Most of the people who read this blog are much closer to the situation than I am. We are in Colorado visiting family and got word through email on Monday morning that Santa Rosa was on fire and that our house might be in danger. We were very calm at first focusing on getting grandkids out the door for school. The rest of the day was an emotional roller coaster. We were grateful to watch the news, but it was incredibly difficult to watch the devastation and not have any information on our house.
Everyone in the neighborhood was scrambling for information and trying to help by sending what they knew. The result was that we went through several cycles of the house is still standing to your house is on fire. The result is that the house is still standing thanks to the efforts of our neighbors and firefighters. The quote below is from an email we got this morning from one our neighbors:
When they turned down the street, they saw Claudio’s completely engulfed in flames & no one around. They grabbed hoses. The smoke attracted people & some started to help (a few were just filming the other people working-John shamed a few into helping). Rico brought over 4 more hoses from my moms. John organized a bucket brigade. They broke down part of the fence to gain access to Todd’s. Someone was wetting your roof Shirley. To make a long story short – they were able to hold the fire until firetrucks arrived – abt an hour later. They saved the neighborhood.
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The gallery shows pictures of our house which survived and houses in the neighborhood, including the house next door.
This morning I’m feeling survivor guilt. We know that our next-door neighbors lost their house. We suspect that several families from church lost their houses and at least two have been confirmed. Why is our house still standing? We told ourselves early in the day that it was just stuff and then as the day went by we began to think of the things we might have lost. How will it feel to be the house standing next to the house that burned?
What this has made me think about is how much we are connected to this world. I can’t imagine the emotions of people and neighborhoods that have been totally destroyed. We realized yesterday that we have a very strong safety net. We have multiple options available to us, including staying where we are in Colorado. We know that is not true for many people. I am grateful for what our church community is doing to help. The process of recovery will be long and hard for our entire community. I pray that the church will be active and visible in all the recovery efforts.
We’re not sure when we’ll be headed back to Santa Rosa, but know that it will be very weird.