We Stand With You

September 6, 2017

I would normally write something fun here. My intention for this page was to bring some whimsy and smiles, and I’ll get back to that soon, I promise.

 

But first, I want to talk about something that’s front and center in my life right now, along with so many others.

 

This past year has been one of devastation when it comes to weather. First, we had the wettest year on record leading to May of 2017 in the Northwest corner of the US. Temperatures in the winter were at times thirty below zero. There was more snow than we’d seen in twenty years, and the spring just rained and rained.

 

John and I are spending our first year in our new home, and we learned quickly that so much rain led to our crawl space flooding and what a blessing a sump pump is! That thing ran for months, pumping water out from under our house until the end of May.

 

And that was the last time we saw rain this year.

 

It’s so dry now that almost ONE MILLION ACRES of land is on fire in Montana. I know that hundreds of thousands of more acres are burning in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. MILLIONS of acres are on fire. I don’t remember ever seeing a fire season like this one.

 

Living in the wilderness, it’s common to have fires in the summer. They’re usually caused by lightening strikes, but sometimes they’re caused by human carelessness. We’ve had horrible summers before, when the smoke hung like fog in the air, but not like this.

Never like this.

 

John and I are lucky in that our home isn’t in danger of burning. There are fires literally surrounding us in every direction, but the closest one is roughly fifty miles from us. We are safe, and we are grateful because so many are not safe. I have friends who have had to evacuate their homes. Hundreds, if not thousands, of homes have been destroyed. Wildlife and livestock are gone.

 

As most of you know, Glacier National Park is very near and dear to John’s heart and mine. We spend plenty of time up there every year, enjoying the beauty of it. Glacier Park is also on fire. The fire has already taken one historical building, the Sperry Chalet, which was built in the early 1900’s, and was still in use. Firefighters are doing everything in their power to preserve the Lake McDonald Lodge, which sits only about a mile from the fire.

 

It’s terrifying. The photos and video we’ve seen makes me sad and scared, and so damn thankful to the firefighters who walk into the fire rather than run from it. We’ve lost two brave firefighters so far this year, and I pray that there is no more loss of life.

 

I know that this country is in a state of crisis. Between Harvey, the impending Irma, and all of the fires, Mother Nature has thrown us all a horrible curve ball. There is only so much we can all do. There are only so many hands, only so many resources. It feels like we’re already tapped out, and this fight isn’t over yet for any of us.

 

I’m prayerful that everyone is safe. I’m thinking of each and every person in harms way.

I look outside of my office windows, even as I type this, and the glorious mountain views that I usually enjoy are hidden behind a veil of smoke. The sun is red. The air is rancid.

I can’t work. I can’t concentrate long enough to write or edit, and instead I read the news and search for updates. It’s a horrible time in our country.

 

I hope that you are safe. I hope that you’re out of harms way. Now is the time for all of us to come together, to take care of each other, regardless of political affiliation. I don’t care who our president is or isn’t right now. My state is on fire. My friends are cleaning up from hurricanes and preparing for the next one. My friends have to leave everything they hold dear behind.

 

I’ve never wished for summer to be over before, but that’s exactly what I wish for today. I’m not just praying for rain, I’m praying for SNOW. Freezing temps and precipitation are the only things that can stop all of these fires. We need winter.

 

Please know that you’re all in my thoughts. This too shall pass, friends.

 

xoxo,

Kristen

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