September 29, 2020

Artifact Motherhood | An evacuation

Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles in our journeys. Through our writings and photographs, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come.

The intention and idea for this months post as a group is creating one picture that represents your current journey/season of motherhood. 

In the wee hours of September 8’th, 2020 I pulled the both of you out of your slumbers and rushed you out of bed to the truck, our camper in tow. A fire had moved 14 miles in just a few hours, and was heading for our home… at 2 am. We had time to grab you both, all of our animals (all 8 animals including 2 goats!), and a few photos albums and computers. I’ll never forget your confusion. Your tears as we arrived at an evacuation center because you had to pee. I knew that it was about more than having to pee. It was your world turned upside down.

We had choices to make, attempting to remember the global pandemic yet be realistic about our options. We drove out of town to a friends the next morning, and the sky was burning. I needed headlights despite it being 9 am. I honestly had a feeling that it was the end of the world. I will never forget that certainty. But we held it together, for the two of you, in awe at the sky instead of crying. Eating Cliff Bars like it was a real breakfast, frightened cats on our laps.

The following weeks were spent at 2 very close friends homes. Goats tied up in a back yard, and our friends didn’t even remotely complain. And words cannot express my gratitude at these friends. They made a nightmare feel okay. They were the embrace we needed. A sense of normalcy in something that is entirely not a world I imagined my kids experiencing. This is our new normal here in the West, I’ve come to understand. And I’m so sorry for that, my sweets. I will try my hardest to prepare our home better, and vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do.

Two weeks later, we’ve returned. We dodged a bullet – the fire stopped a mere 2 miles from our home. And I’m trying my best to make our life & home feel normal, continue a routine when this entire year has not been a routine. A world where N95’s (both for Covid + smoke) and hand sanitizer are essentials. But know the routine is – we love you. That is steadfast, and always will be. And that, my girls, is all that matters. You’re safe with us.

Please go to Abigail Fahey, the next artist in our Artifact Motherhood blog circle and continue through all the artists until you get back to me! To learn more about Artifact Motherhood, click here.



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  • Caro Cuinet Wellings September 30, 2020

    This is such a powerful shot. What a nightmare, so glad you were able to stay safe and make your children and animals feel it too, even if it must have been so scary.

  • Carla Monge September 30, 2020

    Oh my goodness April, what a powerful post and image. What a way to turn your world upside down, it sounds like you navigated it in the safest way for the girls, emotionally aswell. I am glad you are all ok and safe back home now. Sending big hugs xx

  • Jessie Nelson September 30, 2020

    Wow. I am speechless. A pandemic + a fire threatening your home. I am so glad you are all okay. What a year.

  • AnnOwen September 30, 2020

    I cannot imagine having to go through all that, how incredibly terrifying! But i am so happy you are back at home now and everyone is ok. Sending you so much love!

  • Jo Haycock September 30, 2020

    Wow April. I devoured and gasped over nearly every word hear. Just incredible, and so so glad you are all safe. This year has certainly been an abnormal one. But your last line “know the routine – you are loved” puts it all in perspective, it’s the heart of a strong and safe childhood. Stunning image.

  • Diana September 30, 2020

    This just sends shivers again reminding me what you’ve been through and a memory I’m sure you’d rather not have repeated, but also not erase. I love that you created this portrait, so powerful, and put words alongside it for your girls. I love how you document your life like a diary that makes me feel a part of your world. Keep safe, my friend.

  • Kirsty Larmour September 30, 2020

    I am so glad you’re safe, but what an absolutely terrifying time – it feels like you all need some TLC right now, and so does our poor planet. Thank you for sharing just a tiny bit of this time with us, xx

    • Min Mohd October 5, 2020

      I got chills reading about your experience. So glad that you and your family are safe. Stay safe my friend.

  • cindy knight September 30, 2020

    This blows me away. The image is so powerful and represents just what a nightmare this year is, especially with the fires. So thankful you and your family are ok. Such a powerful post.

  • Hollie October 2, 2020

    What an incredibly poignant post. I am so glad you and your family were spared physical devastation. I can’t imagine the emotional rollercoaster that you and yours have endured. I have been writing along side of you for the past few years. I feel confident saying that your daughters have THE BEST mother to help them process everything 2020 has thrown your way. Sending you and your lots of love. xxx

  • Abigail Fahey October 3, 2020

    Such an emotive post April. I’m so sorry you had to go through that especially after all the craziness of the year so far. I’m sure it has pushed you to the limit. I hope you settle back to your home soon and are able to start to live a more normal life ( global pandemic not withstanding) !!!

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