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Monday, September 04, 2017

Making Hard Decisions.

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I spent a very sleepless night last night.

I am supposed to be flying to Medford, Oregon today to spend time teaching 3 groups I have been really looking forward to being with.

The Azalea Quilters of Brookings, the Umpqua Valley Quilters of Roseburg, and the Mountain Stars Quilt Guild of the Rogue River/Grants Pass area have been on my calendar for the past 3 years just waiting for these dates --

And I am sad to say that I have made the decision to cancel and reschedule due to the massive fires that are ravaging the area.

My first clue that this was maybe not such a great time to fly in came in the comment of “We’ll be picking you up at the airport, and we’ll have a mask for you.”  “If you have eye drops or allergies or need an inhaler, please bring it”.

Folks, this is serious stuff, and I have waffled on and off, but as of the news this morning of the fire moving eastward toward the Rogue River area – I have to ask myself about my own safety.

Air quality has moved to dangerous and even hazardous, and I have to keep my own health at the forefront.

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Chetco Bar Fire.

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I’ve been following the Central Oregon Emergency Alerts.  Another reason why I don’t take this situation lightly.

This morning from Rogueweather.com:

CHETCO BAR FIRE - 142,857 acres estimated, 10 percent containment at last report all on west side of the fire near Brookings and Harbor. Fire is burning on the Rogue Siskiyou National Forest in the Wild Rivers Ranger District, and also on lands protected by the Coos Forest Patrol / Oregon Department of Forestry. It is burning towards the Brookings Harbor area and is just east of the Loeb State Park. They report it is 5.2 miles outside of Brookings. It was in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area burning in the Biscuit Fire burn scar, but has since moved southwest and out of the wilderness. The fire is under a unified command structure that includes Oregon State Fire Marshall, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and Coos Forest Protection Association.
The command team from the Forest Service is a type 1 IMT from the Northwest led by Noel Livingston. Assets from the Oregon National Guard are also on scene and have been assisting in many aspects of the combined response to the fire. The fire is burning in timber, brush, and standing snags from prior fires in the area. The fire had extreme fire behavior with group torching, spotting, and short crown runs. 
There was no infrared flight last night. Data from these flights is used in verifying fire perimeter and calculating acres burned. Therefore, an update to the fire size is unavailable today. 
The Chetco Bar Fire has destroyed 26 structures at last report. At least 6 of them are confirmed as homes in the Gardner Ridge area. Unconfirmed reports are placing home loses as high as 13. Fire command is expecting the fire to push back to the east and make big runs burning out of the wilderness and into private property to the east of the wilderness in Western Josephine County. 
This fire does pose a threat to Highway 101 in the Brookings Harbor area. The fire has a history of making big runs. It could come right at the highway with no warning at all. And, if they need to evacuate Brookings and Harbor, Highway 101 is the ONLY route they can do that with. If you wish to avoid the fire area, take Highway 199 from Crescent City to Grants Pass and take I 5 to highway 42 and then cross over to Highway 101.  No, Highway 101 is not officially closed. But it is travel at your own risk.


Again, I am so sorry for those I am disappointing with this decision.  We will reschedule at the earliest available opening on my calendar.  I will do everything I can to come to Oregon when it is safe for EVERYONE.

My hope is that it will also keep those who were planning on traveling to see me this week safe and at home where the air is clean. NO ONE should be doing unnecessary driving in these conditions.

It’s just quilting, folks.  Let’s not make this a life or death situation.

In the end, though I know I have disappointed many, I have to believe I have made the right decision for myself, my health and safety, and encouraged others to stay HOME and do the same.

We will quilt together another time.

9_4_2017

Quiltville Quote of the Day

Vintage spider web quilt shared by Kevin H.

Don't let the hard things of this world make you hard hearted as well.


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68 comments:

  1. I'm sure that this hard decision is in everyone's best interest, quilting is an extremely productive and fun pastime but safety must be the first priority. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will understand and I believe no one should be angry at your decision. I pray that everyone living in these areas is safe and the fires are brought under control and extinguished quickly. Quilty hugs xx

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  2. Thank you for making the hard choice, Bonnie, not just for yourself but for of the Quilters that might risk their own safety to get to see you. Prayers for all our quilting friends dealing with the fires, floods and aftermath.

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  3. Fire and water- necessary for life, but destructive when uncontrolled. You don't control the situation, you have to respond appropriately and you did. All quilters deserve to be safe and not put themselves in harm's way. Hard decisions are part of being a mature adult and accepting them is a wise soul. Love you, Bonnie!

