Welcomed by police, news crews, and rain!! we were able to return home today. It's kind of surreal to see the scorched canyon, and hear the constant hum of the helicopters overhead fighting the still burning fire. We are so grateful for all of the firefighters, police, and news reporters, and their hard work.
We were so lucky to have my brother's house to go to and stay during this time. Thanks for your hospitality Ry! And thanks everyone for your offers of help and concern.
We were never very worried about the safety of our home. Although quite close to where the fire started, we are situated in a spot that was unlikely to be reached by flames thanks to the firefighters. We were very worried about our friends and neighbors who were in extreme risk. Luckily it looks like most came through without much substantial damage, and aside from the still lingering smoke smell, all we really suffered was the tiny inconvenience of not getting to wear our festive red white and blue outfits on the fourth.
It's funny, we were not very prepared to leave (we didn't think we'd be evacuated) but the fire grew so fast that when we did have to go we didn't have much time to pack.
Trav and I kind of looked at each other and said, "Is there anything we really need to take?"
We grabbed a few stuffed animals for the kids (who were kind of upset by all the sirens and smoke), and our external hard drive, and walked out the door with the clothes on our backs.
It was an odd few days. I think we felt a little torn between enjoying the Independence Day celebrations, and the somber worry for friends and neighbors.
Today it rained off and on which was amazing and wonderful. We cleaned out the food from our fridge (the power was out for awhile), settled back in, went for a little drive up the hill to see the damage, and got a snow cone.
Life as usual.
The kids chased each other around the yard in the rain, throwing tiny apples at each other till they were worn out.
Had a warm bath,
And watched a perfect rainbow rise up over the still smoking scorched mountain.