I am in a bit of a daze right now.
In Southern California, we experience a couple seasons of Santa Ana (or more accurately, Santana) winds several times a year. Basically, it gets hot, really, really windy, and dry. Trees fall over, tumbleweeds roll, and worst of all….fires ignite.
I remember waking up on October 31st a couple of years ago: everything was orange. I looked out my window and couldn’t find a patch of blue (or even gray!) sky. I walked through my parents’ house and the whole house was illuminated orange – it almost hurt my eyes. I went outside and knew the reason immediately. Fire. The sky was literally “snowing” ash and the orange glow lasted all through the day. It was scary, and obviously, very dangerous for the people and homes located near the fires.
Most often, the fires are further east – too far to really affect our city. There have been a few years where we’ve been able to see flames across the freeway – but thankfully, my parents’ home was nestled in the hills, several miles from the freeway, out of range from the fire.
Today, that is not the case. For the first time ever, my dad can see flames licking over the tops of the hills near his home. He called to tell us that his neighborhood is being evacuated (like I said, this has never happened before). Unfortunately, my mom is out of town at a songwriters’ conference, which makes choosing items to evacuate with (such as photos, instruments, and keepsakes) a little more difficult.
When my dad called to tell us the news, Ryan got in the car immediately so that he could help him with evacuating their possessions. I’m only hoping he doesn’t get turned away. My mom called from Washington to ask me if I could think of anything I wanted from the house. I realize my dried wedding bouquet is there. They’ll be sure to get that.
Like I said, I’m in a daze. I’ve been asking the Lord to protect their home, but I am fearful. That’s the home I grew up in. There’s no way Ryan and my dad will be able to get every single meaningful or valuable thing. I know possessions are unimportant in comparison to lives, and of course that’s of more value to me. I just can’t believe this is happening.
Please pray – pray for my parents’ home, their neighborhood, and the safety of the residents. Pray for my mom as she endures this from far away. Thank you so much.