When I heard that San Diego was on fire, the first thing I thought of was my 64 yr. old. Dad. My Dad lives in Escondido (just down the way from the Wild Animal Park). He lives in the house that I grew up in. The house next to the great, big field and across the street from the horse farm. It is a quiet neighborhood where most of the neighbors have lived there for 30+ yrs.
My husband sent me a link to Google Earth showing that familiar areas in Escondido were on fire. From what the interenet said, my Dad’s house was on fire. I was beside myself. I called and talked to my Dad 3 times that first day. How was he? Is he ready to evacuate? What did the local news say?
The projections that the news gave were very different from what was really happening. Yes, there were fires. No, they weren’t closer than a few miles away from my Dad’s house. Yes, there was lots of smoke and debris flying everywhere. No, the world was not coming to an end.
My Dad said that he and his neighbors had not been asked leave (contrary to what the news said). That they were all staying inside their homes and waiting until they were told to leave. Although the media tries to give an accurate picture of a disaster, they don’t always hit “the mark”. That can cause tons of stress for loved ones that are far away. I know I was a wreck for 2 days. I am better today.
I have to say that it is amazing that so many folks can come together when there is a disaster. How people (rich, poor, young, old, etc.) can put aside their lives and help one another. That stress CAN bring out the beauty in people. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? Sure, there were people taking advantage of the situation. My Dad said that he heard of some looters that had a semi-truck and were going through the wealthier areas of San Diego and having a “grabbing spree”. Thankfully, they found the people and arrested them.
My Dad also said that there have been stories of con-artists coming in and saying they are with contractors. They are telling folks that they will rebuild their homes. They ask for a down payment to secure future work and then skip on the work. That tragedy can bring some nasty folks around really sucks. Con-artists are lower-than-low to take advantage after a tragedy. How they could prey on those that are suffering is beyond me. To them: “Your day will come.”
I want to thank all of the volunteers, news people (you tried, I know), fire fighters, etc. that stepped up to help those effected by the San Diego fires. For those that were effected (evacuated, lost their homes, etc.,), I am so sorry. This was a horrific event and will go down in history with Katrina and 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
As the fires rage in San Diego, I also think of the places that are in the “line of fire”. The majestic Palomar Mountain and Observatory, Julian with their adorable shops and Mom’s Apple Pies, Santa Isabel with the best bakery in the world, Ramona & Valley Center with the simple ranches and wondering herds of cattle. Losing these things makes me sad.
Although it breaks my heart to hear that these areas are or might burn, I know they can be replaced. Trees grow back. Shops and bakeries can be rebuilt.
These fires have been a catastrophe for California. My thoughts and prayers are with those that have been effected by them. May this horrific event bring your communities together. May the economy strengthen. May people care for one another from now on as they did during these fires. I am glad that you are all safe.
Dad, I am SO THANKFUL that you are okay. I am glad that my childhood home still stands. I know that Mom is up in Heaven saying: “Why didn’t you evacuate?!” (I am thinking the same thing too.) However, I am extremely thankful that you are alright. Whew!