Saturday, February 28, 2009

Late Coffee

The world is too much with us...the day started much too early for me. It actually started at 2am when Trooper came in from work only to have me howl like a banshee in dreamland. I woke and sat nearly upright, yelling his name. Talk about a shock to the system - he came in ready to take on anything. "The dog...I was dreaming the dog was out..." Ahem. Well, it was more dire in my dream. Perhaps there were zombies involved or something.

At any rate, the dog later decided it was time to go out so I wandered to the door at 6a, fed the everlovin' cats, then demanded the dog's return. No, no sunrise for you this morning. I am going back to bed.

Yeah...7:30 he was back...

When Trooper finally got up we headed out, the day far too windy and chilled to do anything outdoorsy. Drive around, look for a meal and some land...we stopped in at the local VFD, getting the lowdown on the fundraiser Sunday, planning to meet at the SPJST. Just then the alarm went off - it's like a tornado siren except directly overhead. His friends all started loading up, gear thrown into personal vehicles, a very young son jumping into his dad's truck. Small town life...we'd just talked about how the winds today would be devastating if a fire broke out. Word was that one was a small local grass fire.

It was over our favorite burger about 30 miles down the road that we noticed the smoke in the distance. Fire. "Damn it..." whispered the old locals, everyone keeping an eye out the window while eating, a few people making some haste and heading out. We finished and drove that way, hoping to find it a similar small burn well in-hand.

It's a major road and people just hauled ass without even thinking that their visibility was about to go to nil. Trooper moved out of the way for our friend, the Constable, as he hauled ass in his truck, the lights hardly enough to get the attention of the usual left lane riders. We crested the hill and the smoke rolled across as I turned off the AC. I watched as it filled the pasture across the highway, the winds just whirling it across the land. Not moments after we left the area, unable to do more to help, we heard that it had crossed the highway, embers flying on the wind and settling in that pasture...

That was perhaps 1p. It's 11p and the gentleman is still out there, still directing trucks and water to areas, trying to save homes deep in the woods, piney woods that are rare in this part of the state. Back in Georgia, we know how easily that stuff burns. Add in that 30-40MPH wind and you've a thick and deep, well-fed fire.

Our local VFD has been there all day. They'll be there all night. And some will stay to man the smokers all through the night, too, so that the fund raiser can go on, come what may. I sent Trooper back out with a thermos full of hot coffee - it's a chilly night and you never know who might need it...better to have it than not...

It's a small town. Everyone will be there and, even in these difficult times, they'll reach deep to buy that extra ticket, make that bid at the auction, and nod knowingly as they speak of the houses lost and the people suddenly homeless.

People who already worked a 40 hr wk have been out, working another 12 hours for free with the likelihood of another 18 ahead of them before sleep comes. You cannot discount all of the world just yet...at least not this little corner of it. I reckon they'll hold whatever they can if and when the time comes...

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