Until you've experienced it.....

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
edited 21. Nov 2018, 09:56 in Living with Arthritis archive
People come on here complaining that no-one understands and I keep telling people that, until a disease / illness / event affects our own lives, none of us really understands, much as we try to.

I now understand a little more about wildfires.

There are always wildfires round Los Angeles at this time of year brought by the Santa Ana winds and timber dry canyons. But this year it's different. We woke up yesterday to the very brief text from our son 'We've been evacuated but all OK'. At first we didn't understand why, as UK newspapers hadn't mentioned the fires. We presumed it was to do with the latest mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, just a few miles up the freeway from them. But it was because of the fire.

You're then left with your imagination. You can't phone, email etc because charging phones is probably very difficult for them . 250,000 people have been evacuated.. So we texted our love and told him not to worry about getting in touch until / unless it became easier. But you wonder:
Where are they? How are they? Could they take the dog? Could they take valuables? Will the house be OK? What if it isn't?

And then the news starts filtering through. The fire has jumped the huge 101 freeway at Cheseboro. (Until September he lived off Cheseboro.) . Las Virgenes and Calabasas are also evacuated. (His ex-wife lives there.) Two houses on Kanan have burnt down. (His street is off Kanan) And you see pictures of places you go to regularly which you don't recognise because they're just flames.

Last night another text 'Don't know about house. Not allowed back yet.'

So, we wait. And hope. If the winds drop the firefighters may have a window in which to get on top of it. But the distances involved are huge now.

It really is true that, until you go through something, you really can't understand it whether it's arthritis or loved ones trapped by wildfires.

I kind of half-apologise for putting this on LWA. It's not really about living with arthritis. But, equally, it's not Chit Chat. It's very real.
“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Sticky, what an anxious time this must be for you, I am so sorry. We might constantly complain about our weather but it rarely does anything like this. I sincerely hope that all is well with your boy - please let us know how things are when you hear again. DD

    💞
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    SW, you must be so on edge and so worried about your son, and as you've visited him there it must make it all the more real and horrific when you see the images on the news.
    DD is right, I for one am so thankful to be living in the UK, with all it's faults, than in the US with it's extreme weather.
    Please keep us updated as and when you hear from your son.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I will pray for your families safety and that you have peace of mind soon.X
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you very much, DD, Slosh and might.

    Latest update. They are all safe in a hotel 1hrs north. His ex-wife too is safe. She went south :lol: Unofficially, both houses are still there but it has come so close that we can't be sure. Still no going back but that's OK.

    Thank you again. As with any type of pain it is cathartic just setting it down in black and white.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Claudette
    Claudette Member Posts: 60
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Feeling for you Sticky. Hope your son is alright. So worrying for you. Hopefully he is safe. Only life and love matters when it comes down to it. Your analogy with other circumstances in life...about not knowing how the worry or suffering feels unless you have been (or are going) through it is so true.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Claudette, thank you for your kind words. They are safe and that is all that matters (though it would be nice to know their house was still standing :wink:)
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm please that everyone is safe and I hope their houses are too.

    I've been wondering what I would grab in the case of fire, so far I've narrowed it down to the two pens made from the Erard grand piano and Singing Ted (note to self - find Singing Ted and put him somewhere where he can be grabbed) because they are things that could never be replaced. It concentrates one mind as to what is not important in one's life. Stuff can be accumulated once more but people? No. DD

    💞
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    They skyped from home yesterday. Home is fine inside though the whole garden is covered with ashes. They were going back to the hotel for a few nights, though as, although the winds had died down yesterday, they were due to rise again today and there s a danger of them reigniting hot embers. I'm so pleased they're being sensible.

    My thanks, again, to all of you who helped just by 'being there'.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Great news Sticky, you must be so relieved. Glad to hear they are being so sensible.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    (((()))) X
  • nearlybionic
    nearlybionic Member Posts: 2,204
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky
    How worrying for you. I am glad you have heard that your son is safe and hope that he is able to go back and check on his home soon.
    NB
  • Claudette
    Claudette Member Posts: 60
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Excellent news Sticky. You'll be feeling so pleased that they are safe and that their house still stands. There will be, no doubt, lots of community spirit when they go back, mixed with sadness for those who fared worse...but you might be able to sleep a little easier now.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks again, Slosh, mig, NB and Claudette.

    Yes, thank you. Things sound more promising but I'd like the winds to drop and the danger of the embers starting up again removed. (Greedy, aren't I :) ) Our ex-daughter-in-law's house is OK but the neighbour's, two doors down, has completely gone. It seems quite random but I think it just depends on wind direction.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Claudette
    Claudette Member Posts: 60
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Not greedy Sticky. Just normal. If someone takes the pain away a little for us, we want more. Hopefully things will work out just fine for you. Hopefully those winds will drop.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I hope all is well well as it can be in California, do they have any idea when they might be able to return home? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm so glad your family is OK, it must be such a relief for you. There are going to be some difficult times ahead I imagine, both physically and emotionally, as folks try to rebuild their lives.
    My younger sister's in-laws lived in California and over the years there were a few scares, more so as they got older and were less able to cope with things themselves and the family was too far-flung to react quickly.
    Didn't we have a French forum member who was made homeless by wildfires?
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We did, daffy. Well remembered.

    Well, mine are back home now and happy to be so. I can go back to wondering about earthquakes now
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What a relief SW, you must be so relieved.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I hope that all is well in California. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, thank you, DD. He's even cleaned up the garden :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So pleased for all of you.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Something I heard in passing over the weekend gave me pause for thought. The number of deaths was given as 76, but the number missing 1200. There are all sorts of reasons why it is difficult to sort out who might have been caught up in the emergency and account for them one way or the other, and obviously communications can be difficult, but even so that struck me as a high number, assuming it is correct. Given the reach of modern news there can't be many who are unaware of what has happened and the need to inform the authorities if necessary?
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What I heard, daffy, was that that was the problem. They think some people will have been reported missing several times by 'different others'. I suppose if you haven't seen someone (because they've got out in time) you would report them missing but they might be safe in a hotel, as ours were, or with family or friends. As they don't regard themselves as missing they wouldn't think to ring the police to say so. The police say they're too busy to crunch the numbers right now.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Being alive is all that matters at present, hold onto that.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you, Airwave. They're all safe and well and at home once more .
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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