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Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - This is sad...
I live in the middle of the city. Well, yes, I live in the "valley" area of Los Angeles, so, some may consider that the suburbs. But, to me, it feels like I'm right in the middle of the city. Many days I wish I could get out of town, or have some peace and quiet. That's why I love to go camping, or up to the mountains, even for an afternoon.

I didn't grow up in "suburbia". I grew up on the outskirts of a town, and I'm not totally accustomed to hearing traffic, busses, firetrucks and sirens at all hours of the day and night. I'm not used to living for an extended period of time with noisy neighbors next to, and above me.

But in some regards, there's safety in that, at least as far as wild fires are concerned. We're in the midst of some terrible fires here. Ash has covered my car when I get out from work (I've not been riding the moped due to the poor air conditions, preferring the somewhat filtered air of my car.) There's smoke in the air, and the smell of something burning. And, at times, depending on the winds, the sky is dark with smoke. And, it's hard to believe that these fires that started in outlying areas, in areas with more trees, brush, shrubs and more, can really hit me. I'm in the middle of town. I have a fire station right down the street.

So, even though I pay my renter's insurance to keep my belongings safe or replaceable, it doesn't really feel real to me. The TV coverage has been nonstop for a few days now, but it doesn't really feel like it could hit me. So, while I'm concerned about those I know who live in affected areas, and have called and contacted them, worried about their well-being, it just doesn't seem to affect me much. Life has gone on, with only minor work problems, due to the situation.

But, then you come across something like this:

I'm not even familiar with Larry Himmel. I haven't seen him on tv when I've been in San Diego that I'm aware of. But, he's been around San Diego a long time. And, well, this clip brings tears to my eyes. I can think of how he must feel, and what it must be like. And yet, he has to carry on. Life has gone on for him, too, and he's reporting on how these fires of destroyed his life, in many regards.

Yes, possessions are just possessions, but some are irreplaceable, and no one can deny that they do provide comfort, and a sense of home and belonging. They're also related to hopes and dreams. I dream of owning a home someday, and I'm sure that Larry did too. So, then to have achieved that dream, and then having to report on it burning to the ground, must be quite an emotional experience indeed.

My heart goes out all those who have been directly affected by the fires, and I applaud the efforts of firemen, law enforcement, and others that have responded in the ways they should.


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