Posted in Fear, Phobias

Big Bertha, phobias and fears realized

I’ve aged 20 years this morning. Since my arrival here in Germany I’ve been thinking about Big Bertha. It would be a matter of time until we cross paths, perhaps not with her directly, but one of her cousins or the likes of them.

Big Bertha is a humongous spider that lived in the closet of Mom’s vestibule. I can’t even post a picture of what she looked like because I literally have a phobia of spiders, and don’t even care to see pictures of them. It started at the age of 9 years old as one of those huge bodied, black as the night spiders jumped on my head. I’ve been traumatized ever since and even killing one takes an act of extreme courage, overcoming, not thinking too much about it or looking at it too long, but just doing it and getting it over with.

Getting up this morning I stood for a second in the doorway to the living room. What would I tackle today, what was the game plan? It would be the last sunny day, I would also need to do laundry soon and although today seemed like the most logical choice being able to hang it outside, I felt that I needed to make some progress in the house since yesterday was mainly spent celebrating a family birthday.

Only a few seconds past as I glanced to the reindeer fur hanging on the wall next to me, which immediately made me jump back a step. There she was, Big Bertha in all of her ugliness and fright. I wish I could have called someone to remove her for me, but I was alone and I would have to handle it. I didn’t know how else but to smack her with the fly swatter. Carefully I took aim with the much too short handle. I couldn’t afford to miss and I finally struck. The fur made her bounce off towards me as if she had jumped onto a trampoline. I backed up further and she landed on the dark brown carpet somewhere. WHERE 😩. If there wasn’t enough panic already, this was the moment as I frantically searched, while looking for any movement. There, a few more swatting motions, lost legs, and then the cleanup. I am sorry if you love them but I was crossed out and while I doubt she will be the last sighting, secretly I hope she is. I just can’t deal with it and if I could be hypnotized or else undergo some treatment to lose my phobia over spiders, I would definitely consider it. I was uneasy for hours and I might even have manifested her by thinking so much about her, but changes are she’s been here, living undisturbed. Chances are she didn’t like all the commotion and disruptions I have caused in each room. Now I have this picture stuck in my head and wished I’d never saw her. And this goes back to the first closet sighting, years ago, which I never quite forgot either.

Posted in Anxiety, Fear, Pain

I might even cry today

Some days I feel like life is overwhelming and yet I know everything is moving along as smoothly as possible. There is just so much that is happening all at once, and because of it life feels heavy at times. Much needs attention as the time is ticking down and in less than 3 weeks I will be gone to Germany. Sometimes I don’t feel ready and on a day like today where I barely slept during the night because of physical pain, I can feel the fear and doubt creeping in. How will I manage the flight? How…how…how…is the theme song playing out in my head, and my faithful motto to trust, surrender and let it all unfold has vanished once more.

I feel more vulnerable and the pain reminds me of how quickly and swiftly it can influence my overall outlook. Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.

Another doctors appointment is around the corner in regards to my follow up and the x-rays. A referral to a specialist has been requested or submitted to treat my ongoing issues and perhaps halt further bone erosion in addition to the one in hands I already have. The pain meds prescribed, a fancy name for Aleve aren’t doing the trick and I still struggle way too much to go about my days.

Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.

In other news the countdown is on. Taxes are waiting to be addressed, Prescriptions need to be reordered and picked up despite not really making a big difference. The pain and sadness over the death of a loved one is still very fresh and demands attention and action. There is already a heartfelt separation anxiety that I feel when it comes to my loved ones and my beloved Cinnamon. Even to that small but very familiar space of the tiny abode in which I dwell in and have the comforts that I need. There is travel anxiety with a virus at large that most likely will never go away. Still being subjected to millions of people in airports and planes makes it almost unavoidable and impossible to not get sick. There is pressure about a rental car, about scheduling and getting a negative covid test prior to departure. There are things that are still not quite resolved as far as getting the things I want to keep back to the States, and where to, a way to figure out wifi coverage in Germany so I don’t feel soooo disconnected, and numerous other things.

As it is evident, I am overwhelming myself today. All because a continued lack of sleep and my constant pain levels. As the time is ticking away, I feel the pressure, and while there is so much to look forward to, it also remains simply overwhelming. And that while I have it easy, ha. It could be a lot different. But….

