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Sonoma Valley Fire Diaries: 10/14/17 (First Responders)

Happy Winter Solstice! In Latin, the word solstice means "sun standing still." Neat huh? Today is the darkest day of the year, the yin to the brightness of yang to ensue in future days. Our world is incredible: light gives way to dark as dark gives way to light and birth gives way to death as death gives way to birth. It's a cyclical pattern without an end, even though the ego seems to think that beginnings are wonderful and quick and an endings are heart-breaking and last forever.

As I watch the Sonoma soil heal from the fires with green abounding, I realize there is truly never an end. Beauty will sprout even more magnificently then it once did and the journey of watching the grass and flowers grow is breath-taking.

This past year, what did you let go of? What did that make room for? What are you proud of yourself for? If you had no self-doubt, what would you accomplish next year? What do you need to help you succeed (financially, emotionally, socially, etc.)?


Saturday, October 14, 2017


I woke up heavy and tired in my big hotel bed. I just wanted to go home, but the air quality wasn't worth it. Neighbors had actually told me to stay away. Although I was cozy and safe and next the airport should I decide to go back to Texas, I couldn't help but be sad. I walked Nilla it a beautiful park yet the sun and morning fog startled me. I couldn't believe I was suffering from a bit of PTSD. I was determined not to let what was going on deter me from my goals, so I quickly donned my work-out gear and headed to the hotel gym with the intention of treating myself to a hot tub dip afterwards. As I tried to fight feelings of guilt, I contemplated the week's trauma and grew even more thankful for those who were helping us. Police, fire fighters, volunteers and more traveled from all over the country (yes COUNTRY!) to help our valley. These big bomb jet planes were saving graces and every time I checked the reports from CalFire, the number of people, planes, bulldozers, etc. would go up! Neighbors reported stories of how they wouldn't have made it out alive from their home if they weren't woken up by a persistent sheriff. The fires were beginning to become more contained where they started, yet Sonoma was still in grave danger; however, I was comforted knowing how many people were really coming to our rescue. Signs still adorn Sonoma to this day thanking those who sacrificed their time to help.

I'm grateful for FIRST RESPONDERS.

Even in the serious of times, we can still find humor :)


Day 6: I woke up greatly saddened in Burlingame after seeing texts come through that more evacuations are happening on Hwy 12 and in the East Side of Sonoma, where my new employer is located but I where I wasn’t able to start work on Monday. As I walked Nilla, the sunrise startled me as for a moment I thought it was fire. I’m thankful I am safe, no further progression of the fire has developed on my hill at Boyes Hot Springs, and for the people who are coming in flying big planes, bulldozing and fighting the fire on the ground. The air quality index reached 300 in Sonoma yesterday- that’s the most Hazardous bracket and friends are beginning to get sick in Sonoma and surrounding areas. As for now, Petaluma is safe but neighboring towns are fearful and have bags packed to get away from even the harmful smoke. Yesterday, as I was leaving Santa Cruz to come to Burlingame, I spoke briefly with another guest. He is a San Jose firefighter and he said he’d be in Sonoma today to help. I held back the tears so I could sincerely thank him for his service and the long hours ahead of him. The staff at SDC are traveling to Dixon and getting home late at night- I’m in awe of their efforts in keeping SDC individuals safe. We have an amazing community here and I’m so thankful for all who are pulling together and communicating.

#TubbsFire [update] between Calistoga and Santa Rosa (Napa & Sonoma County) is now 35,270 acres and 44% contained.

I fondly refer to these bad boys as "angels"

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