In Memorium: Cory Iverson

I have struggled about what to write in this post for the last few days. I can’t do what I’m feeling justice with words, but I’m going to try.

You see, on Friday, a CalFire firefighter died battling the Thomas Fire in Southern California. His name was Cory Iverson and he was 32 years old. He leaves behind a wife, Ashley, a daughter, Evie, and his wife is pregnant with their second little girl. When I heard the news, it was like a kick to the stomach. It literally took my breath away. I called my husband (who had just come off a different fire) to see if it was someone we knew.

This is every fire wife’s worst nightmare. We send them off to far away fires, and most of the time they return home, tired, hungry, and a little smokey. But sometimes (thankfully very rarely) they don’t make it home. We try not to think about it because we’d never make it through the day if we did, but when it happens, we sit in our car and cry silent tears. Tears of sadness for the mother, the sister, the child who’s hero isn’t coming home. Tears of relief that it wasn’t ours this time. We get home and we hug our husband a little bit tighter.

When I married my husband, I was blown away at just how strong the fire family is. It’s not only a brotherhood of firefighters, but a ridiculously strong sisterhood of fire wives. We don’t know the Iversons personally, but I want to help Ashley, yet feel completely helpless. So, I’m asking you, my friends and family, to help me help Ashley. There are two things I need everyone to do:

  1. If you can, please donate to the Go Fund Me set up for Ashley and her family. Large or small, your donation will make a difference!
  2. Please share the Go Fund Me (or this blog post) with your friends.

Many streams make mighty rivers! Thank you so much for your help!

Ride Off Into The Sunset

If my father-in-law had his way, retirement would have gone something like this: quietly turn in the keys to the truck, head home, enjoy the rest of life with the family. He is an extremely private and humble man. Unfortunately for him, the family was not about to let him ride off into the sunset without some sort of spectacular sendoff last weekend.

You see, my father-in-law spent the last forty-three years as a firefighter. Not just any firefighter at that – he helped shape much of the system as it is today in Amador County. He’s sort of a big deal. And it runs in the blood – both of his sons are firefighters, as is his son-in-law. Needless to say, there were a lot of people who wanted to come out and help celebrate Raymond. Right around three hundred, to be exact.

In true Blankenheim style, we roasted a pig. And made tri-tip. And barrel chicken. Because it’s not really a party unless you have at least three types of meat. Probably one of the highlight of the nights was the Great Pig Fire of 2013. I’ve been a part of this family for five years now and have seen many a pig roasted… never have I seen one actually ignite…

Flaming Pig
Flaming Pig

Apparently no one else in the family had either… about twenty firefighters stood and watched in awe before springing into action.


When all was said and done, it was a great party for a great man. I can only hope that someday I discover I’ve had a positive impact on the lives of half as many people as Raymond has. Congratulations Raymond!