Saturday, September 10, 2011

Here We Go Again

I fear that I will become known as the "drama queen", but as we shifted into gear this morning, we discovered another reminder that fire season has begun and with a vengeance, this year. Last night, we had thunderstorms with lightning strikes galore. At 6:30 AM, I took Galen out and admired the beautiful clouds and drank in some of that sweet mountain air. Within less than an hour this is what we discovered. This fire is, unfortunately northeast of us and the howling wind is coming from directly behind that fire. It turns out that we have forty, yes, you read that correctly 4 and 0 fires now burning in Kern County. What appears in the photo to be one fire (that is what we thought) is, by now, four fires, all moving west right for our valley. Thank goodness the winds are supposed to shift tonight. Forgive me for sounding shamefully selfish. I want the fire to be turned back on itself not on someone else.

By the time I am finishing this post—it has been a strange disjointed day—the smoke fills the valley. In spite of our tight windows it has seeped into the house. No more of that delicious and fresh mountain air. The Husband is mowing as fast as he can. He was checking the tractor manual a while ago. Maybe checking to see how long he can run it without wrecking the engine? I have no idea. I said a fond farewell to what was left of the daisies this morning. It was a small price to pay for a smidgen more peace of mind. It is eerily dark for 5:00 PM and not still. The wind blows and the those beautiful early autumn clouds are barely visible. The canopy that was full of promise this morning is smudged with a dirty gray.

The drama queen comment is heartfelt. It is odd that we have for long led such a humdrum existence—quiet little lives and certinly not of desperation. Then, suddenly, almost literally all hell breaks loose. I talk about these things because they are, after all, what is now and I ask you to please know that I am not whining, "poor me". We are not in any imminent danger, only alert. We are perfectly safe and sound. We have been extremely fortunate and relished a handsome share of good fortune. There are so many truly suffering today. But to some degree my blog is reporting on life in our little mountain valley—telling stories about what I see here. Therefore, this post isn't completely personal then, just reporting what I see and what little I know.  Sometimes we are swept along by currents we didn't prepare for. It keeps life interesting, but may I order some boredom, please? And another order to go, if you don't mind.


  1. Anita, Your husband has the right idea; using the mower to create a defensible space around your property. Losing the daisies in the end will be a small price to pay. Hang on, winter is just around the bend.

  2. Steve - Coincidentally, I had said good-bye to them yesterday, in my heart. It was clear that their glory days were behind them, and I knew there days were numbered. Today, merely sealed their fate. We wanted the widest clear swath that was practical. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  3. I think when there are flames beating a path to your door you are entitled to whine a little. But seriously, it sounds like you are doing all the right things to stay safe and secure. Being prepared for the worst is a good strategy to take when there is imminent danger close by.

  4. Ken - We are a bit anxious, but far from having reason to panic. Thanks for giving me a pass on the whine issue. For a place where nothing ever happens it suddenly got very lively here.

    The Husband is working like a mad man—so much for a nice relaxed recovery. We are as prepared as we can be and stay realistic.

  5. When my mother-in-law phones to ask whats new I usually say "nothing, we live a boring life, but boring is good".

    The close proximity of a fire disrupts your life with anxiety and worry. It is perfectly normal for you to write about it and the concerns you have. That isn't whining, or being a drama queen, it's life. Real.

    I hope for the best.

  6. Roberta - I am quite ready to welcome a nice long stretch of boredom. You are so right about the anxiety. I had no idea how tired I was until we had assurance that the fires are contained. That finally came this morning. I am relishing long deep breaths. Thank you for your understanding.


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