Friday, September 11, 2020

Ten Things of Thankful

Like a ride on an emotional roller coaster might be one way to describe this week, but here I am and ready to share my Ten Things of Thankful. In spite of what gets thrown one's way, being able to see the blessings helps weather the storm. I am linking this post to the blog hop Ten Things of Thankful hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me

Before I share my big ten, I want to share the unusual way my Monday began which made me laugh. Little did I know that laughter would be hard to come by the rest of the week.

*Thankful for spider traps, but not when they work as a mouse trap (Just to get the full picture: This spider trap had been located behind a piece of furniture about 15 feet away. How this little guy managed to get stuck on the trap and make his way all the way to this throw rug is beyond our imagination! There is so much more to this story, but that will be saved for another day and time.)

Early morning bird conversations which seem to be Gobble-Squawk otherwise known as communications between a turkey and a jay somewhere among the trees in the property below ours

People in California have been dealing with constant fires all summer in multiples areas throughout the state. In Oregon forest fires are usually in less populated parts of the state on the east side of the Cascade Range or in the mountains in the southern part of the state. Occasionally there are fires on the west side of the Cascades, but they are usually put out fairly quickly except for historic fires, such as the Tillamook Burn. 

This week that normal fire pattern changed because of an atypical wind pattern. Characteristically, the winds blow in from the Pacific Ocean, or in other words, blow west to east, but not this week! Not only was there a directional change, but the winds were strong, the kind one possibly expects in the winter. A strong wind storm came up over the Cascades heading toward the ocean. The gales caused downed power lines which in turn sparked fires in the dry forests and surrounding areas. Unfortunately the fires are still rampaging and getting nearer to larger cities and causing more people to evacuate their homes, seek safety and get help at evacuation centers which have been set up. 

An ominous view from our property
as we looked to the east about
 11 am on Tuesday

Fortunately we are still in our own home and the fires have not reached our community, but we remain ready in case that scenario should change. At this time the winds have died down considerably here, but there is heavy dense smoke and warnings to stay inside if possible because the air is so unhealthy. At the beginning of the week, there was a forecast that we possibly would have rain by Thursday, but each day that forecast has been pushed further away. Now the forecast is that we might not see any rain until Monday night. Although not having strong winds are good for not spreading embers from the fires and sparking new fires, it is not good for pushing that smoke out toward the Pacific. It is a kind of a sticky wicket. 

A view of the sky filled with
dense smoke as we
looked to the west 
between 6 and 7 pm
Thursday evening

1. We are alive. (Some people lost their lives this week in the fires.)

2. We are able to stay put in our own home. (There are homes that were burned to the ground because of the fires.)

3. Although we lost power for seven hours one night, we had some stored water in case of an emergency. When the power goes out, we do not have running water because  there is no electricity to run the pump for the well.

4. No big branches fell from the large trees lining the lane, or the large trees on our property.

5. We were able to charge our devices during the power outage because I charged the power bank as soon as I heard the forecast for high winds.

6. Trial runs, i.e. packing and gathering what we want to take with us if we need to evacuate

7. Online maps that show where the fires are and what stages of evacuation have been announced for cities near the fires

8. Emergency alerts and public safety alerts on my phone

9. Fresh air which has been lacking since Monday night when the smoke of hazardous levels took over the skies

10. Blue skies and billowy white clouds before they were  replaced by gray dense smoke

Extra thankful - My husband and our children and extended family, who listen, who care, and who love

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  1. I'm glad to hear that rain is at least in the forecast. I heard that the winds should be shifting and blowing west to east again in the next few days. I hope that's right (even if it does mean Utah gets some of that smoke). Stay safe!

    1. Yes, supposedly some rain is on its way. One forecaster said that with the shift in the wind direction that some of the smoke that has been moving toward the Pacific may be coming back to us. I am so sorry about all the smoke that is going to be heading east. We are staying as safe as is possible, which basically means staying inside.

  2. Good to hear that the advance of the fires is not increasing in an immediately dangerous sense... (can identify with the importance of electricity for living in a civilized way, as opposed to camping*)
    (I don't want to know how big the local spiders are to warranty a trap capable of stopping a mouse in their tracks)
    Have a good week, hopefully with rain.

    *not that there's any wrong with camping! but running water is a technology I would rather not live without

    1. Wolf spiders live in the valley here and seem to be more prevalent certain times of the years. They can get up to two inches long (including the legs). They are not my favorite thing to discover. The trap is much longer than that and I do not ever want to live where there are spiders larger than the those that live in our area.
      Yep, I am a fan of running water too.

  3. Holding you up in prayer and others, as well.