I am soon to land feet down in ash and soot, after floating and free-falling for what seems a lost number of days. Not much needs to be said as the media has been pelting the airspace relentlessly since it all begun, and my perspective on the wildfire situation here in the blazing counties is only another shadowy narration of it. It is immense and I am going to ignore it for now, and try my hardest to not look backwards.
Jeff, Emma and I are in a calm and safe place, and unharmed. The future is all I can bear to ponder right now, perhaps a new routine living in a trailer as we clean up the black coat which will be sticky and heart-wrenching, or simply sweeping up ashes… I do not yet know. I dream now of freshness, of sun streaming in through windows on the mountain’s rugged landscape, and I am willing to accept whatever it looks like, as a loved one who has been injured, I will care for it tenderly, when the time comes soon that we will be allowed to revisit our property and see the aftermath. I crave to thrive, and create, to tap into that effervescent well spring within myself. I want to be there now, I am ready, but I am having to be patient for the scale of the situation involves many thousands of folk just as I am, reluctantly separated and in limbo hoping for anything better than the worst.
For me that would be living in a trailer if I must, and once again walking in the wild places, along those trails that I share with the wildlife, and to scribble the day’s chores on my chalkboard and pace myself through them, never again begrudgingly! ((Oh, and a belated happy birthday Michele, sending you a card was the one important thing I had written on my chalkboard as I left the house, and never got to it!))
Edit in: Friends , I am posting progress of the situation in comments below, where you can be informed of my personal fire news, until I post again. xxJen
I’m right there with you Darling Sweet Pea. We will love our charred mountain together. Sending you love and hugs. Can’t wait to get back home.
Hey, this morning’s cold fog in the valley, with a shocking lack of smoke, makes me hopeful that the fire will soon snuff its beastly self out. Lets go home soon, shall we? xx
I’m sending you my love and prayers, too, Sorcha, for mighty angels and a hedge of protection.
Please be safe.
Oh my dear, my heart goes out to you! It’s so hard to contemplate the possibility that you may have lost your home. But most things can be replaced, though not all things. You have your lives and are safe and unhurt which is more important.
I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds very frightening. I will keep you, your family and your community in my prayers. I will pray for all involved to have wisdom, protection, strength, continued safety, perseverence and hope. I will also pray for the fire to be smothered. Big big hugs!
Thank you Sheila, you are so lovely! I will post news as it comes…
Jen, are you living in your trailer to get away from the area? Your home is okay, right? You didn’t have to evacuate but chose to move elsewhere for the time being?
Stefanie, unfortunately (the worst word in the dictionary!) just after I posted last, I heard of the fire creeping up over from Glen Ellen rapidly heading our way. It swept through within hours and by evening had already blazed through, and heading down the canyon towards DryCreek last I heard. We have no idea if our house is still standing, and Jeff has located a trailer wherein we can park up on our property. Cross your fingers, a miracle can still show itself to us yet! xx
Oh no. I’m so sorry; I hope it’s okay. Fingers crossed. Hugs, Jen.
Hugs back. xx
My heart is so sad for you dear Jen, Jeff and Emma, as well as Sorcha your neighbour. I am so glad that you are safe and evacuated before it was too late.
Sending lots of positive thoughts, hugs and prayers your way.
Love, Wendy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Wendy, thank you …. I will keep you posted as to the events as they unfold. You are near and dear to me and knitting ‘with you’ brings a sense of normalcy, so I will get back to you on Ravelry as soon as settled and feeling more talkative, and hopefully then we can get going with the new design ! xx
Oh, thank God you three are safe! Thank you for making the effort to let us know, because I know thinking means feeling, and feeling hurts. My heart aches for you, but you can and will reclaim all. For now, we are all here to love you through and past this. Just let us know what we can do…besides words. When I think of the times that I wondered about your vast and varied resourcefulness, when I puzzled over your curious affinities and talents, and the stock you come from. Listen closely to your heart. You always do, but I think you may find your ancestors are very near now. You will find a home wherever you plant your footsteps. It’s just who you are, you of pioneer folk, you with your “pilgrim soul.” So rest for now, and then arise, little Phoenix.
Love…for what it’s worth,
Terry, how completely and utterly dear of you to say all of this. xx!
I wish you could make up little parcels of the sorrow and longing, and then we could each take a packet – or two or three – until you had hardly any left at all. I still don’t know what to do besides sitting on the sidelines with my packets of words. Have you seen signs of angels yet? I dispatched angels in my prayers, so hopefully they will encourage you with sights and signs and miracles. I feel selfish saying I’m sad, but I think you might not mind the company. Can I do anything for you? I’m quite earnest…may I?
(Type 1 for ‘Yes, please,’ Type 2 for ‘Order pizza,’ Type 3 for ‘Send yarn.’
