The Waldo Canyon fire is travelling north of the Air Force Academy--
it's literally across the street (I-25) from our neighborhood.
We can see the Chapel from our house
and the beautiful mountain range behind it.
We didn't think the fire would reach the AFA.
Certainly didn't think (and still hoping it doesn't) reach Monument.
Monument and Palmer Lake are under "pre-evacuation" notice.
When that notice was given yesterday,
Mr. Wonderful came home from work early
our family packed up treasures and necessities
just in case that fire crossed came to our side.
Ari packed and re-packed her Build-A-Bears.
Joseph fretted about not being able to take his humongous
trebuchet he just built in Summer Camp,
as well as his army tank collection.
Dara--well, she's 17, so everything she owns is "priceless",
so we just told her how much space she could have and
left it to her to decide how to fill it.
I walked around the house looking for
"what means the most" to me--
Photo albums, for sure.
A couple of journals.
Our family portraits.
What would not be packed to go with us
are just two things--
sentimental Christmas ornaments
and my favorite red dishes.
This fire and smoke has given me an opportunity
to see things
I don't need all the things I think I do
to be happy.
Oh yeah, stuff makes life easier,
But when it comes down to it,
I can survive with alot less.
We went to bed watching the mountain range,
which earlier in the day
was billowing with smoke,
but at nightfall looked calm
after hours of C-130s flying over and dropping
slurry and water.
It was a comforting feeling to go to bed
without seeing orange flames on the mountainside.
So many people are praying for our part of the world!
So many family and friends have extended their faith and love
for our people and land...
you just have to know that those of us who live here,
our city and our mountains.
We are a faith-filled community--
we are a patriotic people--
so many of our citizens have fought on foreign soil
to protect our country.
So to see our beautiful mountains on fire
grieves our souls.
Our community food banks and shelters are "overwhelmed"
with donations and offers of service.
Prayers have been heard and answered.
Where Colorado Springs has had record-setting high temps
this past week,
it is finally cooling down and clear skies today.
Our leaders who are fighting this fire
are encouraging and hopeful
that their efforts will not be hampered today
by extreme weather.
That's all great news for us
as you can imagine.
Yesterday looked bleak.
We calmly directed the family
to be prepared,
to be ready,
to be faithful.
Kent nor I ever got emotional
in the process.
That was important for our children,
to assure them of their safety.
We still made meals,
still did chores,
still worked and played.
We had the kids water down the fence and the wood chips in the back yard.
We had them turn the sprinklers on twice.
Letting them participate was/is important.
The fires are still burning,
over 18,500 acres, with 5% containment.
Pre-evacs, Mandatory evacs are still in place.
But there have been no new ones.
It's going to be a long battle to contain the whole thing
but I have hope that soon enough
this whole tragedy will be over,
and our community can get busy helping our neighbors
who've lost everything
put their lives back together.
Thank you for your prayers.
Please continue to offer them for us.