Because some folks drop by thunderbolt to see how the family is doing, here is an update regarding the Santa Clarita fires.
There were five fires burning at one time and a couple came within a five mile proximity to our house. The sky was full of soot and at times it burned to take in a deep breath. However, the flames never came so close to the house that we were in in immediate danger. We did have some friends evacuate their homes because they lived closer to the fires. School was canceled yesterday and today because of the air quality, although we debated about letting Jake out of the house anyway. If our lungs were irritated, I can only (then again, I don't want to imagine) what the shit in the air is doing to his little body.
It was very strange to walk out of our house and look down our driveway at the clear blue skies then turn around and see plumes of gray smoke in the air. That's how strong the Santa Ana winds are. With gusts of nearly 50 miles an hour, trees are being toppled.
You can all turn on the news and see the destruction these fires have done to southern California. Sadly, good friends (practically family) of ours, the Gardners, await news of the fate of their beautiful home in Lake Arrowhead. Lake Arrowhead is a quiet mountain community that was attacked by the fires all day yesterday. The Gardners escaped the blaze wity two cars full of memories. They can only monitor the Internet to get updates up whether their home is still standing or now ashes. I am hoping for the best, we all are.
I took the day off of work yesterday to collect some of our important personal files (birth certificates, loan information, etc.) It is very sobering to put together an emergency box like this. Late on last night, I began to contemplate what all we would try to rescue in case the fires crept close to our home. The list was small. It made me realize how unimportant so many of the material things I've collected over the years are in the broad scheme of things.
I think of the Gardners and all that they may have lost and the importance of family is all I can think about. We have been blessed that many people are checking on us to make sure we are safe and that Jake is healthy.