Making a request for more angel launches.
You’re all in my prayers chookie. X
May the Force be with you!
❤ ❤ ❤ ditto all the above xxxxooooo
Thinking of you and your family. Here in Australia we also live with bush fires. I hope that all will be okay for you. found your thoughts about caring for the land very moving.Take care.
I have been thinking of you and wondering when you would post. My heart is with you. I’m glad you are all safe….
Jen – thanks for letting us know you, Emma and Jeff are safe. Have been wondering. Thoughts with you all.
Praying for you Jennifer hoping for good news.
So sorry for your scary losses, but very glad you all are in a safe place! I have been reading you posts for a while now so feel like I know you and your beautiful surroundings. I have been worried about you! Take good care! P.
Dear Jennifer , I am so sorry for you
Jeff and Emma . We have been so
worried about you all and the whole area .
When Lance called you, you were ok at the time . We hoped so it would stay that way . Your eloquent letter makes what ever I say unreal and not touching
the reality you have to face . Let us know if there is anything we can do what would be helpful . We are holding
You in our thoughts and prayer.
Oh Jen, sending many atheist prayers for you!
So sorry, Jen…I’m hoping for good news for you and everyone else still in limbo. We cannot return to our place in Glen Ellen yet as we are still under mandatory evacuation, but at least we know our building is ok. Still no power, of course. We are staying at our friends’ home in Carmichael, hoping we’ll be allowed home soon. Stay strong!
Thank you everybody for your support. At the moment I can’t reply to each comment as I usually do, but thought I’d post about what is going on:
Jeff , Emma and I moved into a trailer yesterday, and are parked presently at his company’s construction yard in American Canyon~~ no wifi there, so right now I am in Starbux in American Canyon, plugging into the world. I can’t know anything yet about our house, nor can anybody on Mt Veeder be allowed back up yet to their homes to see what has happened. We are all waiting on the verge of shattering.
I am awaiting the minute we are allowed back up and hopefully there will be a house, for it is hit & miss for some still standing. I hope for that miracle, and I’ll keep everybody informed via comments forthcoming
Sending hugs and prayers and hope.
Thanks for the update. I will keep praying for you and your home. You ‘sound’ like you have found your sea legs already, you with your inimitable spirit of adventure and conquest. It’s the quiet ones, you know… :» )
oxox, xoxo, oxxo, xoox…
Thank you everybody, for supporting me, it turns out that I draw a lot of strength from all of you! I am grateful for your notes, please keep them coming.
Ok, now for the latest update: We are temporarily in a trailer in the construction yard of the company Jeff works for, in a different town more southerly, and this in itself is some adjusting. I look forward with yearning now to be in a trailer on our Ten Acres, but for now that proves having to deal with a bit of patience because of the active fires still on the mountain, none of the residents (hundreds of them) are allowed back to their homes to see what is still standing. Some are finding out, from the fireworkers up there photographing, and posting video drive-by’s , but our home is off of a dirt road that is just really remote, and I think it’s going to be a little longer. I have dear friends who’s homes have tragically burned, and others who’s homes are still fortunately standing ~~the fire was intense and erratic, as these things go usually.
That said, there is an interactive satellite image of the burn in the area of Mt Veeder, and we’re pretty sure the house burned down, but aren’t really sure if the big workshop Jeff built burned or not. If that is still standing, we can at least make that a combination of work space and living space while rebuilding our house, if not, it will be a trailer. Electric will not be restored for a long time, but we’ll get a generator, and I’ll knit together the foundation of my new life rebuilding soon.
The good news is that the fire seems to be more contained each day now, once the big bombers and world-wide firefighters entered the scene.
Stay with me everyone, come to the surface with me, help me get through this tough time, like the thousands of others just like me. Sigh, I am still in shock, but grateful for this trailer ~~~ wherever it is parked.
Oh Jen, my heart hurts so much for you and all those going through this!! You are such a dear friend. I will keep praying that your house is still standing!! Keep that beautiful smile ready to pop out any minute! You are loved!!! Michele
Oh, no! I am so sorry, Jen!
I have put you on our church prayer list here at St. Paul Lutheran Church in St. Joseph Missouri. I have been marshaling the prayers warriors in large numbers. I will continue to do so until it’s no longer needed.
We will continue to pray for protection, wisdom, strength, perseverance, hope and some serious fire squelching. All is not lost; you and your sweetheart and Emily are safe. Things can be replaced, but people and dear pets are not as replaceable.
Thank goodness you all are safe, but my heart breaks for your beautiful home. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Holding out hope for a miracle. Hugs to you from Berkeley.
I’m So very sorry that you are having to endure this I’m still hoping for the best.
Your home Is such an amazing place. What makes it so special is that you and Jeff built it yourselfs.
