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Texas Fires

I have been MIA from my blog for a lil bit mostly because I have been a busy bee lately but then the fires happening here in Texas just put a damper on my spirits and preoccupied my mind.  Texas is in a severe drought and the temperatures here have been intense all summer long.  Over Labor Day weekend, we all think we are getting a break once the crazy winds start kicking in but it turns out that they did more damage than good.  A lot of damage.  Everything is so dry and brittle that nothing is fireproof.  Who knows how all these fires got started but somehow they did and poof the whole state it seems is up in flames.  The smoke is visible from just about every angle in Austin and it has caused several cough attacks for us Austinites.  Everyone here knows someone affected by these fires.
·         My husband’s cousin, his wife and their newborn son were evacuated from their home
·          Another cousin is a firefighter that has been working tirelessly
·          A co-worker of mine was evacuated and still does not know if her home was damaged or spared
·         A family member’s aunt lost everything– everything.
·         One of my best friends was on pins and needles because her home is about five miles from the Bastrop fire. 
·         In addition, my parents and grandparents live a short distance from the Bastrop county line and I was on standby in case we had to help evacuate them.  I was especially worried about my grandfather.  He is paraplegic so attending to him and his medical needs and helping my grandmother was a concern we all had in the back of our minds.
Here is what it looked like from my parents and grandparents property on Monday, September 5th.

Here is a shot of the Austin skyline on Sunday afternoon, 9/4
This picture of the fires in Bastrop, Texas puts in perspective how close Austin is for those that don't know.
Not sure where this picture originated from but it has circulated a lot!

Oh and my birthday was on Labor Day, September 5th but with all the devastation around us it wasn’t one of those days where I wanted to spoil and pamper myself all day.  It was too depressing and stressful of a day.  We were all on high alert for whatever need be.  Instead, I just stayed home, cleaned my house and later had dinner with the family and one of my besties.  The other bestie could not make it because she was at home ready to evacuate (mentioned above). 
There are lots and lots of our fellow Texans that need help and if you are willing and able to donate then please consider one of these charities (info taken from the Austin-American Statesman and KVUE web pages):

American Red Cross of Central Texas
2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, 78723
(512) 929-1250
Austin Disaster Relief Network
P.O. Box 3817, Cedar Park, 78630
(512) 331-2200

Capital Area Food Bank
Accepting nonperishable food donations (canned meats, granola bars, peanut butter, bottled water) at 8201 S. Congress Ave., Austin
(512) 282-2111

Catholic Charities of Central Texas
Accepting monetary donations as well as items such as blankets, pillows, toiletries and medical supplies from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1817 E. Sixth St., Austin, and 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. at 6225 U.S. 290 East.

Moreover, if you live around here then you can help at the following places:

Collecting donations to American Red Cross at its stores' checkout stands. H-E-B is donating $50,000 to the Red Cross and deploying its mobile kitchen to the emergency shelter at Bastrop Middle School.

Those wishing to participate can go to any Austin-area Randall's and donate using a scan card at the register.

Old Wind's Dollar General Store
Accepting clothing donations at 210 Main St., Smithville

You can keep up with news of the fires through various media outlets but here is a link to our local newspaper, the Austin-American Statesman.

Please keep Texas in your prayers and send good thoughts our way.  Thank you kindly.  :)

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