Use Your Words - Youth Festival, Flooding and Wildfires

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Gray ~ brink ~ shutters ~ buffet ~ mural

They were submitted by Southern Belle Charm - thanks, Minette!

Last weekend we celebrated our village's youth festival that only takes place every other year. For the first time not only the usual sports clubs, authorities, associations and of course elementary school students were invited to participate in the parade, but local businesses, too. Even though hubby and coworkers were not thrilled, some agreed to march with me. We even got our own jerseys!

The theme was "creation meets tradition", and most organizations went for some traditional local customs for either the decoration or the "costumes". 

The group of runners tied some sneakers onto their wreath and attached the actual trail sign leading to the Staufberglauf, the race around the local hill that usually takes place in late August:

Our village's flag made it to many exterior walls

Farming always makes for some good local tradition

Those students reffered to the Silvesterfeuer, the New Year's Eve bonfire

Colin's class, much to his dislike, crafted some turnips to mimic Räbeliechtliumzug = turnip parade

More reference to our village's flag. I actually had to look up the meaning of the golden goblets in our flag. So obviously a servant who was working for a rich man in Hohenstaufen (Germany)  got a special cup as a farewell gift. That guy later settled down in our village and called it Staufen. Also, some people seem to think that our hill, the Staufberg, looks like a cup, upside down, and "Stauf" in olden German stood for goblet. 

Those guys honored the Affenbrunnen, a fountain with a stoney monkey on top.

More farming. Aren't those goats adorable?

Traditionally the toddler group gets to ride the tractor

A replica of our church. They attached some pens so people can write and draw on the mural, neat idea!

During the parade and around lunch time it was super sunny and super hot, 36C = 97F, but the later it got, the sky turned more gray, and clouds were forming, worse yet, we could hear thunder rolling from the distance. 

All week long the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms for Sunday, but not Saturday!! 

Colin was out there enjoying the fairground with his friends. 

From one moment to the next a torrential downpour began, and not only did it pour, there were actual hailstones, the size of mini mozzarella balls rattling down in a 135° angle, and obviously (I wasn't there) the pilars close to the stage in the party tent were forced down by the canvas roof that was simply getting too heavy. People wanted to run out in a panic, but hailstones were still coming down hard, so most folks gathered around the buffet to wait and hope there wouldn't be more damage to the roof.

I was at home, and my Mom, who was spending all her time on the party premises because she was the designated photographer, texted to ask if Colin made it home, she couldn't see him anymore. No he wasn't home, and I wasn't too worried until then, but now I was, even though I was pretty sure he'd rather take cover than running home. As it turned out this is exactly what he did, and half an hour later he was home, safe and sound, and I was relieved.

After everyboday had taken a shower and put on new clothes we went out for dinner. 

Correction, we intended to go out for dinner. Halfway there another thuderstorm began raging right above us. A dozen other cars and I had to stop on the emergency lane of the freeway. Hailstones, branches, pieces of litter, everything was twirling and beating down. My poor car! Miraculously there weren't any dents as it turned out later.

15 miles from here the highway and many basements of residential houses were flooded, it was a mess. Hubby later said he got a text message from his building insurance company advising him to pull outdoor shutters up and to seek shelter for his car.

Sunday the kids played in a field hockey tournament, Colin had been looking forward to this for weeks. He designed the jerseys, Daddy's company paid for them, a friend agreed to coach the team.

Considering what our friend Annette (who moved from our village to Canada four years ago) and her family currently have to go through, our thunderstorms and water damages were a walk in the park. 

They live in British Columbia, where the whole area around Williams Lake / 100 Mile House has been threatened by wildfires, and people have been asked to evacuate. After packing up their RV they left their home and highland cattle to seek shelter at a friends' house an hour's drive away. New dry thunderstorms (no rain, only lightning) are in the forecast, so they are still on the brink of losing everything. 

Link to Article / Video

My heart is so heavy these days. Thousands of firefighters are trying to put an end to it, but the area is huge, the wind is not helping, and resources are limited. So if you have any positive vibes laying around somewhere, please send them their way!

For now, why don't you head over and check out my blogger friends' posts: