Monday, September 14, 2015

Fire Update, Petrolia and Doris

I begin this post by giving you a quick update on the Canyon Creek Complex fire we have had in this area that I reported about two weeks ago.  For family and friends who live in Eastern Oregon, this is not recent news as they live with it every day.  For the readers of my blog who are not familiar with the current fire news, as of today - Sunday, September 13 - the amount of acreage burned is 110,422 with 90% containment.  Cooler weather is on its way with rain helping to squelch the sections of fire that are still smoldering.   Hopefully, this monster fire will finally see its last!

August did bring the fair and the fire as I had mentioned in my posts of last month.  There was one other significant happening that I'd like to mention and that is bringing Doris home to her beloved Petrolia.  I have mentioned my mother-in-law, Doris in some previous posts that many of you may be familiar with.  Links are printed below for you to check out if you have not already seen them.
At one time, when Doris was of full mind, she told me that upon her death she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes returned to her home in Northern California.  She passed away on May 24th of this year.  She spent the past ten years of her life at a living facility in John Day where we oversaw her care.  I grew close to Doris and admired her spunk and quick mouth, which was sure to correct you if something was out of line in her estimation.  That spunk served her well throughout her years of survival.  There was one thing left to do before I could experience completion and that was to return her ashes to Petrolia.  Jim and I had the chance to do this in August and she came home.

The drive into Petrolia is beautiful and unique in its rugged countryside as well as the road itself.  Part of the road is called the 'Wildcat' and it befits its name.  It is twisty, curvy.... often just room enough for one vehicle.  When that occurs, you have to wait for your turn as the other driver passes through. It can become more complicated if a dense fog rolls in from the ocean.  You can smell the ocean air, refreshing instead of the smoke filled air from fires in the Oregon to California drive.  I took a few camera shots along the way as the Wildcat took you through a terrain of trees and ferns which lined the road into hilly pastures, a stretch of ocean drive and then back into the hills leading to Petrolia.  You can even catch a glimpse of some wildlife along the way - in this case, turkeys!

I include a few photos that are a little unusual.  A tree was growing from inside the remains of a truck that had seen better days.  You can imagine how long this old truck had been there to have a seedling tree grow up and out of the empty mount that once held a motor.

There is a painting on the wall of our friends' home in Petrolia that was done by Carl Sammons.  He was an early California artist, born in 1886 and died in 1968.  He was a prolific artist and included in his many paintings were images of the Mattole Valley in Humboldt County.  This particular painting was done in the earlier years of the town of Petrolia.  With our friends' permission, I took a photo of the painting as a remembrance of how Petrolia looked within the time period when Doris lived there as a young woman.

We can bid farewell to Doris now but its not really good-by, but until we meet again.  Symbolically speaking, she has returned to her Petrolia home in urn and ashes, but her spirit is enjoying her true home of life with our beloved Father of Lights in the glory of heaven.

Until we meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 28, enjoy the fall days ahead....

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