View Full Version : What's been keeping me away

09-10-2011, 10:49 AM
Hello my friends,

I decided that I would stop in and let everyone know what is going on. I really do miss each and every one of you and I miss visiting but things have been bit hectic. Much of my state is on fire (as those from Texas know). I actually live in one of the counties that has been hardest hit. Thankfully my part of the county has been left untouched except for smoke and ash but that alone makes it an almost constant reminder. I live in a small town. Although I left here for awhile I came back to my "home" after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I know these people. I know every firefighter in this county that is out fighting this over 13,000 acre fire. I know the majority of the police that are being used to evacuate people from their homes at 3 in the morning or who sits blocking a rode to keep people from going back in when it isn't safe. Heck, I sat with the Sheriff's wife at a football game tonight. This isn't just a fire in a field or even a section of a big city that is burning. This is our home. These are our friends and neighbors doing everything they can to stop a fire from taking the home of another friend. If you can't really wrap your head around what 13,000 acres is then let me tell you that one subdivision alone lost 90% of the homes in it. Homes have been lost in many, many other parts of the area but that one particular statistic floors me. It is just so sad. So you see why this isn't just a fire to us. This is personal. Not just to me but to my entire community.

This fire is sometimes known as the "Tri-County Fire" and not only do all of those counties have their emergency agencies working on this one of the D-10 planes that was at another fire in the state has been able to come help us. Thankfully the state of California has also sent their Interagency Incident Management Team to help us get this all under control. We are so thankful for any help we get right now. There are shelters open all around for people who can't return home and there are rest stations for the first responders that have done more then I would have thought possible. This weekend I will try to do my part and help feed those that are standing between my family a blaze. I am so sorry that this was so long but I do take my WHL family very seriously and a small part of me feels guilty for not doing my part here but my community needs me and I need to make sure that my family is taken care of as well.
I am going to post a few photos that were taken from the fire that is in my county. There are many other fires but right now I can only focus on mine. Thanks to each of you for understanding that I have not forgotten about you and I will be back


PS The good news is that my daughter tries out of her school mascot and she won! Her first game was last night and she did great!

09-10-2011, 11:12 AM

Don't worry one bit about any moderator duties, I have you covered. You need to focus all of your energy on the task at hand in your community, in your home.

When you take on a project, I see such dedication in you, such determination. You, make a difference.

Your community needs you. They are fortunate to have you. We'll leave a light on for you here.

Stay safe,


09-10-2011, 12:35 PM
We will be fine.
You are such a good person, always helping others. We really appreciate you.
We'll be here, when you come back.
Be careful and take care of yourself.


09-10-2011, 12:37 PM
Oh Mari! I've been keeping up with the news from Texas. Devastating. Best wishes to you and your friends and neighbors.

09-10-2011, 02:15 PM
Remember to sit when you need to and rest, the last thing you need is to be knocked on your butt. Sending prayers and (((HUGS)))!

09-10-2011, 07:28 PM
Texans do take care of their own! Be careful and you are in my thoughts. Congrats on your daughter's achievement!

09-11-2011, 02:57 AM
thinking of you, and the state.

09-12-2011, 08:48 PM
My family are praying for you all and the state. When Tropical Lee missed Texas ... oh we prayed hard it would miraculously turn.

That is great news about your daughter!

09-13-2011, 09:57 AM
Mari, take care of yourself and be safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and all of Texas.

09-13-2011, 01:30 PM
Hello again everyone,

Today is Tues and after a week of trying the fire is 85% contained! There is some fear that it may get bigger because the winds are picking up. We are keeping our fingers crossed though. The sad part is that another 4 or 5 fires have been ignited around the state today. Dry air, excessive heat and no rain since last year is a bad combination. While I feel sorry for everyone else but I am really glad that ours is doing better!

I spent the weekend working at the distribution center for our county. We sorted through the donations and sent them over to be put out for those in need. Very long days and I have been down for the last two but it was really worth it. By Noon on Sunday we were asking people to stop donating! People came from all over the state to help us and to donate. Two stories that really stand out to me are:

On Sunday this man (in his 50's) walked in with a plastic box full of Men's clothing. He walked up to a few of us to give us the container and he said "These clothes are from my father in law. He has less then a month to live and he wanted to make sure his clothes went to people that need them". Wow. I am tearing up again just typing it.

On Sat we were covered in donation and trying to sort through things. This man and I worked side by side all day long. About 5PM on Sat we were talking and he said "I haven't been home in 5 days", I turned to look at him thinking I must not be understanding and asked where he lived. He told me and it turns out that he was evacuated 5 days before and he was staying with his daughter. He decided that he was doing no one any good standing at his daughters so he came down to help work and help people displaced by the fire. Talk about selfless!

Anyway, I just wanted to touch base and let everyone know that we appear to be doing better. I am having to recover and tomorrow I plan on going back to the distribution center and help passing food and clothing out. I will keep everyone posted and Rob, thanks for keeping the light on for me!

09-13-2011, 02:24 PM
If you want to see some of the pictures from our fire I am posting a link here. I must say that the pictures do not compare to what it looked like in real life


09-13-2011, 08:23 PM
I am so happy to hear that your fire is pretty well contained. You are such an admiral person and, talk about selfless...that is definitely you!
You have been on my mind since your first post and I worry that you are not resting well or that your are going past your tolerance point. But, I know that you would not be you if you were not doing all that you can for someone else. So, I just want to say to you, please, please do not forget to take care of you.
The pictures were overwhelming and my heart aches for those who have lost their homes and who are suffering. Thank you for keeping us updated and do not worry about us here. You are missed, but it is much more important that you take care of yourself.

Peace and Blessings

09-16-2011, 11:22 AM
Has anyone ever told you that you're a great photographer? Wow! I hope that's not inappropriate to say considering what's going on in the pictures.

Thanks for keeping us posted. We continue to miss you and pray for Texas.

09-17-2011, 09:17 PM
Hi Mari,
I'm glad that they are getting the fire near you under control.
I talked to my son who lives in Houston yesterday - it was his 29th birthday! Tom told me that when he was driving back from a trip to San Antonio, he had to drive through some really thick smoke and that his allergies have been acting up ever since.
My daughter and son-in-law live in Boerne (Northwest of SA). Steve was writing on his FB about watching helicopters dumping water and/or chemicals on the field behind their house. I worry about all of you there. Take care.

09-18-2011, 08:57 AM
Has anyone ever told you that you're a great photographer? Wow! I hope that's not inappropriate to say considering what's going on in the pictures.

Thanks for keeping us posted. We continue to miss you and pray for Texas.

LOL I didn't take those pictures. They were not letting us in there so they would post pictures on the FB page when they could. They are wonderful pictures of a terrible incident