Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Matter of Perspective ...

So, I mentioned yesterday that we had survived several dry lightning strikes without a fire. Yeah. Smart thing to say. Commit to. Put in writing. Oh yeah.

Anyone guess where this post in heading?

You got it. The GREAT FIRE EVACUATION OF 2006!


An hour or so after I posted those immortal words, J. and I were in the living room talking, and he gets abit distracted. Of course, that happens alot when I'm yapping on, so I really thing not too much of it. But, He looks out the picture windows and yells "Oh my gosh!" and runs out the door. What did I say?

In the meanwhile, we are all looking around wondering "what the heck?" No deer, no bunnies, no wild turkeys. Alas, on the ridge in front of us- there is some smoke ... actually alot of smoke. And flames. Really big, orange, ugly, menacing flames.

Now, we live in paradise. We have 20 acres on a mountain, covered in pine trees- beautiful, tall, green, combustible pine trees. It's really neat- except when you see really big, orange, ugly, menacing flames on the ridge across from you. And between us, and the aforementioned blaze, are acres of really beautiful, purple waves of grain. Combustible grain. Ah- paradise.

So, me being the cool "72 on the nerdie scale" that I am, thanks Sarah, I hop online to check out the fire reports for a location. Nothing. But - we have really big, orange, ugly, menacing flames.

So then, I start into full mommy-crisis get-the-important-stuff start-with-the-laptops- so-we-can-still-work mode and we start packing.

The kids were great. J. was out with the binoculars seeing what was going on, and while we listened to the roar of water-choppers going back and forth to the Yellowstone River behind our mountain, we packed and prayed. Hard. Fast. Without ceasing.

This kids ran next door (about 1/2 mile away) and came back with the report that the neighbor's dog was behind their glass door- ok, I can break the glass, leave a note, save the dog and worry about it later. Check.

We grabbed the photos, important papers bag (I highly recommend this to everyone - we throw all the important papers, birth cert's etc in a bag that everyone knows to grab in this situation. An old trick my dad used, but his was my old cardboard toy chest), we packed Bunny and Mooch- the kid's lifelong fav stuffed animals, Jonathan's fav baby blankie (I won't give the name here, he is 12 ya' know), Kati's spoon collection, Grandpa's knife collection he gave Jonathan before he died, some precious knick knacks, and a beautiful stained glass clock a dear friend gave us along time ago.

Oh, and the necessities- bathroom stuff, clothes and shoes.

In under 20 minutes, we packed, loaded and were ready to go. And the rest could just burn.

It's amazing how things can seem so irreplaceable, but can be given up in a second. I walked around and looked at shelf upon shelf, in drawer after drawer, and grabbed the things I considered heirloom for one reason or another. And most of it was things made by small hands with big hearts.

And the first thing Kati grabbed was our Family Bible. The one you keep with all the special things recorded. The first thing. Wow.

In the end, and it was awhile in the making, we were safe. We watched the trucks of our local Volunteer Fire Dept. go away, one by one and the choppers fly to other fires in need of their services.

We left things packed and at the door, just in case - and the kids slept on the floor in our room last night.

We've been abit weary today- but safe. And in our home. And everything looks a little different now.

I'm reminded that this was a fire drill. A very real one, and that others nearby were not lucky. Over 530 equivalent square acres have burned around us in Billings in the past week and families have lost everything. And had only the time to grab the kids and the keys.

So, stop. Look around your at your cluttered floors, stacked up dishes and piled up laundry. Be thankful that it's there to clutter, stack and pile :)

I never really felt the value of a home before now, I think. I'm a nomad at heart.

But tonight, I can honestly say - There is No Place Like Home.


Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Good grief, what a night! We had a tornado "drill" like that recently, right before A. was born, and we high-tailed it out of here to my sister's house until the storms passed. Living in Tornado Alley, we usually don't get alarmed, but after tornadoes ripped through Tennessee and killed so many people this year, we're gotten a little chicken. And we only grabbed the kids and the dog, come to think of it! Not even the Bible. Kudos to your daughter! And I'm so glad you were all safe and sound this morning:)

11:46 PM  
Anonymous rach said...

I love your blog! How is baby Gwyn? Update?

7:31 AM  
Blogger sarahgrace said...

Glad you are safe!

11:58 AM  

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