From March of 2000 to August of 2002 (so, 2.5 years…or 3 YoungLife summers and the 2 school years in-between), I lived in Ramona, California 92065. It is so strange to watch National news and see your old home on fire. The Witch Fire is ‘mine’…it’s the one that’s directly East of San Diego and near Oakbridge. It seems to have wrapped camp… burning the ends and leaving the center in tact. Somehow, only one cabin was lost (Golden Eagle, for those of you familiar) as well as Heidi’s home and the Gantzer’s home. And, my ropes course. My very first ropes course that I both hated and loved. The ropes course that found me hanging upside down with a drill trying to secure the zip line platform on Day 2 of my very first job out of college way back when. It’s an odd feeling to watch it from so far away.
I have memories of other fires… fires where the mountain burned straight up to my window and we watched some of San Diego’s finest line the road- 200 deep- take a signal from their leader, and silmutaneously swing their shovels and axes high up over their shoulders and march in. It was beautiful and scary and confusing all at the same time. This fire… these fires… they are not mine. It’s not home anymore… it’s a bit like hearing bad news about your once-best friend from high school. But, it IS where I met Curt and fell in love. It IS where I met Heidi and Rebecca and Lia and Chelsey and the McKenzies. It is where I earned my first real paycheck and where I battled isolation. It was home and those people are family.
So, at a bit of a loss here as to what exactly to do with myself, I figure I’ll gather up some cash and send it on out to Heidi and the Gantzers, as they will need to replace everything in the coming months. If any of you have yet to tithe this month and wanna contribute, there’s a button (Sorry about the spacing…egads. I don’t get it. When I try to fix it, it ruins the link.) below which will send secure donations to my paypal account. I’ll collect the monies and turn it all into gift cards to be sent before Thanksgiving. I’ll even send you a little thank you present. It’s a small thing, I suppose. But it’s something.
[Umm… you people are rockin’ this thing. Thank you so so much. If you don’t want to do the internet thing, you can mail me snail-mail at 5651 Montcalm Ave. NE Belding, MI 48809.]
Folks, it’s not lookin’ good…the weather for Friday night, that is. Peanut is ready for some fun, but there may be some liquid sunshine headed our way. I’ll leave it up to you. We’ll still be here… all night. I’ll make a big ol’ pot of chili and a nice dish of homemade macaroni and cheese, we’ll stoke up the wood stove, we’ll bring out the dominos and scrabble, and we’ll put The Princess Bride on in the background. We’ll even have a pumpkin hunt inside our little Shoebox of a house for the kiddos. I just can’t bear to cancel the 2nd Annual Hayride… but if the weather’s gross and you’re afraid of communal germs and small spaces, tomorrow night may not be the night to come visit TexasNorth. I completely understand. But, as Adam reminded me, chilly weather + misty rain = perfect conditions for cuddling. We’ll put Adam’s Cuddle Booth near the fire out back.