Flight from Forest Fire

Fleeing from a forest fire in a pandemic was not even a worry in my worried head. My head was full of Covid 19 changes in my life and the usual worries about my boys.

Strangely, I had posted my story about our evacuation due to forest fire in 1980. This year was the 40th anniversary of that time.


But, really, did it have to happen again?

Yes it did.

Here’s a short version of my later on longer version.

On Monday, August 10th, I was at home enjoying a few days of holidays. My brother and brother-in-law were staying with me for a few days and we had arranged to visit out mom in the Lodge that day. It was a good visit and we scheduled another one for the next day. We then went to the beach.

It was windy. Really windy. I am not a windologist but it was crazy windy. Things were blowing down the streets and trees were having a hard time. We gave up at the beach. The sand was blowing in our faces, giving us unwanted dermabrasion.

We went home and sat outside. My brother checked his facebook feed and saw a post about a fire. We looked to the west and yes, there is was, a big plume of smoke. Naturally, we were curious so we jumped in the vehicle and sped off to investigate. It wasn’t long before we realized that was dumb and turned around. The fire wasn’t that far away. That was at approximately 4:00 p.m.

We notified my sons, who were home at their apartment and then we all went to my house to watch the smoke and keep up with facebook posts. Facebook is the way our little town communicates.

The first post by the municipality stated that the fire was not a threat. We sat and watched. The second post a couple of hours later said to be on alert. What!! I packed my little suitcase and waited. Evening came. The smoke looked like it was not as bad. The helicopters were on scene and then the water bombers.

Then I was notified that the Lodge had evacuated mom and all residents to Kenora, three hours away. What?!!

Then the post from the municipality stated to evacuate that night if possible. What?!! I’m not sure what time I saw this but we all packed up in about 15 minutes and were out the door. (We had parked our vehicles on the front street). We left at about 10:03 p.m.

Everything happened so quickly. What do you pack when you leave in a hurry? What are those important things? Well, we took my Dad. He is still in my closet at home, waiting to be laid to rest, when mom leaves this world.

Out on the street, people were getting in vehicles or waiting for rides. We noticed a man with his thumb out and asked him where he was going. He had no clue where to go or what to do as he had just moved to town. We told him to get in. Off we went and joined a line of a thousand other vehicles leaving town in the dark on our one road out of town.

What a relief to be heading down the highway. We had decided we would go to my brother’s cottage six hours away; just drive all night. It didn’t work out that way. We were told to register in the next town. People were diverted into the town to register which caused a bottle neck of vehicles. What normally takes 45 minutes to get to, took three hours. Yes, we were in a line for three hours. Wondering how close the fire was. By the time we reached Ear Falls, it was 1:00 a.m. We were exhausted. We pulled into the beachfront park and slept in our vehicles. Happy to be alive.

To be continued….

Inflatable boating; you can do it

A rubber dinghy, it was called back in the day.  It is now called an inflatable boat!  We bought one at Cabelas this summer so that we could pack it up and take it with us when we go camping. We thought it would be fun and give us a little adventuring. It was not easy to row with the oars so we decided that in order to get to more places, we would put an electric trolling motor on it. And, it works wonderfully.

We can now pack up our boat and motor and throw it in the SUV and off we go to adventures on the many lakes and rivers in our area. We can use it anywhere that we can get into the water easily because you have to get your feet wet to get into it.

Because the motor is electric, charged by the battery, that we also have to bring, it is silent. When you are on the water the only sound you hear is the lapping of the water against the side of the boat. Three ducks flew right by my head when we were on one lake. We have taken it to lakes where we were the only people on the entire lake!

Absolutely beautiful. A little bit of effort is needed. Not for the weak and weary. But so worth it when you are out toodling around in the wilderness. You don’t have to get gas, bilge, dock, and haul a trailer.

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Summer is done

There were highlights and lowlights for sure. Summer goes by quick here in Northwestern Ontario and we northern(ish)ers have to make the most of every moment that we can when not working.  I think our summer started off questionably with cooler temperatures but warmed up and turned into a beautiful summer. Well until the horrible hail storm event. But aside from that, it was fabulous.

My son, Andy, came home to work for the summer which I was really excited about. I didn’t get to see too much of him because he was busy working and having a social life, but still, I knew he was close by.

My son, William, came home at the end of summer and will be in the general area for at least a month and his girlfriend came to visit Red Lake for the first time!  I’m sure she was wowed by our beautiful scenery and friendly people. And of course by the Thirsty Moose Bar & Grill!

Rick and I spent a lot of time out of doors walking, camping, golfing (him), caddying (me), swimming and boating with our inflatable boat. I really had a lot of fun this summer.

Our loving, faithful dog, Maggie went to doggy heaven this summer which was really hard for the both of us. She is still missed at our house. Funny how a dog can be such a big part of your heart. So that was the saddest part but we have wonderful memories of her and she lived a good dog’s life with us. Our house was her dog house.

The most amazing thing that happened this summer was what happened inside my brain. Something clicked and changed in my brain, spiritually. I was able to let go of some regrets and pain of the past. A feeling of peace came into me, inside me, down deep and stayed for awhile.  I slept really well. I still feel it but I have to keep it there and not let it slip away. It happened when I was reading a book that I bought at the thrift store; an old book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, called “There’s a spiritual solution for every problem”. I think I read that book years ago when it first came out. This time I was just ready to receive some words from it.

Progress has been made, but life continues on and continues to throw new things to you so all we can do is keep on trying.


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