RE: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRES by (cc!)
We want to thank everyone for your prayers, support, and encouragement during our 'fire storm'. We appreciate your calls and texts and emails! I know some of you kept in touch through my mom! Thanks mom for all your help too! Praise be to God - we are safe! Our house is untouched, although we weren't sure for awhile there. My neighbors down the street lost their homes. It is an unbelievable sight. I know you probably saw it on TV, but when it is your good friends' homes and JUST down the street it is more unbelievable. Many of you have been to my house. As you drive up San Antonio Rd. (the main street to my house) you will be shocked at the sight. Every other house is burned to the ground. (4 of them on your right). On the left hand side, many of the houses burned down up on the hill and in the cove (about 7 of them). There are many that burned throughout the development that you can only see if you drive through those streets. It is such a strange sight to see a house burned to the ground with a house on each side of it that is untouched.
The beautiful hills in the back of my house are burned all around us. It is amazing to think that our house didn't burn. The fire blew through us and into the development below. Our development is relatively new and had MANY fire requirements they had to fulfill. Boy, are we thankful now! Probably the thing that saved our houses the most was (besides God) the closed eaves. We don't have exposed wood on our houses. We also have a very thick line of 'maintained' landscaping all around us that saved us. The sprinklers (many of them) came on automatically with the heat and such. We also have pretty strict landscaping codes, which is annoying when you are trying to get things to pass, but is not so annoying now! We are very grateful!
Our kiddos were very scared. They were both curled up in fetal position on the floor of my car just crying to leave. I felt we still had some time since the fire department, nor police had come through yet. Once I felt the heat on my back and embers flying through the air like a snow storm I realized the trucks weren't coming and we'd better go! I couldn't go down San Antonio (toward Y.L. Blvd) because I could see the fire already reached the houses down there and they were ablaze! I had to go up San Antonio only to reach traffic. Mostly from looky-loos taking pictures. Well, the fire spread over the ridge back there pretty quickly too (as there were 50-60 mile per hour winds) and everyone was scrambling to get out.
When we saw the fire that morning I decided to have the kids pack a suitcase and I threw a few things I thought were important in the car - just in case (like passports, purse, phone, insurance etc). It is amazing, though, how your 'things' are put into a real perspective when you are scrambling to get out. Of course the kids were packed first! I had told them to pack a suitcase with the things that meant the most to them. Summer packed "Sherbert" (her bear she has slept with forever) and her American Girl Doll and some assorted things. Rhys packed his tortoise, his dog 'Barky' (that he sleeps with) and his underwear. I laughed so hard I cried. Then I packed "them" into the car!!!!!
Then as the fire seemed to get closer and the winds crazier, I started packing albums, the quilts Charlotte made us, and more papers I thought were important and had Dan start unhooking our computer and our back-up hard drive. THEN as the fire came sprawling across the hill I didn't really care anymore. I just wanted to make sure we all had a coat and I grabbed those and anything I passed and could carry along the way to my car. I made sure I had my phone books too! I don't know why I felt the need to grab the kids back packs and homework. I just did!
Anyway, thankfully, I am putting all those things away in my beautiful home. I am so sad for my friends though. One of my friends won't even go to her home. The other just smiled as we all hugged her and her husband and she was so thankful for all the support of her neighbors. They took nothing! She didn't even have her purse. She was so overwhelmed trying to figure out what to take that she took nothing. She also didn't really think her house would burn down to the ground.
Anyway, I just felt like expressing my thoughts and 'our' thanks for your support!
I am going to send some pictures in my next email!
~CC, Dan, Summer and Rhys!