|Dry land needing a drink!|
|The fire hydrant in front of our house, ready to do battle.|
|We regularly burn debris on the land so we can keep it under control|
|Lyla, also called "Big Red" sits outside enjoying the sun on her bones.|
You might have to do battle with the blaze until the fire department arrives, but hopefully you'll have more than singular buckets of water. Here in the city, if a fire hits our home, we have a plan to meet at the growing oak tree in our front yard while calling 911. I have a little fire extinguisher in our kitchen, but I do depend on our local fire department more heavily than I would if I lived in the country. In the country, if you don't do some kind of battle with the blaze, it will certainly win because the fire department is simply too far away.
I've never fought a fire before, well, except for the one that I started when I was about 14 years old while in my room trying to smoke a cigarette. My parents went on a short outing, so I thought I'd try smoking...my very first time to try smoking. In my bedroom, I lit the cigarette, but I didn't even get to take a few puffs because my parents drove up. What were they doing back so soon? In a panic, I did what any 14 year old would do when smoking in their room, I threw the lit cigarette into my little trashcan. From my bedroom window that faced the front yard, I could see my parents coming up the house walkway, but I had just tossed the cigarette away and was trying to use a piece of paper to fan away any remaining cigarette smell. Then, I heard a crackling as my parents were now passing directly in front of my window; I looked over to see flames shooting up from inside my trashcan.
|My dad and my mother. With THIS dad, I didn't want to be caught smoking|
or starting a fire in our house.
This moment in my past serves to remind me that fire can take us by surprise; one small spark can light up our world in a devastating manner. Even when fire does not take us by surprise, it can overwhelm us and teach us all about the lack of mercy. Confronting a fire in the middle of a forest is an ordeal I would not want to face, but I want to be prepared. As my mother would say, "Expect the best, but prepare for the worst."
I hope the rains this week will come and that our drought here in Texas will be alleviated. However, after seeing widespread flooding and devastation from storms, I get nervous. After all, we just rebuilt our home after it was destroyed by Hurricane Ike and that is still in our short-term memory. I can't imagine having to go through such devastation again.
Before the hurricane encompassed our house, we watched the news and Hurricane Ike glowed on the weather radar. The hurricane loomed large, as if it were a terrifying monster approaching our home. Within hours, the storm whipped around our house and tore it to pieces, letting the rain fall down into the house as if it were an artificial rainforest structure. Sheetrock began collapsing, blown-in insulation whirled throughout the house, rain poured through the roof that had been partially ripped off by hurricane winds and a tornado, and every light fixture and air vent that remained had water pouring through it as if we were in an eerie horror movie. It was dark, there was no light, but water poured in everywhere. There was no shelter to be found.
It will be great if we can hold on and escape any other hurricanes. I definitely want to avoid tornadoes, but hurricane winds are like a tornado that won't come to an end, it goes on for hours and it's terrifying. So, I'm ready to move to the country, but my husband is on the tail end of his working requirement so that he can go on retirement, then we will be off for the woods and our farm life will finally be in full mode.
Until then, I will watch the weather reports and try to not hold my breath too often.