I don’t know if you heard, but California is on fire. No really. There are currently several fires being fought over there and some of the video looks like the next apocalypse. I know that fire fighters from here in Arizona have been sent to help fight and people I know are being evacuated. It is a scary situation. I know because I have been there. Many years ago, there was a fire by my house and my Seester and I had to be evacuated. It taught me many things, like what was important, but also that my Seester had no idea who her Grandparents were.
My Seester was visiting me for the weekend when we heard there was a fire nearby that had been started by a tire blowing out on the freeway. You see, I live in the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine tree forest and every summer fire is a true problem. The forest service is even known to shut down the forests around here to hiking, biking and camping if fire danger is too high. Seester and I wondered how close the fire actually was and decided to go outside and see. As we walked outside, I noticed that it looked like it was snowing outside, which was weird since it was June. Well, not too weird since I have known it to snow in June here as well (Yes, it snows in Arizona. I live at 7000 ft, remember). Seester and I looked at each other and shrugged. We then heard the sound of a chopper and saw it fly overhead with a giant bladder full of water. Huh. This fire must have been going either awhile or it was moving fast. Then my Seester gasped, grabbed my arm, and pointed to the trees behind our neighborhood. Flames. Giant flames. We could actually see the flames above the trees. Then I put two and two together. That wasn’t snow. It was ash. So, what do Seester and I do? We take out our phones and take pictures. Yup. This is us, dear readers, with a fire so close it is raining ash and we can see flames and Seester and I decide to take photos. As we are taking photos, I happened to look down the street and notice something. My neighbors are all loading up their cars with their belongings. Huh. Oh crap! Maybe we should do that! Seester and I agree that we should go grab stuff and start loading up both our cars. Because obviously we needed to do that. So we ran inside to try to determine what stuff needed to come with us. Where we were going to go was not even a thought. Just getting out was.
Now, if ever you are put into this situation, remember this. Some stuff is just that….stuff. It can be replaced. I immediately packed a bag of clothes and Seester gathered up her stuff. Of course, pets are a first priority and at that time, I had a sweet Heeler dog named Princess Fatty and all of her stuff was gathered up (Shhhh…this was before Ninja’s time with me). After that initial gathering, it was time to decide what else needed to be put in the cars. The CPU from the computer was a no brainer as was all the important papers for the house. But what else to pack? The one thing I wanted that cannot be replaced were family photos. Seester and I gathered up all my photo albums and placed them in boxes. As we took them out to the car, we noticed everything was covered in a red film. Slurry. My house and driveway had been coated by a fire-retardant and now smoke was filling the area. Holy crap. The fire was closer than I thought. It was then that we were approached by a police officer. He quickly asked if we were ready to leave and then told us we had 10 minutes to gather anything that we wanted and to evacuate the neighborhood. I noticed my elderly neighbors being helped out by an ambulance and was grateful they had a way out. Quickly, Seester and I ran back into the house to gather the photos off the walls and shelves.
Seester was busy pulling photos off the walls and I the shelves, when she turned to me and we had this conversation
Seester (pointing to old family photos on the wall): “So do you want these old pictures of these babies and people we don’t know?”
Me (a little confused): “Um…yes! I mean do you think I just put up photos of people I don’t know on my walls? Those are family photos. Don’t you know who they are?”
Seester: “I mean, I don’t question your decorating taste. I just thought you had some fascination with old photos you found at an antique store or something. Who the hell are these people?”
Me (laughing): “Your Grandparents. They are your Grandparents. Not random photos I just put up but our Mommy’s parents. Please take them off the wall so they don’t burn up.”
Seester: “Well good thing I didn’t say these were creepy old photos of people I though you had randomly put up. That would have been bad.”
In her defense, our Mommy’s parents both died before she was ever even thought of so that is probably why she didn’t recognize the photos (or at least that is what I am telling myself). By the way, ten minutes goes by super fast and soon the police officer was back, banging on my door, telling us to leave NOW. We ran out to our cars, Princess Fatty in tow and watched him put a big X on my door. It all seemed so surreal as we drove out of the neighborhood and I wondered if my house would still be standing soon. Luckily for me, the fire was contained and the neighborhood was spared. We were able to return in the morning and the creepy old photos put back on the wall as I explained who everyone was to Seester.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did however get evacuated and have to explain wh the people in the family photos were to Seester, but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who apparently takes photos amongst the falling ash and nearby flames when there is a forest fire Running. The experiment continues…