Well, if you’ve been following along with my posts, I left you hanging on the last one as hubby was scheduled to have surgery early Friday morning. (Sorry, another long post!)
They wheeled him out of his room about 6:00 am and down to surgery. I called a couple hours later because I hadn’t heard any updates and the nurse I talked to said he was “still in procedure”. She said someone would call when he was out. About 8:30 I got a call that he was in recovery and taking a while to wake up, “he likes to sleep” said the nurse. I said, “because he’s not used to the drugs”. (He’s hasn’t had an anesthesia since his motorcycle accident forty years ago).
They said it would be a while before he was in his room and I needed to call the doctor to find out if he was staying another night (please, no!) or going home that day. Thankfully, I had a nice chat with the doctor who said everything went well and he could go home probably early afternoon after he had some lunch.
So I headed into town after he called and had finished his lunch. He was still a little “happy/high” from the drugs but doing pretty well and ready to get home. So the nurse wheeled him out to the curb while I went to get the truck.
And we headed home.
But as we were driving down the river road with the Columbia River at our side, we noticed a huge plume of smoke rapidly ascending across the river! Oh no, not another fire!
Summer used to be the time to garden, go to the lake, have picnics and enjoy the warmer weather, but the past few years, it’s all about watching for, worrying and following the fires that seem to be burning up the west coast every summer. Summer isn’t fun anymore and I think we all look forward to cooler, fall weather and less threat of fires. But I sure do miss summer fun.
As we drove towards home, we tried to assess the location of the fire as we have several friends that live across the river from us. I texted one friend (who was actually south of the fire a safe distance).
Then I though of another family who might be closer to it and messaged her. I got an urgent message back that the fire was burning on the mountain across the road from them. They have a cute little farm with goats, sheep, a llama and several alpacas, and no way to transport them.
And me, well you might remember from last year’s fire near us and my post about the larger horse trailer I bought to transport dogs in an emergency, it also can carry livestock of course! So I told her I would hook it up when I got home and head her way.
So I checked on the dogs when I got home, then headed out to hook the trailer to the old Dodge since it can pull a lot of weight if we ended up with a full trailer.
And my crazy, just-out-of-the-hospital hubby says, “I’ll go with you”. *insert open mouth* “Hon, are you sure you’re up to that? You should probably stay home and rest”. “No, I’ll go”, he says. I’ll just sit in the truck. *shakes head*
(The pain meds hadn’t worn off yet. Which brings me to a question for the medical people out there. Why, why, why do most doctors automatically give everyone that has surgery a narcotic for pain? It’s no wonder we have so many people that get hooked on pain meds out there. I only took Ibuprofen after my C-sections! We didn’t even fill my hubby’s prescription. He took some Advil that night and has been fine ever since with his pain. I just don’t understand why these heavy drugs seemed to be handed out for every surgery, injury, etc. Maybe I have high pain threshold or just don’t like what drugs would do to me. Okay, I’ll get on my soapbox now 😛 Rant over!)
The drive back towards town, then down the other side of the river to the friend’s house takes about an hour. When we arrived my poor friend was really worried. Although looking at the fire, the direction the wind was going, etc. hubby thought they’d probably be okay.
You can see from this picture, just past the outside fence is the road then a field which leads to the mountain on fire. The wind was blowing it north and the main part was burning north, but it was also creeping down the mountain towards the field.
I made a friend. This guy was so friendly!
And this little Alpaca I wanted to sneak in my back seat and take home. ❤️
We hung out that afternoon and watched as the family decided what they should do. There were four water bomber planes and two helicopters working on the fire that kept our attention. These guys, plus the ground crew of firefighters are heroes in my book!
The fire was close and probably wouldn’t reach them. But there was always that risk. And besides ourselves, three other people from the community had shown up with two more truck/trailer rigs to help. Yep, just community members that heard there was a need, total strangers reaching out to help. I love this area we live in. People look out for each other and step up when there’s a need!
So it was finally decided to be on the safe side. We would move the livestock off the farm and to the local fairgrounds about forty-five minutes away.
Out trailer was loaded with about fourteen sheep (I never actually counted, but it was full.) The main flock were in the trailer and we put two young rams in the tack compartment too. On a side note, sheep are hard to load in a trailer when you don’t have a chute!
Our caravan to town included the first trailer loaded with the llama, four alpacas and three large goats, the second trailer loaded with a flock of goats and our sheep-filled trailer. Another trailer would later come to her house to haul the rest of the alpacas.
And when we arrived at the fairground, the fairground manager was there ready with a bunch of 4H kids and their parents. They had pens ready, water buckets filled and they jumped into action helping us unload all the animals and get them set in comfy pens. It was amazing! What a great group of volunteers! <3
We finally made it home late. And we were both beat. Poor hubby. If I’d known it was going to be such a long day and into the evening, I would have insisted he stay at home!
Thankfully, Saturday was quiet. We watched church online and then sat out in yard like tourists as the planes from the previous day made their rounds. They would scoop water out of the river than fly over our house as they made they way back across the river to drop their loads on the fire. (The fire is across the river and north of us).
These pilots are amazing! There were three identical planes (my pilot husband said they were AT802 planes…whatever that is 😛 ). They would make the pass about every five minutes one following after the other.
Later the hubby and I snacked on some munchies for a late lunch/early dinner. The youngest came home, and the grandparents stopped by too. It was nice relaxing day!
“Please give me attention”
No Ben, that’s not for you.
Go ahead and just take over my lap, Reba.
“PLEASE, pet me!”
And I heard from my friend today. Someone loaned them a rig and trailer and they started moving their livestock back home today! 🙂