Life can sometimes be so full of contrasts it’s more than amazing. It is, in fact, downright surreal.
I harvested this bounty minutes ago while watching the winds rekindle the Doce Fire a short distance away from my garden.
This is what the fire looked like from our back deck when I got home around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday night the flames had progressed down our side of the mountain and we were ready to evacuate. Crates, leashes, important documents and valuables were made all at the ready. Thankfully the fire stayed on the west side of the main road that goes by our subdivision and traveled north.
Still, it was a sleepless night.
Then Wednesday morning it seemed almost calm until the winds picked up again and fanned the flames. The photo below was taken about mid-day yesterday standing directly across the road from the Granite Mountain Wilderness Area trailhead at intersection of Williamson Valley Road and Granite Oaks Drive, the entrance to our subdivision. You can see some flames at the extreme upper left of the white plumes of smoke. There were small flaming pockets all over Granite.
We were still thinking we might need to leave and went uneasily to bed. By this morning we were feeling fairly secure (although you never know) that we can stay here and ride the rest out. Several friends have been either dislocated or are on standby. We’re at the ready to take in refugees and their animals if need be, now that it looks we’re out of danger and I plan to see if there is a need for emergency response and first aid trained volunteers tomorrow, since as of this year I am one.
One chilling thing we realized Tuesday night was that we didn’t have room in our vehicles for the chickens. They are so new (March) and it just hadn’t occurred to me that I would have to move them all, lock, stock and coop, at a moment’s notice. So very next thing on the agenda is to get a trailer hitch and a small lightweight trailer for our SUV so we can get all the animals (3 dogs, 3 cats, 7 hens and a tarantula) out to safety without needing someone to help us. Sometimes there just isn’t time. We did have several kind offers of help to do transport and I think it all would have worked out, but still we’d like to know we can move our living cargo anytime even with short notice.
There was a moment when I looked around at all the “things” that mattered to me — musical instruments, furniture, pictures, the tools of our businesses, precious tokens of our history — and all at once I let them go. I said to Mister, “let’s just get us and the animals out of here in one piece. The rest doesn’t matter.” He had his moment too and agreed, and from then on we were seriously focused and ready.
Right now, this minute, I am supremely grateful that there has been no loss of life or injury and so far no homes or structures lost. Let’s pray it stays that way. I am also so very grateful for the heroic firefighters who are toiling in the heat and in the face of danger to keep us and our homes safe. You have my heart.
Tonight we will sit down to a feast that includes salad greens, radishes and herbs, with blackberries for dessert, and a cup of lemon balm tea to calm the nerves, all from the little garden that sits at the feet of the Fiery Beast. How amazing is that?
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