Relief

2381 did not burn down.

Actually, the Butte Fire is STILL burning, but it’s now 74% contained and all evacuation orders have been lifted. The danger has passed.

Trent and I had to see for ourselves though, so after talking to our neighbor, Nick, we drove up this past Friday night after work. Skies were blue, there was nary a plume of smoke on the horizon, and the only evidence of a 70,000+ acre wildfire still smoldering a dozen miles away over the mountains were the hordes of fire trucks jammed into every lodge parking lot along Highway 4.

Otherwise, life was normal. Our friend Leah joined us on Saturday with her pup Pancake and we snuck in a final dip in the Stan to bookend our summer:

Sam and I in the Stanislaus River – he's getting good at rock-hopping to be near me without getting those precious paws wet.

Sam and I in the Stanislaus River – he’s getting good at rock-hopping to be near me without getting those precious paws wet.

Leah, end of summer river pose.

Leah, end of summer river pose.

Beggin' for bacon...

Beggin’ for bacon…

Pancake(s) on the deck Sunday AM (pic by Leah).

Pancake(s) on the deck Sunday AM (pic by Leah).

Life was normal for us, that is. I can’t stop thinking about all the folks in Calaveras County who feel life is ANYTHING but normal right now

Remains of the Golden Spur mini market, about a dozen miles from where we live.

Remains of the Golden Spur mini market, about a dozen miles from where we live.

Remains of a house in Mountain Ranch.

Remains of a house in Mountain Ranch.

I was especially moved by this story.

I can’t… even…

The long love affair I’ve had with this region of California and the short time I’ve been a homeowner there has left me feeling pretty emotional this past week.

I don’t know what I would have done if I’d lost 2381, let alone if it had been my only home. Let alone if it had been my life savings – if I had nowhere else to go.

Thank you, Cal Fire, for saving what could be saved. I can still enjoy my life here, but I hope eyes around the world are open to the scale of these wildfires. I hope all can at least begin to see that this is not “normal” as we know it; this is the beginning of a new kind of normal. We are not going back to the California we once knew.

Enjoy what’s left while you still can, friends, but please don’t be blind to the moment we occupy in history. Think about what you’re leaving behind for your children (if you choose to have them), and consider a donation to the Red Cross because they are going to have their hands full for a long time to come…

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2 thoughts on “Relief

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Our relief at seeing your beautiful home safe is really tempered by the devastation around you. You are so fortunate to have been spared. Thank you for thinking of those who have not been spared, and what everyone else can do to help them. That river is so beautiful and inviting. I can see why you can’t wait to get in it. And Sammy has become a good little “rock hopper”. I am glad it will all be there when I come to visit you next month. This is a beautiful earth.

  2. Carla Daniels says:

    I’m so glad they found Thumper!! *sniff*

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