Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Passing Time and Thinking

William and I are sharing Geoff's laptop. Yes, he's still home. Others I've heard from: Jola, B, Karen and Yanina are all home and ready to head out if necessary. So, from our laptop command center we are following The San Diego County Emergency web page.... oh, which is now failing... may be you'll have better luck.

I also have my map out... most recently I used it to confirm my suspicion about the Harmony Grove mandatory evacuation. Harmony Grove is where the 1996 wild fire burned, moved to the coast, devastated La Costa and sent us south when embers were landing our roof. Harmony Grove is in a deep valley or canyon with arteries that reach the coastal communities of Olivenhain, Leaucadia, South Carlsbad, Encinitas and Cardiff... fires love those dry, hard to access canyons.

Mandatory evacuations are happening well ahead of the fire, so that time will allow for safe exit. So, the fire that was on the north side of Lake Hodges and Del Dios Highway must have done what we feared and climbed the hills that run east-west... so that it is traveling towards the backside toward Elfin Forest, San Marcos, San Elijo Hills and the Escondido Creek, which is an entrance to Olivenhain and Rancho Santa Fe. The actual Witch Fire does not have to reach these points... Santa Ana winds, hot and fast, carry embers miles away and ignite palm trees, dry brush and debris, then the fire just spreads.

Concern: A new fire in the Palomar Mountain area, that started as a house fire, is now 20,000 acres and growing. Firefighters express fear of it merging with the Witch Fire. The Harris fire, in the southern part of the county is growing too.

Even though we are welcome and safe here with Holly and Rich and their children, I really, really want to go home. No more wise-cracks about my Garage Mahal Rental Palace. Home is home. And, goofy me, I am really upset that I cleaned it so well, then all hell broke loose and it's a mess. The boys filled the tubs with some of their Lego bricks, then covered them with wet towels! How precious is that? I'm sure the house stinks... it was bad after 1 day. We ran around like headless chickens pulling stuff out and debating its value in our Evacuation Plan: Swim fins? Change jar? Bamboo driftwood that looks like a reindeer? Chicken collection? All my cleaning efforts shot to hell. Minor. Minor. Minor.

I would go home, but so much depends on very undependable factors, and when the fire has a chance to move fast, it moves very fast. So, it would seem obvious and reasonable to stay put... ah, but who wants to be reasonable? I feel anxious and bored, hurried and caught. You can imagine the scene: 6 children going stir-crazy, 2 adults trying to work from home, heat, bad air, the news running 24 hours, and me sitting in the middle, blogging and being mostly useless. Holly runs a wonderful evacuation center, but if I don't start making myself useful they may send us to the Stadium... lol.

At least I showered.

I forgot my toothbrush, and I couldn't find my cell phone.

I should volunteer myself as an example of how not to parent during a crisis. Don't stare vacantly at ceiling. Don't show children worse case scenarios and maps of projected fire paths. Don't buy cases of glazed donuts and promise children the best Christmas ever! Don't remind husband to bring the butt wipes if when he evacuates. Don't mock officials that set-up evacuation centers in the line of fire.

I'm going to check the news, then hug the children, then call Geoff and remind him that I love him. Keep writing to me, so I have a valid excuse to sit with the laptop.


campbellgirl said...

I can't imagine what you and other Californians are going through but I've seen pictures on the news and am overwhelmed. Nature's power is both awesome and terrifying.

However, I laughed out loud at your lament on cleaning the house so well: I'm glad that you have retained a sense of humour!

I truely hope that you and your loved ones remain safe; prayers and thoughts are with you, Natalie.

God bless. Diane

Helen said...

thanks for the update. what the heck is geoff actually doing at home? i hope you left him a hefty honey do list. lol hang in there family!