Jennifer Lyon

Friday, August 10th, 2018
Friday Firestorm Late Edition

It’s a miracle, but our house, and all our neighbors houses, are still there. We are safe and Maggie is with us.

Here’s the longer version if you want to read it: Okay, so first, sorry this is late.  It’s been a wild ride this week. Here’s the timeline: (Please excuse all typos, I’m typing in the early morning, it’s dark and I’ve had maybe eight hours sleep in five nights).

–Our air conditioning broke over the weekend in a serious heatwave. We can’t get the company we want out until Wednesday afternoon to determine if we can fix it our must replace it.

–Monday, when we were taking Maggie to boarding to get her out of the heat for her safety, we saw a massive fire had broken out in the hills behind our house. I walk at the base of those hills every morning, and occasionally hike up into them, but not during snake season.

–Tuesday, Wizard goes with me to neurosurgical consult. We know my neck is bad, both of us have some experience in reading MRI’s now, LOL. But Holy Cow, this surgeon wants to do VERY dramatic surgery. I’m in shocked and Wizard is concerned. We say, whoa, we need to think, research and maybe get a second opinion. This surgery is bordering on dangerous, so yeah, whoa.

–Wednesday morning, fire jumps ridgeline. And now it’s a serious threat. Voluntary evacuations go out in reverse 911 calls. We pack up just pictures, documents and a few days clothes and wait for A/C guy. Finally I got pick up Maggie, and by the time I get back, fire is exploding. Mandatory evacuations go out. I leave, Wizard reschedules A/C and we get safely to his mom’s house with Maggie. I think this is the day the man is arrested for setting the fire.

–Thursday Morning, fire lays down a bit overnight. Special K brought Baby Slayer over to hang out and keep us company. Our hope soars, but by one o’clock in the afternoon fire has exploded again. It’s racing down hillsides, and this is first hand account from my neighbors: They heard the roar of a firestorm coming. Flames tore down the hill to the street behind ours, jumped it and set a fence on fire. Neighbors were there with fire hoses hooked up to hydrants (one is a firefighters wife, this is partly her account). They were sure they houses were gone. Then the firefighters swooped in and somehow stopped it right there and saved all the neighbors. Guys if it hit my neighborhood, it would have swept through several communities. People and animals would have died. We saw it on TV, and for the first time, I started to cry and Special K evidently called CPA Boy, he came over with youngest son and stayed with us until we knew our home was saved. We still don’t know how they stopped the firestorm, but Thank God!

The hillsides are, from what I’m told, completely burned by our homes. We’ll try to get in to look today, but likely can’t stay without A C.  Smoke and ash are everywhere, and the fire is still burning–more than 10K acres now. Maybe Saturday we can go home, if possible. A C guy comes Monday.

We have a lot of heroes to thank, all the firefighters, first responders, pilots and the neighbors who stayed when the rest of us evacuated. We know anything can still happen with the active fire burning, but we are in better shape than yesterday. Now we have to pray for everyone else threatened.

Thank you to my family, all of you! Wizards mom and her husband who took us and Maggie in at a moment’s notice. My boys and girls, all of them. But Special K, she was my girl yesterday, just there with me as only another woman can be. And Baby Slayer!

And all of you. Thank you for caring. I know it’s just a house and things, and we never lost sight of the fact that we got out safely. But I’m grateful to have a home to go back too, and even more grateful for friends like YOU.

8 comments to “Friday Firestorm Late Edition”

  1. Silver James
    August 10th, 2018 at 10:54 am · Link

    HUGE HUGS! To you, Wiz, your boys and girls, Baby Slayer, MiL and husband, Maggie, and especially to the firefighters and the neighbors who stayed–though that is very dangerous.

    It might just be a house and stuff but it is also your life, all captured right there in those walls. Lives matter and should always come before stuff but to discover you have a place to go home to is HUGE! Don’t ever feel guilty about feeling that way.

    Worried about the surgical news. Definitely get that second opinion. Scary!

