We arrived from a quick trip to Brazil just two days ago. On our way home, we saw a lot of smoke right on top of Black Forest, but we were just coming back and assumed the fire was probably old news, something we were not aware of because we had been away. Little did we know that we were witnessing the first signs of what would become Colorado’s most destructive wildfire.
I slept the entire afternoon, as my four year old made the trip back home exhausting. When I woke up, people were calling and e-mailing us, offering shelter. Shelter!? That was when I learned that the smoke we had seen had become a huge and uncontrollable wildfire. And it is just a few miles from us. We are currently in a pre-evacuation area, just about two miles from the beginning of the mandatory evacuation.
Suddenly, I wished I had borrowed the book about wildfires I once found at the library. Maybe that would make it easier to explain to my four year old what is going on. He has been talking about our house burning down, he is afraid of the smoke, and he has been somewhat obsessed with firefighters. "If our house burn down, we will not have a place to sleep and play," he said just a few minutes ago. All normal, I guess and hope, but still… How do you explain to a four year old that everything that matters is right here, with us – ourselves, our memories, and our most beloved items? Everything is packed and already in the car, including important documents, so we can leave at any moment.
My eleven year old is doing better than my little one. She understands, although she already cried a little. Letting her pick what she wanted to take helped a lot. She got some statues, some collections, her 1900s Charles Dickens, and several books that we could have easily purchased replacements for. But there was no way to convince her of that. Her books about ghosts are special to her and she is taking all of them. Actually, isn’t it funny that at eleven they can be so contradictory? She is taking her teenager books, but she is also taking her most precious Teddy bears.
I am taking all my pictures and, since there is still a bit of space, I believe I will get some of my books, including those I just purchased in Brazil. Let’s hope the Black Forest fire will be contained soon. There have been too many lost homes, affected people, and suffering animals already. Every time they show an aerial shot I feel like crying. It is time for the fire to be controlled and put down. I am keeping my fingers crossed.