Sockeye Fire: FB FTW

A fairly large wildfire started in Willow, Alaska this past Sunday, June 14.  I was working on the farm that day and the farmer and I repeatedly lamented how crummy of a day it was: HOT (nearly 90 degrees), dry, cloudless and windy…Silty dust was flying everywhere and the combination of wind and heat sucked all of the moisture out of the plants and us.  Little did we know that around mid-day, a small, nearby community was having a much worse time than us!

Ava doesn't seem to mind the sweltering heat even in the greenhouse!

Ava doesn’t seem to mind the sweltering heat even in the greenhouse!

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  1. Tina says:

    My brother lives in Willow. The fire stopped about 100 yards from his place so he only lost some food. There will be lots of cleanup though and some hotspots still smolder.

  2. Barb P says:

    Sometimes it is difficult to remember that my state (Oregon) isn’t the only one walking on pins and needles because of the forest fire danger this year. Prayers and positive thoughts being sent your way! And, speaking of positive thoughts, your comments about Facebook are so true, and reinforce my current attempts to focus more on educational and positive posts while still maintaining my quirky sense of humor. Thanks, and prayers for your safety!

  3. Susabelle says:

    I live in Colorado, where fires are a way of life. That doesn’t make them any less scary or any less devastating. So sad that you all are going through this. So scary!

  4. clothespin says:

    Labor Day 2011 I lost my house in the wildfire of Bastrop TX (near Austin) along with over 1600 other homes. (Worst wildfire in Texas history – 3rd worst nationally.) We were lucky and got a phone call from a friend telling us of the fire as soon as it started, a mere 1/2 mile from our home. We were able to grab a few things and while we lost some treasures, pictures, 400 year old family bed… we at least got some stuff out. We were fortunate.

    Through social media, I was able to keep up on where the fire was, inform friends and family who were seeing our fire on the news that we were OK, tell people what we needed, what we didn’t need… It really was an immense help.

    Other ladies had husbands on volunteer fire fighting crews and as their men would call home they would relay the status reports to their FB feeds. Media in Austin wasn’t covering our disaster very well and FB was often the only and by far the most reliable source of information during the chaos of that month.

    Sadly, FB has changed its metrics and now not all posts that you or emergency offices post is seen by everyone who follows them. There has been a vast shift to Twitter for this reason as they DO show all of the posts. During a crisis it is unconscionable for news that is desperately needed not to be relayed due to silly metrics for advertising.

    Nearly 4 years out, and we are still recovering. Still using social media to gain information and alert us to new threats – floods, new fires… We know all to well that it can happen to us.

    Stay safe, have pictures of everything in your house taken and kept in your purse, and good luck. And know that if the sky does happen to fall you will eventually recover… and you can always contact others in the forest fire club for support.

    Here’s to hoping that you don’t join the sisterhood of the burning house.

  5. Joan says:

    I live in Colorado, actually the Black Forest fire got within 1/2 mile of my home, my sons home is just a street width from the fire – he found temp homes for his horses, unfortunately the chickens had to be turned loose (they all made it just fine) the dogs n cats went with them into friends in Colorado Springs – they couldn’t stay with us because we were under ‘evac warning’. All said my family did fine but a few friends lost everything – one of their neighbors (husband and wife) lost their lives. This fire was man made and still no one held responsible BUT all that said – each and every fire is devastating whether one is personally effected or if it is the community – we can’t thank the fire fighters and other first responders enough for all they do everyday. So glad you are not personally in harms way but thank you for your kindness toward all that are. Just a quick word about Ava – just seeing her makes my heart skip a beat – precious!!!
    God bless.

  6. Denise Ross says:

    Fantastic post Alex. I do love how people really pull together when terrible things happen. It shows us that community is still alive and well. I’m glad that you’ve shown the beautiful side of life in social media. I agree with you wholeheartedly, when used for good things, social media is absolutely fantastic. Take care.
    I know all about how damaging fires can be living here in Australia. We go through the exact same thing every summer season.

