Best Place to Live in the Wild West
I feel a little like that proud Mother who can only see the positive in my own child despite the realities that we are all human. Truth be told, this is how I am feeling about my community right now. This last week has been eventful.
My family and I were just returning from a vacation we enjoyed with friends at lake Tahoe and witnessed other close friends tie the knot atop of Squaw Valley. Both places were incredibly gorgeous and filled with laughter and good friends but our trip was cut short on our return to Seattle when I happened to scroll through some Facebook postings and saw that a neighbor had just exclaimed”Somewhat disconcerting when the Smokejumpers are jumping above your house and three fire trucks are sitting on the road.” What? Did I read that correctly? Turns out that 4 smokejumpers landed on our hill to fight a blaze that had been ignited by a lighting strike. Have any of you felt that sinking feeling when something happens and you are too far away to do anything about it…personally?
We cut our visit with Grammie short and hustled (read: 4 hours) home over the North Cascade Scenic (not today) Highway to take care of our home and animals. All along the way our friends were keeping us updated, <I love the internet> on the positive aspects to the event “they didn’t send a whole smokejumper crew just 4 guys so that is a good sign” said Sarah Berns. Our neighbor, Hannah Dewey, gave us the hourly play by play complete with photos texted to us of the blaze that her smokejumper husband, Patrick, was fighting behind our home. They dug fire lines along with ground and air support teams to make sure the already brittle and dry sage and bunch grasses didn’t ignite with a gust of 90 degree August air.
We had luck on our side, the winds died down and an early response from a seasoned fire crew saved our bacon. All is well and we quickly returned to our bucolic country lifestyle.
So grateful we are to the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for their fellow men, women and children. You all make a difference in our lives and we are thankful, thankful for the nation wide community of firefighters who travel all fire season, thankful to our community for keeping us updated and thankful for our community beyond who checked in.
That country lifestyle is just part of why we live here, but I am sure we all have a part of that wherever we live. It’s the individual who chooses to make a difference.
Have you ever left a community event feeling inspired, maybe with that Ah ha! moment of satisfaction “this is why we live here”? Each year I search out Sunset Magazine’s annual “best towns to live in” issue, curious to see who out there is raving about their slice of paradise.
Community makes a place and each of us has the ability to enrich ours, and in so doing, make life just a bit sweeter.
The other night I had one of those Ah ha! moments at Spring Creek Ranch‘s first Celestial Cinema evening of the summer. The stars aligned and I felt like I had just walked into that idyllic country life set only seen in Hollywood.
83 degrees, a slight breeze, familiar faces, local eateries selling their goods, children playing on the lush green lawn. Listening to friends connecting and catching up by sharing summer vacation stories. Ahh… this is why we live here.
It is the people that make the place.
So fittingly, let’s collectively create a Recipe for Community. Like the story of stone soup, tell me the qualities you feel make a place special to you. Just add your ingredients in the comments and I’ll update the recipe.
Here are a few thoughts to start…
A group of dedicated people
A desire to connect
How about a shout out for the 70 firefighters working the fire in the mtns above Falls Creek!
Organized by the North Cascades Smokejumpers, The Rocking Horse Bakery is proud to have been able to provide an air drop of muffins, scones and other tasty treats for the crew’s breakfast this am!
A sign of community and neighbors making a difference
love it. and so, so true.
glad your house is safe 🙂
Thank you Erika, please feel free to add an ingredient to our recipe we would love to hear what you have to say.
How about creativity and vision?
Hi Michelle, I love it, and will add creativity and vision to the recipe.
So glad as well to hear you had good news in the end! They are a great crew indeed – hard working 🙂 (I used to live a lot farther North).
Thank you Sarah, yes, we were happy it was a quick fire and mop up. And we are lucky to have the smokejumper base right here!
Please add : Devotion, Love and Loyalty~
As soon as you asked the question have you ever had that sinking feeling mine instantly came back to me~July 20th 2007 when I got the phone call while my family and I were visiting my Step-Mom in MN and my Aunt called to tell my my Father was dying and I needed to get home immediately…Chad drove us straight home to WA. The nurses kept me update hourly~they kept him on oxygen until I got there so I could say my goodbyes…….So I understand that sinking and panicking feeling intimately…..There is a sense of having no control for sure.
I am so glad your home is safe and Eva’s chickens too I hope!
Hi Sheree, what a beautiful story, the nurses didn’t have to go that extra mile but they did and cared for you and your family. Thank you for sharing. I will add Devotion, Love and Loyalty to the recipe. And yes those chickens are alive and well almost a little too well..they’ve found a sneaky way to get out but we haven’t figured it out yet!
Supportive, close, warm friendships.
Donna you are so right supportive, close, warm friendships are key and volunteers make it happen, thank you for your additions.
Hi, Rachelle –
Oh, this post made me miss the valley! However, I must say, my neighborhood in Seattle is filled with caring people who look after each other in so many ways. I would like to add the word commitment to your list. Wonderful post, wonderful photos!
Mary, it looks like you will get a little of our valley heat this weekend in Seattle. It is so great to hear that you have a caring community in the city. I do believe commitment is key to creating community!
To add to your recipe, how about commitment.
Hi Penelope, I will happily add commitment to the recipe. Thank you for your addition!
Awww, I love this post so much. Your words will mean so much to each of the guys. I am so glad the day went the way it did…everyone home safely. I would like to add compassion and faith to the recipe. Thanks Rachelle.
Thank you Hannah, we are so thankful for your help and appreciate everything Patrick and the rest of the firefighters have done. E.A said that he saw several fire crew up there today checking on the area. I will add compassion and faith to the recipe…thank you for being a part of our community.
Wow, thank you for sharing such inspiring words! Being part of a caring community is such a gift. We are fortunate to have an amazing one here in Seattle and I’m happy to know there is an incredible one in the Methow Valley, too. You are compiling a terrific list here – kindness and thoughtfulness come to mind, as well, when I think about community. I’m so glad to know everyone is ok after the fire.
We are headed to the Valley for the long weekend and I can’t wait! I hope you are enjoying these last days of summer.
P.S. Any chance you are going to the Feast of Field and Stream dinner this weekend? 🙂
Sorry to miss you and the Field and Stream dinner! I heard it was fantastic.
A huge shout of thanks to all the wildland firefighters out there each day putting their life on the line for us and our homes.