It was a strange day here yesterday. We made it onto CNN and for once it wasn't for the highest teenage pregnancy rate, jail corruption, or an Officer Down story. We had wildfires pop up all over the area yesterday. The dry conditions and the wind was a terrible mix. Power lines were whipped down, setting random fires all over the county.
As I listened to the news of the elementary school being evacuated and of the fire being especially close to friends' homes, I felt I needed to wake Shane. He was a firefighter for ten years and I knew he could help. As I went into the bedroom though, I reminded myself that he doesn't own any bunker gear and would probably be a legal liability to any department (since I guess he wouldn't be covered by their insurance or whatever), so I just kissed him and started to leave the room.
He kind of grunted a "what?" grunt before I got out the door, so I filled him in on what was going on. Well, of course what ex-firefighter (or any man) can just lie there? He got up and drove around town, then saw the smoke building up near his mom's town (ten miles away). He drove down there to check on things and ended up staying all day, even though he'd worked the night before & had to work last night.
It started with the rest stop in a blaze, then either the back side of the same fire or another one was across the little Farm to Market road from his mom's home. The embers from that burning pasture were flying onto my mother in law's property, starting little fires. At some point there were other fires on the opposite side of the property, maybe also from airborne embers. Shane was hopping from area to area while he had his mom in the car patrolling their small acreage for more fires.
His experience yesterday was not uncommon. Many people were out watching their fields burn while praying it didn't get their homes. A few homes were burned to the ground, maybe about half a dozen, I haven't heard yet. We had to have help from fire departments over an hour away, and they were even asking for community volunteers.
In the crisis, it was nice to see people calling the radio station (our only fast news outlet) to invite strangers to take shelter in their homes or to board horses or pets. Tractor Supply was even loaning out products like troughs and trailers to help out. It warmed my heart.
So, back to the title of this post, Shane got to be a fireman again, even if it were only with a water hose. He came in smelling like soot and exhausted. It seems his little battles with his mom's yard took a toll on him, more than big fires from his firefighting days...
And I also had a rude awakening. I posted on Facebook that by being forced to listen to our local radio station for news yesterday, that our high school music is now considered oldies! Yikes! Y'all, I just graduated in 1994-how can this be?