After the Apollo 13 crew landed safely following a near disaster, astronaut Jim Lovell wrote about it in a book titled Lost Moon. That was his experience…he lost the moon. As much as I try to power through, focus on the silver linings, and deeply appreciate the generosity and compassion of everyone whose donations are helping my family recover from the Santa Rosa firestorm, sadness has had a grip on this week because October 23-29 was supposed to be a special week with my daughter and grandkids.
We had planned our vacation together for months. We were going to do a lot of fun stuff. All week long we felt the pain of this loss. So please forgive me, though I want to focus on the positives, and make everyone feel good about how they have helped my family, week three hangs low under two words: Lost Disneyland. This lost week of joy with my kids is beyond measure.
On the bright side, we found a condo that we like, made an offer on it, and it was accepted. We are now in escrow and hope to have keys to a place where we can physically start the process of rebuilding our lives.
My husband, Oliver, has been out of work for three weeks. He is driving to Santa Rosa tomorrow with his mom, Inger, to meet with FEMA reps and insurance adjusters. We still do not have access to what remains of our property. JEMHP is unsafe. Pacific Gas & Electric has been tearing up the streets to repair and secure underground lines, and they won’t let anyone in until they make it safe. So for those of us lucky to have homes still standing, each day brings us one step closer to the salvage situation. Hopefully, Oliver will be allowed in next week, and can bring clothes and important documents. [Edit Sunday evening: A representative of Evans Management called and informed us that residents of JEMHP will be allowed in November 1-5.]
On the bright side, we are starting to think about moving into the condo on Thanksgiving weekend (if escrow closes in 30 days, as we are all trying to make happen). In a few weeks, we will have keys to four walls and a roof, and will begin to make it our home. It’s a good feeling. And I would like to leave you with that good feeling.
We are looking forward to finding furniture pieces that have some character. Starting to browse pictures online of what local stores have in stock. Starting to think about the Pacific breeze that will cool our evenings, and the foggy mornings that will greet each new day as we settle in SoCal.
“We’ll always have Santa Rosa,” we said to each other with a sincere smile.
We will always remember our three wonderful years of tranquility, living in the green beauty of northern California.
Beautiful Sonoma, we cherish the memories we made there.
Inger Simonsen in Armstrong Redwood Forest; Carma & Oliver Simonsen in Bodega Bay and Mendocino Headlands; two feral kittens we rescued and gave to good homes; and rafting on the Russian River.