Tag Archives: Fires and Floods

Only Child on Wildfires and Rain

BC Wildfires map July 18 2017

Scenario 1: The house is on fire and my mom is getting me out of bed. Then she, Dad and I are gathering whatever we can to get the hell out of hell.

Scenario 2: There is water everywhere coming through the small bungalow. Mom is getting me out of bed to leave.

These are two recurring dreams I had as a five-year old. Fortunately, not precognitive as they never happened for real when I was growing up.

But the first scenario is  happening today on the west coast of Canada and the US. I watch the scenes from the Weather Network online and on TV and I hear the pain in evacuees. And it is how most of these fires start that is shocking. No, not God, but humans. Stupid, careless humans tossing their still lit cigarettes into the forests or not making sure their campfires are out. A study says that 84% of forest fires are caused by humans and I would up that to 95%. As one evacuee being interviewed on TV said “they should go to jail.”

I have a better punishment for these careless perpetrators and it is not printable. Just think of how you prepare chickens and turkeys to eat.

Of course, finding the perps is not easy.

The authors of the above study throw in climate change as part of the human cause. Some… maybe…but I’m getting a little upset that humans get the full blame for climate change. Sure, responsible for some, but we either forget or don’t know that 20% of climate changes are caused by volcanoes. Try blaming that one on humans. But carelessness seems to be a big factor when people go camping.

There are lots of problems once these fires start – they spread – lots – often aided and abetted by heavy winds. Dry lightning doesn’t help either. I can’t help seeing the paradox of floods and fires – the rain pours in central and eastern Canada and the US and it is so dry in the west.

What’s wrong with this picture. The rain needs to move – west.

Maybe that’s where God comes in. And you can take that in whatever way you wish.

Here are a few links to stories about wildfires.

Fires pushing closer to Vancouver, BC.

Half of fires in BC caused by humans

Humans too  complacent?

The one in Williams Lake and some heartbreaking conversations with evacuees. My heart goes out to them. Just thinking of losing your home to fire or flood is no longer just unthinkable. Unfortunately, it is the norm today.

Besides punishing the perps (if they can be found), those of us who live in another area need to at least donate some money to the Red Cross. That’s what I want to do, despite living in low incomeville.

Some people may decide to pray, but I’m not sure how that one will pan out. If the rain could move to the west instead of places like southwestern and eastern Ontario – still getting drenched with thunderstorms – that would be a big help. Maybe we should all shake our fists at the sky and shout “move the rain west.”

Sharon

Only Child Writes

Williams Lake fire,photo courtesy of Stephane Livolski – from The Weather Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, God

Only Child has mixed Thanksgiving thoughts

Only child in her home

Only child in her home

Yesterday Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. But I have mixed feelings about the meaning of the annual holiday and the role of gratitude in our lives today on planet earth.

Today, I’m playing devil’s advocate with questions and I would like your comments about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to express our gratitude. What about the thousands of people in Haiti killed from Hurricane Matthew? What about those that survived – so far? Cholera is a big shadow hanging over Haiti. What about those on the east coast of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and even up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia that are victims of Hurricane Matthew?

Are the survivors grateful for losing family members, their homes, their cities and towns, their livelihood?

I am always flabbergasted and yes, troubled, when survivors of floods, winds, fires say “we’ve lost everything but we still have our family.” Are they suffering from shock and that’s their initial reaction? As they try to put their lives together, how many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. You don’t go through all that and come out feeling good, feeling gratitude. In the long run, doesn’t it take it’s toll?

I can only speak from part observer – what I see on the news and weather network. My own personal experience (so far) with floods is a flooded basement (about four to six inches) from the main water drain backing up (the official diagnosis) in November 2005. That was devastating enough. If not for the help of my friend and next door neighbour, Alex, it could have been much worse. Right away when I banged on his and his now late wife, Tanya’s door, Alex came over with a super-charged Shopping Vac and  cleaned out the flood. There was still aftermath to deal with – insurance people, drain company, restoration. I was so upset I refused to have anything done beyond the initial cleanup the restoration company did until the spring. My reason was with my allergies to many chemicals I didn’t want work done when windows couldn’t be opened in the winter. But now I wonder how much was shock.

