We're home. After eight days and two evacuations, we are so happy to be here. It's almost surreal to know that we almost lost everything and actually didn't lose anything. We were yards away from complete devastation and now have cause for total celebration, on a personal level anyway.
A friend asked if we have survivor's guilt. Not a trace. Sorrow, yes. Guilt, no. Our hearts do ache for those who lost their homes. We are finding out today who in our circle suffered great losses. And we care deeply about the people and the animals who have lost their homes. We know it was the same shift in the wind that saved our homes that cost the homes of others. Our personal blessing does not eclipse our sorrow for those who lost so much.
We're always happy to see our wonderful neighbors, but never so much so as we were when we arrived home yesterday to learn that while the fire reached the perimeter around our enclave, it left every home standing.
Walking today, we saw evidence of several battles with the fire that our guys won. Literally a stone's throw away from our home but hidden by greenery, are scrub oaks bathed in slurry, fire lines circling burnout areas, trees felled on one side of the fire line and piled on the other. The footpath that was my hiking trail is a dozer line now.
There's so much to say and nothing to say. I've never been in a position of having my future depend so directly on the skill, dedication and bravery of others. I walked down to the Cascade Volunteer Fire Department yesterday and chatted up a few firefighters who were standing in the delightful fine mist of water that sprays over the door for the trucks. I shared my thanks and interest. They were happy to talk. I was delighted to listen. Our story is nothing next to theirs. But thanks to them, we have a good story with a happy ending to tell.
Soooo grateful to sooooo many people.
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you and YAY!