{Friday Foto Friends} Leaves, Smoke, & Just What I Needed

Foto with Friends is my way of summarizing what's going on in the Small Town during the week through pictures. Deb at Breathing in Grace is gracious enough to host this every week!
The leaves are still pretty spectacular.  This was taken during our camping trip last weekend.
Another picture from last weekend. Love the leaves against the blue sky!
Leaves in the creek near the campground. Pretty cool reflections, too!
CH snapped this picture as we were finishing up a hike.
Fast forward to Thursday: Around 1:00, there was an announcement over the school intercom for everyone to come inside. I thought maybe there was a bear-sighting (I was at my mountain school), so I looked outside. I saw the SRO (School Resource Officer) walking toward the gym, so I knew it wasn't a bear. Then, the fire alarm went off. We all went out to our normal spots, but then we were evacuated to the ballfield across the street.  The mountain in back of the school caught fire. We've had virtually no rain in a long time, so it's extremely dry. This was taken when we were walking down to the field:
The church is next to the school.
The buses came and took the kids home, and some parents came to get their kids. All of the teachers stayed calm and calmed down the students who needed it. This is what the fire looked like after about 90 minutes:
We were allowed 3 minutes to grab what we needed out of our rooms, get our cars, and leave. When I got home, 13 miles away, I saw this:
It was an exhausting day, and I wasn't even one of the ones in charge! I just checked on kids and did what someone told me to do. When I got home and checked the mail, this was in it:
My Blessed is She Advent Journal! I wasn't sure if I was going to get it in time for Sunday (1st Sunday of Advent) because I never received a confirmation email, but there it was! It was exactly what I needed at that specific time!
Please pray for the community where the school is, as well as for the firefighters. The fire has spread to 500 acres, and we're expecting winds tonight. There may be some rain, but it's not going to be the amount we need. As I write this, no homes have been lost, and the school is okay. 
There was no school there today, but since I split Fridays with my mountain school and my other school, I went on to school this morning. There was a hint of smoke in the building all day; they're about 10 miles apart from each other. Here's what it looked like outside of my window:

You hear about fires in Colorado all the time. Then there are the fires in NC, which is close, but this hits home. The fire chief said "we've been living on the edge, and we know that, and every day we wake up and thank the good Lord that it didn't happen, but today it happened." 
Probably the dumbest question was when a newscaster asked the chief what it looked like in the fire. He just kind of looked at her, and said, "It looks like a mountain is on fire. It's smoky." Wow. 
Hopefully we'll get the rain and it will be more than expected. And hopefully things will get back to normal soon. The beautiful mountain behind the school won't look the same for a long time, but, eventually it will. And this will be something we'll all be talking about for a long time to come.


  1. hi Mary, I hope your fires are going out soon...praying for rain for everyone affected. We are quite dry here in our woods in Florida as well, and there was a lot of smoke today. Yes, we also have bears! I live in the Ocala National Forest...so fires are a real threat...and bears can be as well...but mostly the bears are more afraid of us than we are of them...(well, sort of...). Thank you for visiting my blog today too! Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh my. Scary. I am glad there are no homes lost. I love your journal. I received my advent journal from She Reads Truth this week. The pic with the blue sky and red is very pretty. Looks like an art print.

  3. How very sad and scary about the fire so close to the school and church. I am thankful no one has lost their home but like you say, the landscape will be scarred for a while. Praying for rain and for the safety of those fighting the fires. I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.

  4. I've seen the reports on the news, very scary. Hope the rains come soon, I know it's needed. Not to worry about bears where I live, to close to the city. I remember when we lived in Canada not only did the bears come in close, so did the wolves. Hope you have a great weekend.

  5. I've been praying that y'all will get rain to put out those fires. Scary stuff, Mary! That's too close for comfort. Stay safe!!

  6. Hoping the rain will come soon and put the fires out completely.

  7. Sorry I'm late in visiting....we had grand-kiddos yesterday and into the evening and you know how that totally takes up your time! ;-) The fire situation is so scary, but you were caught right smack dab in the middle of the situation. Please stay safe. We got rain this morning and the skies are gray here, so I'm praying for even more. We have a yard covered in leaves, but the rain is well worth having to rake/mulch. Thank you so much for linking up. HOPE you have a great weekend!

  8. Having been through a couple of forest fires, it's definitely surreal. Hope they're getting it more contained and that you got some of that rain!


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