Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Town is Burning

Over 30,000 people have now been evacuated from Colorado Springs. A fire that started as a plume of smoke on Saturday afternoon has turned into devastation unlike anything I've ever seen. This morning, I looked outside to see the same haze over the mountains that I've seen for a few days now. I turned on the news to see that the Waldo Canyon Fire was 5% contained. Five percent. Well, that's better than yesterday... yesterday it was 0%.



We went to Kennedy and Keeghan's dance class and all seemed to be about the same... as we drove South I saw more of what my friends were seeing... more smoke... some flames... but no structures had been lost. This was good. The firefighters would get it under control. Surely.

Half way through dance, we got a phone call and it was suggested that we might all want to leave... then a little panic took over and the tone was more like, "No really... leave!" I packed the kids up and we walked out to smoke and ash... everywhere. What happened?! A friend warned me to stay off the Interstate, so I took surface streets home watching our skyline get more orange and darker.... I turned on my headlights, even though it was the middle of the day. Cars were crawling along with me... some packed to the ceiling with "stuff". I am guessing it's stuff they felt was important. Pictures... important papers... favorite memories... I don't know.

By the time I got to my street, the sky looked like this...

Creepy, right?

As the night went on and I watched the news... devastation struck. Houses started to burn. Those 3,000 people who were evacuated? Some of them no longer have homes. And the Waldo Canyon Fire jumped into Colorado Springs. They are saying that even though it doesn't appear windy to us down here on the ground, up there, where the fire is, it IS windy... and those 65mph winds have changed directions 3 times which has sent the flames blazing over 600 acres.

The Red Cross has set up evacuation centers all over our city. People are pulling together and the firefighters are out there battling... they're trying their best to contain this thing and save as many homes, and more importantly, lives, as they can.

Tonight, we sat and watched images come across our television and our computer like this...









And all we could do was pray... we prayed for the firefighters. We prayed for the families who no longer have homes. We prayed that no lives would be lost. We prayed for rain. Lots and lots of rain. I have no doubt that eventually the firefighters will get this under control, and then our city will pick back up and start rebuilding once again... just like Clarksville did when we were flooded out.

Right now, our home is safe. We are fine. And we are so thankful for that. I don't know what the future holds, but our house is more central, away from the mountains, and I think we'll be fine. Thank you to everyone who has checked in on us! I do appreciate it so much!! Because of the thick smoke and poor air quality, we have decided to head out of town for California a little early. We have some friends whose kids have become quite sick from the smoke in the air, and when I got home tonight Kennedy started coughing pretty badly. I don't want to mess with it if we don't have to. So, in the morning (or later this morning really since it IS already morning) we will head out of Colorado Springs and start driving to California for our vacation. Frank was able to change his plans and fly straight into CA when it's time for his R&R, so he will just meet us there.

Please be praying for safe travel for us, but mostly be praying for our city and the amazing people who live here. Be praying for our firefighters as they battle this blaze. Be praying for those who have lost everything and have to start over. My heart breaks for them. Just be praying for Colorado Springs.

42 comments :

Lea said...

How very scary!!! Prayers and thoughts to all affected!

Ginny D. said...

Incrediby scary! Stay safe. I will keep Colorado Springs in my thoughts and prayers.

Mama2Kayden said...

Please be safe ! Can you hose your house and lawn down before you leave with lots of water just in case the flames reach while you're away? I hope you have a smooth drive to CA. Prayers for all of you.

Hevel Cohen said...

I hope you and your home remain safe.

Looking at those photos reminded me of the horror that was the Mount Carmel forest fire in the winter of 2010...

D.A.D.S. of South Central Kentucky said...

Renee,
Those pictures are just scary and heart-breaking all at the same time! We will be praying for everyone's safety & for minimal loss. We will also be praying for a safe trip for your family in their travels as well as for a safe flight for Frank.

God be with you!

Matt Nelson

~just me~ said...

Wow, so scary! I'm glad it's time for vacation so you and the kids can leave while the fires are gotten under control. I'm definitely praying for everything and everyone! Relax and enjoy your time away and your time with Frank...you guys deserve a wonderful fun-filled family time together!! Hugs and love!

JRS said...

This is just horrible Renee. I'm glad you can get out of there. We have lots of family out that way & are praying for everyone. Be safe. ---Jen

JRS said...

This is just horrible Renee. I'm glad you can get out of there. We have lots of family out that way & are praying for everyone. Be safe. ---Jen

Anne B. said...

I just can't get over the horror of this situation. We've been praying for an end to all of the devastation and for people's very lives to be protected. Be safe as you travel and know that we are lifting you up as well! ((((BIG BIG HUGS))))!!

ourjoyfulljourney said...

We have been Praying Renee! Praying for a safe trip for you guys and we will continue to pray for the fires and all those affected by them!

jen mcardle said...

Praying for your families safey from the fires and through your travels. Hope you have a great time in CA.

JennaJennJenn said...

That is just terrifying. I hope it can be controlled very soon and everyone stays safe. Have a safe trip and have fun in CA!

Alice Fraggle said...

Colorado Springs is in my thoughts.
We have brushfire warnings around here - the grass is dry and we have pretty high winds with no rain in sight.
Have fun in California, and enjoy your time with the kids & Frank. :)

Designs by DD said...

Eventhough you will be away on vacation, please, please make a plan for what important stuff needs to be protected. Take any important documents with you or put them in a safety deposit box at a bank. Things can be replaced if the fire gets too close but medical records, service records, birth certificates, adoption records, etc are much are harder to replace as many people in Texas found out last year with the Bastrop fires. We have family that were in the Four Mile Canyon fire two years ago and the losses there were bad.


