There, the view from my door, do you see those? Those are real clouds in the sky, not smoke. And notice also that everything is still standing. The ash has been washed away and life continues as normal. Except we're all exchanging stories of our adventures this past week running from the fire.
This is rain. It's been raining. Happy day. The air still smells of smoke, but it's more like what it smells like when you are camping, instead apocalyptic type ash blotting out the sun. The kids can play outside again.
I didn't even think to take a before picture when I was cleaning up my patio. It was a huge mess. But I can now say with authority that mint does not like hot dry conditions and no water for a few days. That used to be a full pot, and now it's mostly dead.
We came home on Friday, and I've been busy putting things right, and wondering how a whole week could disappear like that out from under me. Today we went to the beach after church and spent hours just playing in the surf and breathing the fresh air, and being thankful for all of it.
There have been some really great moments and stories coming out of the past week. My friend, who volunteered to assist the firefighters, (he brought them food and since he's a caterer I'm pretty sure it was well appreciated) told me that at one of the evacuation centers he was near, they had more volunteers who showed up to help than people being evacuated. My neighbor took his family to Qualcom stadium and told me that they had Yoga classes, free massages, and dozens of other activities and food lined up. He said that nights were stressful though with three little girls and an air mattress, he found it especially hard to sleep.
Our pastor this morning told us that on Monday morning he was getting calls from churches all over the country asking how much money the people of his congregation would need to rebuild, and others were ready to organize work crews to come out this week and start the rebuilding process. It's amazing. Really.
1500 homes were lost, and 3 lives, the last count I heard. I think it is a blessing, considering how large these fires were that it was only three. Two were people who refused to evacuate, and one was a firefighter, I think.
I am grateful that we didn't lose everything, neither has anyone else that I know. And I'm cheered by the thought that those who lost their homes have a lot of support and that they got out in time. I grateful to the fire fighters who have worked so hard to save us all from devastation, and those who have been injured and those who died. But they all knew when they headed out on Monday morning that it could happen to them. So I thank them all for doing their job well.
I find myself suddenly less attached to this place, this stuff. I'm suddenly less overwhelmed at the thought of change, of moving forward, in different directions. When it was distinctly possible that it would all be gone, and the fire did come within 2 miles of our house before it stopped, it was easy to realize that the things I care about the most were right beside me. My children, my husband, our family. I was just glad we were safe. I don't yet know if it changes happen, but when/if it does, I think I'll be ready.