Many friends and family already know that my home in Santa Rosa, Calif., burned to the ground early Monday morning. Important Part: My wife Karen and I, and our dog and cat, got out alive. We had about 15 minutes to throw our lives into the back of a car and evacuate. I'm typing this on a computer in my daughters' apartment 30 miles away, where we've been bunking since. Karen's working long, hard days as part of our county's emergency response team. "Normal" is such a distant goal that we can't even see it on the horizon.
However, we've been so touched by the deep compassion, generosity, and kindness of so many of our friends, locally and around the world. Offers of anything we need, or just sympathy when there's nothing else they can do. Most extraordinarily, my high school friend Allison has offered us her late mother's vacant house in Santa Rosa, and we're taking her up on it. I've often doubted it but never will again: most people are very good.
I'll have more story to tell about the fire later--hope to post something I hope you'll find interesting later today. Just wanted to send up a flag saying we're alive, well, relatively mentally healthy (though we and the pets all have a touch of PTSD jitters), and figuring out what the hell to do next.
Here are a few photos of what our region has been through. The first one is a snapshot I took from our street as we evacuated at 1:30 a.m. The rest are from news sources.