Gingerbread House Decorating

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We spent two weeks and two days in our “life boat,” as my husband calls it – the condo where we had to live after the wildfire from Chimney Tops engulfed our city of Gatlinburg. Even though our home has not been completely renovated after the wind and water damage, we felt it was important to move back in, so that a family who lost their home to the fire could move into our condo.

Boy and girl decorating a gingerbread house

Our children decorating a gingerbread house at the condo.

This evacuation may have been a life-altering event, but we have made many great memories at this condo. One of them was decorating a gingerbread house with the kids. Continue reading »

Our Escape from Gatlinburg Wildfires

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As you might know, Gatlinburg, the town where we live, has been all but engulfed by wild fires on Monday night. I was in Knoxville with the children, for their orchestra rehearsal. When we left the house, Gatlinburg was covered in smog coming from a fire that was burning in the Chimney Tops area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We left the city around 2:30pm, about an hour earlier than we should have, but it was intentional. The previous week we ran into a lot of traffic and were almost late for practice. I just wanted to give myself plenty of time.

Gatlinburg Spur before the wild fires raged

As we left on Monday afternoon, the Spur was eerily being filled with smog and we got quiet in the car.

Outside our home, one could already smell the fire – wood burning smell, but ominous. By the time I got to Light #1, the children and I were in a state of disbelief at the smog, the cloud-covered sun, the strange yellow light around us. My husband was at Zoder’s Inn, monitoring the situation, waiting for updates from the local authorities, and communicating with us regularly.  Continue reading »