My rec room looked like a war zone and the tiles in other rooms were broken.  I moved all dry food stored downstairs up to the spare bedroom because I couldn’t bear to go down there. My trips downstairs were limited to getting food from the freezer and doing laundry. And I had to be careful going down the stairs to the basement because the steps were no longer cushioned by carpeting – that was all ripped up the day after – and that includes carpets in the foyer and hallway.

It is only a tiny experience of what those devastated by floods (or fires or winds) go through, but it gave me a taste of the reality in our world today.

No place is safe to live in.

So, I ask my question again, reworded somewhat.

Do you have anything to be thankful for? And if so, what?

And yes, I do have a few things to be thankful for, including my son and his girlfriend, my friends, my garden, my writing, and dare I say it my home? Fortunately or unfortunately I am stubborn and tenacious and I don’t take it lying down. I think that’s why I became a journalist too many years ago and while I no longer am a journalist, my writing – personal essays/memoir, this blog and my fiction  – all  deal with the bad in life. And I also yell a lot and try to make sense of what has no sense.

As Shakespeare wrote “Now is the winter of our discontent.”

Notice his choice of seasons.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

 

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Floods, Gratitude, Life demands, Only child, Overwhelm

Only Child on confusion and uncertainty

Garden front of houseI hate confusion and uncertainty. One seems to breed the other. Both lead to worry and anxiety and that is not good for your health.

When I was a little girl I had a re-occurring dream. I would lie on my tummy in my bed and be aware of falling asleep and seeing inside all of the house. What I saw was fire and sometimes floods and Mom, Dad and I trying to collect what we could of our belongings and get out. I always woke up before so never knew how it all ended.

This uncertainty and confusion has carried right through my life. Yes, there have been floods – big and small in the basement of the house I now live in. Perhaps that has something to do with my morbid fascination with the weather. But I think a lot of it has to do with self-preservation. When a threat hits me I go into the fight or flight mode. We know what that does to us, as usually it isn’t some predator (human or animal) after us, although in our bad bad world, it sometimes is. We are usually confronted with a big problem. It could be financial, house-related (besides fire and floods), family and health.

Health is the big one, because this fight or flight mode will get the adrenalin pumping up and raise the cortisol level in our bodies.

Not good.

I am the first to admit that I am a big worry wart. But I come by it honestly, firmly believing I inherited it from my parents, particularly my mother. Mom could win the prize for Worry Wart incarnate. I’m not blaming her, just stating a fact.

This past summer has been extremely bad for health and house problems for me, as well as getting my holidays organized (the three big bad H’s?). Outside factors (read people and situations) are at least 90 percent to blame. Because of a couple of other medical conditions I have a compromised immune system and prolonged and/or heavy worrying effects your immune system. Off and on all summer I’ve been battling sinusitis which spreads into my neck and face glands. It would start improving and be on the road to gone, when poof – it is back again in intensity.

Each time that happens I can link it with some big stress situation caused by somebody or something outside me and my resultant worrying.

Lesson? Several come to mind. I need more sleep (sleep heals) and less stress.

So, I am now swearing on my laptop (I’m not religious, remember, so no Bibles) that I will have less stress in my life. And anyone who causes me stress and grief better watch out.

No, I’m not going to wield the proverbial axe. I’m picking my battles carefully. Sometimes I will go the consumer advocacy route because chances are if I’m experiencing bad rude service, for example, so are others. Other times I’ll just curse the person responsible. And yes, that latter makes me feel better inside.

I am also saying no to requests to do extra jobs and the like. Yesterday I just said “no” to one of those and that was the right thing to do for me now.

And I will continue to spend time in my garden, not just weeding (but naming weeds after the stressors as I yank them out helps) but also sitting out in my garden. Been doing more of that lately. Also writing – nothing like getting the creative juices working to soothe the soul – and transport you into another world. And finding time to meditate and doing so – maybe while in the garden.

How do you deal with stress? Or do you?

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

Hostas late spring/early summer

Hostas late spring/early summer

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Filed under Anxiety, Dad, Gardening and depression, Gardening health benefits, Life Balance, Life demands, Mom and Dad, Only child, Problems, Stress, Uncertainty, Weather, Worrying, Writing