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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Waldo Canyon Fire

I was planning on painting last Tuesday, the 26th of June. Within a matter of minutes my plans changed.

My sister, Joan, who lives less than a mile away, called frantically saying, " I can see flames from our deck!" We had been watching the fire since it had started just a few days before, never suspecting it would come this close. In disbelief I told her we would be right over. As I grabbed my camera, my husband Robert ran out the front door and yelled, "Rita!!! Come and look! We don't need to go to Joan's to see the flames!"

This was the view from the front yard of our home. The Waldo Canyon Fire had suddenly grown into a horrible monster, raging over the foothills and racing toward us.

I looked up at the sky and felt the heat waves from the fire pressing down on me. It was time to flee.

Today, the fire is at 45% containment, the evacuation for our neighborhood has ended and yesterday we were allowed back into our home. My painting of the ewe and her lamb sat untouched on my easel; the paints and brushes were just as I had left them. It felt strange that everything seemed the same though I know it never will be. There is a sense of relief for me, mixed with sadness for those who were not as fortunate as we were and a knowledge that many will not be able to return to their homes because they are no longer there.

With a heavy heart I begin painting again today - feeling so blessed that I can.

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