Thomas Fire n Slide Evac 5: Next Time I’ll Bring Muffins

We almost didn’t go. We’re in the yellow zone on the disaster map, the “Probably not gonna die if the mountain comes down” zone, versus the red zone, which is the “Get the eff out” zone. Mike says the red zone is “Get the eff out,” the yellow zone is “We recommend you get the eff out.” Anyway, when the text alert came in Monday afternoon to evac by 8pm in preparation for a major storm at 8am the next morning, I was just getting ready to pick up Ax from school.

I texted my friend Samantha who’d invited us to stay with her, her hubby Paul, their three-year-old Ava, and their charmingly energetic dog Jazmine the last few evacs.

Samantha said come on over any time. So I got Ax from school, came home, we packed a few items for the night and next day; I made tortellini marinara to bring over for Ax’s supper. I grabbed the quinoa salad Mike had left for me along with a big thing of spinach and a six-pack of fizzy water. I gave Cleo some extra food and water, closed up her cat door exit.

Then Ax and I loaded up and went to Samantha’s house. I knew I was forgetting something we’d want, but I didn’t want to roll too heavy into someone else’s house. Especially when so many people around us, yellow zone people and red zone people alike, seemed so confident nothing was going to happen this time.

So we were being prudent. Getting out but expecting to be back the next day. My neighbor’s 20-something daughter from up the street said, “I am an environmental studies major and in class they said there was only a 1% chance something would happen on this street. And then probably only a flood where we wouldn’t be able to drive out, not huge boulders coming down on our homes.” She told me that to explain why they weren’t leaving.

I didn’t want to leave either. I wanted to have my salad and watch Frankie and Grace and do homework with Ax at our kitchen table and snuggle into our bed. I didn’t want to pack toothbrush, toothpaste, pj’s, bedtime books, and all that. But I did and I’m glad I did.

As too tired as I felt to deal with packing and going, I thought about how tired I’d feel with water and mud rushing through our home and having to wade or swim through it with my child, leaving Cleo probably.

So when we woke up in our comfy cozy guest bed and Ax opened his eyes, turned to me, and said, “Muffin?” Which was when I realized what I’d forgotten from home, I thought, “Yes. Thank Gd we are safe and dry. Please let my difficulty during these rains be getting muffin and coffee in the morning.” That’s a great difficulty to have. I’m gonna keep evac’ing. I’m gonna keep going.

Thank you Samantha, Paul, Ava, and Jazmine for sharing your happy home with us!