Wednesday, October 24, 2007
We are home. We have a home.
There was a mandatory evacuation for our area Monday morning. Patrick was at the airport headed for Mexico City for business, which ironically probably had better air quality than here. Thankfully, he turned back and helped scoop up his family. We stayed at a hotel Monday; one of the last rooms available we were told -- at 9:30 am. Tuesday, we were taken in by the generosity of friends in La Jolla.
It became a evacu-vacation, or evacu-cation.
Don't mean to make light of the tragedies of others. I know how fortunate we are. It's not that the fires were ever really putting our home in danger. The nearest one was probably still 5 miles away. Those poor people who had reverse 911 calls in the wee hours, with literally a moment to grab a pet/child/pair of shoes...how strange it is to drive away and wonder if you'll be back.
We had enough time to actually choose...Should I bring long-sleeved shirts, or short? Open-toed shoes, or closed? I packed an emergency kit which I keep in the laundry room (food/water/first-aid/pet food/flashlight). Some clothes. One toy per kiddo. My photos on discs. Important paperwork in a binder. Seemed reasonable. But as days ticked off I realized the things I forgot. Baby books. Ugh. How could I forget those?
It brings to mind those things which we truly do need. What would you grab? In a minute? In 5 minutes? In a half an hour?
Thanks to our friends Wendy and Dane for putting us up. Despite the tragedies, we enjoyed the good company, (good wine), soft place to sleep, and friendship. Dane, nearly 10 years old, even put Tatum and Chase to bed, complete with a bedtime dance session, and story. Thanks also to the Lippes, who had our dog, Molly. (We didn't know it at the time, but hotels were actually allowing dogs due to the circumstances. The four-legged friends were a funny sight on the elevator.)
We are home. There are ashes and soot to clean, but of course we are fortunate to have a home to dust off. Our thoughts are with the many who still wait...