds she really is a petite little thing. Martina decided to be a volunteer firefighter about one year ago.
She is not the only firefighter in our family. My father is a retired fire chief, my husband has been a volunteer for 17 years and my nephew is a volunteer in another town. So I guess she comes by it naturally.
The thing that gets me is how well she does the things that men twice her size and strength do! Ever the wise acre, Martina tends to let her mouth overload her actions on occasions. But in this case her ardent desire to perform at a high level of excellence has overridden any size and power limitations. My heart swells with pride when I see her donning her 50 plus pounds worth of turnouts and SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus). To some people just moving about in all this gear is a feat, let alone manning the hose and climbing a ladder or using a power saw to vent a roof!
My motherly fears are only partly offset by the excellent training she is receiving and the comradery she has with the other firefighters. To have a beautiful daughter like Martina putting her life at risk is not an easy thing to bear. But bear it I will, just to see this fine young woman perform at a level that is a credit to the volunteer firefighters, both men and women, who strive to better themselves and the community in which they live.
I guess this makes me the PROUDEST mother, of the LITTLEST firefighter, with the BIGGEST heart.

There is more to Martina who won ahead of me the second Monterey Waiter’s Race. She is truly a good person, with a heart of gold. When Martina showed me the description of THE LITTLEST FIREFIGHTER, I asked for permission to add it to my short story collection. This article by Susan, Martina’s mother shows how different people see different values in the same person. I am a believer in “If one wants to get to know any person one should ask his or her mother.”

by helmut schonwalder