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  4. You made the right decision. Your health and safety comes first. Hopefully they can reschedule sooner than 3 yrs from now. :-( My daughter, btw, is a park ranger at the Redwoods, just over the border in Crescent City. I've been watching this disaster intently myself, worrying about her. Take care. Go quilt something!

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  5. Good decision. I doubt that I could sew comfortably in such a situation either. You have enough health challenges with vision issues without adding pulmonary ones.

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  6. Yes, I agree with you completely. You made the right and safest decision for yourself and us, all of your many fans. I'm sure the Oregon folks are just as disappointed as you are, but there is more quilting in the future. Right now, it's important to stay safe and follow the advice and instructions of the fire and emergency professionals. Prayers for all.

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  7. Hopefully, you will NOT get any negative comments! I think your decision is one that will keep everyone involved much safer. But if you do get negative comments, here is my mantra that I have told my adult children for years - for every decision you make, there will be at least 12 people waiting in the wings to tell you how it was the wrong one. SO, that means, ignore all of them and do what you KNOW is right!

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  8. Prayers for all that are in harm's way. It is better to be safe.

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  9. Bonnie,
    I live up by Salem, Oregon. The air is so smokey up here right now because of all of the fires. I was truly hoping you would cancel coming our direction today. There is NO REASON to put lives in DANGER to have a few days of quilting - NO MATTER HOW WONDERFUL THE TEACHER. We love you and want to have you around MUCH LONGER!
    Now you can do another QUILT CAM!!!
    Hugs! Your friend,
    Kara

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  10. I have to say that I am not surprised by your decision. That said, I am incredibly disappointed because I have been waiting for over 6 years for an opportunity to be in your workshops! However, I completely understand your decision. We all have to make very difficult decisions at times in our lives - and this just happens to be one of those times. I live in Medford (about 30 miles from Grants Pass) and I can tell you first hand that the conditions are absolutely miserable - with NO relief in sight. Visibility is down to 1 mile (or less at times), breathing is difficult, noses are stuffy and running at the same time, throats are inflamed, etc, etc, etc. So, what's a girl to do? Well, I do just happen to have 2, count 'em, TWO quilts all kitted and ready to sew! And since staying indoors is the best choice under these conditions, well I guess I'll just have to sew! Southern Oregon loves you Bonnie! Pray for rain for ALL the fires burning in our nation!

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  11. I know many will be disappointed but I am sure everyone will understand, safety must come first. These are dangerous circumstances. Prayers for Oregon and all the areas fighting these fires.

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  12. I just took a class from you when you were in Minnesota. I waiting a long time and would have been so disappointed if the class was cancelled. Having said that, I would have bailed if there had been a situation like this. It's the right decision (who said right was easy or convenient) for yourself and your students.

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  13. Smart move. Peoples lives and health are the most important. Much as we love quilts, people should always come first. Don't let any negative comments upset you. It's for their safety, too, not just your safety. Hope these wildfires get put out quickly.

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  14. I am happy you made this decision. I am rather shocked that these quilt guilds would not have already made that choice. your safety and well being is far more important than a couple days of sewing which those that live there can do at home.

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  15. Oh Bonnie---You made the correct decision for all involved. In Western WA. the air quality has been severe for over 2 months due to wildfires in BC---WA State---Oregon and Idaho. With your eye situation you DO NOT need anymore problems. This smoke all around us has caused many problems with our eyes, nose and Breathing. I applaud you for making an honest and mature decision not to put yourself or others at risk. These wildfires are so unpredictable and can change direction in a moments notice. I know you have NOT made this decision without a lot of thought and care for your quilters. May everyone stay safe. Please--- do pray for RAIN for all of us---We have had NO measureable rain for over 3 months. Un-heard of in the Pacific Northwest.

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  16. Bless you, Bonnie, and all those in Oregon. I am in North Fork the exact center of California and we have four fires within 25 miles, one very close to us. We are smoked out and it is not safe to travel or even venture out doors. Everyone please stay safe. One of our fires was caused by an auto accident. This is a time for reflection and prayer and, of course, sewing in the safety of our homes. Those of us that still have them. God bless the USA and God bless all Americans.

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  17. Glad you made that decision...for yourself and the quilters there. I had planned to be there from Texas visiting my son and was finally going to be in one of your workshops, but we canceled our trip due to the fires. Being firefighters, my husband and I know how dangerous that can be. We know you will get back out there as soon as it's safe! And for the ones living there...use a sound mind. Don't not put yourself in danger!

