Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “wind”

Our Flag Was Still There

We ordered a telescoping flagpole through an internet company.  It is a fancy one, about twenty-five feet tall.  We put a solar light on the very top so the American flag would never be in the dark, per flag protocol. 

In concrete two feet deep, I set the hollow PVC sleeve, into which the first section of the pole was placed as shown in the instructions.  From bottom to top, increasingly narrower sections of the telescoping design extend out.  Near the top, there are clips for two flags.  Highest, of course, we attached the American flag.  Below it, we affixed a Lone Star flag, in honor of Miss Sugar’s Texas heritage. 

We were proud of our flagpole and the flags displayed.  That lasted about three weeks.

One day we came home and saw evidence that, in our absence, terrible winds caused damage.  Some decorations attached to our courtyard wall were on the ground, as if vandals had removed a few  but not all.  It was disturbing.

However, the most disturbing sight was to see that the section of the flagpole closest to the ground was bent at a 90 degree angle.  The section in concrete was intact, sticking two inches above ground, but the section held within that base was broken at the leverage point.

“…That our flag was still there…” was a relief.  The top of the pole was caught by a tree.  We removed the bent section, which was ruined, and erected the flagpole again, now several feet shorter.  The flags are flying again, in time for the 4th of July.

God bless America!

Oh, Miss Sugar told the flagpole seller what happened and they are replacing it.  If the wind keeps breaking it, we might become the manufacturer’s most frequent warranty claimants.  Maybe there will be a Colorado exclusion in the future.

Life’s Challenges

Presently, there is a wildfire in our county, Larimer County, Colorado, near Fort Collins.  It has been named The High Park Fire.  This wildfire has burned over 43,000 acres, an area that could contain both the cities of Fort Collins and Boulder.  The fire is not in the cities, that is just a size reference.  The fire is burning in the mountains where there are many trees dead from beetle kill and the underbrush is dry from lack of snow and rain this spring.  So there is plenty of fuel.  And wind has fanned the fire out of control.

Over 100 structures have been destroyed, including homes, of course, but not all are homes as the count does not distinguish between residences and outbuildings such as barns, sheds and garages.  Regardless, that is a lot of property loss.

One life has been lost.  A 63 year old woman, who had twice been called by phone to evacuate, either chose to stay or did not receive the messages.  It is sad that she died in the mountain cabin that she loved. 

Many others, hundreds, have evacuated.  They are dealing with the fear of the unknown about whether their homes will burn.  Others already know their homes have burned.  Others have been allowed back in.  Others on are pre-evacuation alert.

There is an evacuation center at the county fairgrounds.  It used to be at a middle school but had to be moved farther from the fire due to smoke.  At the fairgrounds, large animals of evacuees may be kept as well.  Small pets were taken to the Humane Society until filled to capacity.  Now a vet clinic is taking overflow.  Many of the evacuated folks are staying with friends and relatives.  There are kind people helping those in need in addition to Red Cross and Salvation Army.

The real heroes are the firefighters, of course, ranging from local volunteer fire departments to professionals from other states.   The number keeps growing as the fire has grown.  Today there were more than 500 firefighters, including “boots on the ground” and pilots of planes and helicopters that drop retardant and water on the flames.

There are many to praise and no one to blame.  The fire was started by lightning, not even negligent humans, and especially not evil terrorists like those responsible for 9/11/01.

The Bible says that “It rains on the just and the unjust.”  I pray it will rain on this fire.

War of the Winds

The flames fascinate,
Bringing comfort
As I contemplate,
Staring at the fire.
                           Winds rudely attack
                           My reverie,
By a chilly draft
Tresspassing inside.
Noisy blowing cold,
Being too bold
Invading our home.
                              Logs and chinking
                               And metal roof
                               Try protecting
                                 Us from this weather.
Some windows rattle.
Walls are shaking.
It’s a battle,
Testing our shelter.
                                   Like evil v. good,
                                   Hostile forces
                                   War with the wood
                                    In our fiery stove.
Burning wood’s heat
Challenges wind
As they compete
On temperature.
                                  The brave cabin
                                   Resists the force
                                   As we stay in —
                                    Safe from blowing rage.
With loud gales outside,
My wife hugs me,
Snuggling by my side.
I don’t mind the wind.


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