“Dan, there is a fire and we are being evacuated.” My aunt explained. “The Fire is close and we need to leave now.”
My heart sank. I was over 1000 miles away in a Uhaul truck in the process of moving back to be closer to family. Once I knew they were out and safe from the flames, I could finally breath.
For hours we tried to contact local officials and friends in the area to check on our property. We heard so many accounts of what had been destroyed and what had been sparred. We didn’t know what to believe. It wasn’t until that afternoon that it was confirmed. The ranch my grandfather had built for our family had burned to the ground...
In 1991, my grandparents, Lloyd and Bernadine McLeod, decided they wanted to build a ranch in Norther California. A place for family to meet on holidays. A place here they eventually raised Black Angus cattle, trained rescued mustangs, and planted a 400 walnut tree orchard. This was our family’s “home base”. A place we could all meet and spend time together. Our safe place. It’s was the family’s home away from home and became my home when my grandparents became my guardians.
Last year, my Grandmother passed away, leaving my 85-year-old grandfather grief stricken. My family rallied together and my wonderful Aunt Kelly moved to the ranch to help Lloyd with everything he needed. She moved everything she owned to the house and began a rescue fountain for exotic birds, adding more capabilities to our family ranch.
Fast forward to today, my Grandfather and Aunt Kelly have lost everything. The home was completely burned to the ground along with everything inside. 60 plus years of memories and treasures collected are gone. The barn and apartment were destroyed. The orchard was a complete loss. Almost every inch of the property was incinerated. They were only able to leave with the clothes on their backs and some of our animals. We were blessed to find that our horse CJ did survive and is being care for at an animal sanctuary near home.
This page is being created to help alleviate some of the burden place upon my Grandfather and Aunt. Medicine costs, animal costs, new clothes, food, water, etc. Anything helps. Our family appreciates the support of our friends and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the others affected by the Cascade Fire.
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