I will tell you about not feeling safe. We all have that need to feel safe in our home and I have so much empathy for those that have lost homes to fires and live with the threat of wildfires as we speak.
The smell of smoke was very close on Tuesday. I received a phone call right after lunch from a neighbor, "get out", there's a fire behind your house. She tends be the nervous sort. Okay, I'll go take a look. Another call, you know there's a fire behind your house. Can you tell how far, not far, between you and so and so. Okay, at least there's a big mountain between us. I have time to sort things out. Decide what to start packing, as I hear helicopters now and a bomber that drops retardant. Keep making my trips back and forth to the car, a neighbor wants to send a horse trailer, I can't do that now. I have to feel confident that the fire fighters would not let our homes burn, it's been a quick response. And then, a sheriff with emergency lights coming up the long drive. Won't tell you what I said out loud. He handed me my evacuation notice and wrote down my personal information. Prayers that haven't filled my head do so even more. You can stay, but we can't promise your safety and you should be ready to leave in a moment's notice. I can do that. I'm staying for now. I continue to pack the car taking a break to sit on the steps and watch the bomber swoop over a low part of the mountain to the side of me and swing back for another drop. Sidney's eyes went big like saucers each time the plane came over. Bailey, of course, was under a bed. It's been hours now, only smoke, no better, no worse. And then, less noise, the bomber wasn't coming as close, less smoke. I am getting updates from a neighbor that lives higher up and can see the whole area, flames are not as high, the fire isn't climbing the crest of the mountain. Thank you, thank you as I feel some relief. More hours, less smoke, less noise, the fire fighting sounds further away. And then I see the sheriff coming up the drive, no lights, a huge grin. He jumps out of his car, "good news", they have a handle on it and have saved two house and it's looking very good. We only have to worry about a cool front that comes in tonight with gusty winds, but with cooler temps and rain, our confidence level is high. We will come thru with sirens during the night if the situation worsens. I sure wanted to hug him.
I woke up Wednesday to silence, very little smoke. I could finally let myself be emotional. Thinking about the fire fighters, all volunteer in this rural area and the forest service that did such an outstanding job to keep us safe, saving this land, the mountains, the trees, a place the wildlife also call home.