I Used to Live in San Diego

After this last week I'm no longer asking myself, "Now why did I leave 75-degree-and-sunny-every-day California for this godforsaken tundra that I live in now?"

That's my old apartment building. During the 2003 fires we thought we'd have to evacuate so we packed up our cars with the "important" stuff (pictures, files, the minibar, and, of course, my beloved calculator) and then slept in shifts that night, watching the news and waiting for the announcement. The next day the winds shifted and the fires moved in the opposite direction. We were lucky, but many weren't -- and a lot of people died those few days.

Some of you may wonder, "Well how could someone die in a wildfire like that? I mean, don't you see them coming from a mile away?" It is amazing at how fast they move. I was on my way to work when suddenly the fire came roaring down one hill and crossed 10-lanes of freeway and went roaring up another hill about a mile in front of me -- and all in the span of under a minute.

People get caught unaware and the end result is sad. At least this time around the city was smarter about notifying people -- they used a reverse-911 call. I'm sure that saved a lot of lives.

Anyway, the next time it snows here, I promise I won't complain. Dealing with falling snow is much better then dealing with falling ash.

To all of the people out there that were left homeless by this round of fires, I feel for you. If you want to migrate to somewhere considerably colder, I've got a couple of empty bedrooms.

1 comment:

Jane Milton said...

CB, I totally hear you. I used to live in LA. (We have a house on the foothills.) I remember I was driving home and saw the fire move from one hill to another in two seconds. It burned down my friend's new home and we were so worried that it would hit out house, too. It's pretty scary. Turns out the fire was started by a firefighter. No joke. My prayers go out to the people out in SD.