As I’m sitting here listening to the morning news before I head out to work my mind drifts back to the news I was hearing one year ago. It was this time last year that my morning news was filled with images and updates as wildfires ripped through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and I watched as places I have been to and knew were burned to the ground. Or saw families not sure if they would have a home to go back to or worse yet not sure if their loved ones were in the path of the fire and if they were safe. I still can’t believe it has been a year.
Being from Kentucky, Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is the place to go for a long weekend. I cannot tell you how many times I have been there. So I am not going to lie when I say this last (almost) month has been very emotional for me. And it’s not just because I was watching helplessly as a place I enjoy so much was being hurt so badly, but also because we had just left there on that Sunday and the fires started on that Monday. We had just spent a lovely Thanksgiving in the Smokies. So when I heard about the fires to say it was eye opening is an understatement. What if those fires had started on Saturday? The place was packed, there could have been a lot more deaths then there already was. I hate that 14 people lost their lives and the amount of homes, land, and property that were also destroyed, and then to learn it was at the hands of two teenagers. My heart goes out to the whole Server county area. I may not be a resident but a piece of me lives in the smokies. One of the saddest things for me through this whole thing is we did not make it up into Gatlinburg when we were there for Thanksgiving because if we did I would have at least had one last vision of what it was like right before. I know though that they will rebuild and become stronger because of this, and as for me, I will go back. I already can’t wait. I want to show my support.