We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog for another special announcement….
Here we are nearing the end of day four of our mandatory evacuation, with no end in sight. I’ve finally gotten past the “shouldas”—shoulda grabbed this and shoulda done that. Of course it’s totally useless to ponder such things; there’s absolutely nothing I can do about any of it now. But the thoughts had continued to circle, wearing a rut in my gray matter no matter how illogical. Finally, it seems I’m moving on to the next stage: boredom.
As compared to other houses in Black Forest, ours is about as safe as it can get. In fact, the entire firefighting effort is being staged from our street! Fire is unpredictable, but I’m not stressing over the house burning down.
I’d love to claim my lack of worry is due to my strong faith. Surely that plays a part. But mainly I think it’s because I can’t really imagine a disaster of that magnitude. Rather, I have a tendency to focus on the small stuff—the rotting food in the refrigerator and freezer, the destruction of my flourishing veggie garden from lack of water and, most of all, the chickens I had to leave behind. I know they’re “just” chickens, but they’re my chickens. I feel responsible for their well-being.
On Thursday we called the Humane Society about our stranded hens. Late that afternoon we got a call from Virginia at animal rescue, saying she was at our house. While unable to retrieve our eleven chickens, she was able to refill the food and water dispensers. That should last for a few days; it’s certainly better than nothing. That evening our ladies had their moment of fame on the Gazette’s live news feed:
7:45 p.m. Reporter Jakob Rodgers is with animal rescue volunteers. “In the last two hours, they’ve found 2 horses and 11 chickens.”
I slept much better last night knowing they were safe for the moment.
When you live in a forest, fire is always in the back of your mind. We had discussed what we would do if we were forced to grab and run, so when it actually happened, I had a priority list in mind. Our focus had been on what we would want months and years later—artwork that couldn’t be replaced, photos and other memories, essential files. But I never gave much thought to what we’d do that night, the next day, and the day after that.
So here we are. After a trip to Walmart, we have enough clothes that I can do the laundry and still be decently clad. We have toothbrushes and hairbrushes, and I did manage to remember our prescription medications. But I have nothing to do! I guess that’s a drawback of running a home business—it requires access to one’s home.
I should be enjoying the reprieve. Just last week I was feeling overwhelmed with a lengthy to-do list. Now I have time to sit with my dad while he naps and read a library book. I have time to read my Bible and pray. I have time to think. I just wish I could concentrate!
This afternoon we learned that good friends from church have lost their home. They lived near us, practically on top of the property where the fire started, so this isn’t a huge surprise. Sadly, they barely had time to grab their computer and run. Last year they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I can’t imagine the memories that are now ashes.
Their tremendous loss puts my little gripes into perspective. Please pray with me for Gene and Nancy!