I was going to feature another wedding gown this week but everything has stopped with the fires raging out of control in our valley. Yesterday in 12 hours the fires destroyed over 650 homes and businesses and with violent winds moved through and expanded into over 25,000 aces. Farms as well have been burned to the ground and the air is thick with smoke and tanker planes dropping red fire retardant liquid.
We were on stage 2 alert to pack and get ready to flee and deciding what to put in a small suitcase eally made us think. I chose underpants, towels, a toilet roll and family photos that have no digital backup. Most important was the wedding photo of my Basque grandparents from Pamplona, Spain back in 1920 when they immigrated to California to work on ranches and herd sheep.
I never knew them as my grandmother died at the age of 32 (when my father was 11) and my grandfather at 60 before I was born but the connection is strong as this is the only photo of them that we have. Those of you who know me can see the family resemblance.
The fire ran the length of the main interstate North/South freeway for the first 17 miles.
The after and the before photos:
This weekend is filled with all the homeless residents gathering at the local fairgrounds for support handing out food and supplies and housing all the animals in cages until they can find shelter. Just seeing the photos makes one so grateful to have been spared this tragedy and wishing there was more we could do for our neighbors.
As the fires move north to destroy more property, orchards, vinyards and farms we have to re-think about the climate and that things are changing for the worse every year. Our precious resources, like water are being used up to fight these fires and the firefighters risking their lives to do battle in town and in the forests.
The night before the alert call to flee (level 3) I was working on 3 wedding gowns to finish and bag up, place in the car to escape to a safer place. Yes, brides still are going ahead with their wedding plans in spite of this. You have to give them credit for delaying their Spring and early Summer plans with the Covid virus and now this…but as one bride told me, “if you can get through all this and still get married, it will last”….I sure hope so!!!
Wishing all my West Coast sewing sisters can stay safe as we watch everything go up in flames.