|One of the smoke plumes|
I have always seen the images on TV of other fires, where the sky is red, and very dark. I never thought I would in a million years experience it. I kept calling it horrifically beautiful. Seeing the red sun through the smoke and ash was beautiful, seeing the smoke plumes in the evening build up were breath taking, seeing the flames dance down the mountain a mile from your house seduced you, and wouldn't allow you to turn away.
|This was the sun above my house.|
When we started having community meetings about the fire, I just thought I would go to them because I had nothing else to do, little did I know I would soon start to crave going to the meetings, getting all the information I could, not because I was scared, but because this was a new adventure for me. I learned the lingo, and started to use it in my daily life, for instance, I was upset with the kids and told them they crossed my trigger line, they laughed, I laughed, it was a good reality check.
|Air crane above my house.|
I really didn't think we would be asked to evacuate. I didn't. However, I thought I would start cleaning the house and gathering things, just in case. I gathered our important documents, put all the loose photos and film negatives into one place, you know, just in case. It wasn't until returning from one of the meetings, and I saw the flames, less than a mile from my house, that I got scared. I knew. We loaded up the van and the truck. Moments later, we were given the official evacuation notice, I cried. We left.
|This is as we are leaving town. Looks almost like a tornado instead of smoke.|
As we were leaving town, I snapped more pictures, and cried. I wasn't worried about my house, I was more worried about the change in scenery. I knew the view would never be the same, and I didn't know how long I would be away from my home. I hate not being able to plan my life, and this was NOT on my agenda for the summer.
Once of the most memorable moments of the evacuation, was when Elle and I were driving and she said her eyes hurt, it dawned on me, we had been living for the past week in a dark cloud. It was like walking around with sunglasses always on. It wasn't until we hit clear skies that our eyes needed some serious shading, and go figure, I left my sunglasses on the counter at home.
We ended up at my in-laws that live an hour away. It was hard for me. I felt displaced. I felt lost. I wanted to go home.
HOME SWEET HOME
Five days later, we got the notice we could go home. Aaron and I went over with the two younger ones to check it out. Aaron was more worried about our little plants, I was worried about the air quality. All seemed well, the plants were fine, and the air was no longer brown, but more white-ish, if that makes sense. We returned to the inlaws, packed up, and went home. Home sweet home.
Cleaning, washing sheets, vacuuming, dusting, and the reality of getting back to normal became part of my daily routine. It was nice to see our little town return to normal. It was nice to see cars on the street, people in the stores, and especially to see Sonic reopen.
It has been almost 2 months since the chaos. Some days it feels like yesterday, other days it seems like it was forever ago. This for sure will be a memory that will never be forgotten.
So what do you do in the summer time besides getting evacuated? I know REUNIONS!!! I promise you Jessica, you will get the 411 on the reunions tomorrow.