Monday, October 22, 2007

Ashes, ashes, we all stand up.

We interupt this regularly scheduled post for matters of topical interest:

On any normally windy day we still have plenty of the ash from last May's fire drifting through the air. But now the wind is also bringing over ash from all the fires on the mainland, and the air is truly thick with it all. You can feel it in the air, in your eyes, in your nose - yecchhh. And while I feel sympathy for the people who have had their lives disrupted by those fires, I am pathetically, selfishly grateful that it is not happening here.

And once again with the selfishness - crossing my fingers that nothing does happen here now. Because a large part of what saved us in May was the effort of all the mainland fire crews that came over to support our local city and county fire. We had so many different agencies, some of them even came directly from the Griffith Park fire without taking the time to go home in between. But if a fire broke out here now, I think we'd really be on our own. From the sound of things, their resources are already stretched the max, and the Governator was on television earlier today promising that the cities and counties affected by the fires would get whatever they need, and that other states had offered their assistance as well. Someone else at the podium before him commented that communications and cross-cooperation between agencies had improved greatly since the last major firestorm, and that was making a difference this time. But should it take a major emergency to get Aaaahhnold dishing out the greenbacks and all these folks together at the podium?

I remember the crews that came over in May to help us were impressed by how the islanders worked together during the crisis, pulling the resources to support the fire crews - food, shelter, supplies, and the volunteers to run it all. This didn't surprise any of us, after all living on an island does teach you some unique skills. Like that you can't NOT get along with the people around you, you may need them someday. In a town of less than 3 square miles there are very few complete strangers. They get in your business, gossip behind your back, and just about drive you bonkers sometimes. But they're all people, and they're our people.

So as my friend would say, when in doubt - err on the side of kindness. Be smart, be safe. And try not to make an ash of yourself.

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