Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Attracting Natural Disasters Part 2

Yesterday, I told you about my family's tendency to draw natural disasters with our camping trips. All this was really just background leading up to last weekend.

Every year we go camping at Twin Oaks Park near Waycross, Georgia, where they have an awesome bluegrass festival. As I mentioned last Friday, this is precisely where horrible wildfires have been burning for several weeks. I can't believe that, even after being back for days, this fire is still burning, but the drought in Georgia this year has really added to the problem. Roads had been closed near Twin Oaks Park and a number of homes had been destroyed by the fires, but of course we headed for South Georgia anyway.

I don't think we realized the extent of the fire until this trip, so I'm glad we went. Sometimes the horrible events I hear about on the radio news tend to blur into "talk" while I'm getting ready for work or driving. I need a jolt of reality every now and then.

The festival was about 180 miles from my home, but we started breathing smoke after about 30 miles. I don't know how folks have been managing to go about their business all these weeks with the air so thick with smoke. We went through the little town of Pearson and could see the clouds of smoke billowing up. Everyone in the local Hardee's was talking about the fire. Mostly they were talking about the firefighters who are risking their lives for them.

My mother and sister were going to join us the next day, and I was particularly worried about them since they have asthma. The park was hazy and smoky on Thursday, but on Friday we were truly blessed. The wind shifted, and the air cleared. Once again, God blessed us with a great family time together and protected us--in spite of ourselves!

For most of the year, Twin Oaks Park is mainly a quiet farm. I like to speculate about the cows, who go about their business in peace for most of the year. Then suddenly, hundreds of people and campers and noisy people who make strange sounds on twangy instruments descend on them. I think the calves are especially bewildered.

We have one more family camping trip planned for this summer, back to Hunting Island again. I don't know what will be going on as far as hurricanes, but I've already gotten an email from the park about our reservation. They wanted to let us know that we should plan for lots of traffic delays when we come, because a barge ran into a bridge going out to the island and repairs won't be completed until a couple of weeks after our trip.

Oh well. We're packing up anyway.