Praying for safety and a good vacation in spite of everything back home.

Designs by DD said...

I'll be praying for a safe trip and fun vacation.

Kristy said...

Praying with you! When the fires hit here in central texas last year I remember how terrifying it was and they weren't as large as these.

my family said...

praying for everyone, I cant imagine how scary this must be

Aloquin said...

I pray for everything you've asked for! These pictures are shocking, but I know that it is much more so to see in actuality. May God keep you all safe and a safe trip to CA? I pray the fire is extinguished SOON and that everyone remains safe, and that those who've lost their homes, that they lean on God and that He bless them and see them through, to His glory and honor. Amen!

MYSAVIOR said...

Prayers are being raised up for all.

♥♥♥
Sue

Laura Townsend said...

Very scary!! Praying for everyone involved. Safe travels to you and a safe flight for Frank.

KarenW said...

Hello. I found your blog through an online friend. Just wanted to know I'm praying for all those affected by the fire. May God bless you all and keep you safe in His almighty hands.

Patty Cleveland said...

Praying praying praying! Please drive safe.

Notsopc said...

I should have checked the blog first but I just got home and sent you and email.. Safe trip for all of you. Those pictures just hit you in the pit of ones stomach. Just heartbreaking.. Glad you and yours are safe.. Now drive safe and next thing you know you'll be in your hubby's arms...
Nancy

Larkspur said...

Thats quite eerie and scary! I'm glad you all are safe, but I sure would have a hard time sleeping if I saw that all around me!! WOW!!

Also, thank you for opening back up! I check in every day and have been missing the updates!! I had just hunted down your email address and was about to email you!! lol

I dont judge your decision for Kellsey and your family for summer as a bad thing at all. I would love to hear an update from your mom in a week or a month on how things are with Kellsey in the changed environment! I love that little girl of yours! I know RAD is such a hard thing. Prayers all around.

Also, I needed to contact you about the thickeners you used for Kellsey, as I recently almost lost my infant niece because she aspirates her feeds. She was in PICU for 2 weeks when she was 3 weeks old. I feel like I remember you writing about a different thickener that you found that was easier to access or less expensive? Right now her pediatrician has my sister mixing in an amount of rice into her formula which seems to be working okay, and she will have a follow up swallow study in about 2 more months. But I want to explore all avenues to keep her safe! It was a VERY scary ordeal, she literally was minutes away from passing when we got her to ER.

Monicas Mom Musings said...

Stay safe Renee. When were you originally going to head to CA? Glad you have a place to go and hopefully they get these fires contained and no more homes are lost, especially yours. Seeing those houses is just freaky.

Lori said...

Praying for your family and others affected by the fires. I have some friends in Co Sprgs. that have also been evacuated. The images on tv are terrifying -- I can only imagine what they look like in person!
Stay safe and take care!!

teal915 said...

Very scary. I hope it will be over very soon.

Cyndi J said...

Renee,
my fav scripture..... Trust in the Lord....
I am praying for all.

B safe

Lynn said...

Praying hard about everything!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
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Ashley said...

Prayers sent your way!

The Blitz said...

Have been thinking about you every time I heard about the Colorado fires. Thank god you guys are ok and praying for everyone in Colorado Springs and beyond. Keep up posted!

Hilary said...

Praying here in Texas!!!

Becca said...

So unbelievably frightening and devastating. Thinking of everyone in that area...

Travel safely - glad you're getting out now.

Rachelle said...

Very scary! Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with Frank. I'll be praying for Colorado Springs and everyone there!

Tracy said...

I have been praying for you guys everyday!! So glad to hear you are okay. Now I will be praying for safe travels. Hope you have a good trip to CA.

Lynn said...

Glad you're in CA. Sounds like things have calmed down a bit...
Life can be overwhelming at times, but the victory is ours through Christ! Put your trust in Him! Praying!
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Anne B. said...

Still praying for you guys!!! Hope you are at least able to enjoy your time in CA! (((BIG HUGS))) from the other side of the USA!!!

Ann said...

The last few times I've checked it said you had gone to private blogging and I was crushed. Then when the big fires seemed threatening I started praying for your family. I had decided that I had simply lost touch with 'friend' blogger that I stalk, but this morning I decided to check again. Imagine my happiness to see your public again and even more important safe! I've been reading you for a couple of years and want you to know that what others say really doesn't matter. I know it can be hurtful and frustrating, but remember you are doing what you feel is the right thing for your family. No one else is experiencing the feelings or thoughts that you are having in that 'parenting moment' and can not say what they would do while in the moment. Any of us can look back and say what we would have done-hindsight is great. I think you are doing a great job raising your children, so keep up the good work and your head. Don't let nasty comments change your direction. Just keep asking God to guide you!

Judy said...

Will continue to pray for you all, and especially for the firefighters, and those in the path of this fire. May God keep you all safe and happy.

Lynn said...

Continuing to lift up prayers!
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
My email address

L said...

Hi there,
I've read your blog for a couple of years but don't think I've ever commented. Just want to commend you for everything you do for your family.
I have a good friend who lives in Colorado Springs and it all sounds pretty scary. Praying for you and all those affected by the fires.
Enjoy your vacation :)
Lydia, NZ

Lynn said...

Praying right now!
Psalms 43:2-5 Thou art the God of my strength . . . O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
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