Today I feel vulnerable enough and I might even cry.

Posted in Chronic illness, Fear, Health

Facing the music…pt 2

My doctors appointment is behind me, at least the initial one and I continue here in pt.2. It’s been 4 years I have sought medical help and in large my own care has been in my own hands. There are many things I just know. Some started as hunches, others as “could it be” that resulted in further research, and yet others stem from a deep knowing as if I have been here before. Perhaps in a prior life I was a doctor, medicine woman/man, healer, or shaman myself. I can’t tell you where I know from, other than my gut and intuition have never failed me.

I was nervous going to the doctor, no doubt. There are things that are obvious to me but I still haven’t decided if it’s always good to know in detail what is wrong. What could go wrong…if…what is bad already….and what could be. It surely takes bravery to go see the doctor. The first blood pressure reading was 148 over 80. The second wasn’t much better. The nurse taking my vitals asked me a couple questions in regards to hypertension and told me that she would leave me sit for a moment. Over the course of the next few minutes the machine would take my blood pressure 6 times within 1 minute intervals. “Try to relax and breathe” she told me on the way out. Alone in the room I remembered my Self affirmations, my mantras I set for myself the other day and began to recite them in my head. Eyes closed, I sat, breathed deeply and told myself that I was loved and supported beyond measure. That I had no reason for fear and that nothing was my fault. I told myself that whatever happens would not be the end of my story, but merely the beginning. By the time she came back into the room, I had meditated myself from hypertension and a blood pressure of 148 down to 114 over 70. Everybody seemed relieved.

My doctor was a very young woman and in part I was very glad about that. I felt that perhaps she would be open to non traditional methods, to alternative medicine and healing, and she was. Problem is, that I need help quickly and unfortunately I don’t have much time to experiment and try various things, but I still had to make my intentions known. Right now the main objective is to reduce inflammation in the body so I can regain a more active life that is not overshadowed by constant pain. I received a topical creme for my left swollen knee with further instructions to follow the RICE concept. Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevate. For overall pain another inflammation fighting pill that I will take as needed and on a temporary basis. I slew of tests have been ordered when it comes to bloodwork, as well as x-rays of my knee and my hands. Not mentioning a Mammogram and other routine checkups. I will try to at least schedule my bloodwork for the end of next week and coordinate the x-rays as soon as possible.

Although I have only taken the pill once, I feel it did bring some relief in pain and I found it was easier getting around. Moving wasn’t associated with so much strain and I am thankful for every little bit. I’m still on a one cup per week coffee regimen and I’m sticking with tea. I will incorporate a targeted 30 minute routine that will include more walking, dance or whatever else I can. I am actually looking forward to it, if I can sustain and execute the plan due to less pain. We shall see. On the contrary, there is nothing to lose but everything to gain. I have big plans and I need to be well. I consider it done and my intentions to the universe who loves and supports me are clear. So mote it be!

Posted in Anxiety, Awareness, Fear

The remnants of Fear

The other days I realized that my thoughts have been cycling back to fear. Fear is such a big part of our life and almost a constant, something that is always in our lives, one way or another. Sometimes it is more dormant, almost not noticeable at all, while it is much more prevalent during other times. The other day I was wondering if we get so used to fear that we accept it as a constant, as something that just is and belongs into our lives. Do we adapt to it as a part of us?

For myself, I know that I have worked hard to surrender my fears. To let go of them and trust that everything will always find it’s way. I for one, do not like the anxiety and the stifled self that comes with fear and worrying about things that often never come to fruition. I think we have all been there and driven ourselves crazy before, and in the end none of our horror visions ever came true. Maybe fear is a cousin of doubt. Does it arise when we don’t fully believe? Perhaps it is also a cousin of trust and believe, arising when we don’t fully trust and believe in ourselves. Mmmh….sometimes I feel like doing my own detective work, being my own psychiatrist, my own mentor and of course I am all those things as you are those things to yourself as well. Sometimes we just need to talk it out I suppose.

