Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Morning

I think by now our plight is on the national news... our news is local only and we can't get enough. Nothing changes minute to minute, but I hang on every word, waiting for any update, anxiously.

We are safe... the animals too. We packed some basics and headed for Holly and Rich's, where the air is much clearer and the fire seems far less likely to spread. My friends? I don't know... some have certainly been evacuated, some I know have homes in the burn areas. Even where there is no fire, smoke and air quality conditions are horrible and it's almost impossible to comprehend how close the fire is. They do know it's burning straight to the beaches, with no containment.

Containment: The fire is circled.
Controlled: The fire is getting put out.

I know Rachel A. called our home last night and talked to Geoff (left a message?) I hope she's with her dog, in a safe place. We have a lot of friends from school that we are thinking of and worried about.

Yes, Geoff is still at the house. Yes, I am worried. No, he's not in immediate-super-extra danger. You may be wondering What the @#$! is he doing there? I can't explain it, but this morning, looking at the latest map and evacuation mandates, all I could think or feel was a huge compulsion to go home and stand my ground. It makes no sense.

Have I ever posted about my super powers of navigation? Geoff calls me his Nativigator. My mind is mapping every street, canyon, ridge, creek valley and neighborhood, and I have a good memory for the last two fires that had us evacuating our homes... uh, did I have a point? I guess I am just keenly aware of how bad this situation is.

It would touch your heart to see the things the boys brought, the things they wanted to bring, the things they tried to protect before he left Garage Mahal. They loaded our photo albums. I brought important papers, pillows and blankets, some quilts. The cats, bunny and bird are with us. Last night, as I was looking for diapers in the car, I saw the boys had packed Alex's yearbook painting, a 1948 publication of "Cheaper By The Dozen," their homework!... such dedication. This is the 3rd time I leave my house in the path of a firestorm and What to Bring? is still a weird, disturbing and surreal challenge. I follow the disaster preparedness checklist So Cal residents keep handy, but trust me, there is a great deal that becomes overwhelming and emotionally stressful. I left my ironed, folded fabric! My engagement ring is still packed somewhere in the garage. I know, I know... family is the most important, things can be replaced... or can they? This is not as easy in practice as it is in theory.

Anne, where are you guys? I called your place before we left, and I assume you guys have headed out. Linda, Josie, Betsy, Susan, Jola and Mark, Julie G., James and Deanne, Belinda? Hey friends. You are in my prayers. Prayers for everyone. Prayers and concern going out to our firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers. Doug and Blanca... stay safe, God bless you.

And one more thing... tonight I am MNO host. On the menu: Chilled wine, maybe some Margaritas, albondigas and hot corn tortillas as an appetizer and then chile rellenos for the main course. Dessert? Chocolate brownie cake. Mom's Night Out sisters, this is the first MNO that won't happen and that we'll never forget! Let's have a make-up night as soon as possible... we'll go straight to the wine and dessert!

Leave comments. Get in touch. It's good to hear other news.


Mary said...

Natalie - I'm so sorry your family is affected by this, and what a relief to hear you guys are safe and have most of your dearest things with you.

Praying that the fire stops and you can go home soon.

Janece said...

I'm so glad to get an update. I've had you on my mind constantly. I'm glad you had friends to bunk with. You know if I was anywhere near, you would be welcome at our casa anytime!

All my thoughts and prayers are with you six. Paul & I prayed for you last night right before we turned out the light for the night.

I hope you can go home soon.

Helen said...

Lord gawd tell my nephew to get outta there and get to holly's...dang if grandma finds out about this she won't be able to sleep for weeks!! maybe you should all get out...the grand canyon is probably nice this time of year. (not really kidding) you are all welcome here in wisconsin. please be safe.
love to all

nikkipolani said...

Oh Natalie, I've been worried about you and glad to see your post. I love the descriptions of what your family packs and considers necessary. I love your notice of these things. Keep safe, my friend.

Andylynne said...

praying for you and all the others being evacuated.

Jeanne said...

Such a tragic scenerio out there. I hope you continue to stay safe and that the fires are out very soon.