A view from Pine in 2009.
Missouri has been very hot and dry this summer. We usually have humidity, green grass and thunderstorms and not always in that order.
Most people here do not water their lawns, there isn't any need. But this year, our lawns have gone completely brown, our lush trees are losing their leaves and gardens are not as plentiful in produce.
This is nothing compared to what has been happening out west. I have been anxiously watching the news about all of the wildfires in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
But it is the Trinity Mountain fires which is hitting close to home for me. Many of my friends and their families have a summer retreat in those mountains. My siblings have been enjoying several years of relaxation with their own cabins in Pine.
I get my mountain fix on each of my visits to Idaho. Those wondrous views of steep mountains with trees that seem to bend toward you in the morning light. I miss that fresh crisp air that makes you want to eat a hearty breakfast and drink your coffee slowly.
A fire of any kind is a tremendous loss of property and keepsakes. Insurance will rebuild a structure, but they cannot entirely replace what you truly lose after a disaster of this magnitude.
We fished at Willow Creek and other areas as we were growing up. The water was clear and ever so cold! Our Aunt Bill and Uncle Henry camped all summer long nearby. And nothing can compare to the taste of a freshly grilled Brook Trout!
The wildflowers that appear in late spring and early summer fill the meadows and sprinkle the hills with; Sego Lilies, Indian Paint Brush, Wild Mustard and the Camas Lily, Silver Lupine, Mullein and Rabbit Brush.
The Silver Lupine is one of my favorites. They are really purple flowers and they grow so densely that they look like a magic carpet from a distance. I listed the Mullein, because they have such soft leaves. Always handy for personal purposes if toilet paper wasn't readily available!
As I sit here and write this blog, I can imagine what each flower smells like and how their leaves feel between my fingers. I can see those wonderful trees leaning toward me as if to say hello. And I grieve for what has already been lost and what might be in the next few weeks.
Life will certainly be different for those who enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the clear cold streams filled with Brook Trout. The scars of this fire will be in evidence for years to come. However, new trees will grow, the mountains will still retain their majesty, just a little more exposed.
My best memories of camping was traveling in our old camper breathing the dust of the vehicle in front of us. I remember how dirty our feet would be at the end of the day as we trotted down to the creek and washed them in the cold water. The stars never seemed so bright and the campfire kept the evening chill away.
I commend those who are fighting so hard to save our land from wildfires. They are dedicated individuals who not only brave the elements, but spend long tiring hours cutting brush and trying to save homes and lives.
I offer my condolences to the family of the young woman who lost her life a week ago.
Thinking of you, my friends and family as we watch the wildfire drama unfold. Former residents whose hearts are still connected to that tiny corner of paradise are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers