I guess I could write that about pretty much every year of my life. 😀
As you probably know, wildfires burned houses in a part of Colorado yesterday, so far 500+ houses. These fires were/are a 5 – 6 hour drive from me, across a couple of passes and on the other side of Denver.
Last night the power company shut down power in the most populated counties in the San Luis Valley. After the fact they let us know what was going on. OK. The idea was to reduce natural gas consumption. Their explanation was probably reasonable and made sense to them. It was only out 3 – 4 hours but it’s scary when suddenly your whole town goes black at 7 pm. For me it’s PTSD time because that was the first thing that happened before I was evacuated ahead of a wildfire in San Diego County in 2003. I was grateful to have my new phone and 5G. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known what was going on.
Once I knew what was happening, I ate my almost-fully-cooked dinner by candlelight. Electronics are good. I was able to watch a movie via my old DVD player and run my white noise machine all night via the USB on my old laptop. I also took the “opportunity” to stick a couple of battery operated motion sensor lights to my kitchen and laundry room walls. Who knew I’d end up with a safer house? The finale to the power outage arrived 3 hours later. I could understand the “method in their madness.” People were going to bed. Power consumption would go down anyway. I expect the same to happen tonight so I’m making sure everything is charged.
My little neighborhood checked in with everyone to be sure we were all fine.
The area that burned was — back when I lived up there which was nearly 50 years ago — open country. It’s always been dry, but now it’s even drier after 3 years of drought. Last night, reading the descriptions of what burned, was like reading about a foreign country. Louisville — one of the towns that took the most damage — was once a town along the lines of Monte Vista, a one street town with a few streets branching off. It was famous for the Italian restaurants the leftovers of the Italians who had come to mine coal in the area back in the day. I can’t even remember Superior — the other town in harm’s way — it was so minuscule. It’s now on the list of “Best places to live in Colorado.”
Grass fires are very dangerous and scary. They move fast and spark like crazy. The wind carries the sparks all over the place — lighting (in this case) literal dumpster fires. Worst of all, raking them doesn’t help (ha ha).
I’m resisting my urge to launch into a sermon about the way we live now, but seriously. A culture based on consumption, that uses marketing to turn everything into commodities, can’t survive. Anyway, that said, I realize I’m going to have to acquire the tools I had in California to get through these things, so it looks like I’m about to buy stuff. 😦
In other news — I took down my show at the museum yesterday and learned that Louise has resigned her position as museum director which is too bad, but totally understandable. So who knows if there will be another holiday show where I can sell stuff (ha ha) to people who want to consume it? I get the paradox there (paradox is a kind way to say hypocrisy). As I drove home (in the wind) I thought about what a lovely holiday season I had. I’d say it was topped off last night in my dark town when I went out to my front yard to look at the magnificent sky, shimmering diamonds in the darkness, the Milky Way, Orion dazzling bright, the Pleiades — all seemed within reach. Next time that happens, I’ll put on a coat before I head out the front door!
Finally, as 2021 comes to an end, in words of Philip K. Dick via Bladerunner — I hope in 2022 everyone will…