Trying to recover
Some of us are in the sick-to-my-stomach, crying inside or out, just plain anxious, or even guilt stages now.
Last weekend I heard from friends that they still cannot return to their burned-out homes, one because there were too many deer carcasses on the property. That’s how fast the fire spread – faster than deer could run. And they were stocking up at Safeway to try to live at a succession of rentals they were lucky to afford.
Another at the Glen Ellen end of Warm Springs Road lost her house and her rentals, which were her total income, and can’t go home either. She and her daughter-in-law, Chris Everidge, garden coordinator at both Flowery and Sassarini schools, are staying at a local hotel while her tenants look for housing.
Sonoma Mission Gardens manager Lydia Constantini’s parents ran from their totaled home in the Mark West area of Santa Rosa, only for her mother to fall and break her hip and be sent to a Marin hospital because those in Santa Rosa were in the fire zone. But Lydia still brought loads of vegetable starter plants for each school to our School Garden Coordinators meeting this week, with extras for Dunbar School whose garden turned to ashes.
Those of us who still have windows and doors to open feel a little guilty that we can let the smoke out and the fresh air in.
I got to the guilt stage abruptly standing in a long line down the Halloween candy aisle at CVS. The lady in front of me turned and said, “Isn’t this horrible?” pointing to the candy. I said yes, and “It seems so irrelevant now.”
Actually, I was in line to trade in some black outdoor lights for orange ones because neighbors had asked where my lights were for this Halloween. So trivial.
She fingered two little tubes of Revlon makeup in her hands and said, “I lost my house in Glen Ellen.” And she was buying makeup. Good for her!
Personally I alternate between stomach churning to tearing up at almost anything – thinking of people or seeing people who lost their homes, for whom friends bought them empty purses, or trying to imagine what going to look at a pile of ashes formerly a home must feel like. I am only part way there. Maybe we all have just a little PTSD.
Friends have had their eyes go funny, some have been unable to eat while evacuated to friends’ homes elsewhere, and many of us now just don’t know what to do.
We are grieving and mourning our lost sense of place, as people who lost their homes are trying to develop action plans.
And often it feels good to do something to help.
One escape: Murder Mystery Dinner
Corner 103 will go ahead tomorrow night, Saturday, Oct. 28 with its 1950s Murder Mystery Dinner at Suite D. All to the sounds of 1950s music and flavors so guests can uncover the murderer. Period attire encouraged – leather jackets, Sandy and Rizzo, poodle skirts. Some contests. Dinner will include hors d’oeuvres of deviled eggs and oysters Rockefeller, followed by shrimp cocktail, “tuna casserole” of ravioli with seared tuna, pot roast with whipped potatoes and baby vegetables, and lemon chiffon pie, all served with Corner 103 wines. $80. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 21800 Schellville Road, Suite D, Sonoma. For tickets call Lloyd Davis at 212-988-2747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.