A Couple Signs of the Times

August 5, 2021

Sign of the times #1: It’s fire season in California… a fire season that now runs from early summer to the dead of winter.. especially in the drought-stricken west. A seven-month fire season. Which is nearly unbearable for those living in the parched foothills, like Sarah and Gabe (and Susan and Jim, and Heidi and Jim, and, and, and…).

So… Sarah and I are having lunch in downtown Sac — at a place called Zocolo — fast and furious, back and forth, typical of conversation with pals from kindergarten days. About two and a half hours, a large basket of chips, two enchiladas, two tacos, and a pair of margaritas in, Gabe calls. A fire has started and is gaining momentum and they may have to evacuate. Sarah was so calm on my end, I would never have guessed the substance of the call. All I heard was, “hi honey,” “when?,” “where?,” “okay,” “bye honey.” If I’m recalling correctly, we may have finished the conversation we were having prior to the call, talked a little bit about what their evacuation plan involves, then she said something like, “maybe I better get home.”

Girl’s got a very calm head. She’s who I’d wanna be with in a crisis.

I imagine, however, her heart was thumping big time as she drove east on I-80.. here’s what she saw:

This is scary because Gabe told her the fire broke out along the Bear River, just down the hill from their home of many decades.

Sidne snapped a couple of photos from her place near Auburn, just down the hill from Colfax. Another view from I-80:

And one of Colfax High School (where Sarah & Gabe’s kids went to school (as did Susan and her sibs!):

And here’s one over the roof of Sarah & Gabe’s house… the air tankers in full assault:

It’s just awful that California is burning like this. Like never before. And I fear the season’s just begun. Jim and I are heading up to Dutch Flat on Saturday — that’s the plan anyway. We’re holding positive thoughts for so many friends in the fire zone.


Sign of the times #2: A lot less dire. This sign has to do with forgetfulness and general discombobulation. I’ll be heading to the Apple Store Genius Bar tomorrow for the third time in three days, having messed up on the first two appointments. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere… Genius Bar, messed up appointments at same. In both cases, I made lemonade — a leisurely long lunch with Sarah yesterday, a walk two times around Curtiss Park with Lorilyn today — but I really do hope to make the appointment tomorrow. It’s a long drive over that causeway!

I’m still at the amused stage when it comes to my age-related forgetfulness and discombobulations. It’s trippy to find the chapstick in the earring dish, or the car key in my apron pocket two days later. I search fruitlessly for names and take twice as long with morning and evening procedures. Routines are my friends, but I easily forget to use them. All par for the course. I feel like a subject in my own science experiments. It’s all quite amusing.. at this point.

2 Responses to “A Couple Signs of the Times”

  1. Elliot Margolies Says:

    The photos really convey the scariness. Hope that Sarah and Gabe still have their home. Tomorrow Jan and Deb leave for 2+ months to escape major smoke episodes in Berkeley as they had last year. We leave for vacation tomorrow. I return the 18th. I too find my keys in the darndest places.

  2. Kari Says:

    Have a great smoke-free vacation (if you can get yourself out the door w/o forgetting everything!).

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