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  18. You did the right thing, Bonnie, not only for yourself, but for all the other people who signed up for your classes. A bright side that people can reflect on, is that since you will be rescheduling they will have another chance to take your class. If you had gone ahead with it it, those who decided not to come because of the fire would just have been out of luck. So in a certain sense, I think everyone can look at this as a win-win situation.

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  19. I live in the Willamette Valley about 150+ miles north of the cities where the classes were to be held. Even this far away the air quality is bad and the skies are hazy orange from the Chetco Bar fire and the Eagle Creek fire north of us in Portland. My throat burns and my eyes water and get crusty. This is not fun and games folks. Bonnie, you definitely made a very hard and wise decision.

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  20. Smart choice, Bonnie. Better to be safe than sorry. It'll happen at another time. Hoping the people who live in those areas are safe.

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  21. You made the right decision, no one with with sense can fault you about that.

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  22. Good decision- my son's Army unit in WA activated 200 strong to help fight the fires. Stay safe!

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  23. Good job, Bonnie. Be true to yourself ... and others. Hard decision but probably the correct one.

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  24. very sensible decision, and a very charitable one as well, Bonnie.
    You're not only looking after your own health, but also the health of all those quilters who would have come out to see you.
    We've got your back out here in Quiltland.

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  25. Bonnie although it was a hard but necessary decision take comfort in the thought that you are doing what is best for yourself and for those who would come to see you at all cost. Prayers for those involved in this area. Maybe God is saying you need a little rest and time for yourself to do what lifts you up. Take care of yourself. I look forward to you blog everyday for the pictures, the words and what you make us realize we can do with scraps. Now on a lighter note, if you have some spare time, I have a lot of scraps that need cutting and sorting Any help appreciated. LOL

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  26. You did the right thing. Last summer I had to cancel a class I was to teach in Slidell LA because of heavy rains, and that day Denham Springs, including my home, flooded. I could not have gotten back if I had not cancelled the class.

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  27. You did the right thing. With COPD,I can say that with all certainty.

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  28. I'm sorry you had to disappoint people but the best choice for all. We wouldn't ask you to come to Ohio in a blizzard.

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  29. I lived in So. Oregon for about 20 years, my brother is still there. The conditions are so bad I can't understand why the Brookings guild hadn't cancelled already as well as the others. Fire is nothing to mess with or try to second guess. The responders need to be able to concentrate on the fire and keeping those living in the area up to speed on conditions. They don't need the added people a retreat would bring. We had a large group of hikers trapped because of a fire changing directions. (They wete brought to safety but took resources away from other areas.) Bonnie, you have made the right decision for everyone involved.From California to Washington air quality is miserable. Our eyes burn and water, throats are scratchy and sore, sinuses are tender, headaches are constant, temperatures are miserable. It's definitely a place to be avoided if at all possible!
    Take care of yourself. Things happen that are totally beyond human control. You've been given a little extra time to work on getting other things done or caught up. Enjoy your day!

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  30. You have made the only decision reasonable for the situation. And honestly we are getting smoke here in calgary Alberta Canada from British Columbia fires. The other day I actually had to close all my windows and doors because I couldn't breathe outside. You saved everyone the discomfort and possibly danger.

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  31. I know I wouldn't expect a teacher to come visit South Florida during a hurricane, so I'm sure the folks in Oregon don't expect you to come during a huge fire.

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  32. Definitely a very sensible decision. For everyone involved. Hope everyone in the area where the fire is burning manage to stay safe and that no more homes are lost.

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  33. Sorry the Decision is a hard one. You're worth the wait. A safer time to enjoy quilting and no danger is a good thing for everyone.

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  34. Please do not feel badly regarding your decision. It is absolutely the right thing to do. I live in the Brookings/Harbor area and am the Deputy Chief of Harbor Fire as well as an avid lifelong quilter. The conditions here are extremely unfavorable to those with any respiratory conditions. Travel in this area and evacuation routes (if needed) are limited. I know it is a disappointment to many quilters regarding your decision but none the less you have made the right choice. Looking forward to enjoying a rescheduled trip for you to visit here when this is all over with.

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  35. Atta girl...smart move. Do a quilt cam or two this week to make it up to the Oregon quilters.

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  36. Bonnie stay safe, this is out of your control. Don't feel bad,there's is nothing you can do,to change the situation.

