I live in Orange County, California but was about 90 miles away in El Cajon - to attend one of baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn's public appearances at a car dealership on Nov. 15.
I was pretty much isolated from the fires that burned through parts of Riveride/Los Angeles County and Orange County - the Triangle Complex; Brea, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Chino Hills, Corona, Diamond Bar.
I visited a baseball card shop down south to stock up on some 'goodies' from their commons bins - spending the afternoon there with a friend immersed in digging up cards the store was selling for a dime each.
I finally called back my mother, who had called me about five times intermittently during the afternoon - she said a neighborhood park burned down along with a singular house close to ours.
Going back to Orange County, there is a surreal feeling because you know there is supposedly a fire threatening your home - but life is still going on. You realize something is going on that maybe bugging you, but then it isn't affecting others at all. There is supposed to be this fire, but how can it be, that everyone is not stopping in their tracks?
I was kind of stunned on my way to Uncle's house, where it was somewhat safer [though I didn't honestly know how much] - I was seeing glimpses of the fires blazing, blowing for the first time. There were fires at several different areas and I'm thinking this wasn't just some isolated incident. I was sort of scared at the implication of these fires burning.
I tried to keep it as real as possible for me - knowing I was safe and really wasn't exposed to what I consider a tragedy. If I'd stayed the whole day at home, then go through the motions of having to be evaculated 'on the go,' I might have lost my cool.
I was worried about my inanimate, sentimental stuff however like keepsakes and collectibles - I wish my brother didn't patronize and mock me about not being able to save my 'stuff' since I didn't want to be reminded that a fire might wipe out 'stuff' I thought I cared enough about to build up.
What is the stuff I'll take a chance on burning without really crying over it [?] - I may need to have the cavalier attitude for most things, that they can either burn and/or you can replace them one way or the other [no matter how much they cost in the first place].
It doesn't mean certain things may not mean as much, but only serve as distractions - by keeping you from actually saving some one-of-a-kind items or stuff that may actually be crucial. Of course, you don't have a choice at times to even save the truly special stuff.
You amass and accumulate - but find it is a mess to realistically take all your 'stuff' where you know you aren't worrying about one more thing. It becomes a doomsday scenario, where you must decide what to grab, on the run.
What are the must grabs [?] - it really is difficult to think about; maybe my little thumb drive, since it has become sort of your storage area for journals, database information, maybe passwords, et al. You don't do a single thing on the computer, without opening a file on your thumb drive.
I was able to take refuge at my Uncle's home - good thing no one forgot the family dog.