So why am I talking about this now, and how come I feel this way? One big hurdle that remains to be conquered in my life is Germany and selling the house. I believe I have mentioned that two parties have come forward and are interested in the house. I’am not even there and thousands of miles away, it is literally selling itself. Well not quite that simple and my dear cousin is overseeing it all, but still, it couldn’t go any easier if this is what will transpire and become a final sale. So what’s the problem, why am I so anxious about it all? Probably it’s due to a variety of things such as doubt, trust and a lack of believing in myself that is leading to worries of how to get it all done. How to go through all the personal belongings and find the energy and strength to do it. I know it is not something anybody can help with as it is a part of closure, that coming to terms, that final letting go. I know that I have to do it and physically I am challenged quite a bit.

I muddle around every day, doing small projects here and there, trying to be more active, getting back to how I was years ago. Years when I was younger, years when I didn’t have the RA. It’s not realistic and I know I kid myself every day. I do projects and at the end of the day I look back and can’t see any significant progress, like I didn’t even come close to make a dent into my chores. And so they flow over to the next day, maybe that day will bring less pain and I can muster more energy. Have I made improvements – yes. Have I made strides for a better life and improved life quality – yes. Have I managed to do more by myself without the help of another – yes. And still it’s not enough and not quick enough. So I wonder during this time of added pressure, is this just a moment that needs to pass? A moment I worry for no good reason, where I allow doubt, not trusting the process and not believing in myself to sneak in and cause these remnants of fear to resurface? I know that I need to believe that everything will find it’s way. It has so far and it’s going smoother than anyone could wish for. I need to believe in myself and that the adrenaline will give me wings to complete this final project. I need to see it through and I need to trust that everything is guided and will unfold exactly how it is meant to be.

Posted in Anxiety, Authenticity, Fear

In good times and in bad times

Anxiety and fear is real. In fact it’s so real that all of us have experienced it in some form or another at some point in our lives. It has many faces and just the other day I was confronted with a scary incident that evoked such feelings . Many of us live in anxiety and fear every day, doing our very best to suppress and hide it and to not show it to the world. Could we be labeled weak, flawed, undesirable? Maybe even worse, we could feel judged, condemned, or ridiculed. These are all hurtful actions that would trigger a number of feelings and emotions just sending us further down the rabbit hole.

The topic has come up because last night a sweet soul made a post about being hyper focused on making her vision so clear that all of her fears become irrelevant. Sounds familiar, who else has been here? Maybe that’s not that unusual, but it becomes it when you as a bystander don’t realize, nor had any clue that the person next to you is holding such thoughts and feelings. It reminds me of what I said a long time ago when I was questioning how many of us suffer in silence. How many try to fit the mold of fitting in, of being accepted and validated. How many are too tough on themselves by setting unrealistic goals or think that they have to carry all of the burden themselves. I used to be one of those souls and I can look back on this in hindsight and recognize all the work it took to become aware, acknowledge, learn to forgive and love unconditionally, to grant myself a second chance, and to be patient with myself. It also has taught me to surrender and losen the reigns, to give up as much control as I possibly can, it is only an illusion and we are never truly in control of it all. It takes practice, trust and believe and it remains to be my work in progress as I am presented with new scenarios and experiences that continuously broaden my horizon.

Today I would question the purpose and the need for such a vision and statement. I would dig deeper to investigate my wounds and inner child that is creating such fears. I would be familiar with how to address these skeletons, how to call them out, even dance with them before asking them to leave. I would meet myself with unconditional love and forgiveness and remember that I don’t want to fit into anybody’s box and how they think I should be. Today I would remember that honestly I don’t need someone who only sees the good in me. Who is welcome in my life these days is someone who sees the bad and still wants to stick around. That is what unconditional is about.

Posted in Anxiety, Death, Fear

A happy ending

Yesterday could have ended much differently for us, and honestly I am still digesting what happened. By writing about it I hope to get some fear and anxiety that has set in in hindsight while seeing a much bigger picture off of my chest and I will feel better.

