Posted by Lisa
For hours we smelled smoke from fires burning in Malibu. Its heavy scent took up residence in our hair, our clothes. That had been the first evidence that the fires on the television were really happening.
It doesn't snow in California. That's what I believed - until today.
This afternoon my husband called me into the backyard of our California home. "It's snowing," he announced. "It isn't," I retorted.
But light pale flakes were falling around us: the dusting of ash from mountain fire. Twenty minutes later, the sun was a dull orange circle in the sky. The sky was gray. It was evening, suddenly, at three in the afternoon.
"We will need to evacuate," I offered to Richard. "We'll see," he replied. " The fires are still miles away."
"Let's hike up the trails," I suggest. My children agree in an instant.
We slip into crocs. I gather our sunglasses at the front door; the ash stings as it blows in our
eyes. We meet neighbors at the trailhead. This is an event. The winds outdoors are 60 to 80 miles per hour (Santa Anna winds off the Pacific, I am told). My three-year-old insists on a piggy back.
The fires are not contained.
My agent once told me a writer must live, only then can she have new experiences to write
I hope we are not evacuated, but what if we are.
Today's life is tomorrow's stories.
As I write this, it's dark. It's too dark for 7:00 PM.
My dog doesn't like going outside.