Friday, May 16, 2008

Writer's Island - "Impulse"

I have discovered this week that as I have gotten older I am calmer in a crisis and can think fast (who knew?). We awoke yesterday morning to a power outage during our news and coffee. We did not bat an eye over this as we went about our morning routine, not realizing the power pole had started a fire. As the planes began to fly overhead we became concerned and frustrated that without power we were unaware of the location of the fire (note to self: buy a battery operated radio). Dave took a drive to check it out and returned in a hurried state. "Get dressed we have to get ready to leave." The fire was in our canyon as the wind was continuing to howl. You could walk a few houses up the street and see flames moving up the opposite canyon wall spreading our way. He asked "what do you want to take?" I calmly recited a list as if I'd done this a hundred times before.

Important papers
a few days of clothes
three family heirlooms

His impulse, bless his heart, was to save the computer for my blog but I said leave it thinking I could retrieve it. We received a phone call on the streets that were to be evacuated and we were not on the list but we were told to be ready at a moments notice. Dave's impulse was to water the fence and trees keeping busy but mine was to sit by the phone (luckily we still had a wall phone) reflecting.

I was sitting there wondering how I would have done if Dave had been at work. The one neighbor who knew I was disabled was on vacation. My impulse was to plan in my head what I could do for myself in a similar crisis. Dave was obviously thinking the same thing as he headed down the street amidst the chaos and met a lady who insisted on exchanging numbers in case I ever needed help in the future. When the containment got to 40%, with the evacuations lifted, I told Dave to go ahead and go to work. He left names and numbers in case the fire got out of hand.

As I type this they are still keeping a close eye on the fire's location and the power has been restored. The wind died down during a critical time but picked up again during the night keeping us vigilant. The wind blew in our favor and no houses were lost. Living in the forest is a gamble but the firefighters really know their stuff and the lake provided lots of water drops. :)
Fire is an impelling force that brings out an instinctive mode of survival. Dave went a little spaz and I was calm so we balanced each other out. We were "baptised by fire" and feel blessed.

Photo by StockXpert
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Anonymous said...


I hope the fire spares everyone. We share the dry season this time of year and wildfires do so much damage. I'm glad you have a plan and may it never need to be used.

Have a safe weekend.

Star said...

So glad that you (and everyone else there) are ok. You really are one cool cucumber and it sounds like you and Dave really do complement one another.

Happy (and safe) weekend!

anthonynorth said...

Terrible things, these fires. Hope everything is alright.

Chris said... you left us to burn in the fire? But Dave wanted to save us?

Jeeze, some friend you are Tamster ;) ;)

Glad you're okay!

GreenishLady said...

I'm so glad you have been spared, and hope all will be well. Thinking of you.

jadey said...

It is so wonderful how you two balanced each other out so wonderfully. Good job keeping calm. Keep us posted and I hope everything works out so that you don't have to evacuate on a moments notice.

turquoise cro said...

O! I hate those fires that get out of hand! I would never have guessed YOU and Dave would have to go through that Tammy!!! Thank God, everyone is A-OK and YOU have #'s just in case of a next time which I HOPE and pray doesn't happen!!! Sweet Dreams sweets! xo, Cinda ((((Tammy&Dave&animals&neighbors)))

shubd said...

Really glad that it didn't flare up into a much worse situation.

It was nice to know that you could be so calm and collected during such moments of stress.

Geraldine said...

I am so sorry to read about your ordeal Tammy but glad to know you and your family are safe. I hope things settle down soon. Huggs to you, take care, G

Tammy said...

Wow - sounds rather harrowing to me! You seem calm - it's SO good to plan ahead though!! Glad you are safe!

Nancy said...

Me thinks there is something wrong with you, girl!

You NEED a fire under your butt! This is not a "no big deal" thing.

I'm truly glad that all is ok, and that Dave reacted as he did. I have a feeling that if he weren't there, you might have been a bit more "excited". I guess you trust that man intensely!

Love you,

PS Which 3 heirlooms?

gautami tripathy said...

Tammy, I am glad all is well. And you were prepared. Fire is no joke.

When I was a wee little girl (4 year old), we too had something similar happened. We had to evacuate and that too at a very short notice. My dad only took us and important papers. However, it was contained and no harm was done. I am still scared by the event. I can see the fire devouring everything.

JP/deb said...

Isn't it interesting in a moment of crisis one can hone in on what's important in a heartbeat. Glad you're okay! xx, JP/deb

pepektheassassin said...

Oh my gosh, what an experience! And you were so calm and rational! Who knew? I am happy that things went well, and I wonder if something like that happened to me, if I would behave as well as you did?

Probably not.... I hope I never have to find out.

Greyscale Territory said...

What an incredible real life example of faith in one's own strength of spirit. Calmness in the face of adversity is so often the key to survival. Panic can be the real killer when rash decisions are made.

Be safe!


emmapeelDallas said...

I am SO glad you're OK.

Rambler said...

hey glad you guys are okay..but you know what people do grow up fast under crisis.

Lucy said...

thank god you are okay Miss Tammy! WOW, I envy people who can keep calm in the midst of danger!
did you fall apart later? I couldn't read the entire post, playlist is covering it, but I DID enjoy your songbird!

giggles said...

My heart was pounding through this post!! I certainly understand that worry for everyone who loves you! So glad everything worked out. But what a scare!

Hugs Sherrie

Tinker said...

I had no idea it was so close to you! Good for you, keeping a cool head, while under fire :) I'm so glad you're okay! ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy. Great post. Very well written -and well done on staying calm under crisis. I'm glad you're ok. DavidM