August 2, 2010
I have never had to be evacuated from my home. Today it almost happened. I saw the smoke from the Rooster Rock fire this afternoon around 2:00. My neighbor called with the news and I looked out the window to find billows of smoke filling the sky. It looked very close to our neighborhood. My husband said that we would not have to be evacuated...we would be fine and started watering the lawn. The Sheriff drove up into the driveway around 7:15. I was just cleaning up the dinner dishes. There was a frantic knock at the door. I answered and I didn't feel like it was me answering....it was like I was watching the whole scene. He told me that it was not mandatory that we left, but that the fire was out of control and he was recommending it. I called Jim and he took over the conversation. He came into the house and said that he wasn't going anywhere. I was not going to sit back and wait until the fire showed up in our yard. I felt like I was in a Laurel and Hardy skit and was running around in circles, not knowing what to pack. It was surreal. I didn't think about taking pictures off the walls or loading up all of our suitcases. A friend offered to come with his truck and help us pack things, but I wasn't sure he would be able to get to our neighborhood. I got insurance papers, went through the files for other important papers and cleaned out the safe for birth certificates, passports and other documents. I grabbed our medical folder as well as my banking folder, my journals, two boxes of old photographs, checkbooks, jewelry box, two Trader Joe bags of bathroom drawer things, two pairs of shoes for each of us and a couple of armful's of clothes and one small suitcase of other clothing. The kitty girls were wondering what was going on and followed me everywhere. I had a bag of cat food, one litter box and four kitty carriers standing by. I went around taking pictures of every room and inside the drawers. My husband did the same upstairs. I took pictures of the insides of the closets and cupboards. He made an inventory list of everything in each room that was valuable. We stood by at the upstairs windows watching the smoke from the fire head south. We could see the orange light coming up from behind the trees in the forest over behind our development. We heard Mr. Cowen on the news, who lives at the opposite end of our development, say that he could see the flames. YIKES! All of a sudden, I stopped sweating and looked up at the sky and just said, "Okay, whatever happens I don't have any control over. It's just another adventure. We will get out, along with our pets and if we have to start over with the material things, we will. The most important thing is that we are safe." And I let go. So now, it's 11:20 and I am here at the computer, not really wanting to go to bed. I suppose the Sheriff would come back to make sure everyone was gone from the neighborhood if the wind kicks up and the fire starts heading our way. I keep checking the front to see if I can still see the orange sky. Jim is eating ice cream upstairs....guess he is not worried. I'm sleeping in my clothes tonight.