Our neighborhood was on the list of voluntary evacuations this weekend, due to the forest fire raging in the canyon behind our home. Each of the kids were allowed a medium-sized box to stuff with stuff. They packed their precious items–Twilight books, Sock Monkey’s, the tattered blue jump ropes sitting in the garage–then we fled up the freeway to Eldon’s house. Eldon, with his warm and welcome ways, his long-haired children, his perfectly painted walls.
Turns out, evacuation isn’t so bad after all.
We stayed two nights, then returned home, got back into our regular schedule. Food blogging and babysitting, and I was three minutes away from finishing last weeks post on the Blue Print Cleanse when the sky turned orange and smoke poured around our home. A heavy wind gust had whipped our canyon fire right over the rim of the mountain, driving it into the backyard of our city–my backyard. All golden embers and rolling flames.
Alyssa started crying as the sky turned dark. Jacob coughed, running through the house, repacking his belongings. He panicked when he couldn’t find his DS. Priorities, people.
It was terrifying. In a matter of minutes, life went from normal to chaos as neighbors poured out of their homes and into their cars, onto the roads, everyone frantic to escape the billows. One car let me merge left. Another waved me in when I needed to merge right. I love my people in Colorado Springs. They were patient and good and kind even as we were all in a panic.
Forty five minutes and four streets later, I was able to make the three mile drive to the home where my eldest kiddos were babysitting. We picked them up, tossed them in the car, and crawled our way back to the freeway, fleeing back up north to Eldon’s. Our city sitting under a thick cloud of black smoke, crawling slowly across the place we call home.
We listened to Patrick Stump on our way out. I cried when we got to this part, sang it loud with the kids.
This city is my city
And I love it, yeah I love it
I was born and raised here
I got it made here
And if I have my way, I’m gonna stay here
You can take my picture,
You can take my name,
But you’re never gonna take my city away
Cause you can burn it to the ground
Oh or let it flood, but it’s in my blood.
So, I hope you’ll forgive me for getting behind on blogging this week. We’re tucked up at Eldon’s, staying safe, praying for our city.