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Smoke Signals

Sunday, July 28, 2013

This is a picture of the lightening storm that cause so many fires. If you look at the circle at the bottom . . . that's where we live.

Presently, the nearest fire is about 15 miles from us. On the danger list, it's #2 because it is in such rugged, unaccessible territory.

The wind is playing havoc . . . one minute it's driving from the south (a good thing as that pushes it back on itself) and half an hour later, the wind is driving it down the gorge towards a tiny secluded community on the Illinois River.

When the wind blows down from the North, the smoke from the big fire on the other end of the county lays a dark blanket over us.

But it makes for some interesting pictures

Anyway, that's the big fire scene.

On the local front, there's a farmer about a mile from us that has a big field of barley that he's been trying to harvest. Since we are in extreme fire conditions, activities involving mowers and motorized equipment are heavily restricted and only during certain hours. Well, this guy is in a panic to get his grain harvested. So far, the Fire Department has been called out 5 times - yes, FIVE TIMES - in three days after his field caught fire due to his harvesting efforts. Needless to say, the neighborhood is ablaze with indignation!

Yesterday DH and I decided we'd do what we could on home front before shut down hours went into effect, so we got up early and got it done, and then we took off. We rode South, over the hills and to the coast. 62 degrees was certainly a nice change from the 97 to 103 we had last week. We put on about 350 miles. It was a good ride and by the time we got home, we both had a real good case of TB (tired butt)!

PS Thank you to those who have left messages about our getting out safely if called to evacuate.

To illustrate my point, there is a dear couple I met since I started the neighborhood watch groups in my area. On Friday morning, we woke up to the news that their home had caught fire (caused by an electrical fire due to an overload on an extension cord). The husband made sure his wife (she has limited mobility) was safe outside, then went back in to get their cat or something. He never made it out.

DH and I have discussed many times what we would do if we had time to prepare (ie if we were on evacuation alert). We actually have a list of what to load in the car hanging on our frig.

However, with that being said, as prepared as we think we may be, when awaken out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night by fire (or whatever disaster), the best we can hope is that we'd go into 'auto pilot' and run with our game plan.

But one thing we agree on, that there is nothing in this house or on this property that is worth risking our lives for.

I hope each of my SparkFriends have given thought to what you need to do in case of emergency. Sorry to end this on a downer, but most of us have lived enough years to realize that stuff does happen.

So, get out there and make the best out of today.

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