Monday, October 22, 2007

liar, liar, city on fire....

4500 people are signed in to live at Qualcomm stadium for the night, at least.

Del Mar is being evacuated.

All County schools are closed tomorrow.

Fairbank Ranch is burning--in parts--the most expensive homes in San Diego.

Rancho Santa Fe.

All, all, where my students and former co-workers live.

Justin and I live in a bubble of ash specks, in some careful ways trapped in San Diego proper.

The space south and north of us is evacuated.

Our town is near the Qualcomm Stadium evacuation site. Three miles away. We could walk there--more than three miles, but we could. We dropped off ten new pillows, toys and Winnie the Pooh books we just bought and some clothes and bags. We bought a lot of water, but there seems to be enough donated now, so we are saving it. We know how this hell works--the weather gets better, the fire dies down (a month or two before they are completely out), years before people's homes are re-built and people stop donating water in a couple of weeks.

The Chargers have relocated their practice to Phoenix, AZ, which I am sure is charity--Qualcomm Stadium, which they can't wait to give up anyway--and part self-preservation. Breathing is different in this land where ashes fall like dust particles and snowflakes, depending on where you are and when.

It isn't even windy when I go outside. There is no worry over whether a skirt would blow up Marilyn-Monroe style. If I had long hair it might be straight, it would not be blowing in the wind. We suffer no wind.

East of here, 50 to 75 miles per hour.

While we were at Qualcomm Stadium I flashed into a soft understanding of the disastrous disorganization and treachery of the Katrina evacuations and their stadium shelter. One of the volunteers asked a policeman who was standing guard, "I just have a question, 'Why is everyone being told to drop stuff off here, and then we're carrying it by hand two gates down?'"

I didn't hear the answer, but we guessed that it had something to do with sorting. Qualcomm is the only evacuation center in San Diego that is accepting donations, so pillows, blankets, food, toys and clothes are being loaded into trucks or piled into the Stadium.

Teachers were just asked to donate time at Qualcomm Stadium tomorrow. At least two hours. There are going to be so many kids there, and the people want to find a way to entertain them. I had been hoping to read to kids today, but I ended up just leaving the books and crayons there.

We're OK. I have to finish the Neighborhoods of San Diego calendar, Justin has to go to radiology tomorrow (the UCSD Hospital is closed to all but burn victims, since they are the only burn unit in the county).

Our lives continue with our windows shut, our skin dry, our lips chapping, our Terminator governor not really doing anything terminating other than declaring a state of emergency and shaking hands.

You're dong a heck of a job, Arnie.

San Diego is still not an offical Federal Disaster Area, but FEMA is supposed to swing by tomorrow any way.

1 comment:

Penny said...

Know that you are in our thoughts as we hear about places and people we know and love in California. Be safe!