Almost eight months after the Thomas Fire

Photo courtesy of my firefighting son-in-law Sam Phelps

Truth be told…

It’s been three weeks since I’ve posted anything on my blog. I know I’ve said that we are busy and we have been, but more than that I have been going through one of my depressed spells. When a depressed spell coincides with stressful events it is definitely a challenge to do more than just get by, my creativity dries up and I find myself at a loss for words. On the bright side, I must be nearing the other side because I have found some words! During these last few weeks I have been struggling with sadness, anger, anxiety and even some resentment centered around the Thomas Fire.

The realities of life after a fire storm

Here we are almost eight months after the Thomas Fire. For a lot of people in Ventura County the fire is a distant memory. Unless you happen to drive past the neighborhoods that have lots that are scraped clean where there once was someone’s home, you might not think of the fire at all.

However, for the people like Ron and me, who own or lived in one of the 1,343 properties that were destroyed or damaged, the pain and stress caused by the Thomas Fire is still very real and present.

I think the overwhelming shock of our loss has worn off, but the sick feeling and sadness that comes over me when I remember a particular item that is gone forever is very unpleasant.

It’s so much more than just our loss…

My sadness is not just for the things that we personally have lost or our struggles to recover. My overwhelming sadness is for all of us who have had our lives turned upside down through no fault of our own.

The more I talk with other survivors of the Thomas Fire the more my sadness and anger grows. There are many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way of recovery. I have friends who still have not been able to get the needed permits to have power restore to their property. It’s been almost eight months! No power also means no water since they have a well. They aren’t the only ones either, we have other neighbors that still don’t have power and water. Some because they can’t get anyone to do the work and others because it will cost over $50,000 to get new power poles put in. Edison only replaced the poles up to their property not the ones on their property.

We have several neighbors who have decided to sell their property after living there for over many years because they can’t meet all the new code requirements of Ventura County. That seems to be an issue for a lot of the families.

Many of the families who have lost so much already are now finding that they will not be able to rebuild and that makes me mad and sad.

Finding encouragement in the kindness of others

Just about the time I don’t think I can take one more sad thing, God brings me some encouragement. The other day one of our neighbors stopped by with a warm loaf of banana bread and kind words of welcome to the neighborhood. It was just what I needed and delicious too.

Pressing on

I need to learn to take one day at a time and deal with what this day holds instead of worrying about what tomorrow holds. I have a big God and He will sort all this stuff out. Me worrying about any of it isn’t going to help anyway.

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Words of encouragement from Magnolia Table



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