    If you can stretch the visit through the weekend, at least to sleep at night, all of you will be better off–away from the smoke and ash and especially the heat.

    Holding good thoughts and praying for you, yours, and the firefighters.

    Life here is pretty mundane, thankfully. I’m procrastinating revisions on BILLIONAIRE COUNTRY, the next Red Dirt book. Gotta get on that today and over the weekend. *sigh* UNDER THE ASSASSIN’S MOON is up for preorder and Only’s cover is one of my favorites.

    Y’all hang in there!

  2. Jenn
    August 10th, 2018 at 12:36 pm · Link

    Thanks Silver. All my thanks doesn’t seem like enough, but I sincerely mean it. It really was a miracle our homes were save, and no one lost their lives in that. You know how unpredictable and deadly these fires burning that high and fast can be.

    I’m planning to get a second opinion ASAP. I understand the surgeon’s concerns, but it’s very drastic so I’m going to see if there are any less drastic options to try first.

    I know on the smoke and ash issues at home. Without the A/C to filter it, we may have to sleep at my mother in law’s until Monday. We’ll just take it one day at a time.

    I’m glad your life is more mundane right now, and hope you can get the revisions done. I’ll look for UNDER THE ASSASSIN’S MOON today or this weekend.

    Have a good weekend!

  3. Viki S.
    August 10th, 2018 at 2:19 pm · Link

    Wow! You’ve been on one scary ride. I think I love Special K. Bringing Baby Slayer out to see and comfort you was incredibly sweet. Your boy did good :).

    I am keeping prayers going to contain all the fires. I feel so bad for all the hard working firefighters and citizens working to save property and lives (including animals).

    Sure am hoping you get back home ans have the AC fixed as soon as possible. You really need to get back to some kind of normal.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you – hugs!

  4. Linda Henderson
    August 10th, 2018 at 3:00 pm · Link

    I know how you feel about losing everything. When the tornado went through here in 2011 I lost almost everything I own. I had a 45 year collection of books and they were gone, or wet so they were ruined. After we found out my family all made it and my kids attempted to salvage what they could, the apartment was condemned, I was a little depressed about losing all my books. I had to keep reminding myself that 161 people died and I was incredibly lucky. My oldest daughter and her family and I were in the EF5 zone so we were extremely lucky to make it out alive. We did manage to dry out most of my pictures and my son-in-law got all my dvd’s out but other than the clothes on my back, that’s about it. Oh, and a random Starbucks cup. As stupid as it seems I started crying when they handed me the cup, it was all that was left of my kitchen. I’ve lost two housed to fire and one to a monster tornado so believe me, I understand. I sincerely hope they get all these terrible fires out soon. Take care.

  5. B.E. Sanderson
    August 10th, 2018 at 3:08 pm · Link

    OMG, :HUGS: At least you’re all safe. Fingers crossed it’s over and your house is totally safe and you can go home soon.

  6. Jenn
    August 10th, 2018 at 9:43 pm · Link

    Viki, thank you so much. We would love to get back to normal. The A/C guy comes Monday, and we’ll see what happens there.

    I’m in awe of all the firefighters, and various agencies as well as the neighbors. The fire is still raging in the forest, and we’re all praying they get it controlled and out soon.

    I hope you and your family has a great weekend!


  7. Jenn
    August 10th, 2018 at 9:50 pm · Link

    Linda, I’m so sorry that happened to you! That had to be terrifying and devastating. How sad that so many lost their lives too. What a tremendously hard time you live through. You really are a survivor!

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you’ve been able to rebuild at least some of your book collection.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Jenn
    August 10th, 2018 at 9:52 pm · Link

    B.E, thank you. I’m still stunned our homes survived, but very grateful. We’re going to try to go home tomorrow and see if we can stay overnight. It’s going to be heartbreaking the first time Maggie and I walk and see all the destruction. We absolutely love those hills. But in time, they’ll regrow.

    I hope you have a good weekend!

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