To say that I am grateful is putting it mildly. Life is returning to a more normal state for some of us, but for many who lost their homes and loved ones due to the fires in our state, it will be a long road to recovery. Listening to their stories of escape and loss have been heartrending, and yet there are stories of tender mercies in the midst of it all. The outpouring of so many people of all ages trying to give provide aid in such a variety of ways also has been inspiring.
Not knowing when and if one would need to evacuate, plus the hazardous air quality making it dangerous to even leave one's home unless absolutely necessary consumed our thoughts and preparations. Those in our age category and health concerns were being told to stay inside unless absolutely necessary.
There had been several forest fires already burning in the state this summer, but right after Labor Day, there was a wind storm (unusual for this time of year) and trees fell across roads and on power lines which sparked fires that spread into the existing fires and also burned small towns in the Cascades which separate the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. These fires became massive.
The highway we take when we go to Central Oregon has a 60 mile stretch that is now closed because of all the trees and debris from the storm and the fires, and the unstable hillsides and road conditions. It is uncertain how long it will be before travel can resume using that particular highway.
Linked to the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop hosted by Kristi of Thankful Me
Toward the end of last week we were hearing reports that we possibly could expect some rain as soon as this past Tuesday, but that didn't materialize until late Thursday, but it did come accompanied by a lightening and thunder storm.
2. Flashing lights in the sky in the middle of the night
The lightning was flash lightning and it seemed no matter which direction one looked there were flashes of light. I didn't mind waking up to the sound of the thunder and the accompanying light show in the middle of the night. I know there were many besides myself who giving thanks for the much needed rain that night.
3. Clean air
I don't think I have EVER been so grateful for clean air. One doesn't really appreciate it until it isn't available. We began to feel hopeful that the air quality would improve when on Monday we saw some blue sky after some neighbors called it to our attention. The first photo was taken last Sunday. Most of Monday, as we looked out our windows facing south, it continued to look a lot like this first photo. We hadn't gone upstairs to look out the windows that faced east and west and didn't even realize that some sections of the sky high up looked like the second and third photos. (Note: Our home is built into a hillside, so we don't have windows on the east and west sides on the main level.)
|Dense hazardous air quality caused|
the smoke filled sky
|The next day we began to see clouds|
|and blue sky as we looked out |
windows facing different directions
4. Fresh salmon
A neighbor shared their bounty after having caught a salmon this week. We were blessed with a fresh salmon steak for one of our meals.
5. A neighbor using his clever self-made tool to take a peek at one of our high gutters and thus eliminating any need to climb a ladder to see if there was anything blocking the downspout and if there was much ash in the gutter
6. Lessons learned from experiencing difficult events
The experiences of the past couple of weeks caused us to reflect on exactly how ready we were to leave should we need to evacuate.
7. The Audible book I had been waiting for and had preordered arrived this week
8. Connections with others
I was thankful to be able to have the reassurance that an aunt had been able to safely get to another place when the fires were encroaching the town in which she lives. I appreciated the texts, etc. from others wanting to know if we were safe, and also that I could use the same means to check on my family in areas affected by fires and smoke.
9. The scriptures
There are so many passages in the scriptures that help me personally to endure, to have faith and to have hope.
10. The sacrifices and dedication made by others to make the world a better place
A huge thanks for Vic and our family