It started as a beautiful day, one of those rare mild ones late in the season where Father Winter can make an appearance each and every day. It was my first time out for an extended period since hiking The Wave. I felt good and I was going to go a little further than usual today. It should be no problem after my adventure to The Wave, and although I wasn’t planning to hike 10 miles, I’d be happy if I hit 3. I was breathing deeply and the sun felt nice and warm in the slight breeze. I took Cinnamon to a place, a point on a lake we have hiked several times in the past. Except today we would go beyond the bathroom which is usually our turning point. The path is a gravel road and goes through the woods. It ends at a point of the lake and if it wasn’t too muddy, this would be a great place for Cinnamon to run and burn off some energy. The entire hike to the point was peaceful and I was thinking about thanksgiving and how I felt this feeling of gratitude and giving thanks every day already. Who needed a calendar to dictate as to when you should feel this way, but I get it and understand why.

Arrived at the waterfront 1.7 miles later, Cinnamon walked right in and submerged herself up to her belly in cool bliss. I scanned the area and made out the dry patch of an open field to the left of us. It would provide a great area for her to run wild and free. Further left in quite some distance, I saw a group of three people with a dog. I felt that with any luck, she (Cinnamon) wouldn’t even notice them as they were far enough away. I let her loose and she ran like a maniac across the field. Ears flopping, smiling from ear to ear, mouth open showing teeth in such a delight and happiness that it always makes me laugh. I snapped a few pictures and glanced over to the group of people to see what they were up to. It’s a habit and something I always do, especially when I’m out alone. To be honest, I’d rather encounter no one and I’m sure this mindset stems from an experience many years ago where I was stalked and someone was following me. Strangely this happened at the same lake.

By now the group was breaking up and two out of the tree people with the dog were heading into the woods. The man dressed in all black, wearing a hoodie seemed overdressed for this warm day and was now starting to walk into my direction. Immediately I got a real bad feeling and was trying to make sense of what reason he could possibly have to walk towards me. There was no car parked that he was returning to, there was nothing besides the bathroom and I highly doubted that this is where he was heading to. My intuition and gut feelings were running rampant and I knew that we had to get out of there. I leashed Cinnamon in record time and started to briskly move. My goal was to walk off of the open field towards the trail in the woods. I was grateful having accomplished putting her on leash quickly and that she wasn’t playing any game of catch me if you can that day. In my mind I was trying to calculate of where the man in black would intercept me on the trail, me coming straight and him coming from the side. I was gauging the distance and I had no desire to meet him. I had hurry, hurry, hurry if I was to have chance avoiding him.

I looked over into his direction which was now on my right side to check his progress and where he was. He had disappeared which was even weirder and I knew again that something wasn’t right. I forced myself to move even faster and to get off of this darn open field. Almost there, and at least back into the woods I thought to myself as I saw him reappear and come out from behind a bush of which bare branches were tightly meshed together, reaching towards the sky. Again he was making his way towards me as the distance and the gap between us was closing in. Honestly I didn’t know if I would make it and escape him in time, or if our path would collide, but I knew I had to give it my best shot. And then I heard it and I will never forget that sound of two bullets passing just overhead of me and hitting the waterfront right next to me. He was shooting at us, why, clearly he could make me out as a person with a dog, just as I had made them out before. What reason would he have to shoot at us. I was thinking more about Cinnamon, it couldn’t be that he was mistaken her for a deer. Besides he didn’t look the least bit like a hunter. This was serious and adrenaline and survivals instinct took over. He was shooting at us, he wanted us gone. Cinnamons hair was standing straight up and she was visibly shaken from the gunshots as we continued to move.

We made it into the woods while never stopping to scan the side that was his direction to see if he was coming. “Should I hide and lock myself into the bathroom” I thought, which I quickly dismissed. How could I be sure of when and how it was safe to come out! I immediately knew I’d be there for hours and if he made in somehow and broke the door down, it would be lights out for sure. I had to keep going and follow the path close to the trees instead of walking in the middle of the gravel road which I usually do. Hopefully the trees would provide a “No shot” environment for us. Surely he’ll catch up to me with the RA and me being unable to run I thought, although at one point it felt like the adrenaline was carrying me so much that I might have been able to run. I didn’t try and I didn’t want to make more noise than I had to. Instead I walked as fast as I could. Ever so often Cinnamon stopped and looked back into the direction of the shooter. She will sense someone coming and hear someone long before you ever do and her doing this was even more nerve racking. It left me feeling followed and as if we were being hunted. I knew I had to clear another 1.7 miles to get back to the car. 1.7 miles that were sheer terror. If he was trying to scare us….mission accomplished for sure.