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“Home is wherever I’m with you”~ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

I’ve loved those lyrics since they came out in the song “Home” about five years ago. Home isn’t necessarily a place, it is a feeling that one has with certain people, a culture or a location.  My blog’s little Farmgirl mascot often reminds me of a similar sentiment–“Farmgirl is a condition of the heart.”  The City Farmgirl’s quote also exclaims a similar idea–“Being a farmgirl isn’t about where you live, it’s about how you live.”

Home is where I can identify and appreciate the wild flowers.  Trillium in bloom in north central Minnesota.

Home is where I can identify and appreciate the wild flowers. Trillium in bloom in north central Minnesota.

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  1. Susabelle says:

    “Home” is where you are. Wherever that is. But there are other versions of “home.” I lived in the same metropolitan area (St. Louis-sh) for the first 50 years of my life. Then I got laid off in a terrible economy and had to leave my state to find work. I landed in beautiful Colorado, living along the Front Range of the Rockies. This is “home” no matter what house I am renting at the time (I am an eternal renter). But I often go “home” to visit family and friends in Missouri. There are many versions of home. Many.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Having spent seven years living in my motorhome and driving around the U.S., Canada and Mexico, I went by the adage “Home is where you park it.” The phrase was coined by the Escapees, a group of full-time RVers who are based in Livingston, Texas but roam where they want and had their mail forwarded to whatever location had general delivery. My home was always with me so I was always “home.” Now I live in an apartment in San Francisco and that’s “home.” I chose this city over all others in the U.S. and am very happy I did.

  3. Joan says:

    Oh my a new experience on the horizon? I too have had many buildings/areas that I called ‘home’ – right now I have one of the most beautiful buildings ever but can move on to anything – well almost anything – at my age I do require much creature comfort – but could move on. BUT HOME is still my Grandparents HOME where I was loved and I loved – a farm, cows, pigs, chickens, orchard, gardens, lots!! of relatives – LOVE!!! Can’t go back to that, except in my memories n pictures but it is the ONLY place I want to be. Best wishes in your decision. God bless P.S. your Ava is scrumptious!!

  4. Dori Troutman says:

    Hi Alex,

    I have a lot of places I call home too. And I’m so thankful for that. My husband and I built a house all by ourselves (yes, totally) that took us 2 full years of working day and night. I knew this house inside out, literally, when we moved in and you know what? It took me almost a year before is really felt like home. That was when I really became aware that “home” is a lot more than where we live. It is memories! And for the first year of living here, I think I was recovering from the stress of building it (ha ha!) so it took me awhile to really make it a home. Now? It’s the best home I’ve ever lived in and I love it more than any of the others! And a lot of that is now due to the fact that we built it ourselves and the memories of that are phenomenal.

    I sure loved your post and what I kept coming back to was your sweet comment about your little 10-year old farming friend. What a lucky little girl she is to have you for a friend. No matter where you eventually end up, it’ll be a happy day for her to come visit! 🙂

    It is true – home really is where the heart is.

    – Dori –

  5. Jodie says:

    “Home is where you hang your hat.” My dad always told me that…I think prepping me for the day when I actually left “home”. Good luck in your search for your new home. Looking forward to an update.

  6. Joy Pascarella says:

    There are two “Homes”. One in our memories from childhood, and one where we sleep every night and eat and relax and make new memories. My childhood homes are all gone because of progress so I have to close my eyes and remember it just the way it was. It will always be there. My today home is where I garden, take care of my chickens and cats and put my things in. Every few years my husband gets an urge to move. Leave everything I am familiar with and try something else. I fight it but always give in and have never regretted it. We have new experiences and learn new things like instead of living in a big house on a corner few acres where everyone sees every move you make, to a small cedar home in the woods with lots of acres and no one sees anything. Change is good and can be so fun, but always too scary at first. As long as you have someone with you , that you trust and love, I think home can be anywhere.

  7. Rowena Philbeck says:

    My true home is where I live but I’m not far from where I was born. Texas is also my home. I have been here all my life. Traveled a lot and plan to do more for sure when I retire in a few years. Love everywhere…and seeing all what God has done!!

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