Sunday, November 16, 2008

California Fires

So much has changed since I last posted. As the fires rage throughout California, I received this email yesterday from a person who lives in Southern California. It spoke to me, so I am including her insight:

"I've mentioned it in my blog but in case you missed it, my family lives in Southern California, Orange County to be exact. If you turn on the TV or radio right now, you will see wall-to-wall coverage of the fires raging out of control from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to Orange and Riverside Counties. I've lived here the majority of my life and I don't remember ever experiencing a day quite like this. Last night my husband and I were sitting outside. We just looked at each other and we knew. There was something about the heat, the way the trees were blowing, just a feeling we had that something was going to happen. This is fire season and when you live here long enough, you just know when conditions are ripe for trouble. Fortunately we don't live in the hills or in an imminent fire danger area. But we can certainly see the smoke and brown sky. It's a searing 98 degrees with 5% humidity. In some areas there have been hurricane-force winds. So far hundreds of homes have been lost. It happens every year here. It's one of the hazards of living in certain sections of So Cal. It certainly doesn't feel like Thanksgiving or the Holidays are just around the corner. It's hot, uncomfortable, scary and eerie. One minute you're tempted to pack a couple of things and just get far away from all the craziness. Yet at the same time you're glad to be safe in your own home. So why share these thoughts? A couple of reasons. To those who live overseas or on the other side of the country, it may seem like all of Southern California is ablaze. It's not. There are plenty of areas untouched by the orange glow. But we all feel the pain of those who are losing their possessions, their pets, their property. It's a eerie unity that brings us together and gets us to think about how lucky we are...most of the time. I suppose this is a reminder to be thankful for what we have, to hug our loved ones a little tighter, to know when the time is right we'll all sneak away for a well deserved break. For now, keep the firefighters as well as those touched by these life-changing fires in your thoughts and prayers. Wish for cooler temperatures here in the southland and perhaps some rain. And hopefully soon we'll be back to regular TV and radio programs...a sign the worst will be over."

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