The times I have visited you I always left with a
feeling of happiness that such a beautiful place exists and that it’s my sisters home. I guess worst case scenario is that you can rebuild.
What is important is that you are all safe. I wish I lived closer so that I could be of some help. I will look forward for the future day when I can visit you on your mountain once again.
Dear Jen, thank you for the update. We all are sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for you, Jeff, Emma and your neighbours.
Continued strength in the days and weeks ahead.
Love, Wendy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Jen, you are going to want and need things that will be difficult to get for a while. Please post an address that we can use to send you things, and the carriers that can reach you. You can tell us what you want, and I think your friends here would do all they can to get it to you. You probably need everyday items, but a luxury or two would be good, even things that your new-found friends might need. Ask, and let us see if we can make you the proprietress of a trading post in this…phase. (Why do I feel like you have a pioneer grandma in your family history that ran a general store?) You may be reluctant to ask, but for my part, I need to act. What’s first? Tea? Coffee? Dog biscuits? Shampoo? Towels, yarn, chocolate, Halloween candy?
Please send instructions.
xoxo, oxox, ooxx, xxoo, xoox, oxxo…there’s more…10 more, to be exact.
Love and prayers and stuff,
I agree! I’d love to help with providing anything needed. X
Wonderful. Thank you Kelly. Are you ‘listening’ Jen? Terry and Kelly make two, and we have only just begun to fight. (Swine fire.)
Oh Jen, this has all been so hard. I too am displaced butcknow that my home is there and standing. The fire came dangerously close but by the grace of god we were spared. Not so for 40 homes in our little hamlet if Glen Ellen.
I know you will make the best of whatever you find. Bless you. ❤️
From Pennsylvania Amish country, I’m thinking of you every day. My two brothers also live in No. CA, Oroville, and Chico, which have not been affected by this horror, but my heart is there as you all go to sleep at night and pray that it will soon end and you can get on with your lives. As a child I had terrible dreams of dying in a fire, but I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Be safe and well and peaceful. Virginia(Moabwalker)
Thank you each and everyone of you who has taken a minute to write a little bit of encouragement, or heart-felt words. I really very much appreciate it and wish I was my usual jovial self ready to banter with all of you. However, as you all know, I am experiencing a colossal amount of stress, and I am strained between hopeless bouts of loss and sadness, and hopeful forward-thinking moods, while the hours are torturous and long, but eventually pass between.
Many of the people who were evacuated from the fire are fortunately being let back to their homes, however, our home is in one of those very remote areas and there is still an active fire going on in the vicinity. As of this morning it was reported — the Nuns Fire — was 68% contained. We must wait still longer, now a week after leaving and we don’t know if our house burned down or not. We’ve studied the satellite image of the burned areas and although it is in fairly good detail, and we see many of our mountain neighbors burned foot-prints of their houses, so tragically, so we can not bear to allow ourselves to depend on a miracle. The images are tricky, we basically don’t know yet, what has happened.
I have gone into a sort of emotional cocoon, an existence where I am not able to think much, or do anything very constructive at all. Understandable. But earlier this afternoon I had a cup of good coffee and was nearly ready to cast on for a pair of mitts using the yarn from my last post, but then some news report pulled me out of that momentary distraction. Here I am , facing another evening, hoping to wake tomorrow being the day our evacuation has been lifted and we can get back and see the house ~~ ashes or standing. A prayer is all I can hold on to, and please keep your notes coming…
Dear Jen, even if I didn’t leave a comment here already, please be sure, my good thoughts and hope are accompairing you!
I am following all notes and news here and will stay “mental beside you”, hoping for good news to come!
We all are with you and wish we could physically be there to help you. Sending lots more positive thoughts and prayers your way.
Love, Wendy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Oh, I thought you were resigned to the worst, but since you are not sure, I will redouble my prayers for the miracle that your home was bitter food for the fire. Not that God didn’t hear all of us the first time, but maybe the angels can be strengthened and encouraged by our continued pleas. My heart is so confused, but I find it heartening that you can describe your state of mind. While we wait, you will be in my prayers…all of our prayers, I’m sure. All my fingers and hairs are crossed for you.
oooo, xxxx, oxox, xoxo, ooxx, xxoo, xoox, oxxo…I’ll save the rest for later,
I discover your misfortune ! I send you all my thoughts from France
I’m very sad for you. My hubby and I also built a place about same time you did and can only imagine the heartache.
Hi Jen – I’m sure saddened by your sorrow and loss. Guess it’s like Rumi wrote: Life is about holding on or letting go.
If you have a need or want to have cool, comfortable, free housing for a month…
Please let me know.
Love to you and yours ~ Julie
I wish I had something magical to say, but there just isn’t anything. I’ve been thinking a lot about both of you and am sending all the love & energy I have. I know what you put into that home, how tragic.