Happy Birthday to me. The night was uneventful and I got eight blessed hours of sleep. I haven’t even turned on the TV, so this is last night’s news.
I am in contact with our evacuees, but we won’t be joining them because it would be too hard and too disorienting for Elvon. As it is, sometimes he understands the situation perfectly, but then he’ll lose his grasp of it and just want to be taken home. It was easier to explain up until 9:00 pm, when the networks went back to regular programming, and I lost my visual aids. Here’s what I know:
Both our old house in Napa and new place, Fountaingrove Lodge, are still standing but still in danger. We slept between two wildfires and the deep blue sea in Fort Bragg, but we are among the lucky ones. We’ll be staying here until we can go back home, or find a plan B, if we need one. I have no idea how long it will take to restore power, water, gas lines, etc., so it may be quite a while.
A lot of dear friends in Napa lost their homes, with all their treasures and memories. If you know these names, here’s a short list: Ulla and John Brown, Bob & Celia Stewart, Marilyn and David Anderson, Frank and Linda Grange, Vanessa Braun, Bill & Cindy Ward, Morrie & Sharon Bobrow…and: the Sheldon’s old house, Hinman’s, Fred and Gary’s, on and on, and more I don’t know about yet. 301 Deer Hollow is still standing, along with 303 – Sophie Bevan’s, 305 – Marlene and Stan Rosenberg’s, and 307 – the Callan’s. The other side of Deer Hollow is all gone on the up side from Tamarack. The “Lower Oaks” as Dale used to call them, are intact.
Fountaingrove in general was hard hit. Not much left there except our Lodge, and God knows when we will be able to move back in. I‘ll call the desk and book us in here for a month.
Cheryl Khera said:
So sorry to hear of your trials and I wish for you safety and peace in the coming days and weeks.
Judy Symansky said:
I can’t imagine how you have the energy to write this but I really appreciate knowing what’s going on. Those poor poor people in napa.
Cannot believe it’s your birthday. What can I possibly say?
Rich Grialou said:
Glad to hear that you are both safe. It was not luck, it was you taking charge of the situation and acting rather than waiting to be told what to do. Just what I would expect you to do😎 We hope that you will be able to return home soon.
Rich and Pat
JO ANN HATHAWAY said:
Sounds harrowing, Helen. Stay safe! I’ll be thinking of you.
Jo Ann H
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Ulla M Brown said:
Good luck to you all. The Stewart’s still have their home. Send you love, ulla
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Isabel Gray said:
Happy birthday to you – this will certainly be one to remember!!! Keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers – I don’t know how you coped but thanks for keeping us informed.
Isabel & Willie
John Ball said:
Keep safe ‘n secure. Sincerely, JB
Sent from my iPhone JB
Hi Helen, Glad you and Elvon are safe. Such a terrible tragedy for so many. What about Deborah and Jerry Robertson’s home, or did they move some time back? love, deborah
Dorothy Wollitzer said:
Bev Rowat said:
Please let us know how it goes. News here sounds awful. What a nightmare. We’re thinking about you. Stay wherever you are until things are stable.
Bev and Linda
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Marge Mapp said:
Helen, we’re very, very relieved and thankful to know you’re both still safe. If you’re between fires, it’s still very scary—please keep us posted if you can.
We’re not familiar with the area, so I looked it up on Google and Google maps. There was an article posted at about 8:30 pm your time, saying that Fountaingrove Village, only just on the other side of the lake from you, was completely destroyed, and homes were destroyed only a mile and a half northeast of your retirement place. The pictures of the devastation are just heartbreaking. The article actually mentioned your place by name—
“The Fountaingrove Lodge and the Terraces were largely unharmed, but there will likely be smoke damage, according to the company.
“Our focus continues to be on the care, welfare, and safety of our residents and staff,” Chris Kasulka, president and CEO of Oakmont Management Group, said in the statement.” In case you want to see the article, it’s at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7509420-181/residents-return-to-rubble-and?artslide=0
Thank goodness your place was spared, at least as far as the flames are concerned! We hope you can fare well at the Holiday Inn Express, and will be able to find help for yourself and Elvon as quickly as possible.
We are so, so sorry you are having to deal with this. Our hearts go out to you both.
Marge and Chris