    I sure hope people have enough common sense to understand.

    If by chance you come across someone who doesn't understand, Do Not Let Them bring you Down!

    Relax and enjoy some more time with your family.

    Hugs.

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  38. Sometimes being an adult is very hard, and you made the adult decision in this situation. Good job!

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  39. Dear Ms Bonnie: Your decision reflects the children's story I told at church Saturday. (Seventh-day Adventist). It is a story from a book called In Grandma's Attic published in 1973. In the story the main character Mable (Circa 1870's ) was not able to go to the all day community picnic because of a case of measles. When dad and the boys came home, it was told that most of the girls in Mable's age group (11-13) took an unexpected dip in the rushing river, and had to be rescued whereby all the new fancy dresses were ruined in the flood waters. Lesson: God knows best, even if long awaited plans are not able to be kept. Your story is the same. There is a reason. Being in a high fire area is not a good thing in any way. I have heard from some of my quilt groups that Montana is in a stage 1 evacuation phase, I wonder how log until further west does the same thing. As some have suggested a quilt cam is a cool idea, or just get some stuff done and maybe actually rest? This isn't an easy choice, but a necessary one. Wouldn't it be nice if they could take all the flood waters from Texas and ship it to the fire areas of the west? Love, prayers and quilty thoughts to all who are affected by flood and fire.

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  40. I can imagine what a difficult decision this was to make. You work hard to meet every committment. These events are beyond anyone's control. The population is at risk with acrid smoke and rough breathing conditions. Let's hope that many can stay safe. Bless those working so hard to contain the conflagration.

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  41. Yes, I would be dissapointed if I had been thinking of being able to quilt with you, but saying that, the fires would also have been on my mind. You made the right choice. And everyone knows it - or they should. And alwasy remember: things happen for a reason. You were just not ment to be there right now, when you get there it is going to be the right time and it is going to be fantastic!!!

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  42. Bonnie, you are SO RIGHT in making this decision! Of course all class participants will be disappointed. However, they've been living in anticipation of your coming for years....so what's a little more time? I don't write this casually because we here in Missoula, MT have been living in smoke since July with no rain to help put out the fires surrounding us. We've actually been wishing for snow for that is the only thing that will put these fires out. AND, we might find ourselves in the same situation because you are scheduled to come here next year at this time. Everyone, please take care of yourselves and your health.

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  43. a no brainer...pretty sure they'll all understand...

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  44. I am stunned THEY didn't cancel for. You!!!Thinking someone would fly out there into sich hazardous conditions is insane.YOU DID THE BEST THING. FOR EVERYONE! Including those coming to see you and attend classes.

    HUGS
    JulieinTN

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  45. You made the right decision, Bonnie. Quilt workshops can be rescheduled. People may have been disappointed, but it's better for all to remain safe.

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  46. I'm sure others feel the same way. Such a shame. Hopefully it will all end soon. It's been going on for over a month. Oregon right now has soo many fires going on that there are firefighters from all over the U.S. there helping out.
    I was to go see my folks in Eugene due to dad's poor health... mom told me not to come at all for a while I have asthma and she worries. Take care.

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  47. Difficult as the decision was, I'm sure it was the right one for you and those who would be traveling to your classes. They will be super disappointed for sure, but the next time will just be all the more sweet. I expect you'll get some negative comments - delete them as soon as you can tell the direction in which they're going! You don't need this made any harder for you than it already is. And as always, thanks for all you do and share with all of us.

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  48. Wise decision, although sad.

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  49. Here in Iowa (Yes, IOWA!) the LIGHT is all orange! Wow, those fires (and all that smoke way up high) REALLY affect a lot! Who would have guessed we would have strange effects 1,000 miles away?

    All of you who have mentioned loved ones in the area working in public safety/military/park rangers, etc... please know we are praying for their safety. And my heart goes out to all of you actually affected by the fires and smoke effects... Praying hard for rain or snow to quench those flames. Also still praying for the South/ everyone affected by Harvey's devastation.

    No doubt all the quilters will understand/be relieved not to have to be thinking about getting to/from your workshop right now, altho I'm sure they could really use the fun distraction... I'm praying everyone that signed up will for sure be able to make it to the rescheduled dates!

    On a lighter note - I totally cracked up at the thought of 150 quilters evacuating with their featherweights. hehe
    (thank you to whomever mentioned it, I needed the laugh!) I know things are much much more serious than that but I did enjoy the chuckle.

