This last Thursday started innocently enough. I decided to make a batch of brownies. Well, not "real brownies" with 2 cups of sugar and enough butter to alert the cholesterol police! This recipe was featured on a Dr. Oz segment, healthy, healthy, but how would they taste? I was up for the challenge.
The only problem was the typical Northern Nevada weather pattern indicating the presence of a huge storm. (always on the western side of the mountains, stalling in California) The winds around mid morning were gusting at over 100 miles per hour in our neighborhood and 80 or so through the Washoe Valley which hugs hwy 395, a major thoroughfare. With each gust, I couldn't help but have thoughts of "What if a fire started"?
The next thing I knew I was gazing at the hills to the southeast of us and plumes of smoke were beginning to blow in the distance. How long would it be before they reached our area and where were the flames originating? What do I do, who do I call, and what do I begin to evacuate. (The media was suggesting a voluntary evacuation for our area) Holy crap!
|On the next ridge!|
So, being the calculating person that I am, I had years before (when we were threatened by another forest fire) organized pictures, important papers, etc. and placed them in one general area so they would be easier to grab. When you live in our area it's not if, but, when another fire will come roaring through.
My car trunk was filled with our memories and paperwork, so I went from room to room and photographed the contents. All I would need to do was grab my cat, computer tower and go. I realized as soon as my hubby and son arrived to help, I was surprisingly calm. As I looked around the house, a home that we built some 24 years ago, I knew we could always rebuild, but I could not replace the people in my life. Stuff is just "stuff" . It can all be replaced.
As the time passed, the fire grew to about 3100 acres, flames could be seen, the highway patrol came door to door, but we decided to stay until evacuation was mandatory. I'm sure many of our friends and family thought we were nuts, but deep down I knew we'd be okay. Fast forward to Friday. Driving into town I could see the charred patterns on the hills around us. Pretty daunting! When I arrived home this was my view.
Friday evening the fire was about 65% contained, however the winds were howling again. The storm that had sent a crippling icy rain to the Northwest, stalling in California was beginning to find its way over the mountain and wind driven drizzle pierced the air. By nightfall a drenching rain was enveloping the area and we woke to a fresh blanket of snow! Hooray!
Thanks to many of our friends and family who called, etc. to express their concern and offer help. We appreciate you all!
And for those brownies......remember those? I'll post the recipe tomorrow for those. Quite a surprise...you'll see what I mean.
Enjoy your day, your weekend and hug those around you. It's really all we have that's worth anything! Lesson learned!