Archive for September 7, 2011

All summer here in Austin we saw on the television news and weather forecasts of record temperatures being surpassed.

Hottest day on record in Austin since 1942, since 1928, since, well, ever.

Most 100 degree days in a calendar year since 2009, 1999, 1982, 1948 then, ever.

Lake Travis is 10 feet below normal, 20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet.  When will it stop?

But like most things in life whether it is hot weather, gas prices or sickness and disease like cancer – we eventually get desensitized by it.   It just become part of our everyday life.  It is right then where karma becomes a real bitch, and when somebody out there thinks you aren’t paying enough attention to it – life has a way of dropping it right on your front porch.

Screaming out, “Are you worried about it now?”

Well here in Austin and the surrounding areas – we’re worried now.

All we can do in Bastrop is pray

Texas wildfires continue to rage in and around Austin.  Our record drought, dry fields and high winds this weekend created a perfect storm of events and after days several days of fighting the blazes in Bastrop, Steiner Ranch and along the Perdenales River area in Spicewood – the fires are still raging and a thick cloud of smoke hangs over Austin.

Fire Burning in Bastrop - Downtown Austin in the foreground

The fire in Bastrop is by far the largest and least under control.

As of this morning the fire had burned 34,000 acres and destroyed over 1,386 homes.  The Texas Forest Service reported that the fire right now is approximately 30% contained.

Photo courtesy of Holly B. Photography

The second largest fire in the area continues to burn in Steiner Ranch off of Highway 620.  A community where several of our good friends live, this fire has burned close to 162 acres, destroyed 24 houses and damaged 30 others as of last night.

Today it is 40% contained.

As I walked outside this morning to stretch against the garage for my 10-mile Marathon Pace workout I could smell the fires from our neighborhood on a dead calm windless morning.

That same feeling of helplessness came over me – very much like I felt when Dom was first diagnosed with cancer.

You know you want to do something, anything to make a difference, but the problem seems so huge, you just don’t know where to start.

Bastrop Fire

My heart goes out to all of the families who have been effected – and will continue to be effected for a long, long time.

The thought of Dawn and I losing everything we have built together over the past 12 years in a single night makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Please keep Austin in your thoughts and prayers, and send well-wishes to the families and the firefighters who are putting themselves in harm’s way to help others.  Talk about your true heroes.  I have nothing but respect for those men and women who have been out there around the clock doing anything they can to make a difference.

A 10-mile run at 7:09 pace this morning?  Doesn’t seem like such a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

It is going to be a long, long time until Austin is whole again.

Could we ever use some rain.