As I flew home on the red-eye from a wonderful trip of seeing family.
British Columbia is still beautiful even with smoke and fires in the Okanagan Valley. A friend, her daughter, and I were to have met for a day of wine tasting and touring, but a bump in covid cases and the fires extinguished that adventure. When we do meet up it will be a different adventure.
My sister was not on evacuation orders but close to where she lives was on evacuation alert and the fire burnt out a small community not far from her. The excessive heat from earlier this summer devastated her garden. Berries were dried up on the bushes before they had a chance to mature.
Many of the fires are started by lightning strikes and when everything is burnt and dry fires start easily and get out of control fast. Tempers flared as people were told to evacuate that wanted to fight the fire that threatened their homes and property. Many stayed and fought the fire and saved homes and property.
Mom tells me she fought a fire at nine years old. They couldn’t put out the wild fire, but they had a line they didn’t want it to cross and they kept it at bay. Her oldest sister was in the house with her baby brother and if the fire got away from them her oldest sister was to take the baby and climb into the well. How do you leave everything you’ve built if you think you have a chance to save it?
One resident said, “We just saved a house over here. Everything that I have is invested here. And I don’t have a big fat paycheck every month or a big fat pension when I’m finished. If I don’t save it, I’m too old to start over again.”
The fire service is doing their best to keep the fires away from communities but at some point as one fire service official said, “Mother Nature is just too much for humans.”
My brother who was only home a couple of days while I was there, was readying his place in case the fire came through. He had someone looking after it and was getting his trailer ready in case his livestock needed to be evacuated. He took time out to come to dinner at Moms. Four of us kids, Mom, two spouses, and my youngest niece had dinner together. The last time we all ate together my 12-year-old niece wasn’t yet born.
It was a special time of being together. It is harder and harder to get us all together at the same time and as time marches on we all know our circle will not remain unbroken.
It was good to get home. It is fun to go, but lovely to return to my busy home which as we prepare for my son’s wedding next year will see changes as my children build their lives.
Time waits for no one. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us. We have to adapt to changes that might be forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control. We may have to take a stand when something threatens everything we have and everything we’ve built. We may have to accept no matter how hard we try we can’t beat the odds we are against. Or we may be lucky when others weren’t. Whatever life throws at us we have to find a way to be resilient and of good cheer as much as possible.
Everyone has a story, everyone goes through challenges, and everyone has something to overcome, accept, and deal with. What some are going through would bring us to our knees. Getting through the day may be all we can do, and all we have to do to get to the other side of what we face.
Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.
I am so grateful I had the chance to see some of my brothers and sisters, their husbands and wives, nieces and nephews and even great-nieces and nephews, an aunt and uncle, and a cousin this trip. My oldest sister celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary but I wasn’t there with her to celebrate this milestone. My three oldest sisters were together to celebrate.
It is hard to get big families all together in one place but it is a joy to get together in smaller groups even when we can’t all be together. We need to talk to, laugh with, and hug people while we can because there comes a day when it will no longer be possible.
A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united.
The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.
No family is perfect, we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family. The love will always be there.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.
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