June 27, 2012

Never in a million years would I think I would be making a post like this tonight. The fire started on Saturday, around noon. It is now 12:37am Wednesday morning and life, as I have known it, will never be the same again. Colorado Springs is burning relentlessly and uncontrollably. At 4pm everything exploded and everything west of I25 started to burn. I literally had NO warning, or notice of evacuation. I left my office at 5:15 and never made it to my home, at the end of Garden of the Gods and 30th. I have my computer and my car….nothing else. I went to my friend Yvonne’s house and she was already sharing her home with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren who had been ordered to evacuate on Saturday from Mountain Shadows. I thought I might be able to go home after a couple of hours, but it was obvious that was not going to happen. I went to another friend’s house, off Austin Bluff’s and Woodmen, but she does not have TV and I could not stand the thought of not watching what was happening. I drove to my daughter’s house, near Patty Jewett, and my grandson, Jacob, had his bedroom all set up for me with a bottle of water and a hand written breakfast menu…How much do you think I love this nine year old child??? That was the turning point of my day.

My place may be gone tomorrow, but it’s small and no big deal. The pictures, the memories of 65 years, my parakeet, all my other “stuff”, my Mother’s ashes, the legal paperwork…doesn’t matter, that much. What does matter, is my community. I have lived here 35 years and I love Colorado Springs with all my heart. Flying W Ranch is gone! How many special occasions have I celebrated there. My friends, my clients, my neighbors houses are burning. My beautiful city, the parks, Waldo Canyon, a favorite hiking place for so many of us..the Air Force Academy, who knows what else may be threatened or gone before this is over.

Garden of the Gods is less than five minutes from where I live and a park I walk and find peace and comfort it several times a week, is closed, but, so far, I have not heard anything about fire there. If anything should be saved, please let it be Garden of the Gods.

My heart is so heavy tonight and the tears are flowing, but I am so proud of this community and how we are all coming together to help each other. WE WILL RECOVER, and Colorado Springs will be an example of a city that overcomes one of the biggest disasters ever, and comes back stronger and better than anyone can imagine. I will be thrilled to be a part of that process!

To be continued…..