I know many of you are very worried about us and would like an update. We are fine. Tired and frustrated, but fine.
We spent the better part of yesterday at Sylmar High School waiting to get to view Oakridge and see our house. Our house is indeed still standing, one of 124 saved from the original 608 homes. Yesterday, we learned that our home is still standing because of the heroic efforts of a fire captain who went back into the Park as the LAFD was pulling out. The fire captain and his crew were friends of the people on my street and they planted themselves on the corner of our block and stayed there until it was clear our homes were safe.
We were able to go into Oakridge yesterday for 10 minutes to get any supplies we could and look for our kitties who stubbornly would not come out when we were evacuating. As we drove through what was once a lush, beautiful community, the devastation of the homes was overwhelming. We drove from street to street so that those who had homes to check could have their 10 minutes. We passed the smoldering remains of the homes of friends, the grass area where Gracie, Luke and I liked to go play. I cannot describe the feelings to you. I don't know if I will ever be able to.
When we got to our home, we found it completely intact. I even took a picture of the front of our house and it looks the same as it did on Friday when I arrived home from work. My silly Trick or Treat flag, left to fly after Halloween, was still blowing in the wind unscathed. Our home has a lot of soot and ash throughout the house. The air is thick with it. The amazing news is that our belongings are all there, albeit with the layer of ash on everything. I don't know if our mattresses and sofas will be salvageable, but we'll have to wait and see.
We were able to retrieve clothing and some medicine for Eddie. We were also able to grab Phoebe the cat, but DeeDee is being stubborn and, after a brief appearance, hid from me. We have contacted Animal Control and they are going to go back in and try to coax her out. Phoebe is currently a resident of the East Valley Animal Control who have promised to house her for 30 days for free. I suspect she will be happy for a respite from two 14 month olds chasing her around the house.
We are trying to navigate the insurance system and find out what is next. We are in limbo because our house is clearly still there, but not livable for the foreseeable future. Our plan is to get ourselves to a hotel room and eventually find an apartment or house to rent until everything is settled.
I plan to check in with everyone as often as I can. Thank you for all of your love and prayers!