August was yet another memorable month up here in the Methow Valley. It felt as though the entire state of WA was on fire, and over a month later most of them are still burning. That feeling of helplessness and things being completely out of our control was very unsettling. The Chelan complex fire was threatening our home, and the Twisp fire threatened my parents and sisters house.
Chelan complex fire from our front yard.
It was such a long process and we were just on edge waiting for the ball to drop. I had pictures and bags packed and sitting by the door for 2.5 weeks before I finally felt somewhat good about putting them all away. I think because last year's fire spread soo quickly you just had more respect for what could happen if wind and temperature conditions were just right.
When we evacuated last year from the Carlton Complex fire it was burning on both sides of our cabin. We had no power, so no water left to protect the house. We were completely helpless to it all. Our girls were with my sister and fortunately a friend was able to get a hold of me minutes after taking this picture to tell me my kids were no longer safe at my sisters because she ended up needing to evacuate from Pateros... and they had no notice whatsoever. She happened to look out the kitchen window to see it burning towards the town. It spread that quickly. When I took the above picture I really thought it was the last picture I would take of our house. The wind was blowing soo hard that it had jumped the river and the highway. My stomach gets in knots just typing and remembering this all... and it has been over a year since this happened. I do really need to document the story here on the blog, it is an amazing story and I'm so thankful our house was spared. The next day we returned to a charred view of the landscape the drive up the Methow was devastating, so many homes had been lost. Downed power lines and wondering if our house was still standing. We were so thankful when we pulled up to see it still there. I've never been so thankful for our green yard!
At night the glow and embers from trees still smoldering lit the hillside up. I remember keeping the curtains closed so the kids wouldn't see it. A week later a tree broke and fell down the hill flaring back up. I had to call it in and a fire crew from Indiana came and climbed that hill to put it out. So thankful we have such a thing as firefighters to protect us.
This year we are more prepared. We filled water barrels, we bought fire hose and prepared for the possibility that we might lose power again and would have no well.
We are hoping that next year's fire season will be a little gentler, or that maybe they learn how to keep it from becoming a state of emergency? Otherwise you guys- I just might become a winter person! Summer's too stressful and smoke keeps you from enjoying going outside!
Okay, so onto happier topics... my garden! I havent shared any recent pictures, but you can tell in the above picture that the fence has been going up. Fiiiinnnaally. I hope next year it will be complete. Jaydon really wanted a statement piece fence, and well I just kind of want it to be finished. Also, our yard is meeeggga green after watering 3 times a day for a few weeks out of the fire protection need. I didnt realize just how much it greened up until looking back at this picture! :)
Observe this sweet girl eating an apple, and the lush green forest of a yard in the background? This was a more recent picture. :)
Jaydon helped me get the blackberry support wire up! Cattle panel trellis below
Beautiful lettuce and really needing to thin the romaine! View from above and a peek at the duck pen, to the left of the garden. Eventually I will be able to let them mosey into the garden. Right now the temporary netting fence just isn't secure enough. You can also see the carport frame to the right of the garden. It will be used as a greenhouse! Our part time neighbors let us have it. They are suuper nice neighbors who brings us ice chests full of tuna fillets he catches! Grilled BBQ tuna is the bomb. :)
The ducks are doing great and laying me at least 4 eggs a day. Welsh Harlequins are so beautiful.
So, that is my random jumbled update. I am working on new things for the shop and I'll be posting about that in a few days. Lots of news and preparations for the holiday season. I hope you had an uneventful August. ;)