Letter: There is much to be thankful for

I will never forget those 15 minutes of running to evacuate ahead of that roaring wall of wind, heat and fire, writes Rosemary Phillips

Wherever I go in town these days I’m asked, “Are you OK?” And, “Did you find a place?”

I really didn’t realize how much concern there was for my well-being after the fire in Rock Creek and Westbridge.

As we evacuated and moved in convoy up Highway 33, we turned and watched the neighbourhood go up in flames. I thought I had lost everything but later received word my home in Westbridge was miraculously spared.

The fire had danced around the edge of the garden, swirling with the wind, even scorched around the van seat I had left on the Trans Canada Trail for weary travellers, not touching it at all, but four feet away leapt and took out the hydro pole. There seemed neither rhyme nor reason for how the fire danced and took out some homes and outbuildings and left others.

I am most grateful for all the caring that has been shown me and all the help that I have received, which includes good friends who gave me a place to stay for the time I was homeless, and the great guys who helped me move.

And while I settle into a new home, with all my stuff intact, I also send out gratitude to all those who helped on the fires, volunteered and donated food and clothing and funds for those who have lost their homes.

I will never forget those 15 minutes of running to evacuate ahead of that roaring wall of wind, heat and fire. Thankfully no lives were lost.

There was property loss, and animals and wildlife, and the beauty of the valley. What was gained was new insight into “things” and “stuff,” fellowship of friends and community, and while seeing the green grass begin to grow, a reminder that life continues and renews.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! For there is certainly so much to be thankful for.

– Rosemary Phillips, Grand Forks