This has been a frightening few days for over 10,000 residents in and around the Glenrosa subdivision in West Kelowna, BC. Two of those residents are my parents.
This past Saturday afternoon they went to pick up a few things in town. It was so hot outside they decided to leave their small white dog, Stella, in their air conditioned home so she wouldn’t have to sit in a hot car while they shopped.
A short time later when they tried to return they were met with emergency crews, helicopters, water bombers and a large road block at the entrance of their subdivision. The air was thick with smoke from the forest above their home as it burned dangerously close to the homes. They were not allowed to go back for Stella. No one was allowed through by this time. My parents were worried sick for their favourite child dog. At the shelter, which was set up for the evacuated residences, they found someone from the SPCA who promised to go in and rescue their dog as soon as the fire fighters gave them access. They were finally reunited with Stella Sunday afternoon. They were so relieved to have her in their arms they forgot to ask how their house and neighborhood looked! After all it’s just stuff right!
Tracy recently told me about friends who lost everything they owned in a house fire. Apparently they feel a wonderful sense of freedom. All of their stuff was weighing them down and now that it is all gone they really feel a sense of renewal.
I can see huge plumes of smoke directly across the lake from my home as I write this coming from another fire.
There are four fires currently burning in the Okanagan. I can also see the dry, thickly forested hillside right behind my house from where I sit. It all makes me stop and think about what I would do if faced with having to leave my house at a moments notice and what would I want to take with me if anything. Looking around I realize that there isn’t really a lot that I couldn’t live without. In fact the exercise has me thinking its time to de-clutter again and shed some of the unnecessary stuff. I will put all of my “important” papers together in one easy to locate (read – one that I can remember) place. After I was sure my husband and dog were safely out I’d probably grab my hard drive, some photo albums, those “important” papers and then scram.
The residents affected by the Glenrosa fire are looking at another couple of days before they will be allowed back to check on and return to their homes. Hopefully there won’t be too much lost and much appreciation for the important things gained.