1) Fire Update: Thankfully due to a very unseasonable rain, the fire fighting has made amazing progress. The mandatory evacuation requirement for The Ranch has moved back to an evacuation warning, and Uisdean Ruadh and his mother are safely back in the home. The Cowboy and the Young Cowboy are still under evacuation notice, but hopefully that will clear up in the next few days or so. The fire still continues to burn of course, and will do so for quite a while - initially estimates were containment (not putting it out) to the middle of October; we will see how much this weather improved things.
2) Nighean Gheal, the oldest, is about two weeks away from packing up and heading out to The Big City for her first official post-college career job. You may remember that she graduated last year after one of the most ridiculous college careers in history (the first two years were okay, but then The Plague) and so took the post-graduation year as a gap year (she had a job offer, so it was all good) doing on-line tutoring, traveling a lot (internally in the U.S., to Morocco, to Costa Rica, to Europe, and to Africa), doing on-line courses to help her in her career, and teaching herself things like electronic music making and Adobe Suite. It has been nice to have her around for the extra year (after all, she was gone for almost all of the four previous ones), but all things must end - and really, after all, this is why we raise them to be independent, right?
3) Nighean Bhan, the middle child, is close to having a "Significant Birthday Which May Or May Not Involve The Legal Drinking of Certain Substances". She is almost at the end of her college career (a mere two classes away!), graduating a semester early in December, after which she will start applying for graduate school (her chosen career field, Speech Pathology, requires it). Thankfully she has moved home and college rent (for her, anyway) is now a thing of the past. I would feel flush with cash, except...
4) Nighean Dhonn , the youngest is in her final year of secondary education and starting to make her own set of schooling decisions (good, flush with cash feeling...).
5) All of this has culminated in the fact that for the first time in almost 3 years, I will not be making a monthly visit to the Ranch this week.
Part of it is simply that "evacuation warning" is not the same as "evacuation free", and there is always the chance that something could turn for the worst. And thanks to the fact that the House is there, my sister and I have been able to offer it to The Cowboy and Young Cowboy and their families during their evacuation (because let us be frank: the house is sitting there empty and completely furnished and my father would have wanted it used as such). I do not want to show up and crowd their lives if they have to wait it out longer - or worse, return.
Plus, given all of the factors listed above, it seems reasonable that I should be here right now with my family, instead of somewhere else. And after all - given the last two weeks, it is not like anyone has not been checking on the property.
There is plenty to keep me busy here of course. The Summer garden is pretty much done and needs to be ripped out and there is that big dead patch of grass in the backyard from this Summer that needs to be dealt with somehow. I have Iai and weight training and the rabbits to take care of.
I will head out in early October to do my picture selection for TB The Elder's funeral, which was one of the activities I was going to do this week. It will be shorter - but I will just take the time off completely from work instead of having to not work and then work.
Given the pace of the last two months, I would welcome a small break.