Friday, September 11, 2009


The other day, I went to pick up my teenager from school and noticed a plume of smoke in the distance, getting darker and thicker by the minute. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. There's a lot of dry brush around here, and coming from Southern California where wildfires burn out of control every year, I 've learned to take these "smallish" fires seriously.

By the time we drove back into our neighborhood, many of the streets were closed off by police. Uh-oh. I had left my youngest daughter and her friend at home with my sister, and all I could think about was getting to her, somehow, to make sure she was safe. My maternal instincts took over the wheel, and I managed to find the one street that wasn't blocked off.

My perspective was all skewed. The fire that looked like it was off in the distance was right down the street from where I lived. The barranca was in flames. A few houses had been evacuated as a precaution, but none were burning. No one knew what caused the fire. It had been a hot day, with temps up near 100. But I don't think the sun caused it.

An armada of fire trucks surrounded the area. Two helicopters tag-teamed to dump water and flame retardant on the blaze. (I snapped off that picture for you!) A little scary, but I had every confidence that those darling men in the yellow rubber uniforms would put my fire out. I mean, "THE" fire out.

The upside is that I finally got to meet a lot of my neighbors. I haven't really met too many up until now. Nothing like an impending disaster to bring a community together.

The next day, I bought renter's insurance. You just never know . . .

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