Day 7: Hustling in the Dark and the Light

We moved from the hotel to the rental house today. Well, we are in the process of moving. Mike is still out stopping at the pet store for a scratching post, new litter box, some cat nip, and cat toys before he heads to our home home the back back way to get our cat Cleo, a couple of our big bean bag chairs, some pillows, and my electric toothbrush. We have the cat carrying case we bought a month ago to evac her for the fires so that’s covered.

We are in the voluntary evac zone and can get in - for now - without sheriff escort, but have no power or potable water, no heat, and I think we lost gas today as many folks did.

We are so freaking lucky it’s impossible to not feel some kind of survivors’ guilt. My friend Flamenca’s husband James spent today sneaking over barricades to dig through mud for what he could find of his family’s possessions around their totaled house.

His daughter was particularly concerned about her baby album. Their son wanted his lovey, not the new stuffy. I don’t know what else was on their most-precious list. Flamenca’s kind of letting it all go, but her man needed to go dig and so that’s happening.

I know of a couple of people so far who have gone to jail for crossing the mandatory evac line. Not to mention the risk of life going in where the mud is high and loose and unstable. I don’t judge, but I hope he comes home, meaning back to their hotel room, safe tonight.

We all need massages. A lot. The body aches and head aches and weird stomach pains everyone is experiencing now that we’re a few days out, are not normal. We are taking turns having brains like ... I can’t even figure out if I want a sandwich. I’m too tired to stop going.

People are starting to snap in public. Get nasty. The jackals have moved in too, trying to rent places to re-rent at jacked up prices, stuff like that. Places obscenely high-priced going doubly that, and going. Someone said, “Soon they will be selling t-shirts.”

They are finding dead bodies still. And a few live ones, here and there, amazingly. I am not sure whether the 300 people who were stuck the first couple of days in one formerly-lovely area by a canyon are all out or not.

There is a candlelight vigil tonight but we will not be going. We’re going to the all-school picnic bbq tomorrow. There is a whole lot of humbling going on, as one of my friends keeps repeating.

There is also wonderful kindness, community, and rallying. Friends with guest rooms trying to fill them, and getting it done. “Who do you know who needs a place?” “My friend so-and-so.” “Send him over.” Done. That’s happening. Our hotel, Hotel Milo, gave us a big evacuee discount, which helped. A local shoe company, Seavees, was giving out shoes. Stuff like that.

So there’s dark, deep deep dark dark, and light, a good amount of light — especially if you look at it right. I’m gonna keep going.

Please keep sending us the love and light. It’s working.