My Life In Mud Boots: Wildfire

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Weds Feb 10th, 2016

I had just returned home from running errands, put up groceries and sat down for a second before heading out to drain and scrub the horse troughs when a sharp knocking at the front door sent the dogs on high alert and myself leaping from the chair and stumbling over them in a foot race to the door.  We don’t get many visitors out here, especially during the day.  I’m usually very cautious about who I’d open the door for as a woman alone out in a rural area. I peered through the peephole and saw the vague image of a man standing there.  I nearly walked away when he turned slightly and I caught a glimps of a uniform.  On instinct or sheer gut feeling, I opened the door.                   It was a Fed-ex driver but the look on his face suspended my every thought. “There’s a wild fire behind you heading this way fast!”
I can’t even recall what I might’ve said to him as my body shot into mindless motion and in a split second I was out the back then suddenly frozen in utter disbelief!  A wall of flame and thick black smoke stretched as far as I could see through the pasture adjacent to mine.
The wind whipped the flames higher, coaxing them on at a remarkable speed…a vision of which looked certain to take my barn, then home.  My mind darted from how to save my dogs, losing all the pictures of our kids growing up and the most immediate threat… the horses. I found them tightly huddled in the front pasture but the acrid smell of smoke and approaching flames had them peaked, every muscle taut and at the ready for flight. My fingers trembled so badly that I could barely dial 911 to get help on the way as I ran for the barn, throwing open the gates and doors,…next I’m calling Clay.
I was praying madly as I tried to calm my demeanor.  Horses are sensitive creatures and I needed to calmly assure them if I were to lead them into the barn and stall them, as I do, I’m working on plan b.
As I watched the fire overtake my fence and enter my pasture, heading toward my barn, I haltered the mares to make ready to lead them to the cattle farm across the street in hopes their babies would follow.
Clay arrived just after the fire crews.  He threw open the pasture gate and flagged them inside, ran for a long hose, hooked it up in the barn and ran it out the back in case we’d have to try saving the barn.  A man ran up to help, he was the retired Newcastle fire chief.  ( In fact, all the trucks helping our area were from the next town.)
The firemen cut down the barbed wire fences so trucks could run from one pasture and farm to the next, putting one area of fire out while the wind restarted the area they just left. The neighbors got Kevin (our mini donkey) and the mules into a barn as the fire had reached the small chain link fenced yard of their home while he fought it with a garden hose and shovel.
Through the night, areas reignited from the oklahoma winds but when all was said and done and the smoke cleared, we were all found nerve wrecked, a little messy, needing slight repairs but blessedly…gratefully safe.

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30 comments

  1. Thank god for fex-drivers. He save your horses and possibly your house. So glad all are okay
    But I have to say, that is an amazing photo of the fire coming.

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    • It was certainly a blessing that he not only saw it but started warning who he could. I’d see him often around our small town afterwards and always considered him a valued friend. A remarkable experience

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a relief you were all safe in the end.
    When we lived in Central Qld, Australia, we were on the edge of town, backing onto State land that burned every Spring (August/September) as it is dry from mid March usually, through to the massive storms in October. Wayne (a Volunteer firefighter) was always working away when the fires came through, which left me feeling vulnerable and pretty helpless. Amazingly the local Volunteer Fire Brigade always managed to protect all buildings in the area. A huge job that was much appreciated. I don’t miss that constant worry.

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  3. That was an exhilarating read! You have a prodigious output! While I was reading that I felt like I was there.

    Btw, I thank you so much for commenting at my blog. Your nudged me towards considering and reconsidering everything.

    I’m thinking now, with things getting so much more serious for Doug, that it’s about time for me to pack it in. It helped to get it all out and look at it from different angles, but now I’m starting to feel like it’s just selfish of me to keep picking at my wounds when he’s dying, if that makes sense.

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    • Thank you so much! 💗
      You’ve been going through the stages of grieving and loss. Thats perfectly normal….its cleansing. He’s not a great person…he’s self centered, manipulative, low moraled character and they get ill like everyone else. It doesnt change what he is nor the pain we feel when we discover that reality. Worse maybe because its compounded with feelings of being fooled and foolish. BUT, what is forgiveness really about? Forgiveness is about you. It doesnt change who they are. Its letting go so what they’ve done doesnt change you. It allows you to let go so you dont torture yourself with it any longer, allows for healing, keeps you from becoming jaded, closed off, bitter. Example: meeting someone tramatized by abuse. You ask when this happened. It was 20 years ago. The fact is, the abuser hadn’t touched them in 20 years, their pain is from the reliving, remembering, picking at the wounds for the last 20 years thus keeping it from healing and torturing themselves far longer than the abuser ever did. I know about that. It took me 30 years.
      Don’t do that to yourself. Forgiveness doesnt make what they did right and you dont have to allow them to hurt ypu further but it does give you permission to heal and move forward
      Pray for him….then let go so perhaps God, can work on him.
      Hugs & Hearts

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      • I love this reply! I kept looking for it at my blog to re-read it and couldn’t figure find it!

        He sent me a few messages today, as I was driving home I just started crying. I felt like I was forgiving him, and that’s what I was saying, to myself, to God. Thank you for being a sounding board

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