There are many things I could be upset about today. The fact that authorities suspect arson in the vast majority of wildfires that devastated San Diego this week, for example. That’s a good place to start.
Or the trolls whose only response to the news was, “That’s what you get for living in a dry place, morons, burn” as though there were a place on Earth immune to Mother Nature in some form or another.
But I’m too grateful to worry myself with fools and psychotics at the moment. There is too much gratitude to the many to allow myself to be angry with the few right now.
I am grateful to my friend K, who texted me to see if I was OK when she saw on the news that my neighborhood was being evacuated. This was at the start of this whole mess, and when I got her text I had no idea it was even happening. Her warning came ahead of the official notification, and gave me lead time to get back to the house to evacuate Brody and Penelope before the roads were barricaded.
I am grateful I heeded my own warning and had all the pet supplies quickly accessible so I could get in and out in 5 minutes. It is an eerie feeling to be alone in an empty neighborhood with a wall of smoke bearing down. Corollary: also grateful to the cat for not hiding under the bed.
I am grateful to my childrens’ teachers and the district who evacuated them from their school before it became an emergency. When you turn on the news and see your little ones’ faces disappearing into the smoke, your heart skips a few beats for them, even when they are already out and safe by your side. They had no idea why I was crying when I found them at the 2 separate sites they were evacuated to, though they will some day. I credit the teachers with keeping them all calm in a stressful situation.
I am grateful to the first responders from Cal Fire, the police, and sheriffs who were on the scene quickly and efficiently. 1500 acres and not one home lost in the Bernardo Fire, despite a full head-on assault towards hundreds of home.
These crews left their families behind, from different counties and even different states, to fight for our neighborhoods as if they were their own. That’s a debt one can’t repay.
I am grateful to the many who heeded the evacuation warnings and let these men and women do their jobs, and to those who assisted with animal evacuations- especially with donating their trailers for the large animals who are disproportionately affected in these circumstances.
I am grateful to this community, who I know will help those who lost their homes. I have family here to take us in, but even had I not, so many friends offered their hospitality to us. Today, I turned on the TV and saw my friend’s dad on the news helping a member of his church hose down his property. We will pitch in, because that is what we do here in San Diego.