Posted in Anxiety, Disaster, Fire

One challenge down, another waiting in the wind

Last Monday the Crazy mattress nightmare was solved and actually worked in my favor. Robbed together, squishing a kingsize mattress out of the tiny abode didn’t seemed like a one man job, but was actually accomplished by one man. I was so skeptical and just couldn’t see it happen, but miraculously it did happen. Soon the mattress was loaded on a U-haul trailer and transported to my storage facility. The eminent problem appeared that there was no replacement mattress on order yet and both mattresses, the old one and the new one were gone, leaving behind a hard plywood platform for the new mattress. But that wasn’t even the problem and during the morning we received a fire evacuation warning for the area. Winds had shifted over the weekend and the fire was heading my way. Driving back it felt like I was driving into the belly of a monster that loomed high into the sky, threatening to choke off my breath with every passing mile. Cinnamon was riding co-pilot to me and I know she could pick up the vibe and worry. I actually made it a point to set my own fears to the side, to stay calm and comfort her by telling her that everything was going to be ok and that she’d always be safe with me. I wasn’t going to let anything bad happen to her.

Arrived at the tiny abode, the fire was awfully close and only a few miles away. People were starting to evacuate although it wasn’t mandatory yet and I couldn’t blame them. I quickly unloaded the car and made another trip to the local post office, hoping to intercept a few important parcels from Wales, England. My Luck continued and had I arrived one day later I would have missed my parcels and they would have gone back. Yeah, it’s a long story and quite the circumstances, but I got beyond emotional about everything working out during such a stressful time.

For the past week we’ve been under a close watch with the fire so close. We didn’t have to evacuate but conditions are checked throughout the day, especially when it comes to the wind. I want to say that we are out of the woods but I believe it when the flames are extinguished and no old threat remains. I need gentle rain and no lightening. Water reserves from a mild winter are beyond low after fighting these fires and although I am not praying for a harsh, strict winter, I know it is needed desperately. But first, lets hurry up and let my new mattress get here so I can get some well deserved rest.

Posted in Anxiety, Disaster, Fire

Fire warning watch

We have been under a fire warning watch for a couple of days when the evacuation notice came through. The national forests have been closed and as previously mentioned air qualities has been the worst in the world. There has been no shortage of full moments this week and it’s been filled with stress, worries and anxiety, keeping a careful watch on the ominous plume that rises to the sky only a few miles from me. Again, the winds have saved me so far and I’m beyond grateful. While most have evacuated despite the watch and not mandatory notice yet, I am still staying put in place as the danger and red flag warnings are fewer with each day. But make no mistake and know that everything is prepped to bail out quickly should it be required. The backyard is mostly taken down and The Tiny Abode is a mess. So please bare with me as I keep you posted.

Posted in Anxiety, Earth, Fire

Fortunate during unfortunate times

I am revisiting wildfire season again and we still have some weeks left to battle. I have been extremely fortunate this year during the most unfortunate of times. While multiple fires are still at large, my surrounding area has recorded the worst air quality in the world. In the WORLD, can you believe it. And even here I feel spared, mostly, but drive a few miles down the road and the scenery looks as grim as this picture I recently took.

I was mourning Summer this morning. Summer has become no longer enjoyable and it marks a time of great devastation, loss, fear, awful air quality and obstructed views. It’s like living in the thickest fog and the mountains disappear for weeks and months at a time. I remember last year and the many times we scouted out areas away from the smoke. It was crazy how far we had to drive to get away. It was a great time to explore our home state Nevada vs visiting the neighboring state of California which has been our main get away. It’s amazing how different two connecting states can be and it was a bit like the Sound of Music meeting Mad Max.

It is said that one of the current fires will not be contained until the end of September and another new fire just recently started, which is burning close to Lake Tahoe. It has destroyed more than 400 homes already. My blessings and prayers go out to those living close, in fear of losing everything. I know from last year what a frightening feeling this is and I pray for rain and these fires to be the last of the season.

Posted in Disaster, Fire

Dixie Fire

Each year California literally goes up in smoke and is ravaged by wildfires. I’ve lived on the Californian border for many years, but I don’t recall it ever being so bad like it has been over the last two years. I don’t remember the air quality index to ever reach the highest recording at 500 which is hazardous. Until now. By now the blue sky has turned a dark gray, thick mess with Lee’s than a quarter mile visibility. The mountains have disappeared and the sun is hanging a fiery red in the sky. Many have some sort of problem, from burning eyes, trouble breathing, scratchy throats and much more. Even Cinnamon seems to show signs of struggle although we are not outside and are trying to entertain the pooch in small confines. Thank goodness for a stuffed marrowbone.

The Dixie fire started too close to home for me and is threatening endless structures while wiping out entire towns. It has grown to 446,723 acres and is only 21% contained. It has become California’s 3rd largest fire in history so far and will perhaps set a new record. It’s hard to see the good in the devastation, people losing everything, precious animals burning alive and beautiful landscapes such as National Parks disappearing to never be the same in our lifetime. What used to be an occasional scare distant, never too close to home, has turned into a definite and just a matter of time before you will become the target of these super fires, these monsters that are capable to produce their own fire-nado’s and spread at dizzying speeds. It has turned into a constant fear. A fear of threatening weather and human error such as campfires not being dead out. The margin has become too large to invest in the future and build a custom tiny abode here. I had my eyes on a beautiful piece of property for sale, high up, surrounded by mountains with a killer view, but the risk is just too great. I pray that the brave firefighters who fight this monster and don’t even know if their own houses are still standing, gain control of the fire very soon. Blessed be…🙏🏼

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?