All of a sudden three more shots were fired and came directly from behind us. Not necessarily into our direction but on our heels. By now my feet were aching so badly, but this wasn’t a time to take it easy or even slow down. I managed to send a text message to communicate my where about’s and what had just happened. Luckily I had a signal and I hurried up just saying what I needed to as to not slow down and get distracted. We had to keep moving. FAST!

Eventually we made it back to the car and it must have been the longest 1.7 miles ever. Still looking in anticipation that the shooter was close behind us, I peeled out of there with Cinnamon and couldn’t even wrap my mind around what had just happened. After some distance, I was able to communicate another message that we were safe and had made it back to the car. Back at home, I lost the timeframe of a few hours somehow and I don’t even remember what I did in these few hours. As the adrenaline was wearing off, I felt so exhausted and drained. I was beat and I was so tired. I couldn’t force myself to complete the slightest task and just vegetated away. I don’t think I fell asleep and yet I have no recollection of that time.

Later that evening we were contemplating on what happened and the reality of hindsight set in. How this could have been a much different picture, ending in disaster and in what could have ended my life and Cinnamons. The conclusion we came up with was that that group of people was up to no good and that I became a witness to a potential drug deal. I was merely caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Shooting pictures of Cinnamon, perhaps they thought that I was photographing their interaction, which made me a threat. Why would someone with a gun shoot into the direction of people, me in that case, unless they wanted to eliminate that person? There was such a ruthlessness, such no hesitation in his action, it’s truly scary and puts into focus how far people are willing to go and how little a human life means.

Further we thought that he probably stopped his search once he had reached the bathroom. Few people, if any, park at the Main Street and then walk in 1.7 miles like I did. Out of frustration he fired the additional three shots that we heard behind us. He must have thought that I had driven off and didn’t realize that I was hustling through the woods to get away, still on foot. Had he realized this and known that it was slow going for me, I would have become an easy target for him and I’m most certain he would have pursued me.

Needless to say we are not going back there again. I am grateful Cinnamon cooperated and knew as well that we had to hurry and get ourselves out of there. I am sure she picked up on my own fear and that this was a dangerous situation. I slept little last night and felt cold. I remember feeling like that during a robbery I was held up in and at gunpoint years ago. Same feeling and I think it is the shock wearing off. Today we are just taking it easy and will walk a more populated path for our walk. I am still in awe, but I am grateful for this happy ending and that we are both still here. Today we have a new reason to give thanks and be appreciative that w have both gotten away.

Posted in Fear, Shadow Self, Trauma

How to recognize your shadow self

It’s been awhile since we last talked about the shadow self. In previous posts we learned to find the courage to face and to embrace our dark side, to meet her/him/it with love and compassion and understand that the actions from our shadow self usually stem from unsealed trauma. According to the witch of the forest here are a few more signs of how we can recognize this unsealed trauma. We might see it through weakness and not upholding healthy boundaries. Perhaps we self sabotage ourselves. This could come in the form of setting ourselves up for failure, of not believing in ourselves and low self esteem. It ties into a lack of confidence. We might be afraid to speak up for ourselves and swallow our words. Perhaps we say “yes” when in reality we want to say “no.” We could have feelings of jealousy and anxiety, or being passive aggressive all together. Have you entertained a round of comparing yourself to others? Do you struggle with addictions? Do you usually put yourself last, putting everybody else in front of you? Do you struggle doing the things you know are good for you?

These and many more behavioral reactions could be a part and the voice of your shadow self. Pain crying out to be acknowledged and validated. To be worked through and no longer banished into the darkest corners of our being. I believe that soon or later we all face these shadows as they will reappear and reappear until we do, bringing new chances and opportunity to release the trauma. Or we experience the pain of these wounds anew, over and over, each time they are triggered.

