Friday, September 19, 2014

Sometimes "thank you" just isn't enough.....

Main St.

I live about a mile and a half (as the crow flies (or the flames burn) from the western edge of the King Fire that is burning up my beautiful Ca. mountains. This fire has consumed 76,376 acres and is only 10% contained. We are keeping careful track of the direction the wind is blowing because this fire has been known to move very fast, consuming miles of forest in minutes. Our bags are packed and we have our dog evacuation plan in place. Our sky has been filled with these amazing pyrocumulus clouds (my newest learned terminology.) It has been such a crazy week. I have learned so when the air is clear near where the fire is burning its because the fire is so hot and active it is sucking all of the smoke up into the atmosphere. This morning we woke up to thick smoke settled close to the ground and we ran around closing all of the windows.....I learned that the smoke is actually a good sign. The humidity and cooler temperatures were holding the smoke down closer to the earth's surface and the fire was probably being blown away from my neighborhood or was temporarily settling down. At least that is my very unscientific understanding. 

The Calvary has arrived
So now for all of the good that I have witnessed during this tragedy.....and there has been so much. On my drive down  my mountain each morning to go to work I would see big long lines of fire trucks from all over the country, heading up into the fire to help save our forest and our homes. It made me cry every time! It reminded me of unmerited favor, we are the recipients of this grace, this gift of service and selflessness and its not based on how good we are or what we have done to deserve it. We don't have to do anything to earn it or be allowed to have it. They are here to take care of us and keep our world safe. Those free gifts always do me in!

I have watched my community come together yet again. The Red Cross said they were so impressed because they had more than enough room and supplies at the shelter because the community opened up their homes to house those who had been evacuated. There were offers from strangers to move and house horses and farm animals. Everyone has come together to help one another.

We LOVE the fire fighters and we so appreciate their hard work. People all through town are purchasing Starbucks cards, gift cards, grocery cards, and leaving them at store counters to be handed out to the fireman when they come in. Signs are posted all around town thanking them, people wave and honk when they drive by. Their base camp is at the fair grounds and people have stopped in to drop off all sorts of treats and supplies and to say thank you. There are just not enough fresh baked cookies and smiles and kind words to repay these acts of courage and bravery.

Tonight I went to our town fire update meeting and everyone was filled with gratitude, no drama, no tempers, just lots of thanks and gathering information to plan for the next few days. I was so proud of my little town. 

As I have looked around at all of our stuff, there wasn't anything except some paintings by the kids and photographs that I felt like I needed to really save.

So in the face of tragedy....there is good. There is always good.
Keep us in your prayers.....and especially our fire fighters and law enforcement officers who are working so hard on our behalf. Keep them safe.

Always praying....
Photo credit: Noah Berger/Reuters

Photo credit: Wes Shultz

Photo credit: Noah Berger/Reuters

Photo credit: Noah Berger/Reuters

Pyrocumulus cloud. Photo credit: Ruth Tustin Thompson


ditchingthedog said...

Praying the rains come soon.

Simply Me said...

Keeping you, your family, and your little town in my prayers.

mary christine said...

A natural disaster always shows the true character of a community. So glad yours has an attitude of gratitude in the face of this devastation.

Still Praying.

Signe said...

I'm speechless, Annette. Praying for your safety(as well as everyone else's) and the quenching of the fires. Stay tuned to that inner voice.

Syd said...

What a terrible scene to see so much fire. Glad that you are safe. Your town looks beautiful BTW.