Sonoma is my home

October 13, 2017

On Sunday, my kids were playing in a canyon in Glen Ellen they call Grammy’s. We were in the Sonoma Valley all weekend as a dear friend from high school finally tied the knot.

My in-laws have owned the property in Glen Ellen since my husband was nine and spent the next five years making improvements and building their dream home. The Live Oak wooded forest screams Valley of the Moon.

I also grew up in Sonoma. My brothers still live in the area with their wives and children and many, many of our friends remain.

Sonoma is my home. It will always be my home. When my husband and I searched and searched for a house here in Sacramento, it was the old adobe style that won us over because it reminded us of home.

We left Sunday night to head back to Sacramento not knowing of the looming disaster. At 3:00 am on Monday, we got news that my husband’s parents, his aunt, brother and his wife and baby, had to evacuate from their Glen Ellen paradise. With no time to spare and grabbing nothing but the dogs, the caravan left the hillside while the sky glowed an ominous orange. Having to turn around multiple times on the mountain roads due to flames sweeping across the pavement, the caravan was split up. For the next 12 hours, nobody knew where my father-in-law was or whether he was safe.

As of now, their home remains standing, but we haven’t been able to see it for ourselves. We will get there soon. We know we are the fortunate ones. My aunt, our friends, and so many others have lost everything.

On every trip to Grammy’s, my kids bring me home moss from the trees. I love the color the moss has each season and all of its character. Moss was picked this Sunday. There may be no more trees left, but there is a web of community and love and humanity. This moss means everything as our town recovers and rebuilds.

Thank you to the first responders. Thank you to my village, who has kept our family more than informed, fed, and loved. Thank you to my brother at CalFire. And, thank you to everyone that has reminded us that humanity exists.

Lastly, my friend Bean Harrah and I will be working on collecting donations. Information to follow. We need to work through the now and figure out what our community truly needs.