Sunday, April 17, 2011


Hail stones are bad. Tornadoes are worse. My brother phoned this morning to let me know a tornado missed his house by a block. Thank heavens no one in his area was harmed.

But the phenomenon residents of rural areas fear most is FIRE. We have no fire hydrants. Most wells in our area are low volume and would soon pump dry. We depend solely on pumping fire trucks and volunteer firemen.

West Texas Wildfire

High winds make fire's threat much more serious. This past week we had hurricane force winds up to 60 miles per hour. Dry winds that in some areas downed electric lines. Fire has destroyed thousands of acres of Texas the past few days. Brave firemen--many of them volunteers--fought around the clock against unbearable heat and unrelenting winds. One fireman lost his life when he was overcome by smoke. Even miles from the fire, we've been tasting dust and ash for days. My eyes feel as if they've been sandpapered. I can't imagine what conditions are like for the firemen.

What's left of a home

My heart ached for the families who had to evacuate suddenly. More so for those who lost everything. Their homes may have represented the work of a lifetime. What could they salvage?

Disasters force us to prioritize. Long ago Hero and I decided what we’d hurriedly load in the car should we have to abandon our home. What would we take? Pets, of course, but what else? For us, it’s the family photos and other family memorabilia. Tax information and other records. A few clothes. A painting or two. Our PC’s.

 We’d have to leave behind those posessions we all have in our homes. The “things” we once thought valuable. Books, furniture, knick knacks, extra clothes, bedding, tools, our hobby collections, and on and on. Losing everything else would slice open our hearts, but we’d survive. It might not feel like it for a while, but we would.

Tomorrow's promise
 The point is, it’s possible to replace “things” from a store. Sometimes we can replace photos from friends and relatives. Memories remain forever and no one can steal them from us. Those experiences shape and become part of each of us. “Things” don’t define who we are, do they?

And we're comforted by the knowledge that, no matter how tough things are today, tomorrow promises new experiences and opportunities.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wildfire photos from the WFAA website.


Maria Papadopoulou said...

This is so scary....but you are correct. At times like these, we are forced to think about what is more important for us,

Geri said...

Caroline, here in Texas it seems we're always dealing with something. Wild fires, tornadoes, thunderstorms, cold, heat and drought. These are things that just happen. We all need to be thankful for what we have and you being my friend is one of the things I'm very thankful for.

Celia Yeary said...

Agreed, wildfires are devastation with a Capital D. Here in Central Texas, our home is in a "subdivision", each owner having about 3 acres, lots of live oaks, and in places, too much tall dead grass owners will not keep mowed.
Still, nothing has happened except a few years ago when a fire was behind us on the other side of a small canyon, and if the fire "jumped the canyon", we would be in danger. The Sheriff came by every house and asked us to evacuate. No way, my husband said. We're staying. The wind shifted...we were safe.
But then, a couple of months ago, a neighbor and good friends of 30 years, went away one morning to shop, etc. and when they came home and opened the door to their house, discovered the inside was burning like crazy. All they could do was jump back out of the way, while the house burned to the ground. We've all suffered for them...but nothing like the couple who lost every single thing they owned except the clothes on their backs.
Cause? Electrical fire, probably from a very old heating/air unit.
Still, the weather can, frightful! Lived with it my entire life, much of the time on the South Plains in "tornado alley."
Good post, Caroline.. Celia

Sarah Butland said...

And of those items that can be bought I wonder how many the average person would part with before a disaster.

We are now such a materialistic society ranking our clutter as social status instead of how we spend our time. I've been terrible but am purging and donating what I can to less fortunate community members.

Although not a disaster as "newsworthy" and certainly not as devastating as wild fires, tsunami's or the like, I feel all communities have natural disasters as of late. These disasters include our physical and mental health which can be avoided and cause less stress on everyone if hit with something such as a wild fire.

Let's prepare now by understanding what's most important in our lives.