Tuesday, February 15, 2011

White Swan Fire

Last weekend we had some of our worst weather. We had high winds. I don't know what the "official" tally on the winds turned out to be. I do know they are never as bad where ever it is they keep the damn recorder. It's much stronger down in the valley because of the mountain.

So last weekend the winds blew crazily. The normal winds coming from Mount Adams combined with someting coming from the...west, I think. Warmer wind anyway. In the midst of all this, it appears that someone had sparks from their chimney fall on their roof and start a fire.

The wind whipped said fire into an immediate frenzy. The normal things that help firefighters fight fires were ineffective as aresult of the high winds. Usually, if you have a good wide road, it works as a natural barrier. Not in this case. The wind blew that fire into a 240 acre rampaging beast.

I think they are still fighting the two contained fires left from that fire--one in a lumber yard, the other in a hay stack. The hay stack may sound funny to some, but not to those who live in cattle country. Hay stacks around here aren't the cute Monet rounded mounds for little boy blue to sleep on. They are 2 tons and bigger walls of hay that can burn for-seemingly-ever.

In the end, it appears that no one was killed. However, 120 people have been displaced, at least 20 homes have burned down. If you want to see what I mean, you can feel free to look on my Facebook (Leona Bushman should get you there. If you friend request me and send message you found me via my blog, I'll accept :) to see the pictures of my husband's grandmother's house.

Although her daughter-in-law saved some of her pictures, it was only a precious few she could grab in a hurry. Grandma lost her husband a while back. All she had left were her memories. In recent posts, I have talked about losing my brother's pictures and how much it meant for me to get them back. Having the pictures to look at are like having a continual memory update. And like having a security blanket for when you're missing them.

She's lost all of his things that she kept to remind her of him and to pass down to the grandkids. I ran the idea of doing a scrapbook for her. Gathering pictures from the rest of the family and scanning them and making her a new scrapbook as a house warming, or sooner gift.

Everyone's jumped on the wagon and we're probably going to do three of them. It has really comforted her as well as those affected by her loss. She will get some pictures back, and everyone else doesn't feel so helpless.

The Red Cross is taking donations to help with blankets, clothing, etc. I'm thinking of taking donations to put together a premade scrapbook for all of the families affected. I don't know how to spearhead something like that though. I know at least two more of the families by proxy, and probably more of them since names haven't been released. Is this a feasable project? I've seen premade albums done for wedding and stuff as gifts. I have the know-how. Would that be something you would like to get? In the cases of these other families, I'd be trying to give back hope.

So, any ideas? My MIL and I can take care of my Grandma but the others? What do you think?

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