Home /  Home
Letter 2 - To Friends and Early Emails Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

The fire looking right into the hills where it startedDear Friends,
Good Morning to all of you...just thought I would share a little bit of what happened and where we are....William and I were home at the time of the fire. 


 A friend and Crane 8th grade mom whose younger son was home alone happened to see the fire and called his mom who called me about 5:50pm. Just as she called, one of my neighbors came running up the street as William was bringing the first of many loads to the car.  I called Andy to get Peter at soccer practice and we planned to meet as soon as I could pack the car in our evacuation meeting spot at Butterfly Beach.

Our cul de sac was a flurry of activity.  I ran around the house pulling items and bringing them to the front entry while William packed the car.  I don’t know how he managed to pack as much as he did.  The fire was in direct line toward our backyard as a crow flies.  Coincidentally, I had been working with my friend, Michelle, for two hours prior to the fire on my Myers-Briggs Assessment and the very last thing I said to her is that I needed to clear clutter in order to start making progress on my work.  We had sipped tea together from 1:00pm to 3:00pm prior to the start of the Tea Fire which burned my Balinese Tea Pavillion.  Honestly, while I packed with William I had a sense the house was going to go.  I was able to think clearly and made pretty good decisions about what to take.

I periodically checked on the status of the fire.  I felt safe; I felt calm.  I don’t remember hearing any sirens; there was not any smoke in the air; the lights were still on.  I could see the flames.  The fire was definitely getting bigger, but not necessarily closer.  William and I spent 45 minutes loading my car to the top with photos, albums, some clothes, soccer trophys, two lap tops and my neighbors had room for two hard drives, I actually saved some of my art  and the boys’ art projects (thinking about things that could not be replaced).  We met Andy about 7pm in front of the Biltmore.  He had picked up Peter at soccer practice and tried to go to his place to save some things but he had turn around.  The fire just came too fast.  We got rooms at the Biltmore, but the electricity was out.  At about 8pm we headed to Carpinteria for dinner.

The next morning our neighbor had run up to the property and we heard the news...a complete loss, both for my place and Andy who was renting a two bedroom guest house up the street...so in reality the boys lost two homes.  After shopping for some clothes and starting to look for the rental, I had a chance to run up to the property just before sunset to see the loss for myself.

Friday we scrambled to start the process of filing the insurance claim. I have no idea how this insurance works, but they have already offered to send a check on Tuesday. We are insured through Chubb so we feel pretty good about replacing STUFF and we have already done some shopping mostly for the boys and Andy (I grabbed a couple of armfuls of clothing so I am set for now on daily clothes).  My friend Michelle and her family offered her guest house so we are here right now and trying to figure out where to go next.  We looked at a couple of rentals.  I did find a very cute house in Summerland that I am considering.  I think Andy will probably decided to rebuild on Coyote.  I can't go back...it's been 15 years of worrying about the winds and the fires (we actually have a storage unit of STUFF that we have saved over the years of preschool art and other photo albums, etc.)  I think my fire safe burned to the ground which held a lot of negatives, kids projects and my everyday jewelry box with all of my earrings and bracelets and some miscellaneous necklaces but most of my fancy jewelry was at Bryant and Sons getting appraised.  I think we have all of our passports.

We have already started getting the boys settled with all of their new athletic gear.  They have new tennis shoes and shorts and Peter has a racket.   My parents are paying for their tennis stuff, new baseball gear for Peter and new lacrosse gear for William and Andy's is taking care of ALL new ski STUFF.  William's tennis teacher told us he has a brand new racket for him. I am worried about them.  They want to see the property...I am not sure about this, they are 11 and 13.  I ran to the house late yesterday afternoon and it is like a war zone...one house standing another completely melted, burned to the ground.  It makes no sense, but our house was situated right on the canyon and not very accessible to Coyote Road.  The house next door on the mountain side is still there, but the house right across from me (Sean and Sunny Robertson's house is totally standing) - Barbara Robertson thankfully has my two hard drives.

All in all, we are all safe (hoping to find one more of our cats today)...my friend Janine found her cat yesterday...I am actually feeling fairly calm and peaceful about all of this...trying to figure out why both of us would lose our homes...and time will help to uncover more clues as I/we figure out the next path on this crazy journey of life...strange, too, that the Wizard of Oz was on tv on Thursday night.
Thank you for all of your e-mails.  At this particular moment, we really don't need anything until we figure out where we will call home next.  The house I found in Summerland is furnished so we will see.  Michelle's place is very, very comfortable and peaceful so for now I feel blessed to have this.
Thank you again.  And love, love, love to you all!

Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

security image
Write the displayed characters



Who's Online

We have 17 guests online
Copyright © 2018 TeaFireChronicles.com
S5 Logo