The big news is that Fountaingrove Lodge is welcoming us back as of this afternoon.  I can’t say enough about how well they handled this one.  We always knew what was happening.  They bused everyone out in a timely fashion, put them up if they needed it, etc.  Huge kudos to Linda Fisher and her team.

Me, being me, I was out of there before they even thought of evacuating, and having the wonderful friends I have, I haven’t suffered much at all, except for the mental anguish.  With these factors still in play, I won’t be back in until Monday or Tuesday.  I have a bunch of new plans, you see, and free places to stay, while I execute them.  Thank you Pati and Freddie, for two more offers.

Before the fire, I was scheduled to host the Women’s Technical Wine Group’s Annual “Small Plates Extravaganza” at Fountaingrove Lodge, this coming Saturday, November 2.  It didn’t look good for that as of the day before yesterday, with the fire only 15% contained.

I wrote an email, trying to postpone the party a week or two.  That didn’t fly very far.  This is a busy bunch of people and it had been hard enough to nail down November 2, in the first place.  Barb Olmsted didn’t want to give up and offered her home for the “Glamping Small Plates Extravaganza” and that’s what we’re going to do.  We agreed that, more than ever, we need to get together, drink and hug, drink and hug, repeat, repeat.  FGL probably didn’t want to host the party, while people will still be re-entering, and they are in start-up mode on everything, and, frankly, we aren’t totally out of danger.  It has not rained and there’s no rain in sight.  I am still plenty uncomfortable.

So, glamp, we will.  That’s glamourous camping, by the way.  I hired Ritzi Cracker, who had her own fire problems, but I think it was just a power outage.  She lives up near the fires, nearer even than I do.  We’ll use paper plates, but Barb says she does have enough silverware, napkins and table cloths.  I’ll pay for everything I can, it will still be way cheaper than the bus I had promised to provide without checking its cost.  The bus company was charging me by the hour for six and a half hours, not just two trips.  Now I have learned a lesson without having to pay for it.  “tis an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good.  I’ll take a picture of the menu and send it out Sunday.

So, I am going to take Maurine Potter to the party, as my date.  This party is where the husbands come and every member brings three bottles of the winning wine from her tasting and a dish to pair with it.  I’ll take a picture of the menu and post it here on Monday, with thanks to Barb, et al, but especially Barb.

Pat and Mike have been out as long as I have, and for the same set of reasons.  Yesterday, Pat reported that they had spent a couple of days at a casino in Reno.  Brilliant idea.  The rooms are cheap, because they want you to gamble and the drinks are free, if you do.  Mike got them a bunch of free drinks and came out fifty cents ahead.  And I thought I was good at this evacuation stuff.

I’ll be in Napa through Monday, as I have repairs to the car’s air conditioning scheduled at Alpina, who have been maintaining it since it went off warranty, eighteen years ago.

Enough – Happy Halloween to all.



Pat & Mike’s stpry