Posted in Anxiety, Fear, Life

“The Call”

Being so far away from Germany, the home and country I grew in has always had it’s challenges. And it’s not just my own internal struggles that I’m talking about such as not knowing where I belonged to and what to call home for many, many years, but a multitude of things. In later years as Mom grew old and sick, It was “that call” that I feared. As long as everything was silent the world was ok and so was she, although I knew it wasn’t always the case. Call it ignorant bliss, what you don’t know can’t worry you, it’s just how it was. And Mom never wanted to worry me, “what are you going to do anyways, so far away” she would say, warranting her thoughts and feelings. Today I feel for my poor cousin in Germany who has always been my informant, my right hand kind of person, my family. She has kept me posted of the good, the bad and the ugly. Like I said when it was silent things were good (presumably) and for years now she has taken over the tough job of telling me about the not so good things. She has a heart of gold and a compassion that is unmatched. I know that she has kept stuff from me to not unnecessarily upset me, but only to protect me. And she is 12 years younger than me, you’d think it should be me, the older cousin protecting her, but that is who she is. A strong and independent woman, always doing the right thing, always being sensitive to the needs of others. Always lending a helping hand regardless of leading a busy life and being stretched into multiple directions. She has tackled things with a smile for me, while never complaining. I don’t know what I’d do without her and I can only hope that I can make it up to her some day. I have a fantastic plan and hope to see it come to life within the short future.

When Mom was sick, I was afraid of getting “that call.” It was always like a ticking time bomb, I’ve constantly prepared that something could happen at any moment. During her last few years she was in the hospital more times then she was at home and it was always tragic and hard to support her from so far away. The only thing I could do was pray and wait for “that call.” It always left me feeling like a bad daughter, like I wasn’t there for her. Of course when things got really bad, I hopped on a plane to be by her side, but for the most part she always had to fight through everything herself. I often felt that my cousin was like the daughter she never really had in me, and it no longer causes pain today, for it brings me more comfort knowing that she wasn’t totally alone while I couldn’t be there. Once Mom passed it became obvious what heavy burden the fear of “that call” had placed onto me. I couldn’t help but feel a certain relief, no longer having to be afraid of it. Her suffering was over and in a way it was the end of mine too, although it was only the tip of the iceberg.

Later “that call” took on a new meaning as responsibilities in Germany remained and once again I was so far from it all, living here in the States. The fear about Mom had transitioned and changed into the fear about the House. Whether it was paperwork that needed to be completed, maintenance or just seeing that everything was ok, that the cellar wasn’t flooded, that the wind didn’t pry open the garage door, what to do with the fruit trees in front of the house, mowing the yard etc., the house has always kept me in check. It is here too that my cousin has jumped in and has handled everything with so much care and so lovingly during my absence. None of it is here responsibility and she’d tell you that it is what family does. I can’t thank her enough.

The end of August was the plan, to go back to Germany and handle my affairs. To finally get a headstone for Mom and to go through personal belongings, getting the house ready to sell. This plan was undermined dealing with a major flare up with the RA and I am still struggling. The thought of this undertaking instilled fear and seemed like a huge project to tackle by myself. Just getting there, the flight, when you barely walk, not knowing how you can rush to your connecting flight, all of it were valid concerns. I doubted myself under the conditions I am in, unable to envision how I could manage. Still it has to be done and I know that it is keeping me from my own life and from achieving my own goals and dreams. Sometimes I wonder if I even have the strengths and energy to chase it. I need a major boost, a break, an adrenaline rush to power through.

In the meantime, I was continuing to make arrangements, for Cinnamon, for myself, preparing for the end of August, but instead of better I got worse, to the point that I felt I had run out of time and the window was closing. I was wondering if there was a message in all of it, what was the universe trying to tell me! Eventually, after not coming with an answer, I relaxed around the subject and I was trying to go with the flow. Everybody I talked to thought it might be better to go in spring, after I got better (hopefully) and the craziness in the world around Covid and vaccinations, and restrictions might have eased up a bit. With it I started to feel a bit better with slight improvements about my health. I was still on the long and winding path of getting better while popping pills every day, but the pain was muffled.

