Monday, September 29, 2014

A Bit Overwhelmed

So much has happened since I last posted here that I am more than a bit overwhelmed - I think it would would be safe to say that I've been a lot overwhelmed the last few weeks! Mostly I just go along pretending that things are hunky dory and the messy stuff passes, that strategy worked this time too but it did take a tole on my sleep and my blogging and a lot of other things that I like to do. Basically, I've been in 'keep my head down' mode. Here's the story.

Remember when I told you we were planning a BIG trip? Well, that happened and it was wonderful and fantastic and any other superlative you can think of. We went here. Can you guess where this amazing photo was taken? I promise you that this is real and was taken by my friend and travel companion Marsha.
Mt. McKinley - Denali National Park
Did you guess correctly? Chris and I had an awe inspiring two week adventure vacation in Alaska which included cruising and touring and hiking, helicopters!! and glaciers and fabulous food. We shared all this with two other couples and had so much fun. As I was retuning home I was composing my blog posts to share my photos and tell you all about this grand escapade, truly a trip of a lifetime but, literally as we rounded the bend in the canyon to reach our home this happened:
King Fire photo
We were greeted with a huge smoke plume reaching hundreds of feet into the air and a chaotic scene in our tiny town. Chris dropped me off at the school where we could tell some kind of meeting was going on, he proceeding up the hill to check on the house. I discovered that we were five miles short of a mandatory evacuation line and that line could very well be moved to include us at any minute. I saw my DIL at the meeting and she and I began making evacuation plans as we drove home. No time to unpack or unwind from vacation, time to think of what needs to be done in case of evacuation!
 The King Fire made the national news I know and on a personal level I can tell you that it has been terrible. Our small mountain community has been spared because of the heroic efforts of firefighters from all over the nation and we are truly, deeply grateful.
These amazing pictures are from the King Fire Facebook page set up to keep residents informed about the progress of the fire

This picture is particularly heartbreaking - Stumpy Meadows being overrun by fire. This is only 12 miles from our home and where we go almost daily in the summer to swim, kayak and just cool off. Stumpy is also the main water supply for the Georgetown area. A beautiful and serene spot.
 
It makes me so sad to think that this fire was intentionally set by one person for some unfathomable reason.

After more than a week we received the all clear, we would not have to be evacuated. A blessed rain had fallen and aided the firefighters in their task. Because of the incredible work of the firefighting teams we were never in real danger.

I've started to put the papers and keepsakes away but you can bet that I have a real plan now for what I'll do the next time the words "possible evacuation" are mentioned. You can see why all thoughts of the fun vacation had flown out the window and why I might have been feeling just a little overwhelmed.

And now a message from me: Time for you to have a fire safety plan. 
1. Check you smoke alarms and make sure they're in working order.
2. Have a family meet up place and a family contact person.
3. Take pictures of everything in your home and put those on a flash drive. Put the flash drive in a safe deposit box or give it to a relative for safe keeping. This will help with insurance claims later.
4. Make a plan for what you would take if you had half an hour to leave; remember the four P's - People, Pets, Papers, Pictures.

More about that Alaska trip next time,

8 comments:

  1. Wow Patrica! First I am so relieved that your home and family are ok. I did read and see reports about this fire and cannot understand why anyone would want to cause such travesty. Thank you for the tips and message.

    I look forward to reading more about your vacation once things calm down a bit more there.

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    1. Thanks for all the positive thoughts Jeanna. We are fine and all my friends and relatives are good too so this has had the best possible outcome. Our beloved forest has not fared as well and only time will tell as to how bad things really are. I'm calm now and moving forward I swear!

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  2. I am so sorry to hear this fire was so close to you and your community. Such a shame, that some idiot would purposely set fire, there or anywhere! Thankfully you are safe.
    Your trip sounds wonderful! Rest up, unpack, relax, and tell us when you have time!
    xo Kris

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    1. I'm turning over a new, calmer leaf this week Kris. I just have to get my mojo back. Do you ever feel like your spinning in circles? That's been my mode the past 10 days but I'm determined to get it together, there's so much I want to share about our big adventure.

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  3. Thank you for recommending tips to be prepared for emergencies. I don't think many people truly consider this could happen to any of us, at any time, whether it be fire, tornado, or hurricane, or earthquake, or flood. I know you have much to be thankful for, but it's probably going to take some time to process the emotions and the reality of what happened in your community.

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    1. Living in the forest as we do we have always had a plan but we have never had to implement it seriously until now. We have seen the holes in our plan and where we need to change so all has not been in vain. I am anxious to get back to normal and so relieved that I and my friends have homes to return to.

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  4. What a scary scene that must have been! How horrible! I'm glad you are OK; I'm sorry for those who experienced loss.

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    1. This has been a truly distressing experience but we are so thankful to still have our home and so thankful for those who risked everything to help. I can't say enough good things about the brave men and women on the fire lines.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.