Sunday, October 28, 2007

Smoke and Mirrors in San Diego

The haze, as one would expect, hangs over San Diego from the fires. The weather,the wind, and the air are all gradually improving and soon the news story will move on. My family and friends here are fine, some evacuated, others just inconvenienced, but life is going on. The newspaper is filled with the local horrors and miracles which I can not ignore, having had the experience of the 1991 Oakland wildfire.

I logged in to write about a few meals I've had here while visiting my in-laws. But that seems frivolous with the loss of life, livelihood and property that I know is all around although not at all visible in the areas I've been in.

The plane down was only two-thirds full, a rarity. The freeway seems almost empty. The atmosphere seems subdued down here. The restaurant I had planned to write about that we went to in the Hillcrest neighborhood was only half full last night and although it was still early (only 9 p.m.) the Halloween revels that were just down the block seemed quiet and uncrowded. Maybe it revved up later. Maybe after the horrors of the last week, people didn't find skeleton masks and devils that frightening or a fantasy world that appealing. Maybe they've had enough with face masks, what with having to use them to cover their noses and mouths from the smoke and pollution from the fires. Also, it could have just been way too early for revelers. I don't know. I do know that ever since the 1991 fire (we were evacuated but okay, our best friends lost their house), I don't take having a home for granted and I am always aware of what would need to be taken or left behind in an emergency.

Please donate to the American Red Cross for all they do to help the victims of natural disasters here and abroad.

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