Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

An Event That Sort of Shakes Your Foundations

If bad things really do come in threes, I find I am a bit concerned about what the future holds for my beautiful city.  I think that have mentioned it before, but this mommy and her family make our home in Colorado Springs, Colorado which has been rocked over the past month by different natural disaster events.  My last post was a rant on the flash flooding and hail storm that hit us about three weeks ago.  This was a two night event with the flooding one night and the hail the next (does this count as two by the way?  Maybe we are out of the woods if it does.)

While we thought that this was bad and I have been trying to get our house back in order from a flooded basement and damaged roof and vehicle, nothing could have prepared us for what is currently threatening the city.  Saturday morning we were admiring our new basement carpet and trying to get all the furniture back in and organized…what there is a fire burning in Waldo Canyon?  That’s so sad.  It’s so pretty up there.  Hey, isn’t that sort of close to Jay’s parents.  Saturday afternoon: wait what?  Cascade, Chipita Park, and Green Mountain Falls are under voluntary evacuation?  Maybe Jay’s parents should start getting some things together.  The fire is on the other side of the highway so I am sure they will be fine, but I guess it is better to be safe than sorry.  They are going to head up to Woodland Park to a friend’s house to wait it out for a few hours.  Saturday evening:  They are now making evacuation mandatory in those areas plus one subdivision of Colorado Springs.  They are probably just being cautious.  I mean, we are a major city, they aren’t going to let a wildfire get that close to us right?

Our mountains on fire. Not sure who to credit for the photo.

Whatever, the in-laws are heading further west to my Aunt and Uncle’s for the night.  The eastbound lanes of the highway are a parking lot so no point trying to get down here tonight.  Sunday morning:  Jay, you had better call your parents.  I think that they are going to close the highway soon.  If they are going to get down here to town, maybe they should do it soon.  Okay, they are finally down here with some of their stuff.  They think they would just like to get a hotel for a couple of nights.  I can’t imagine it being more than that.

That was sort of my train of thought for the first couple days we were hearing about the fire.  You may notice that the unifying thought to all of what was going on was it won’t last too long.  Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state after Denver, they aren’t going to let a fire come into the city.  I swear this thought ran through my head every time we turned on the news to check on how things were (which was quite a lot).  Tuesday night changed that mentality completely.  Not that anyone “let” the fire come into town.  100 degree temperatures and 60 mph winds take away any control and the fire jumped all containment lines near the city and started burning properties on the western side of the city.  We sat there Tuesday night watching the fire speed down the foothills and start burning structures.  Every time they showed a new shot of a home on fire, my heart just broke a little more.  I just couldn’t imagine being the owner of that house they were showing on TV watching it burn.

Tuesday night in the Mountain Shadows area of town. I don’t know who to credit for the photo as it has been making the rounds on Facebook through shares.

This fire has shaken our family…shaken all people in our city I would imagine, whether they have been evacuated or not. It has definitely made me realize a couple of things.  First, if my home had been in an evacuated area, I would absolutely not have been prepared to quickly get things together to get out of the house.  That will definitely be changing over the next couple of weeks.  There are tons of resources out there to help get you organized for an emergency and I plan to take advantage of them to come up with a plan and some organization.  Now, I am not planning to turn into one of those end of the world preppers, but I am now aware that having no plan or organization is just as bad on the extreme opposite end.

I also realized just how important community is.  We don’t live in a bubble and seeing the way our city has come together for the 32,000+ people currently evacuated from their homes, makes me even prouder of my city.  It has truly been touching to watch the out pouring of love and support from our citizens as well as from across the state and the country for that matter.  It is nice to know that should you ever find yourself in some sort of disaster situation, there will people out there to help you get through it.

Finally, I realized just how lucky I am.  Actually, I am well aware of this fact, but I can use a good reminder every once in a while.  The last couple of days I have frequently found myself with a lump in my throat and a little teary eyed, but never more so then when I think of the people out of their homes some of them wondering if they even have a home to go back to.  During those moments, I find myself reaching for my kids to give them an extra hug and kiss and also reminding myself that no matter what issues may arise in our day to day life, we are together and we are healthy and safe and there is nothing more important than that.

Today, the fire is still burning quite actively, though for the first time since the fire started, the officials at the morning press conference seemed a bit optimistic about getting a better handle on things.  There are 32,000 people who are still out of their homes (including my mother and father-in-law) and while the number of homes lost is in the hundreds, most of these people will have homes to go back to because of the extremely brave efforts of the men and women fighting the fire.

So readers, as you go about your day today please, send up a prayer or good thought for all the men and women battling our fire as well as the many other fires burning around our state and also one for the thousands out there waiting to get back to their homes.  And make sure to add an extra special one for the people who now find themselves without a home to return to.  And tonight, when you are tucking your kids into bed or saying goodnight to loved ones, hug them a little tighter, tell them you love them an extra time, and give yourself a little reminder of all the things in your life you have to be thankful for.

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A Return to Mommyland and Reality

It is so easy to forget about the real world and adult obligations and responsibilities while you are on vacation.  Budgets are forgotten, sleep is found only when absolutely necessary, kids are allowed liberties they wouldn’t normally be at home.  And that is just from visiting family in a tiny town in West Virginia.  But now we are home and reality has come to smack us in the face.  No easy and seamless transition back to daily life here.  My daughter is now for some reason terrified of our two yellow labs, Connor is still on WV time which means 5:30 wake up times, and I am trying to cook with half of a couch in the middle of my kitchen.  I am about ready to pack up the car and head out to anywhere else again.

I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if a minor apocalypse hadn’t hit parts random pockets of Colorado Springs last week.  Imagine my surprise last Wednesday, when I get a call from my husband saying that our basement is flooded and could I please call my Aunt and Uncle to see if they could come help get stuff out of the basement and rip the carpet out.  The powers that be are calling it a hundred years flood.  I call it a major pain in the ass and a strain on already tight resources.  There wasn’t much I could do then as there were 5 states separating us, but now I am home and there is much to do so that eventually we can actually get back to normal.

All those years as a teenager spent wishing for independence and adulthood…I take it back!

I had hoped to return to a normal schedule of blogging when I got home but it looks like it may be a couple more weeks before that happens.  Sporadic posts will probably be the name of the game at least until we can get carpet back into the basement which would then mean the removal of half of a couch from my kitchen and ALL of the kids toys from our living room/dining room and more than 6 square feet of space to live in.  Hope all of you have had a less eventful few weeks and continue to do so.

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