I live in Southern California. There are many, many things to love about living here, but the dry Santa Ana winds every year are not one of them. We had a serious fire almost 4 years ago to the day. The fires we are experiencing now are so much worse and affecting so many more areas.
We use to live right by the coast. The beach always felt like protection, and no matter how dry it became, it was hardly ever that dry by the ocean. Now we live in an inland valley. We left our house Monday night, because I could see fire snaking down a nearby mountain where we have hiked, and Mr. G has ridden his bike. We were not under a mandatory evacuation order, but I saw that fire, and the stress just wasn't worth it. We were very lucky, we came home by Tuesday night. Though the fires still burn, firefighters seem to be gaining control, slowly, but surely. It helps that the winds have quieted.
Now I sit in my very closed up house, trying to avoid breathing the smoky air. I was outside a good portion of Mon to Tues. and I think I breathed in enough smoke that hopefully baby girl will never have the urge to take up the habit.
I'm sure it goes without saying that one of my main concerns while packing up things to take were my memory box and things of M's. I actually didn't even think of clothes until my mother mentioned it. There I was, ready to go, with only M's things and our photos. By yesterday, it was pretty safe in my area, but the paranoia stayed with me, and I put the boxes of M's things in my trunk, while I went to work. I can't imagine how I would feel if something happened to his stuff. Which is funny in a way. I've already lost him, what could be worse?
I wanted to explain why I haven't visited any blogs or been able to comment. Hopefully, now I will catch up. Please keep the people in my county in your thoughts. So, so many homes have been lost and not everybody did get a chance to take memories.