Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

An Event That Sort of Shakes Your Foundations

on June 28, 2012

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.


4 responses to “An Event That Sort of Shakes Your Foundations

  1. obsoletelife says:

    Listening to the horror stories of what people are going through, helped to finally break me down and I cried the other day. It doesn’t seem real. We always hear about the wildfires in the wilderness and pass it off because we live in a large city. But the devastation of the fire on Springs is just… sad.. I think about you guys often and I am so glad you guys are same and Marge, and Bill.

  2. Katie says:

    It is hard to see and hear about all the sadness. It’s good to get some of the feelings out. That was part of why this post came to be. Just to get some emotions out there. All is well here and while I am pretty sure that Josh’s parent’s house will be fine, I think that they are finally at a “whatever happens, happens” place mentally which is good for right now.

  3. The pics of the fire are simply terrifying! Our thatch house burnt down 5 years ago and I remember so well the feeling of watching everything we owned going up in smoke. I was strangely disinterested in all the stuff. I rescued the photographs, but as for the rest, it just wasn’t important. My hubby, son and I were safe, as were the dogs, and that was all that mattered.

    Love to you and family. I hope the smoke is clearing.

  4. Katie says:

    I can’t even imagine that. This fire was in our city, but I knew we were never in danger of losing our home and it was still scary. You are definitely right though. Things can be replaced and as long as the people are safe that is all that matters. I love seeing the people on the news who are optimistic and have come to the point where they know that it was just stuff and they can start over. Thank you for the kind thoughts. My husband’s parents are back in their home and while we can still see a bit of smoke here and there, it isn’t too bad anymore. The firefighters seem to have a good handle on it now so I think everything will be well.

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