Friday, June 29, 2012

When There's Smoke

“I feel like we’re camping,” I told Spence this morning as I woke up in the hotel and put back on yesterdays clothes trying to ignore the fact that I didn’t have an overnight bag with deodorant, toothbrush or fresh underwear. The air outside only intensifies the camping atmosphere. It’s thick, and dry, and smells just like campfire.

We were evacuated from our house around 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

I was inside nursing Marlee while Brynlee and Jace were outside playing in the sprinklers. I noticed the sky turn orange as I watched the kids out the window. And then I smelt the smoke. It was a faint aroma at first. So I checked on the kids, saw no sign of fire, and went back to nursing Marlee.

The phone rang. I ignored it. Then it rang again, and again. I assumed it was my mom since she does that sort of thing - calls time and time again when you don’t answer. {hi mom! love ya.} By the forth missed call I stopped nursing and answered my phone.

It was Spencer telling us he had just got a phone call from the police department and we needed to evacuate our home. The same recorded message was on my voicemail: The sheriff’s office is requesting that all residents evacuate their homes immediately due to a fast moving fire.

Funny thing, earlier that day I had heard of other evacuations in Colorado and Utah and had questioned myself - what things would I take with me in such a situation. 

In such a situation, I bring nothing. Apparently.                 

No valuables. No change of clothes. Or clean underwear. No toothbrushes. No wipes and diapers for my newborn baby. Or nursing pads for her nursing mama.

Truth be told, I panicked. The kids were in the backyard in their swimming suits and Marlee was laying on the couch – crying, since I had ended her feeding before she was ready. I told the kids to run upstairs and get their clothes on. I grabbed shoes for the gang, my purse, cell phone and computer and we loaded in the van and left the house.

As I left the house I could see the fire rolling down the hills toward the golf course. It was like something you see on the evening news, not something you expect to see in your backyard.

The rest of the day was spent watching the local news, texting friends and neighbors for detail and updating family. The rumors spread faster than the fire itself. Every story exploding into something different. Everybody speculating on whose house had been consumed by the flames. People assuming and then spreading. And so it goes, I guess.

So far the official count is at 66 houses and 29 outbuildings and 1,038 acres burned.


Last night we stayed in a hotel wondering of what was to happen.

Tonight we are among the lucky. We are home. And although our house smells of potent campfire smoke and our deck, lawn and flowers are dusted in ash, our house and neighborhood was unharmed. Everything in our house is just as we left it {including the dough I had rising on the kitchen counter for last night’s dinner. yikes}. However, if you stand at the corner of our neighborhood and look out you see nothing but black ruins – skeletons of trees and houses that used to be. Power companies trying to restore power lines, fire crews still fighting, media sources trying to get the inside scoop.

We are so grateful. So thankful. So appreciative. We are also aware, concerned and prayerful for those who weren’t as lucky as us. For the friends, neighbors and ward and stake members that may have lost everything. Our thoughts are with them.


Although we are home and power has now been restored in our neighborhood we are still without gas, hot water, internet access etc. Right now we are at my little sisters house showering and quickly updating the blog. Fire pictures will be posted when I am able. As well as updated pictures of my sweet baby Marlee. Oh how we love her.


trulymegs said...

Oh my. I had no idea the fires were so close to you. So glad you are home, safe and sound!

Kerry said...

Oh I am so devastated to read this, I have seen the fires on the news but had no idea you or anyone I knew may have been directly affected. Thank goodness your house was spared, I would hate to see you lose everything and I feel so badly for those who have :(
Stay safe xo

Jami said...

This post made me cry! It is so sad for those that really did loose there homes and so grateful for those (You) that didnt!!! So crazy!

Jessica said...

Glad you guys are ok! What a crazy day--it doesn't take very long for life to change dramatically!

Lindsey Lou said...

It seems so surreal to even imagine losing everything you own to a fire. I am grateful you were able to get out in time and that you and your home are all safe. Thanks for posting and keeping us updated.

mammabug said...

Wow, I didn't even realize there was a fire in your area. I guess that's what happens when you're out of town and then kids run the tv.

We've been watching the Colorado fires. Glad you are all ok! We'll say prayers for those who were not so lucky and for those who are now just full of fear. Love you guys.

TraciFree said...

Oh Kim! This is terrible news. We're glad you were spared. I'm also glad to hear you can keep your head in a crisis situation : ).

ashley. said...

so glad your family is safe. i thought about this post all weekend. praying for those affected by this!

JHNickodemus said...

Eeek! Fires are touching everyone's lives! I'm so glad you're safe!

Jen said...

Oh Kim! How scary! I am so glad everthing is okay.

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