Cody wild fire
A helicopter brings water to fight the Whit Creek fire on Sheep Mountain west of Cody, Wyoming. The fire reportedly started on Saturday July 30, 2016 southeast of Wapiti Wyoming. High winds whipped it into an inferno on Aug 3 with the fire extending into the South Fork. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved.

We had an uncomfortably close wild fire in our area last week (it was fifteen percent contained as of last Friday). We came home from taking a friend to the airport and saw smoke tracking across the sky directly toward us. (Our friend saw the fire as her plane lifted off.)

High winds and dry air ramped it up quickly and soon the smoke turned the outside light an eerie yellow. The sense of…something not right. It brought back memories of standing outside our house when a hurricane incoming. It reminded me of feeling as if Mother Nature was trying to tell me something.

In my years living along the Gulf Coast, I’ve thought a lot about those times before satellites and almost instant communication—when all people had were their instincts and prior experience to warn of danger.

I’d read about “the hair lifting on the back of the neck” in books but hadn’t felt that until I stood directly in the path of an incoming hurricane. I’ve felt uneasy at times but never that “Danger, Will Robinson” feeling.

Both times I’ve been gripped by the dual emotions of flight and the desire to stand my ground for home and hearth. In the case of “our” hurricane, Ike, we’d been advised by local authorities to  shelter in place. We came through it fine — obviously — but it was not something I’d like to do again.

With a wild fire—well, I know some of the ranchers up the South Fork spent the night watering down their most important structures. Some buildings were lost. As of this writing, no lives were lost. This fire is one of many currently burning in the parched West. August is a tough month to get through, IMHO. Fires and floods and a cacophony of unhappy news being blared at us from every direction.

Life is tough. As I’ve noted before, it Happens. A Lot. Wild fires and storms can pass through our lives in symbolic ways. Illness, being let down by people we trust, and yes, we make mistakes that can set off unexpected bombs.

We are all human and thus subject to the Human Condition. A condition that includes fires and storms and other challenges.

But it also includes much joy. Family. Friends. Those who rescue (like the brave men fighting all the fires). Living our lives as fully as we can. I’m always amazed by the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Life Happens. It knocks us down. We get up. We move forward. We keep living.

Do you ever mull storms and life and happiness? Do I think too much? You can be honest. I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,


Wild Fires and Life Storms
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14 thoughts on “Wild Fires and Life Storms

  • August 9, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    I think that colour in the sky awakens some instinct instilled in our foremothers on the plains of Africa, millennia ago.

  • August 9, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I totally agree with you on the wildfires and other life storms, Pauline. 🙂 And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been in the path of some wildfires before and that hair on the back of the neck thing really happened for me, too. And nah, I don’t think that you think too much. 🙂

    • August 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      It is the weirdest sensation, isn’t it??? And thank you! It is good to know someone thinks I don’t think too much. haha!

  • August 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Scary to be so close to disaster–fires, hurricanes. I know that hair raising on the back of the neck feeling. Several years ago, I was at work, sheltered when the tornado sirens went off. When it passed overhead, the air pressure changed (felt it in my ears) and I got chills. The tornado touched down a mile away and took out a strip mall. It could have taken out our building first. I guess no matter where you live some kind of disaster will strike. As you say, we pick ourselves up and start over. Though I’ve lived in Tornado Alley most of my life, I’ve never lost my home. My heart goes out to everyone who has.

    • August 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Wow! That is for sure a close call! It is heartbreaking to see the devastation after a tragedy. We had to evacuate for a hurricane once and I can still remember that feeling of wondering what we would be going home to. We were lucky. Our home was still there and it has made me never take that for granted.

  • August 8, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Hello Pauline, so glad u and urs are safe. Living in Billings, Mont for most of my life and and the younger yrs in our little home town- we’ll alway love. I have seen many wildfires, and watched from a far the devastation of hurricanes, earthquakes, and even snowstorms. All of which break my heart , and yet I know the Lord will help to rebuild lives, homes, families and start new again. His purpose in these happenings are hard to understand sometimes, however it does bring people together again. Faith, Hope, Love. Something the world needs right now.

    • August 10, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      He does indeed! I’m always so amazing by the resilience of the human spirit, too. And yes, the world surely needs more love. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  • August 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    When I lived in Southern California I was shocked by the suddenness of earthquakes and fire, disasters that happened in a flash (and scared the #@$% out of me). Californians, on the other hand, were frightful of hurricanes and amazed that I had lived through several. We have days of preparing for those.

    After I lost my hometown of New Orleans from Katrina, I was asked repeatedly why we live where we do. Then Sandy blasted the East Coast and New York City. Floods hit areas that never flooded. Record snow storms.

    Unfortunately, we all chance facing disasters wherever we live, and it’s not fun to go through them. I wish nature would behave herself and give us a break.

    August and September sure seem ripe for fires and hurricanes.
    Glad to hear you’re safe.

    • August 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      We do indeed all face mother nature at some point. I don’t know of any place that isn’t vulnerable. So sorry you lost New Orleans! Katrina broke many hearts, that is for sure. Thanks!

  • August 8, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Glad you’re safe and hope the fire is soon 100% contained.

    Down here in New Mexico our big fire season is May-June and this year was no exception. We live at the base of a mountain at the edge of rolling plains (“between the llano estacado and the Southern Rockies”) so fires are rare in our area, but the Dog Head fire got within about fifteen miles of us this June and it was spreading at about 10-15 miles per day at its peak. Being able to see the flames leaping up into the sky at night does make you stop and assess what you have and what you stand to lose. Fortunately for us, the monsoons start in July and usually by August most major wildfire danger has passed.

    Let’s hope this one is short-lived and the worst of Fire Season 2016 is behind us.

    • August 8, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Yes, let’s for sure hope this fire season is behind us! I know we’ve had some lovely rains, that I hope are helping the firefighters!

  • August 8, 2016 at 5:27 am

    I’m glad you’re safe! Best wishes for everyone in the path of the fire.

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