Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I have been thinking about the cycles of natural disasters that come regularly to California, as I sit here in Seattle, far removed from the raging fires. Physically removed at least. I awoke this morning to NPR news of Rancho Bernardo burning to the ground and panic set in – my sister lives so close. I called her – she's okay – they haven't told her to evacuate yet, but her bags are packed and waiting at the door – she says three trips to the car and she's gone. I suggested leaving now and driving up to our brother's house to stay. No, she says, she still has to work – though she's lost two clients in the past day (she cleans houses), one who lived in Rancho Bernardo – their 3000 square foot house, now just ashes. Another client lost their home in Ramona. Two other clients have evacuated and she doesn't know their status, though she says if she looses them too, she will have to move to a cheaper apartment, a studio maybe. I think she can find more clients, she has a good reputation. Also, moving will be difficult now, with so many new homeless in San Diego County. I asked her where she will go if she has to leave – she says Coronado Island – put some water between her and the fire.

I worry about my friend, Susie. She lives in Castaic. I've heard they were evacuating people there too. I don't have her phone number on me. I sent her an email – hopefully she'll give us an 'all clear' soon.

I see on the news that houses in Poway were lost. I wonder about Mickey and Nicki, who's house is next door to my parents old place. I don't know how to reach them. Phone numbers have been lost over the years – I only have a snail mail address now.

I see there is a fire on the edge of Irvine and I think about my friends, Marilyn and Derek, and hope that they are safe also.

I always loved this time of year in Southern California. It's strange, I know, but I liked the Santa Ana winds, so warm and dry. I liked the fierceness with which they blew. But there always lurks the fire hazard, especially, if like this past year, the rain has been good. Good rain, lush green hills. Then the weather warms up and they hills turn that shiny, parched grass golden color that I miss so much. When they call California 'The Golden State', I always think of the golden rolling hills, so beautiful and so dangerous. That dry grass catches fire so easily and burns so fast.

Here's the formula: Rain = green grass + warm weather = fire fuel... wild fires = no vegetation X rain = mudslides.

Yes mudslides. Act II. If your house was spared, but the land around you burned, you run the risk of mudslides in February.

That's the cycle. Then there are earthquakes.
This is the San Andreas fault near Palmdale.

Also – flooding expected in New Orleans. Again.

10/27/08 UPDATE - Everyone is safe. In the end, my sister only lost one client, not two - but the one whose house is gone asked her to clean at her mom's place so as to maintain her spot in Amy's schedule - and no loss of income for my sis! I learned that my sister-in-law has a cousin in Rancho Bernardo, we still haven't heard how they fared.


At 5:18 PM, Blogger Miss Kris said...

I'm biting my nails with worry. A fire was burning quite close to my sister's house yesterday. I haven't gotten an update today to see if she had to evacuate. She works at a hospital and they've been taking in nursing home evacuees. She's also on call 24/7.


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