Wednesday, October 24

Heated Fears

My home territory is on fire...or at least everything surrounding it. I was born and raised in Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley (home to Burbank, the Encino of 'Encino Man' and Ventura Highyway in that song by America, and lesser known Tarzana from the old black and white Tarzan film days). My Aunt and Uncle live in Van Nuys, and numerous cousins live in Canoga Park and other valley areas, as well as hot-spot Simi Valley just up over the pass towards Magic Mountain.

My Uncle Pat lives in Ramona; up in the hills outside of San Diego. My grandma and Uncle Pat's first wife are buried there. It is - or was - a classically beautiful, idyllic, oak-studded Southern California jewel.

We didn't hear from my Uncle until his wife sent this message:

Subject: re: fires
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007
we are right in the middle of this situation. We may not have a home to go home to and we had no time to get anything out but a few clothes, laptop, dogs and 2 cars. They notified us that there was a complete, forced evacuation of the entire town of Ramona---36,000 people. They turned all lanes of all roads as downhill out-of-town lanes. I understand they are arresting anyone trying to get back in. We went to Heather's and then a fire broke out near there and the smoke was so thick that Pat couldn't breathe, so we left one car there and I managed to get to 78 before they closed it. Then I went a short ways over to the ocean and we got out of the car and sat for a while until Pat felt better. Then I got back on 5 and headed north. I went off the freewway at San Clemente and lucked out getting one of the last rooms available AND they let us take the dogs inside. That night a bunch of fires started not too far from here. This is like being in the twilight z one. T here's nowhere to go and no way to get there if there were. The wind gusts down here right now are enough to take your car off the road. We have no way to know when we can go back to Ramona to find out if our house has burnt tothe grouund along with all our belongings...everything...the truck, all our furniture, our cats...the 100 yr. old oak trees. Supposedly, this all started will a downed power lone...up here, they feel it might be arson. Oh well..."that which does not kill you will only make you stronger: and we are still alive...LaRaine


Cynthia said...

It is scary and crazy to see all that is going on in California, especially when you know people right in the middle of it. We are close enough that everyone has some connection over there. Yet, here we are living our lives just the same as always. In fact, part of my family left today to go to Disneyland. Crazy timing. There are a half a million people vacating their homes and our family is heading to California for vacation.
Sounds like the fires are beginning to be under control. That sure is a blessing.

rachel said...

Wow. thats crazy. kinda reminds you of the warnings of the last days, huh?