Colorado Springs is burning ...a full week after the first flames in Waldo Canyon.
• Smoke from fire one mile away. Taken from back deck, Tues. 6/26/12, 4:30 PM [Houses on top of ridge, far right, are now gone. We watched them burn at 10 PM Tues.] •
At 12:05 AM Tuesday night (26 June) there was an incessant ringing of my door bell, like a little kid who was enamored of the idea of making a loud bell noise by just pushing a button. The uniformed law enforcement officer on my porch was neither little, or a boy.
"We're evacuating the neighborhood, sir."
"How long do I ha - - "
"Now. As soon as you can grab what you need and go."
Fifteen minutes later, probably less, I was loading computer bag, a travel bag with 3-4 days of caual clothes, a few pairs of shoes, toiletries ...all windows were shut and locked. Lights off. throw me and my stuff in the car - -
Officers in the street: "Did someone come to your door, sir."
"Yes. I'm going."
[A few hours earlier I was sitting at my local Strbx as the skies in every direction filled (from the ground up) with smoke and the streets filled with cars headed East, away from their beutiful homes a mile up the hill. Road blocks were laid down. EMergancy equipment, flashed by. I repaired to Village Inn for wifi and dinner. They closed "early"—an hour after my meal—they're usually 24/7.]
— — — —
I reached Heather and Trey's just before 1:00 AM. Hugged my friend who had called while I was at Strbx, "Are you okay?"
"If you need a place ...even if it's the middle of the night."
We sat and stared at the all night, all day local news coverage.
Last night, during a sumptous dinner (prepared by Chef Try) the news announced that "Kissing Camels" (really)—my neighbor hood—and a few others would re-opened to residents at 8PM.
"Why don't you stay and go back in the morning." Heather said.
"I've got another bottle of red I'll need some help drinking." Trey said as if he was inviting me to have a bit more salad.
News, red wine, freinds indeed ...
Got "home" late this morning to a quiet, sunny neighborhood. A few cars in driveways that were empty three nights ago.
As I entered the house it was cool and quiet.
UNFORTUNATELY ...everything was right where I'd left it. Not quite post-rapture, but "lived in."
I called my good friend Bill right away. This is his home. I've been sitting for a couple years now and I wanted him to know all was well. He had followed the news from afar and knew that the fires—at their height—had come within a mile of us. (See "burn map" below).
As I walked throught the house, opening windows, starting laundry, fixing a glass of cold juice ("Re-Charge"!), checking email/Facebook/Twitter/et al and the TV news folks showing plans for the President's visit here in "the Springs" ...I stopped to look around the kitchen, great room ...my studio/office.
What is ALL THE STUFF?!
What if it was now all gone—like 346 homes not that far away that were full of families and life a week ago and were now charred embers and phtots on the Denver Post website?
What would I miss the most: all my old sketchbooks, hat collection, "big desk" ( a rolltop that became the namesake for my email) ...the assorted collections and holdings of my life and travels.
I have been sorting through it all—slowly. Steadily. I suspect it will be easier, now, to get rid of lots more stuff.
1. remove, clear, move out, take away, shift.
BURN MAP: Red circle = my neighborhood; BLUE line = Garden of the Gods Road; GREEN cirlce = Garden of the Gods Park. Freeway (I-25) runs Norht-South just to the right (East) of maps edge. Dates and colored zones indicate fires progress.CLICK TO ENLARGE
Colorado Springs is burning ...still. Pray for fire, rescue and law enforcement folks. AND those who have lost property and friends, and family. Pray for rain. God knows and he likes hearing from his children.
If you had to evacuate, what would you grab to take with you? What wouldn't you miss if it were gone when you returned?