San Diego Fires – My Strange Story-

by | Personal

I’ve talked to a number of friends and neighbors today in the area, just checking in with everyone, while waiting for the dust to settle, literally. Everyone has a story.

Here’s mine. It’s bizzare. Once evacuated on Monday morning, we went to a friend’s home ( Sharon) in Oceanside. Her friend and neighbor 2 doors down , (Carrie) also took in some evacuee friends, but had too many and asked  Sharon if she could take in 3 more who had come in from Fallbrook, as she was completely full, taking in  6 people plus 2 dogs, in addition to her hubby and dog.

The next day, Sharon surrendered her bedroom to the Fallbrook evacuees, a husband, wife and her adult son Rich, Gloria and Gary). The couple was in their late 50s, the son, around 30.  We were told Gloria had major heath issues: a bad back, and severe pain. Also (as I learned from Carrie) several drug and alcohol interventions were unsuccessfully attempted on her previously over the years. Gloria no longer had a driver’s license as she got into too many accidents. 

Tuesday morning I was working on my computer in the upstairs hallway,  and Gloria walked up to the top of the stairs. She looked really unsteady on her feet. When she arrived at the landing at the top of the stairs. I l glanced over at her and she almost fell backwards down the stairs.  I yelled, “Grab the rail.! She grabbed the wall. My antenna was up, and concerned about this woman.  I was also worried for Sharon. What if this woman took a header down her stairs and ended up getting sued by a total stranger????  Then Gloria kept hounding her husband for her “meds”. The medication was morphine for her pain.

She was babbling the same things over and over again. Finally Rich put her to bed at around noon. She was up around 4:30, asking for more medication. She could barely walk and would have fallen off the couch if her husband had not caught her.  Sharon ater stated me she saw Gloria take some pills that afternoon. I politely recused myself to our bedroom to watch more fire coverage.

That evening Carrie had a large dinner for all us evacuees. We went over. A full house. Fellowship and laughs in a tense situation where strangers come together for a short reprieve. Rich came over to fix a plate for Gloria, as she was resting. Sharon told the Rich she wanted her bed back that night, so they decided to sleep on the couches downstairs in the family room.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning. I woke up early at 5 to watch more riveting fire coverage.  was desperate to know if our home and neighborhood were safe.  Gary was  up downstairs. My husband,  Pete got up and went out to get coffee, as he didn’t want to awaken anyone. This was about 6AM. We finished coffee and Pete went back downstairs at 7AM. He asked Rich and Gary how they were doing.They were just sitting there. They said rather calmly, “Not so great. Gloria is dead.” Pete, said, “WHAT?????” Pete looked at Gloria’s now purple corpse. Then Pete said, “I saw you at 6AM and you were on the couch and you didn’t say anything.” Gary said, “Well she stopped snoring about 4:40. I thought she was OK.”  The three long days  at Sharon’s were like a BAD Fellini movie!

Fortunately everyone in my immediate circle of friends are OK, so far. One gut from a radio-TV Station  I used to work with, Larry Himmel, was reporting in front of his home as it burned to the ground. One lady from our church lost her home, and a few school friends of my daughter  also came home to burned rubble. We bought gift cards to help.

I’ve had a backlog of scripts and was completely ready to dive into them, as a welcome distraction from the wall-to-wall news coverage. As I look back this week, I had a busy work week, considering during more than half of it , we were evacuated!

I cannot say enough about the firefighters who place their lives on the line in a ferocious wildfire, climbing hilly terrain, hauling heavy hoses in 90+ degree heat. They are amazing.

I also am seeing the sad stories of the locals who have lost their homes, and must rebuild again. I can’t even imagine! 
There are so many things I am thankful for, especially this week. I am especially thankful for the emergence of some blue sky today for the first time in five days. I will never take advantage of normal.

Normal is a great thing!!!

So is  this true tale that added to an already strange  and stressful week.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Bobbin,

    That is quite a strange tale but since you are telling it, it must be true! What an eventful few days for you and the other families involved. As I said before, I’m just so happy to hear that you and Pete are better than fine and are settling in.

    A nice comment from Jeff Gelder has been left for you at VOX Daily on the wildfires post. Know that we are all relieved to hear that you and so many others in our community are safe!

    God bless,


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