I knew there was a problem when I went to bed on Sunday night. I saw the report on my iPad that there was a small fire in Napa. The wind was howling outside, and I could hear my beautiful Birch trees hitting my house and windows.
The wind was also tapping the blinds against the windows down the hall. Even though, it was a warm night, I walked around the house closing all the windows.
I remembered, my market umbrella was up, and I went outside to close it. Later, as the winds picked up further, I went back into the darkness and pulled the entire umbrella out of the table and left it on the patio.
By morning, smoke was in the air, and my pool was full of branches. However, I had other things to worry about because my daughter was having knee surgery the next day.
I called the surgeon and asked if I could pick up the prescriptions that day, so I wouldn’t have to leave my daughter after the surgery. Without her Dad around, and no reliable family to help, I have to plan ahead.
In the morning, I ran all the errands, and got gas, and went home to get everything I could done before the next day.
My wooded acre of land was a mess, but the winds were still dropping branches and I had other things that took precedence. My business partner was in LA with our Sales Director in meetings for Ocean SF, and I was either on the phone with them, or texting them and our pattern maker, who had been evacuated from her home in Irvine.
In the end, our neighbor Dan, had made a list of everything Siena needed, and showed up the next day with her favorite foods and drinks. During surgery he waited with her at the hospital, while I went to the pharmacy, and picked up her perscriptions.
Meanwhile, around me Northern California is literally burning down. Beautiful Calistoga a place of tremendous beauty and tranquility, has been reduced to ash and rubble.
This has been the theme of the last year or so, and I have become a master at focusing with military precision on one thing no matter what else is going on around me. It’s possible, I inherited this quality from my father, a decorated war veteran, but it’s something I wish I didn’t need.
My daughter has been slow to recover, she’s not bounced back as expected. She has been in a great deal of pain, so much so that I’ve been on the phone with her surgical nurse off and on for days. We’ve had to try several strategies to help her, and maybe today will be the day she turns the corner.
I lie next to her at night, and let her squeeze my hand. While she sleeps, I secretly check the Internet for the status of the fires.
I close my eyes and pray for recovery of my daughter, the fire victims, the brave emergency response teams, and myself.
The second surgery to repair her ACL is planned for November. Initially, the date was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but I moved it. On Thanksgiving, God willing, we will be sitting in our cabin in Truckee watching the snow fall.
Love and blessings to all.