As I sit at my computer on a dreary, chilly day with the heater turned towards my legs, I am thankful for the rain.
It is what most of us out west are hoping is a Season-Ending-Event.
The end of fire season for another year.
I’m not sure, though, because it could heat up again but they are calling for snow at higher elevations and we’ve had our propane fireplaces going the last two nights.
We are all loving the fresh air and actually being able to smell the live green forest trees versus the burning ones.
The smoke and the fires were pretty intense this year.
Vast acres in Washington, Idaho and Montana were consumed by flames.
29 homes in Rock Creek, British Columbia were lost, not to mention the nearby campground thanks to a relentless surge of fire that came on too strong.
It was a bit creepy just last week playing late afternoon golf in the thick smoke, hearing the unmistakable “whooka-whooka” sounds of the helicopters flying low with their buckets over the 14th fairway.
Every golfer on neighboring holes stood still and looked upwards, like something out of War of the Worlds.
So we are all breathing sighs of relief that we can breathe fresh air again.
But as thrilled as I am to hopefully see the end of this year’s Fire Season, I’m sad that it could be taking Summer with it.
Didn’t Summer just start?
Weren’t we just up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for my 10-year veterinary school reunion?
Weren’t we just getting to explore some golf courses in Bismarck and planning to spend some time playing on them?
Weren’t we just hauling hay bales?
Didn’t we just have our July wedding anniversary and weren’t we talking about getting the canoe out this year or planning to ride the horses and improve our golf game and maybe get the big boat out on the lake?
What the Hell?
We did manage to do a ton of things, though, even if a ride in the canoe wasn’t one of them.
And we laughed a lot, too.
You can’t help but laugh when you turn the corner on the golf cart path and see this.
Okay, maybe the assistant golf pro who was standing with the father of the 2 young girls who did this weren’t laughing but we sure were.
The course superintendent showed up and managed to get things sorted out.
And we actually have improved our golf game this year even if it meant playing with smoky skies.
Alistair and I also played in a club member tournament, which generally isn’t our style. We were told it was all for fun and most people wouldn’t care but one of the guys in our foursome cared.
He was a bit intense about how much he cared and he complained way too much about “only” making par on several holes.
He relaxed as the day went on and he made more pars and I kept hitting trees and Alistair had a beer and the guy finally admitted having a bottle of Captain Morgan’s in his cart.
He laughed a lot more and a lot louder the more he sipped.
He wasn’t overly relaxed when I snapped our foursome photo at the end of it all.
He and the other guy started to get really nervous and anxious about me sharing it on social media.
Or my blog.
It turns out they were both involved in some special ops overseas years ago and are probably still Wanted by some foreign individuals.
Which is par for the course when you live in the middle of nowhere. I have always said a large part of the population is here because they are hiding.
But I digress.
Back to my laughter this summer.
I had UB and Cleo out for a walk along our driveway when I saw the 2 geldings kicking and bucking while they snorted and huffed.
Then they just stood there.
At the Cottonwood trees.
And the black bear within.
I spent a long time watching my new friend (after I got the dogs back in their kennel). I wondered how close I could get without risking being THAT photographer and I tried to keep Zeus and Frankie calm so the bear would relax a little bit.
A little video action of my new friend:
Eventually he came down when Frankie just couldn’t handle being calm anymore and he hid behind one of the cottonwoods close to the fence.
Then he peeked out at me, which I took to be a sign that it was time to head back to the safety of the house.
He has left his evidence everywhere around the farm and Loki has peed on all of it and I check the trees every day and the berry bushes next to the house and I haven’t hiked out back since that evening and I keep my eyes peeled.
And I got to see him once more further along our driveway a few days ago.
He let me get another picture, too.
I have smiled often this summer.
We continue to enjoy the harvest from our lush garden in North Dakota, where they are experiencing a rainforest type of ecosystem which is in stark contrast to the dry west.
The brilliant reds, greens, yellows, purples and oranges lightened up the smoky days and continue to offer crisp color during today’s thunderstorm going on right now.
There is light when there is dark, just as there is humor and happiness when there is sadness.
Which we have certainly known this year.
So if Summer decides she has had it for the year and Fall moves in we are going to be okay with that.
I’ll take it if it means Fire Season is done.
And I’ll take it because its not our nature to complain.
Its our nature to adapt.
In typical Fyfe Style.