Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can You Imagine?

WARNING: LOTS OF PICTURES!!! (It's my first experience with fire season in L.A. What can I say?:o) Can you imagine being dedicated enough to a sport that you would play your playoff game in the midst of Los Angeles fire season. First thing Saturday morning (as I was getting off my 12 hour night shift), I got a call from my aunt asking if my sister's game that I was planning on going to was still going to happen. I had only seen a few snatches on the news during work about the Sylmar fire, so initially I was a little confused by the question. Then I turned on the radio in my car, and heard the news that they had closed the 5, 14, 118, and 210 freeways, effectively blocking off most exits from Santa Clarita. Of course the determined Master's team was unfazed, and simply left early to take an extremely complicated roundabout way of getting to Fullerton. I left Westwood around 10 am, and proceeded to beat them there. As I came around this curve and approached Fullerton, I suddenly realized that the large pillar of smoke ahead of me was completely unrelated to the fires up north. I called Kate to ask if she had heard about this fire, and she said no but that they were still going to play the game. So, after a bit of waiting (both for myself and the other team), the Master's girls arrived. They played a TERRIFIC game, and after winning 1-0 are headed to Florida in a few weeks to play in another playoff game. Go Master's!!! Kate started in the game, and I was so incredibly proud of her. She's worked so hard this season, and I felt so blessed to be able to go to the last game (on the west coast anyway). Having said that, who seriously thought it was a good idea to continue this game? Think I'm exaggerating? Let me show you...

So here is the beginning of the game. You could smell some smoke and it was windy, but otherwise a really nice day.

This is how the fire to the east of the field looked at the start of the game.

This was the fire to the southwest of the field at the start of the game.

Then they started getting bigger.

On both sides.

And bigger. (Note the unfazed players calmly continuing the game. Kate is the blue player in the very center of the picture!)

And bigger.

Before we knew it the smoke had increased and was now overhead.

Pretty much covering the sky.

Which of course caused the sun to turn red and all but disappear.

How did the field look at this point? Glad you asked.:o)

There was this one patch of blue sky left, but other than that it was almost hard to see the players.

The players seemed to (understandably) slow a bit, but they got blurry in my pictures as my camera seemed to think flash at 1 pm was a little silly.

At this point my flash came on which helped the pictures, but as you can see so did the lights on the field!

If you're wondering how I looked... Sorry you asked, aren't you? So maybe being a firefighter isn't in my future.:o)

After all of the excitement of the game, Kate and I started driving home. We called my sister and brother-in-law to ask about road status, and it turned out it was all closed off. There was one side road that was semi-open, but not advisable. The San Fernando Valley was apparently experiencing rolling blackouts, so signals were down and naturally no self respecting southern California drivers were giving way which led to multiple accidents. So, what did we do? Hung out in Studio City of course! We had so much fun shopping in some cute stores, introducing Kate to California Pizza Kitchen, getting Baskin Robbins with my birthday coupons, and even watching the movie Fireproof. (Which, btw, we really liked.) We finally made it home to my aunt and uncle's around 10 pm, at which point my body reminded me that I had only taken a brief 2 hour nap since 8 am Friday morning. Sleep was looking pretty good, so I hopped in the shower to wash off some of the ash and smokey smell, took some time to thank the Lord for keeping us safe, and crawled into bed. It was all-around a wonderful day, and if Kate and I don't die of lung cancer in the next few years I look forward to enjoying fond memories of our fire day together!

I'm so thankful for the God-given blessing of sisters.:o)

1 comment:

Carrie Haughey said...

wow... I can't believe they didn't cancel that game!!!! You would make a very, um, attractive? firefighter.... Yeah! hehehe! Glad you are safe! There was a fire up on Johnson on Friday, near Laurel, the fire trucks woke me up... that was fun, and a bit nerve wracking.