    Blessings on you, Bonnie, and all the quilters whose quilting fun is postponed.

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  50. Well heck, since you aren't busy, come on down to the Low Country of South Carolina. All we have to contend with here is a potential hurricane, lol. We can get a workshop together for you in no time!

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  51. I am with you Bonnie, I am sure it was a hard decision to make, I have to be honest and tell you I have wondered why you do travel so much, the world is in such flux, safety anywhere is really an illusion and with technology you could do quilt teaching online with skype etc then all would be good. Just my thoughts and am with you for you and in any decision it is totally yours to make.

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  52. Our air quality in Iowa was terrible today bc of the fires in the Pacific NW and Canada. If it was this bad here, some 1000 miles away, I can scarcely imagine how dangerous it is closer to the source. Prayers going out for those affected and those fighting.

    Definitely the right call, Bonnie. Quilting is not worth ignoring safety.

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  53. It's an interesting time for everyone. It's hard sometimes to realize the best choice is to take care of yourself and others even if it's disappointing. We evacuated last week for a fire in Northern California. When you drive away with nothing but a few items in your car and your loved ones, you realize what's really important. We are back home now all safe, but it was a good wake up call. Stay safe and give everyone a hug.

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  54. I find it so frustrating that two areas of the country are suffering so badly at the same time from two different natural disasters. If only the extra water from Texas and Louisiana could be transported to Oregon and California, the situations in both places would be eased. So sad for everyone affected. Stay safe, everybody.

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  55. I have dear friends in Brookings who are harboring others who have had to evacuate their homes in the face of the fire. The threat is real and you made the only choice you could make for your own safety and well-being, as well as all those who would be traveling to the area to see you. I can't imagine what Highway 101 would look like if they had to evacuate Brookings! Prayers for all those dealing with fires in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and California and Texas and Louisiana with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

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  56. Bonnie-
    I know it had to be a hard decision to make, but I feel you made the right one. Not only for your health's sake, but for everyone else's, also. I have family and friends in the area, and used to travel the roads to and from southern Oregon.

    Yes, it is only quilting, and it will be rescheduled. I know many will be unhappy, but I am sure they would hopefully make the same decision, if it was them.

    My prayers are with everyone affected by the fires. I wish I could send them some our rain.

    Donna
    Kasilof, AK

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  57. It's very scary and very sad for those losing everything to the fires. I hope people manage to stay safe. It's the time of year when nature throws everything about and has a hissy fit! I hear the next hurricane is working it's way around now. All best hopes and wishes for those caught up in them all.
    I agree - right decision.

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  58. Yes for Quilt Cam... I know it would be very disappointing for some but everyone's health is more important.

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  59. I know you will make it up to those disappointed folks. You are also saving their lives too, Bonnie. Don't forget that part.

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  60. This isn't an option for this trip, since the fire impacts everyone, but something to think about for the future is how technology could help - could you video teach? Like a QuiltCam with feedback? Folks could watch you via video, then someone could walk the video around and you could see what people were doing and provide feedback and encouragement, etc. Certainly this is a poor substitute, but at least not a total cancellation. This would work for a situation where you can't travel but others could.

    In this situation, your decision to cancel makes it easier for everyone else who was struggling with deciding to go or not. Disappointing, but for the best. Safety first.

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  61. Good for you Bonnie! Safety first. Thinking of you this week - and circling you with love.

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  62. It's smart to take care of yourself. You did the right thing, the other quilters can now stay safe too.

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  63. Bonnie, You made a VERY good decision in not going there...Best for all, and YES you can reschedule with them all.....Your safety as well as others are for the best....Our prayers are with all of the people in the USA whom have recently gone through a mass of nature's destruction. The fires in Oregon, the flooding in Texas and HOPING NOT, the hurricane that is coming toward Florida..
    Sue from WI

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  64. I am in the San Francisco bay area and the air-quality here for the past week has been terrible. It is like a smog has taken over the air. And we don't have fires here. It is the smoke coming in from Oregon and Nevada. You made your decision, a good one, I pray for the people in harms way and that the firefighters can put out the fires quickly.

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  65. IMO it's the right decision for the health and safety of all concerned.

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  66. You made a great decision. The wind is blowing the smoke all the way to Seattle. It is quite scary to have yellow sky & red sun shadows, ash layer covering everything, with very poor air quality. If it is this bad in Seattle, I can't imagine what it is like closer to the fire area.

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  67. IMO it's the right decision for the health and safety of all concerned.


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