Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fire


I have spent 34 years watching the news. Watching natural and man made disasters - hurricanes, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, 2 Gulf Wars, assasinations and countless murders. To be perfectly honest - it all had a sense of detachment to it. With the exception of 911, none of it directly affected me.

That all changes when you turn on the news and see the above image - a raging fire approaching YOUR HOUSE. Suddenly, it's very real. Ash is falling from the sky covering everything in my yard, the sky is black at 12 noon and the world smells like a smoldering campfire. Yeah, it's very real.

Almost every town around us has been evacuated. Thankfully there are no casualties and only one house has been officially lost, but thousands of my neighbors are in shelters right now waiting to see if their house is next.

If the winds do not change, we should be ok. If they get stronger, well, we're fucked. I just spent the last hour video taping every belonging in our house for insurance purposes. My wife and I made a list of valuables we will begin to pack if the flames get closer. Suddenly, I am not watching people in New Orleans lose their entire life's work...and then going for a dip in our heated swimming pool.

The fire is affecting phone and cell service so it might be difficult for us to contact anyone soon but know that if the fires come closer during the night we will evacuate and be safe. We can get another house, not another family.

It took 20,000 acres of flames, but I think I'll watch the news a little differently now.

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