When I saw Linda’s prompt this week, all I could think about were the East Tennessee fires of a couple of weeks ago and the little baby bears who were left homeless in the wake of the terrible, wind-driven fire in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. [Image here]. So many baby bears were left motherless and homeless, their mothers either perishing in the fire or fleeing from the fire with no chance of reuniting with their babies. A rescue center was opened and each baby bear is going to be saved and raised.
The prompt brought that terrible night back to me. I live north of the fire area but Gatlinburg and the Park is a vacation spot for all of us who live where I do. Many of my friends were married there. We all have a soft spot for that area in Tennessee. It was so close to being destroyed. Many people died – there is not a final death count yet. The last I heard was 40. Thousands of homes and business structures were burned. Tens of thousands of acres of one of the most beautiful National Parks in America were burned. Then, there is the wildlife like the bears. The deer. The small animals. The loss simply cannot be calculated.
The worst part. It was arson. The suspects are, the last I heard, two teenagers. I can’t think about that or I want to start screaming. I also can’t look again at that picture of the baby bear or I will cry – again. Please give what you can to wherever your heart leads. The people who lost their families and homes. The families of thousands of domestic dogs and cats, killed in the fire because their owners had to run fast to get away and couldn’t take them. The bear rescue. The Facebook page for Clarence the Pig, a domestic pet, who dug himself deep in the mud as the fire swept over him and survived. He is in the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital with burns and his vet bills will be in the thousands of dollars. In fact, call that hospital if you are an animal lover and see what you can do. Give to the businesses that depend on tourism and tourism will be severely diminished for a long time to come. Give to the National Park Service. Just give.
There isn’t much more I can talk about in this Stream of Consciousness post. Thank you for reading and doing what you can do. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Gatlinburg #SoCSDec10/16
*This post in response to SoCS Dec 10/16 Challenge.