Sally Gracie TwispBy Sally Gracie

While some of our friends deal with insurance companies, FEMA, the Red Cross and other agencies, those of us in Twisp proper are being lulled by the sense that the worst is over. The burnt-orange sunsets of last week have disappeared along with smoke on the valley floor. This Monday, the temperature had reached 87 by early afternoon, and Sunday was also warm, but cooler August nights make for comfortable sleep.

Six-plus miles from my home, the Little Bridge Creek Fire continues to burn, having grown to 4,958 acres by this Monday afternoon. While my friends who live further out Twisp River Road continue to have some anxiety, I can’t smell the smoke or see the fire plumes as I did a week ago.

I can’t forget that the fire is there, however, as the fire vehicles rumble and roar past my front door like clockwork at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day. I’ve made a game of this parade (which could also be fun for elementary school kids): “Find That Engine/Water tender/Hotshot Team’s Home Base.” An emergency rescue vehicle comes from Saratoga.  New York! No, not so far as that. This truck is probably from Santa Clara County, California (where the only other Saratoga came up in a Google search). Okay, kids, find Saratoga, California, on the map.

My favorite vehicle is a giant-sized, Jeep-like truck, emblazoned with a red cross and reminiscent of World War II battlefield scenes. A fire information person told me these are privately owned medical emergency vehicles.

Another game I’ve been playing at Hank’s Harvest Foods and around the town is “Where Are You From?” I ask this of every friendly looking person wearing a badge or a uniform. At a Lone Mountain Fire briefing at the Twisp Valley Grange, I met Joffrey, a Red Cross volunteer from New Orleans. Today, I met two fire information people at the Community Center, a woman from Salem, Oregon, and a man from Atlanta, Georgia.

Because I spent some time talking with these two fire professionals this morning, the library now has the four additional big cans it needs to hold the signs for Twisp Library Friends’ Labor Day Book Sale. I asked the two if they camp at the Twisp-Carlton Road fire city. They do. Did the camp kitchen there have any big cans we could have? They did! And by 4 p.m. the cans had been delivered to Terry Dixon.

I always end “Where Are You From” by saying “thank you for helping us.” Thank you, fire information folks!

A special edition of the annual book sale will be held on Aug. 30, in the Community Center gym from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Book prices have been reduced by half. All books — except for those on the special books table — will be 50 cents, and children’s paperbacks will be 25 cents.

The quality and quantity of book donations will be exceptionally good for this sale as well. Shoppers may decide to donate to fire recovery with the money they save on their purchases, and jars for donations will be placed around the gym.

If at all possible, please hold donations of books, CDs and DVDs until the week of the sale, as storage space is full.  We’re looking for a few good volunteers to help with set-up on Aug. 29, and for cleanup on the following day. Call me at 997-4364.