And then “the call” came, due to no fault of my cousin at all who once again considered not to even telling me about what was going on, only to protect me. It was a matter of time and many times I have felt the calls urgency and that it was due. Two years had passed with a house standing empty, unoccupied, unheated, with too little fresh air running through it’s veins. A house in repair, a house no longer safe from moisture entering the stairwell and causing it’s own path of destruction. I am wondering if it is even safe to be within those walls, even for a short time as mold is growing. And now I am scrambling and the tears flow freely again. I find myself back in survival mode and the thoughts and worries about how to tackle it have taken a backseat row. It’s almost as if there is no other choice again and I have to figure out how to go, asap. Worrying about Covid and not being vaccinated doesn’t help of course and are only a portion to the rest of what’s going on. Once again I feel that that Warrior has to pick up her shield and just power through somehow. It’s amazing really how strong we can be and what we can accomplish when being strong is the only choice we have. Maybe it’s exactly what I need, that survival instinct to hopefully invoke the adrenaline rush and power to make it through this.

Posted in Disaster, Earth, Fear, Fire

Sadly it’s that time again

Wildfire season has started here in the states. Especially in California. A dream/ state to many with beautiful scenery, the ocean and it’s beaches, the mountains and it’s breathtaking wilderness trails. California, idolized by TV shows such as “Streets of San Francisco or Baywatch” it’s a must visit tourist destination. But there is also another side to this gorgeous state bordering Nevada my home state, and some of us have battled these monster fires last year, perhaps way too close to home, making it very personal. It definitely brings a different meaning to the table when one ignites in your own backyard. A meaning of fear and terror, of helplessness and times you involuntarily hold your breath, praying for the best, for the winds to shift, to be spared and lucky enough to walk away with a giant scare.

The biggest fire in California is burning and has started only a few miles from me. Called the Beckwourth Complex, by Thursday good progress was made with a 68% containment. So far 100,531 acres of land have burned and have turned into a dark, ominous wasteland. And yet new life will sprout once more, even though we will never see it’s glory and beauty of how it was in our lifetime again.

Lucky in an unlucky situation I call myself, and thank the winds for not turning on me, blowing the flames away from me vs. into my direction. As much as I love to listen to thunder and lightening, the consequences and chances of a wildfire starting are just too great and last year was awful. Many predict this year to be even worse since it is so dry and we are well on our way. For me it really puts into perspective where I want to settle down and perhaps build my home in the future. Fire insurance for a home is through the roof here, understandably why and I can see myself wanting to live with such a huge threat every summer. In an instance all could go up in smoke, and perhaps this is a state I will always love and visit but most likely will not put my roots down.

Once again I bow my hat to all the brave souls, our fire fighters and volunteers that fight these monster fires, risking their life to keep ours safe. May everyone stay safe and protected, may all the animals escape unharmed and find lusher meadows to graze on. Blessed be…

Posted in Challenges, Fear, Fire, Inspiration

Close to home – The first fire

We had the first fire close to home, and all of a sudden fire sirens pierced through the silence and idyllic settings. I was taken by surprise to hear such a sound, here, on a dirt road, and it wouldn’t be the only time a “what the hell” moment was visible on my face for that day.

I turned and could see the plume from the lake where Cinnamon and myself were cooling off. Black smoke rose to the blue sky, coming from the same direction of our new home. I had cooked chicken earlier before leaving and I’m not sure why it even crossed my mind, questioning myself if I indeed turned the stove off. Of course I did, I had cleaned up afterwards and I would have noticed. I would have burned myself. Either way, we cut our visit short and drove back towards home and the direction of the ominous plume. I was relieved to find the fire extending further south, but it was still close and the breeze of the wind could shift and push it through the miles in no time. I had to know where it was coming from and how bad it was.

Apparently it was a downed power line that started the fire in a nearby village. Fire crews were able to get a good handle on it and contain it within a few hours. I’m not sure of the damage but I’m sure glad that everything ended relatively harmless compared to the thousands of acres that burn during wildfires. And it is that season, which brings me to my other “what the hell” expression.

A few party people arrived the other day. Loud, drinking, partying until the morning hours, with little consideration for the otherwise pretty quiet surroundings and neighbors. It was early evening that a few decided to do some target practice right next to the park. Single shots, and rapid fire echoed through the silence, lasting a good 20 minutes. Now that was a sound I wasn’t expecting to hear, especially here, and it took me equally by surprise. It definitely added a different element to lying in the hammock, relaxing, looking at the trees. It was just the sound I wanted to hear. While a fire was raging just miles down the road, wasn’t anybody thinking about that shooting bullets into a dry, high fire danger, could ignite a spark and therefore another fire, this time far too close to home?