Last week I wrote a post entitled “Anniversaries…of sorts”. The article, with lots of pictures, illustrated some of my memories in acknowledging the 20th anniversary of the Cerro Grande Fire, the subsequent evacuation and recovery. I provided some commentary about these memories.
I did not share with you one of the most vivid memories of the time surrounding the fire and evacuation. May 21st marks what would have been my 20th wedding anniversary. It’s something that I don’t celebrate anymore as it represents one of many painful days that I mark on the calendar in silence. Luckily for us at the time, we planned the wedding NOT in Los Alamos, rather in Santa Fe. The ceremony and reception was held at a little resort south of Santa Fe called Sunrise Springs. Fortunate, I guess. Los Alamos was still evacuated and when it opened by the 20th, we were already planning last minute arrangements and entertaining guests in Santa Fe. Our friends hosted a party in White Rock on the 18th, which was open by that date. You could not even go up the hill to the town site itself on that date.
When we evacuated, we left many of our belongings behind, hoping and praying that it would not be destroyed by the fire. While we were lucky, supplies for the reception and things for the ceremony were left behind. We were able to gather those things up by having requested and received approval for a National Guard escort into the town. Two vehicles under escort by military personnel in Humvee’s. We met them at the entrance to the town and were given approximately 20 minutes to gather up the stuff.
Certainly wasn’t in the criteria that constituted an emergency return to the town, but we asked. When we called to get on the list, the individual on the other end of the line understood and pushed us to the top of the list. Granted, we were trying to get in while the town was still closed, smoldering ashes still were nearby, the fire was north of the town and out of control. No site seeing. In and out.
That in and of itself, makes for a fond memory of the aftermath of the fire. Perhaps having a wedding during a forest fire was foreshadowing of my future happiness. I still remember the trip. The two guardsmen escorts were laughing as I was loading up the jeep with cases of alcohol. We were having an open bar. Cases of wine, champagne, stuff for margaritas, whiskey were loaded up. The special elaborate table settings for over 200 guests were also retrieved. The reception was less about us and more about family and friends.
One of the most interesting memories of that day was that there were people at the reception who we did not know or did not invite. At the end of the ceremony, when there was a reception line, people came up to congratulate us and to thank us. We were are like “who are you”? It turns out that they were friends of guests who we had invited but their homes were actually lost during the fire. They were sleeping in the garages, the floor, the spare bedrooms of others. They came, literally dressed with the clothes on their backs, having lost everything. We were glad they came so that they could find a brief respite from what was a painful event.
The other anniversary worth noting this week is the one year anniversary of this blog. My first post was on May 23rd, 2019. One year and 63 published posts. Looking at the statistics, I can see that if you don’t post regularly, you don’t get many visitors. Certainly I am looking at ways to increase my audience. I have seen an increase recently, probably because I have been writing more. Guess I need to add links to FaceBook, or from my FaceBook pages? Advertise? Make connections, circulate? Write better posts? Open up the discussion to more interesting topics beyond what just comes to mind that day? I have been reading other blogs regarding ideas to increase readership. I don’t have any plans to advertise or even try to make money on this site. Some of my friends think that I should. I am just trying to express myself an outlet for what comes next in life.
I think that I would like to start and make the layout more appealing. Possibly provide links to some of my favorite web sites, perhaps the weather or local news? Other possibilities include a Ruby-cam or a Jewel-cam? Maybe a weekend special feature, book, movie or music reviews? Stock tips? A daily quote? More pictures? What is new and exciting in Chemistry this week? The ideas are endless so ideas from readers are always appreciated.
So hear is to my one year anniversary.
In my profile, I write “The purpose of this blog is for me to explore things that interest me as I plan for my next 50-plus years on this planet”. One year down, at least 50 more to go.