Sorry I haven't been around lately, but I've had myself one heck of a two weeks. My gal pal, USA Today Bestselling Author Andrea Smith, said, "Susie, this could be a book," when I gave her the info dump of what's been happening in my life.
Shortly before Thanksgiving we set out for Santa Barbara to spend a few days there before hopping to Ventura for the birth of our 4th grandchild due December 1. Something just told me that baby was coming early and I didn't want a 40 minute drive between me and my daughter when I got the call. I took one look at my daughter on the last Sunday of November and informed her, "That baby is coming Wednesday at 11:58 p.m. We better get everything finished and ready for the baby." To which, she said, "Not happening. We've got plenty of time! Let's just go into the village and have a soy latte and enjoy the pretty day."
And lo and behold, Wednesday she went into labor in the wee hours of the morning and shortly after midnight Nara Marie was born, and the Big Guy and I ran through stores like maniacs getting the things our daughter didn't have yet so that the nursery would be complete when she brought the baby home.
Sounds like a lovely, vacation, right? Exciting, joyful event of a new grandchild, etc. And it was. Right up until the day we left. We headed back to Sacramento on Monday because it was my father-in-law's 97 birthday, and a few hours after we stepped through our front door the Ventura fire broke out.
At midnight we got a call from my daughter that she had to evacuate, the the fire had rolled over the hills and was heading toward the ranch where she lived. So, with a 5 day old baby and three small dogs, she grabbed what she could and ran. It was quite a crazy time. The power was out on the central coast, the fire came in so fast no one was sure which direction to go, and they were evacuating people before information centers were fully operational.
They went south first toward Thousand Oaks toward some family, but the smoke was so thick and Nara so young, they turned around and went to Santa Barbara fortunate enough to find a friend to crash for the night with. Over 27K people were evacuated in a matter of hours, the fire threatened Ventura in a whole bunch of sections, hotels were overbooked, and it was just grab your junk and run.
The fire is still not contained, and my daughter doesn't know if her small home will make it or how long she'll be kept from home. And of course, it starts the second I leave Southern California and am not within arms reach of daughter to help. To say, it's been days of highs, lows, happiness and terror is accurate.
Life changes quickly, folks. Please keep in your thoughts and prayers all the firefighters still working the fire lines and the thousands of people evacuated like my daughter's tiny family during this holiday season.
As ever I wish you peace, happiness and happy reading,