Also, in recent and important news... Jared called me again today. His crew was getting ready to leave the Oak Flat fire and heading toward Mt. Hood where they have been reassigned. This fire is called (to the best of our knowledge) the View Lake (or Lake View, according to Jared but the website I found called it the other) fire. The only information I've found on it is here. This fire is smaller and mostly contained but with so many other crews dispatched elsewhere, ASP has been called in to fill the gaps. To his knowledge, this should only add a few more days to this "deployment".
In some ways, I find myself beginning to think of Elizabeth Gilbert as my guru. I'm reading her book Eat Pray Love right now and finding, beyond all the suppositions that it's some silly, "chick-lit" sort of book, that she has stumbled into some very real human truths, on both broad and specific levels. And through it all, her humour about the many ways to tackle life keep me smiling, laughing, crying and understanding that we are, in fact, all divinely and serenely connected through three of the most natural and basic things we can do as human beings: eat. pray. love.
Last night as I was doing a little writing my phone rang and my heart about leapt out of my chest. I hadn't heard from him since he left so to hear his voice on the other end of the phone just about took my breath away (a little dramatic, I know, but can you blame me?).
His crew had just come down off the mountain where they have been actively fighting the fire to take a quick day's rest before starting out again tonight (Saturday night) on the 12 hour night shift. The only "injuries" they have suffered are the wickedness of poison oak. He said he didn't have it nearly as bad as some of the other guys though so that's good.
Still no word on when he'll be coming home. He said it could be two weeks, it could be tomorrow. I told him that it better not be tomorrow because he hasn't been out there nearly long enough and that he needed to make this first fire epic.
Exhausted as he may be, he sounded wonderful. The first day, he said, kicked his butt. A real wake up call. Day two, a lot better and the third day (yesterday) was the best yet. He called again today just to expand on the work they've been doing while the crew was doing a quick turn though Wal-Mart so some of the guys could get a few little necessities.
The conclucion for the day? The Oak Flat fire is at 2,950 acres and 40% contained! Jared's still out there though so please keep sending those prayers and hopeful thoughts out into the universe! And he wanted me to send along his love and gratitude to all of us here!
To wrap up the last 48 hours of so I need only use one word:
Monday night, after over a week of bed-rest, Jared's sister Andrea went into the hospital to have her baby. Early Tuesday morning they induced labor and then finally today she gave birth to a healthy baby boy (8 lbs. 3 oz, 20 1/2 inches long)!
This is the picture that Sue (Jared's mom) sent me a little while ago. Andrea hasn't decided on a name just yet, she's waiting to see which of the ones she's been thinking about fit him best.
***UPDATE: Andrea decided on Kamdyn Michael!***
Meanwhile, at around 9 o'clock Tuesday morning, Jared's phone rang-- it was ASP Fire calling him. They finally got dispatched and he sped off to Albany, the home base of the company. He called me around 7pm last night to let me know they had arrived safely to their camp near Grants Pass, OR where the the Oak Flat fire is burning.
As of about 20 minutes ago it was at 1,250 acres with 1,050 firefighters currently working to contain it. If you want to track the fire, this link has updates pretty regularly (it's the one Jared checks).
Timing is everything. This fire season has gotten off to a VERY late start and Jared was about to jump out of his skin waiting for the ball to get rolling. If anything has ever tested his faith, I think this was it. But being the man he is, he held strong, though he had just decided he was going to start looking into other options in case the season didn't pan out, and God came through on this one. As He always does. Though we both already knew it, this proved once again that God has a plan.
Now my faith is being tested. Because now Jared is out there battling a wild fire and there is nothing in this world I can do except pray that he comes home safe. I don't think there has ever been a time in my life where I have truly had no other option than to give it entirely up to God. Usually there is some element that I can change, something I can do to make a difference in a situation. But now, there is nothing. I have no power over Mother Nature and those flames. All I can do now is trust Jared and trust God.
And keep sending love out into the universe. And hope it gets all the way to Grants Pass.
All photos on this blog, unless otherwise stated, are by Lauren Morton-Farmer and are property of Happenstance & Wanderlust. If you would like to use or repost any of them please site the source or feel free to contact me. Thank you.