The view looking west of our neighborhood. We usually have a clear view of the homes being built in the next subdivision. Now all we see is smoke and haze.

The Texas wildfires are blazing. Truthfully, they’ve been happening all summer … but it’s been out of sight – out of mind. Texas is a huge state and what was burning in other parts of the state seemed lightyears away, truthfully.

All of that changed this weekend. Fires took root in Bastrop (west of Houston) and then later, a different set in Magnolia, TX (north of Houston).

I first realized that things were going wrong on Monday afternoon. I met a client to deliver some ACE and was a little early so I just sat in my car. It wasn’t terribly hot, so I rolled down my window. I smelled the smoke, but it was more like a “fireplace in the winter” smell, rather then a “whole town is burning” smell.

A few seconds later, I noticed this “stuff” floating around in my car. It took me a few seconds to realize it, but … get this … it was ASH!!!

I made my delivery and then headed up the way about 2 miles to Wal-Mart. By the time I got out of the car, I couldn’t believe how much the smell had increased and how the haze was rolling in. I called Don to have him go outside to see – I couldn’t believe it.

The next night, Don was driving home from an afterschool band rehearsal and he called me to go outside. He said the sun was huge, but it had lines of smoke running through it. The kids and I ran to the backyard and climbed on top of the playset to see it. I swear that I felt like I was living out the book of Revelation.

The only time I’ve ever felt any type of awe like this was when Hurricane Ike was heading our way. The weather has always beenĀ fascinatingĀ to me, but the way that the winds are shifting and bringing this smoke to us (from two different directions) and it just settles in the atmosphere … it’s nearly above comprehension.

We are constantly glued to the news because you never know when things will change or a new fire will pop up. If you don’t live in our area, it’s hard to even explain how dry it is. We’re in our 9th month of no measurable rain to speak of … I’m expecting a tumbleweed to roll down my driveway any day now.

Last night, we saw a segment on the news that amazed us. It was video – real time, unedited – of how quickly the fire moves. If you haven’t seen this clip, it will show you how so many thousands of acres are burning so rapidly.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXvtzPJ7CdM[/youtube]

Unbelievable.

So, when you hear Texans asking for a Tropical Storm or praying for a small category 1 hurricane with lots of rain and little wind … that’s why. We are – literally – burning up!!!