Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 156 - Where There is Smoke....

It has been fourteen straight days now of fire that has been in our subdivision.  Last night the smoke was so bad that the sun and the moon both looked orange and you really couldn't tell the difference between the two round objects in the sky if it wasn't for the light or the darkness around them.  It is hard to breath. You know it is going to be a bad day when you wake up and there is smoke IN the backyard and IN the front yard and you can't see the trees around you.

My ex-husband is in the fire industry and he gives fire prevention speeches.  He educated the family on what the right thing to do is to prevent fires in the first place.  Like unplug appliances that aren't in use.  The toaster is the perfect one to start with.  As mentioned in previous blogs, washing the lint vent with soap and water at least two times a year from the dryer is another one.  Taking down Christmas lights particularly from the OUTSIDE of the house after January 1st of each year.  And never ever have your butt higher than your head.  Let me explain the last one.  Usually when someone is bending over and extending their arm so far that their head becomes lower than their butt, they are doing something that they need to run from like lighting a charcoal grill incorrectly.  That tidbit always makes everyone laugh.

Fire in our subdivision
The reality of fire is that it is no laughing matter.  A classmate of mine has asthma and had to detour from her route to class due to all the smoke that is in the area from the 5000 acres burning in nearby Espanola and is still burning.  She ended up in the emergency room.  They put us on notice to evacuate as the White Eagle Fire was only 1 mile from us, in our subdivision and is 123 acres. Click Here to read about it.

White Eagle Fire
My grandmother's precious valuables were burnt in a fire that engulfed her home.  She's getting older now but always asks if I still have the blue antique teapot trimmed in gold she gave me when I was seventeen or so.  Thank God I do as it would have been burned in that fire if she hadn't given it to me at such a young age. In fact the note still resides in it that she placed in there for me...it reads: This teapot belongs to my granddaughter - It was given to us for a wedding gift June 1946 - June Heichel. Ironically written on a sheet of paper from a notepad given out by Don's Wood Products in Covington, Pennsylvania.

Wood is good when it is not so dry that the sun just makes it internally combust into flames.  I've seen the firefighters heroically try to battle this never ending tiger.  We've taken them Fresca Soda and fresh ripe watermelon to let them know we appreciate their hard work.  These fires produce good outcomes if controlled such as in the west, Ponderosa Trees (like the ones I showed you in Bryce Canyon) won't drop their seeds until they reach a temperature of 500 degrees and animals such as gopher tortoises aren't able to venture through the thick brush so fire allows them to roam again.  But again only when its controlled is this such a good thing for the ecosystem.

They are using old equipment to fight this in our subdivision
We had kids who were starting fires in our neighborhood.  Three in four months to be exact.  My neighbor came over and just started using our hose to put out one fire.  She apologized for not asking first and asked for forgiveness. Doing the right thing was looking to the source of why she did what she did...no-brainer...no need to even ask such a thing.  I told the fire inspector that night about those kids and they drove off without trying to find them.  Sure enough, a week later they did it again only this one took five fire trucks instead of one to put out.  I told them again and directed them to where they live and explained the path they took to get to this part of the neighborhood.  FINALLY they listened and we haven't had a fire in the neighborhood since but school was in session.  The summer remains to unfold if we have a young arsonists in our mists.

You just know where there is smoke, there is fire. Real fires and symbolic fires. I found this out with this gut feeling that my son was hiding drugs in his bedroom.  The smoke showed itself in the form of eradict behavior and leaving his window screen off the window.  At first I had been able to find the drugs in the usual places, in a back pack or under the mattress.  But he got more clever.  The fire finally produced itself when I persisted, looking in all the usual places, even in the most recent discovery of the campground fire under the last drawer of his dresser.  Pull out the bottom drawer of the dresser of a teenager...this was a new one on me.  I finally found the fire inside of his guitar and put out the fire, called his probation officer and sent him to jail.  Hasn't been any fire nor smoke since then.  He discovered that teenagers in jail didn't even know how to write.  He learned the value of a pack of Oreo cookies as it is used as cash for bartering.

I've learned about other smoke with new friends. When you meet people for the first time and their life is filled with drama, it usually is smoke symptoms for underlying fire problems. And friends are supposed to be warm like a small fire not blazing like a destructive out-of-control fire.  I've learned to prevent the this type of destructive fire in my life and usually don't become friends with people like this.  I feel bad for them but I can't help them without being totally involved and I've learned the right thing for me to do is to just leave them to their own fires.  I have my own fires that pop up now and again and living a life filled with smoke just doesn't give me enough oxygen to breath. I keep a fire extinguisher in the house, wash the lint trap, take down the outside Christmas lights after New Years Day and unplug the toaster.  And never ever bend over with my head lower than my butt.

Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as the embryo rests deep within the womb, wisdom is hidden by selfish desire. ~Bhagavad Gita quotes

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