A little song and a little humour lightens the heavy load of wildfire evacuation

During hard times, sometimes a little humour goes a long way to lighten the load of apprehension and pain one might be feeling these days with wildfires and choking smoke raging through the region.

LeRae Haynes has a great sense of humour and loves to uplift people with her music and sharing her experiences in a humorous way on Facebook.

The following are some of the posts she made to entertain her herself and her friends while she rode out the Williams Lake fire evacuation on a farm outside the evacuation zone.

Part One:

What an adventure! An epic nature experience, a road trip with Mr. Jones (cats), and settling in at a safe place with wonderful friends.

I am overwhelmed, as are many, with the outpouring of incredible generosity and kindness shown by strangers, the quick heart bonds that are formed and strengthened, and the astounding courage shown by our front line men and women.

By the time I reached my safe destination yesterday, half the sky was filled with a red-tinged billowing silent mushroom cloud, the blood red sun shining through it like a demonic eclipse.

Mr. Jones has faced this experience with good-natured adaptability, and only yowled for the first 20 minutes of our car ride heading out of town.

Of course, that could have been outrage at having to ride in a hot pink cat carrier with a leopard print cushion.

Me: (teasing) Oh look: it’s Hello Kitty! Mr. Jones: (scowling) I wanted Batman. Me: Want me to find you a tutu to match? Mr. Jones: Holy Haberdashery, Batman: can’t you give a man some dignity?

Part Two:

Missing my human music connections so much, I make do for now with singing to farm animals.

They are remarkably attentive, and even join in on songs they particularly like.

The horses like Grandma’s Feather Bed, the cows like Daisy, Daisy and Mr. Jones, not to be left out, is partial to All By Myself.

This is likely because he is confined to the guest bedroom we share.

After I’ve been out weeding the garden, sharing a lovely farm meal with my glorious hostess, or off on my morning trek, he’ll wait until I slide in the door and close it carefully behind me, before rolling over on the bed with his most dramatic expression.

Mr.Jones: (warbling with towering pathos) All by Myself, don’t wanna be all by Myself, anymore.

Me: Oh, for pity’s sake. I was only gone a couple of hours and you were sleeping the whole time anyway.

Mr. Jones: (singing in a tiny shaky voice) You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, oh oh that lovin’ feeling.

Me: Wanna treat?

Mr. Jones: And I—yi will always love yooouu, youuu, will always love you!

Part three:

Well, I’ve run out of farm animals and am now singing to vegetables in the greenhouse.

Tomatoes are partial to You Are My Sunshine, peas like Give Peace a Chance, and kale grooves to Teach Your Children Well.

I don’t know enough ways to say thank you to my farmer friend who has opened her home, and welcomed Mr. Jones and me with open arms!

We’ve told stories, laughed our heads off and cooked crazy good food in the kitchen.

She hosted a wonderful community potluck social and even let me sing a few tunes with the neighbours!

And, I gotta say, it’s not just anyone who will take you into her greenhouse and let you serenade the foliage.

Part Four:

Today I released my inner farm woman!

I forked manure for a couple hours, took a break to hang out a big load of laundry, washed the farmhouse floors, had a bowl of homemade soup and a cup of cold water from the well.

And in between, I got to cuddle three-day old goat-lets, had a pig kiss my ankle and learned that, not unlike Mr. Jones, horses can take great delight in depositing treasures right where you just scooped them away!

Splendid day indeed: felt like Little House on Evacuation Orders!

Part Five

Well, I’m certainly getting my animal fix during my peaceful stay on the farm.

‘Tell me what to sing,’ I crooned to a lovely steer who goosed me on the back of the leg while I was forking manure, and then laid his giant head in my hands for a cranial massage.

‘Anything by the Rankin Family,’ he replied. “As long as it’s MOOOOOVIN’ On.’

“Tell me what to sing,” I implored a grinning squirrel in the rafters.

“Anything by The Clash,” he quipped, “As long as it’s Should I Stay or Should I Go

I sing that all the time when I’m crossing the road.

“Tell me what to sing,” I asked a cat, a deer and a poodle all at the same time.

“Who asked you to sing?,” sniffed the cat.

“Did you say, ‘Want something to eat?”’ said the poodle hopefully.

“Forget singing,” laughed the deer. “This is the best photo bomb EVER!”

Part Six:

My farmer host and I had a great couple of weeks together. She let me help out any way I wanted, and it helped me keep sane!

I forked manure for hours, scrubbed the big back deck by hand, washed floors and dishes, baked flat-bread, unwrinkled and re-hung drapes, washed farm eggs, sang to her neighbours, horses, steers and greenhouse tomatoes, weeded onions and alphabetized the linen closet.

She told me I was the best scullery maid ever!

This morning I found fresh locks on the outside of my bedroom door, and I think the evacuation order was lifted just in time.

Mr. Jones, however, is furious with me. He hollered and shouted all the way home today in the front seat, with his eyes glaring, and his mouth hanging open like a demon.

The moment we got home, he raced in the spare room, flattened himself like a furry angry bookmark, and slid under the wardrobe.

Me: (coaxing) Come out of there. We’re home now! Mr. Jones: Me: Look! You have a whole house to yourself. Mr. Jones: Me: Are you still mad about the pink cat carrier? Mr. Jones: Me: OK, I’ll see if the neighbour cat wants your dinner. Mr. Jones: Is it salmon? With crunchies?

Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.


Singing until the cows come home.

I’ve had enough already.

Goats in a bucket.

Growing every day with song.

Horsing around.

Head massage for the cows.

Just try to get me out of here.

Reluctant scullery maid.

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