Fire on the Mountain
by Janene Baadsgaard
          My husband and I drove up to our cabin last night after suddenly receiving a pre-evacuation order. “If you have any valuables, get them out now!” the order said. The whole wooded mountainside behind our cabin was engulfed in roaring, towering flames. Our cabin is situated in Loafer Canyon between Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills. 
          As we drove quickly toward our cabin, warning sirens blared and fire fighters scrambled to set up a command post in the parking lot of an LDS chapel at the base of the mountain. Cars formed a long line as thousands of men, women and children in Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills raced from their homes after a sudden mandatory evacuation notice.
          When we got to our cabin it was raining ash all around us. We walked up the steps with cinder in our eyes and stepped in the front door. What do we take? What are our valuables? We only had a few minutes.
          Knowing this might be the last time we stepped inside our cabin, I quickly walked from room to room filming the cozy country retreat we created for our family to enjoy. In a few moments all this might go up in smoke. This cabin in the forest was our dream realized - what my husband and I had saved up for our entire married lives. I filmed the hand stitched pillow on our bed describing our place with the words, “Almost Heaven” and the cabin rules taped to the fridge: 1. Relax, 2. Breathe the fresh mountain air, 3. Listen to the wind in the trees, 4. Gaze up at the stars . . .
          I quickly dashed up the stairs hearing the echo of my grandchildren’s laughter as cousins made forever friends playing dress-ups and chess. I filmed Grandpa’s four-wheeler imagining the flushed faces of my grandchildren after a ride in the crisp autumn air. I looked over the deck and remembered children jumping from the ledge into a pile of snow in the winter on a frosty dark night. I thought about the last time we made s’mores over the coals as dusk fell and the sound of crickets filled the air.             While I filmed, my husband gathered our valuables . . . which in the end amounted to a stack of family pictures. Nothing else seemed important. Then we knelt at the side of our couch and prayed.
          “Dear God, thank you for the gift of this cabin and all the loving family memories we’ve made here. If it is Thy, will please protect it from the fire. But if not, give us the faith to rebuild and move forward.”
          There was no time to load a cabin full of appliances, tables, chairs, beds, and chests into the truck and that didn't seem important any more. We knew as we looked one last time at our cabin, that we already had everything that was valuable to us . . . each other, our family and our faith. No matter how fierce the winds, or how high the flames, no destructive work of nature or man could take away our love - and that is what is most valuable. For all power, position and possessions will someday go up in flames. When the smoke dissipates and we see clearly  . . . only love remains. 


Kate's Song

Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday to my amazing granddaughter Kate.
Do you know that you make me smile inside?

Once there was a girl named Kate. While most grown-ups don’t believe in fairies, Kate does. Kate knows you have to be careful and quiet with fairies because they are easily frightened.
Kate likes to create fairy villages to entice wee ones to come to her house. She makes fairy bowls from acorn hats at her grandma’s house. She sews dresses from hollyhock pedals and lilac leaves with a long pine needle. She wraps sticks together to make tables, chairs and beds. Kate also knows fairies like sparkly things so she collects colorful bits of glass and jewelry. Kate knows fairies don’t come out when human are about but Kate can tell when they’ve been to her village because she can see crumbs strewn about or a colorful flower pedal left just so.
Kate’s most ardent wish is that a fairy will come out where she could see them. One day she thought of a plan. Kate sat at her piano and used her fingers to create fairy songs. She wrote the music notes down on paper and gave her songs titles such as: Fairy Lullaby and Elf Mischief. She took her songbook to her grandma’s house and walked out to the back pasture. Then she sat on a wooden fence and opened her book.
Kate sang softly so she wouldn’t frighten the wee people. As she sang she saw the pasture grass rustle in the wind. She almost thought she saw a fairy dart behind a rock. Then she   found a tiny dandelion crown in the grass.
“There are here,” Kate whispered to herself. “I hope they feel safe with me.”
Every day Kate brought a tiny blanket out to the pasture and left crumbs of food and all the tiny dishes and furniture she made for her wee friends. She left bits of glass and jewelry for them to carry away. Each day when she returned, the tiny objects were gone.
Kate searched and searched in the pasture but she couldn’t find their home. She explored in the plum trees back by the irrigation ditch. She lay in the grass and listened to insects in the grass or watched the clouds float across the blue sky.
Then she sang her fairy song . . .
As the moon rises over the mountain
And children have gone to bed,
wee ones come out to play and dance
and all their mysteries are said.

For fairies are real to children
wee ones fly about their dreams
so all the precious nippers
learn that nothing is as it seems.

So close your eyes and imagine
fairies are flying all about
and when you feel alone
 jump from your bed and shout.

Come home my winged friends
and find your rest with me
let my arms cradle you
Like the big blue China sea

            “Grandma,” Kate asked one day, “do you believe in fairies?”
“Yes,” Grandma answered. “I saw one once by a lilac bush in my back yard when I was just your age. My sisters tried to convince me that it was a dragon fly but I knew and I’ve always known. Don’t ever stop believing Kate. Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it is not real. You can’t see the wind but you can see the way the leaves move and the trees sway. You can’t see love but you can feel it deep inside.”
“ I love you grandma,” Kate said.
“I love you too,” Grandma answered. 

Kate is Baptized Today

This is my granddaughter Kate. She chose to be baptized today.
This is Kate's family - her father Jacob, mother Teresa and her sisters Rachel and Emma.
This is Kate after she was baptized and after he received the Holy Ghost.
This is Kate and her father Jacob right before she was baptized.
This is a picture of all the family and friends who came to support Kate on her special day.