Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wild Fires Auction Quilt

The last week has been challenging  and scary for the Texas Panhandle, along with parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Wild fires have ravaged the central plains and lives have been lost. Few people not living in the area or involved in agriculture were even aware of it while the fires were burning . For the most part, it's been ignored by mainstream media, but that's a whole nother soapbox. People who do not make their living in agriculture have said, "It's just cows", but they couldn't be more wrong. When you depend on those 'cows' for your livelihood, for putting a roof over your head and food in your children's mouths, it becomes so much more than that. Ranching is not just a paycheck or a job. It's not just what you do. It's who you are and in the past week, we've seen people rise up and come together in support of those who are grieving, dealing with huge losses, and those who fought to contain the fires that caused so much devastation. In the Texas Panhandle alone, there were over 1500 hd of cattle lost and 500,000 acres were burned. That's land that provided feed for cattle and other livestock. Total cattle numbers have not yet been tallied, but it will number in the thousands and 2 million acres in all have burned.

In Kansas, we know the Gardiner family, that lost over 500 hd alone and 80% of their land was burned. We have attended their Bull sale in years past and the ranch has purchased bulls from them. They lost their home as well, but thankfully, no lives were lost. We know John Erickson, of Hank the Cowdog fame, and he lost his home as well when the fire burned his ranch.

7 people have lost their lives in these fires. In Texas, 3 young people, 2 of whom our daughter knew, gave their lives while trying to rescue stock.

Our girl read this online and it is said so well that I just had to share:

Tera Rooney Barnhardt said it best:
"This man lost his life's work in a fire. Generations of cow families that represent some of the best genetics in the industry. No one will march about this. No one will occupy any streets for this. No one will riot or loot or act ridiculously heinous for the cause. In middle America they'll put on their boots tomorrow, alongside their neighbors and friends, and they'll go to work. Because that's what builds a lifestyle for generations of middle Americans. Boots on the ground...even if it's on fire, blowing away, or filled with tears."

Thankfully, the fires have now been contained, thanks to the brave men and women who put their lives at stake to do so. The agricultural community is coming together in droves and donating hay and feed and water and supplies and auctioning off chaps and saddles and tack in order to raise money for those affected.

We wanted to help in some small way so our girl set us up to auction off this scrap quilt I made using western fabrics, a few years ago.

Originally I called it Back Roads, but I made a new label for the auction and now it is called "Panhandle Proud". People have coined that phrase and are selling t-shirts as a fund raiser so I made this label:

We wanted to include a scripture, but we couldn't decide which one so I turned to my dear friend and fellow ranch wife, M, and she texted me Psalm 46:1. So thank you, M. You have chosen the perfect one.

All proceeds are going to the WRCA Foundation  Wildfire Relief Fund. Here's the link to the auction post on FB if you would care to share it on your timeline.

Auction Link

I've had some inquiries as to how to donate so I've edited this post to add this link to an article that includes ways that donations are being accepted if you so choose. Thank you for your prayers and generosity.

WRCA Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund

In devastating circumstances, people come together, and not just in agriculture. We see it every time there is a need, but I will say that it warms your heart to see people drop everything and do what they can and many of you do that every day in your daily lives, many of you from behind your sewing machines, as you sew for charities and organizations and loved ones. When the world spins out of control, it's good to know that others are showing up, picking up the pieces, standing in the gap, praying without ceasing, thankful that God is in control.


Donna said...

So so sorry to hear of the devastation! I had not heard about it until I read your blog. The quilt is beautiful and I hope it brings lots of money! Prayers and hugs!

Carol said...

Love the quilt and makes me want to go right to my sewing room and pull western fabrics for a quilt for a friend recently diagnosed with "C." He has ranched most of his life, tho mostly as hobby. But loves it and I'm sure not being able to do that now with treatments going on is very hard for him. Thanks for that idea! And yes, we have heard lots about the wildfires and the devastation and loss of lives. It's a sad situation that those people who depend on that for their daily source of income have had such huge losses. My prayers are with all them and all of those who are boots on the ground to rebuild.

Tired Teacher said...

A wonderful post. I've seen photos of the destruction on Facebook. The one that tore at my heart was an Angus cow and a newborn calf surrounded by fire-scorched land.

Sadly unless expensive mansions and huge house are near the fire lines, wild fires like these are rarely covered or attract the public's attention.

allthingzsewn said...

Karin I can't believe the media has not picked this up. While I can't bid on thee quilt I can send a donation. Do you have an address or can I send it to you.
Our home burned totaly down about 6 yrs ago It is a devastating experience. I am in prayer for all the families.If I can figure it out, do you mind if I repost this on my blog?

allthingzsewn said...

It would not work, your printed section is wider than mind.
I still want to send a donation though. Waiting to hear from you.

Joan Bruck said...

very well said. Sad but true. We used to farm and raise cattle.

Joan Bruck

Chantal L. said...

Amen to that. Sending prayers for the lost souls and grieving families. ;^)

Pauline said...

I live in what is know as the "Texas Hill Country" and we haven't heard a thing about the fires! So sorry about all the devastation. I wonder how the fires started? We often see "city folks" come in this area to camp and seem to be unaware of fire danger. Fire is the one thing that scares me the most. So many trees around here that if a fire got out of control we could be trapped. Wonderful thing to do, auctioning a quilt. Hope you raise lots of money.

Dorian said...

Oh no! had sad. I'm so sorry for the losses of friends and their things/land/etc. For all those in the path really. Wild fire is so very devastating and scary. (My oldest LOVED Hank the cow dog!) My prayers go out to them all.

juliehallfeldhaus said...

We will keep the ranchers and their families in our prayers. We had the Atlas blizzard in western SD a few years ago that killed thousands of cattle and sheep. It takes years if ever to recover. Your daughter has it right, I wish our country could get it's priorities inline instead of acting like spoiled children.
My grandkids would read Hank the cowdog books with their mom at bedtime. I'll have to tell them.

Jim and Judy said...

I love the text and it is perfect for this sad time. I am thankful it is contained and that you were spared. I am so very sorry for the lives that have been lost. That is the worst. God knew those lost and I pray for their families at this sad time.

Janet O. said...

You are right, we have not heard about this devastation!
Can you share a link for those who would care to donate?

The Joyful Quilter said...

Your Auction Quilt turned out beautifully!! Best of luck raising TONS of funds with it.

Dar said...

I have been following some of the fires in OK and TX particularly. The local news covered it for several days in the early days. I hope our beautiful quilt brings in lots of needed money to help, I don't do FB, but if there is another link for sending quilts and money, please let me know. I have an extra quilt or two I could send.

Alycia said...

They have been so devastating, each time the wind blows we get a little worried. Thank you for jumping in to help!

Shelljo said...

Thanks Karin. My folks didn't lose their house. My Mom's land was burned out. Dad's was not. DH and I drove down to Clark Co KS the next day (Tuesday) with Mom and Dad, who were evacuated and finally, 9 hours after leaving home got to our house, 50 miles away. The utter devastation can't be photographed. It can't really even be described. Our firefighters were in tears over those homes they didn't save and the livestock they couldn't save. Our Ranchers are trying to hard to be stoic and strong, but they are overwhelmed. Local 4-Hers have taken in bucket calves to feed, people have brought in hay and fencing supplies, food, water, it's been overwhelming. I've seen fire damage before but this...this is something else. EVERYTHING...EVERYTHING is just gone. It's just...gone.

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