Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Home Sweet Home
Okay. You got me. Yes, I was fantasizing about life in a FEMA trailer and rebuilding a nice, air tight house on a berm so we could enjoy the view of the ocean. In this crazy dream world, all was well. There was no sign of the loss and misery of rebuilding with your history gone up in flames. That's what fantasy is all about. Pleasure, not pain.
We have been spared the pain. The air is lousy and we sound like we have colds. The grounds are covered in soot, ash and downed tree limbs. I do not want to stir up that mess until this is all over. Inside the house it is stinky with smoke and a fine layer of soot dust is on every surface. I could use a sanitation team. I am going to use the one room at a time method, from smallest to largest. Cleaning and moving back in with attention to how irrelevant most of our "stuff" is. This will take some time. Don has informed me that he is so far behind in work, that Evan and I are on our own.
Last night we got restless and got in Heather's car (ours are full of aforementioned stuff) and drove north to San Clemente. Our friends invited us to drink wine on their beautiful rooftop with an expansive ocean view. As we took deep clean breaths, smoke to the south built up and the Camp Pendleton Fires became visible. Driving south on the 5 we saw up close the orange flames licking over the hilltop next to the freeway. Within the hour, the 5 was shut down in both directions. It was a good thing Heather got us back to Tom. He stayed behind to work in peace. Oceanside central looked so good to us all. At 11pm we got the news we could go home. See Signonsandiego.com for excellent coverage.
We packed up and drove home. Through orange cones on Lone Jack and on to the house. Dark, quiet and eerie. Dirty, but intact and safe. This morning Don was up and out early. He tried to get to his office in Rancho Santa Fe. Armed National Guard in Humve's stopped him and turned him away. I won't feel better until that area opens up and our friends can get home.
Helicopters flew over our house with water buckets heading east. It was a "Hurray!" moment. When reporters refer to this being like a war zone- that encompasses the feelings of anxiety and rejoicing in the rescue aspect.
We slept well in our own beds last night. I slept in so late avoiding work as long as possible. Now, I want to update you and then answer email, then get to scrubbing. First and foremost a big THANK YOU to our hosts, Tom and Heather. Evan said it best, as we left late last night. " Hands down, the best place to find refuge!" We could not say it any better. I will not unpack the car until the fires in Rancho Santa Fe are clear and Don can get to his office and our friends can begin their clean up. I have tried to call those that left messages on the home phone and appreciate everyone that checks this sight for updates. My knitting days are on hold until we feel like we can hang the art back on the walls...