That first morning after we returned, I went outside to look at the hill. At first it didn’t look different, but then I noticed one patch of green. Everything else was black.
I took the long way home from my errands on Monday. As I turned the corner, that same hill came into view, but closer this time. I gasped aloud because the burnt trees were much more clearly defined. I went out of my way to drive to the Walgreens we always go to, just a couple of blocks from the first set of burnt houses. I couldn’t see anything from where I was and I wasn’t brave enough to continue up the hill. Turns out I was about 1/2 a block away from the first house. I’d like to go take a look. Just to see.
I’m overwhelmed at the wonderful community we live in. 32,000 people evacuated and there were only 24 incidents of looting. We had a zero tolerance ban on fireworks for the 4th, and for the first time since we’ve lived here, no one set anything off in the park across the street from us.
Our church, being in the evacuation zone, was still closed last weekend. We went to a neighboring church where the pastor had those us from our parish raise their hands. He told us to mark our checks with the name of our church and he would make sure that our offerings would get to our own church. We got a free pancake breakfast that morning, too.
Did you know that “America the Beautiful” was written after Katharine Lee Bates saw the view from Pikes Peak? It is an amazing thing to be living right here, at the foot of those purple mountain majesties. We love these mountains, no matter what.
The day before we evacuated, Boo came running up from the basement, into the kitchen. “Do I smell burgers,” he asked hopefully. “No honey, the mountain is on fire,” I told him.
It is a little disconcerting to be scrolling through my caller ID, looking for a number, and see “911 Event” in the list. Twice.
Our neighborhood is filled with Thank You Firefighters posters. My favorite one says, “Thank you, firefighters for saving our homes. Thank you, friends and family for housing us.” Well said.