Friday, June 29, 2012

Sooo, what's been going on with YOU?!!

When I surf the net, looking at card candy, I rarely take notice of where those artists live.  I want to see those gorgeous cards.  And many of you have probably heard about the Colorado Waldo Canyon fire but some of you may not know that I live at ground zero, Colorado Springs.

I took this picture from my bedroom window, just moments before my family evacuated the area.  My family is safe but we are still evacuated to family in Denver.  Despite the fact that the fire was literally two streets away from us, our house as of right now is still standing and has no problems other than smoke damage at this point.  Unfortunately, there are still spot fires in the area and so it doesn't look like we will be allowed to go home for awhile.

We personally know six families who lost their homes and in total there are 347 homes that are gone.  So far only one person has been found dead in the rubble but 6 others are missing.

The day we evacuated, the entire family was away from the house.  As the boys and I drove toward home around 4, the smoke turned the sky to night and flakes of ash descended, making it seem like snow.  I pulled over and called the hubby, telling him that I needed him home NOW.  I could see flames.

I spent the next 25 minutes running around the house trying to figure out what was important ... kids, animals, laundry, medicine.  We had been given a "pre-evacuation" order three days earlier but then nothing so I had started to pull things back out of the luggage and started using them again.  Essentially, I was starting over!

As I finally finished loading the truck, the phone rang with the reverse 911 call telling us to get out.  The husband finally pulled up.  It had taken him 10 minutes to get from his work to the Safeway by us (5 minutes down the road) and then 25 to get to the house from there.  By this time police cars were driving up and down our street telling us to evacuate IMMEDIATELY.  We took off in two cars.

15,000 people were evacuated that night (over 32,000 have been displaced overall by the fire overall) so traffic was insane.  We managed to escape quite a bit of the traffic by leaving earlier.  We chose to use the minor highways rather than I25 and that proved to be a good decision.  We stayed on the phone with each other for the majority of our almost 3 hour journey north to Denver.

I managed to escape wearing flip-flops rather than good shoes and only packed one pair of socks and underwear for myself (dork) but other than that ... I think we did a good job of getting out what needed to go.

We are in contact with our insurance company and suspect that we will have to do some painting and serious cleaning.  But we know that we are very, VERY lucky to have a house to go home to (even if that means being relocated for a few more days)

If you’d like to help with efforts in Colorado, here are a few links where you can donate.

Red Cross
Salvation Army
Help Colorado Now

I've snagged this photo essay from off a friend's blog.  And here are two other blogs that tell about the fire from another point of view:

Freckled Face Printworks


  1. Sending you love honey... Can't wait to see you!

  2. Thinking of you and praying for you and family. So glad you still have your home. So glad you are safe in Denver.

  3. Joanna,
    Thank you for posting this on your blog, you gave me a clearer idea of what you have to manage in the upcoming days. But also as always amaze me in your strength. How is the family doing? If you need anything please let us know. Love you so much my sweet friend!

  4. Joanna, this is so devastating.... So glad that you and your family are safe...praying for you all.

  5. It gave me chills to look at all these pictures. So glad you are safe. Hope you can get back to your home soon.

  6. I was most scared for you. Everybody else I know was a bit further away from the action! If you need help cleaning or painting just give a shout...I'll be there! Hugs!!

  7. Joanna, i´m so glad that you and your family are safe and your home is still standing ! I hope you can go back soon !