The Hub and I were away for the weekend for our 6 year anniversary. When we got home we had a call from his family that a wildfire was threatening their family cabin.

I don’t know if you have been watching, reading and hearing about the Wallow Fire in Arizona, but I have since been avidly reading the news online for two reasons. One is because my Hub’s family have a cabin in the white mountains slightly north of Greer Arizona. They have been vacationing there for generations. I know the happy memories I have gathered from going are a drop in the bucket for their family and the other families who have been there for decades. The other is how much I can empathize with the people who have to leave their homes with the real possibility of losing everything.

The Hub and I were here in San Diego during the October 2007 California wildfires. Ash fell like snow and the sky was a hazy pink cloud as the fires crept closer in to Eastlake. I actually packed up what I determined were the most important things in our household as the evacuation orders spread through our Eastlake communities. You can ask you self, “What would I take in an emergency,” but until you actually have to choose you can’t understand the feelings involved. You realize how many memories and special moments you associate with your home and belongings. At the same time you realize that they are things and your loved ones come first. The dichotomy between these two, life or things, becomes blurred then clarified over and over as you gather what you will take with you possibly for the last time. I ran through our home with my camera taking a visual home inventory of every thing for insurance purposes before I drove over to a friends place closer to the coast. Thankfully the fires were stopped when the wind finally slowed and all that I had to do when we returned was dust every crevice of the house because of the ash. We were lucky compared to so many other families. I felt bad that I was celebrating when so many families lost everything. Now as I did then I’m sending “good vibes” to everyone who is in need. That’s what my mom calls all sorts of prayers, hopeful thinking and condolences. I don’t have any information about how to assist yet. I can always recommend the American Red Cross as we have donated in the past.

Here are a few pictures from my last trip to the cabin and what I hope still remains after the fire is put out.

The cabin was named Peckers Haven because of the woodpeckers in the area. When you are sitting inside you can hear them tapping away at the trees around the cabin.

Hanging from most of the window sills are little light refracting crystals. They have been collected by the Hub’s grandmother through out her years visiting the cabin. In the evenings as the sun starts to dip little rainbows dance on the pine walls inside.

The Hub and his family have been keeping journals from each of their visits since his family purchased the cabin. Most of the entries are in Grandma Wanda’s looping script about daily activities and evenings with friends. Though I am guilty myself of ceasing to write in cursive, I look at these journal entries and think how much more beautiful they are compared to my chicken scratch. In school writing in cursive was mandated till high school for me. I hated being forced to write just like everybody else. I jumped at the first chance to throw off the shackles of cursive writing, and haven’t missed it till now.  I’m going to try and write in cursive since we type everything else in life, then watch this younger tech savvy crowd deal with it. Haha read my rounded-slightly-slanted script cheeky teenager!

One can not go to the cabin without reading material. There is no TV and no computer there. Just all nature, all the time.

We go elk “hunting” in the evenings. This consists of trying to shoot them with my telephoto lens not any caliber of rifle. It’s more accurate to say elk “spotting” but I guess we have to man it up for all the lumberjacks in the family. This kind of man logic never ceases to amuse me.  Example, it’s not “Bed Bath & Beyond”, but “Blood Bath & Beyond.”

Verbena loves it up there. She keeps the evil squirrel population from invading the cabin. Oh and those dangerous sticks! Well, she will collect and chew them up so the a fore mentioned evil squirrels don’t use them to attack. This is what puppy heaven looks like.

I didn’t want to forget to thank the courageous firemen and women working to save lives and communities. Thank you and stay safe.

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