The fires are still raging. They are now burning primarily east, and the winds have died down. There are still homes and other structures at risk along Palomar Mountain and Lake Arrowhead and in east county. But most residents -- those in neighborhoods where the homes are still standing-- have been permitted to return. Despite warnings that the air is very unhealthy and requests that people stay indoors, I did see a few (crazy) people outside running this morning. A thick layer of muck covers much of the county's sky, and tonight's moon is glowing eerily.
Our kids are fast asleep in their own beds. Their campfire-smelling sheets have been washed. We began the process of washing all our clothes and towels this morning. The kids spent the day with their grandmother, two of their aunts, and their soon-to-be uncle.
As it turns out, their preschool re-opened today. Which I would have known if I'd bothered to call them. I'm so accustomed to using the Internet as a primary source of information that I didn't even think to call. Tomorrow they'll be back in school. Marcie's Halloween Parade and Potluck, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been rescheduled for Halloween. And I think most people are still planning to let their kids go trick-or-treating on Halloween, even though the fires (and thus the smoke) won't be contained until just before Halloween and controlled until around November 4th. (Contained describes fire-break perimeters, and controlled means the fire has been put out.)
Our community is accepting donations and volunteers. You can find more information at poway.org. Of course the Salvation Army and the Red Cross (designate option 2- San Diego/Imperial Counties Local Disaster Fund) are also taking donations.
I read that some of the Rancho Bernardo residents were comforted by President Bush's visit today. At least they said they were when the President asked them point blank. Like what else are you going to say? You're in an assistance center because you've just lost your home, all your belongings, and you escaped a devastating fire at the last minute, with just the clothes on your back. What are you supposed to say? No, Mr. President. I don't feel comforted by your arrival or your kind words. If your stupid military had less red tape, the federal planes that we so desperately needed would have been here sooner. But I understand that you don't really have time to worry about such things as your own citizens-- seeing as how you're so busy worrying about the Iraqis. I know, I know. I try not to get too political on my blog. And it certainly was a nice gesture. I'd probably be pissed if the President didn't even bother to tour the devastation and talk to people affected by the wildfires. But still, if you have to ask if people are comforted, I'm thinking that's a bad sign.
Ok. That wasn't the point of this post. The point was to let you all know that we're returning to life as usual-- or at least trying. The kids go back to school tomorrow. Casey will attend one of his best friend's birthday parties on Saturday. And in less than a week, we'll be eating chili with Jason's parents and trekking our little witch/wizard and our little butterfly all over our neighborhood for yummy Halloween loot, which we'll promptly confiscate after they're in bed, dolling out bits and pieces for about 5 days before telling them it's all gone because they ate it all.
Marcie has been putting on Casey's witch hat, saying, "I'm a witch," and then attempting to cackle. It cracks me up every time she does it. She wanted to be a banana for Halloween, but the banana costume didn't come in toddler size, so Casey helped us put together a butterfly costume for her instead. Gosh, I sure do love being a mom--the kids really ground me. . .