This is the time of year for giving thanks, so let’s get cracking.
On a personal note, Alec and I are incredibly thankful for our new grandson, Isaac. My mom and I voluntarily evacuated to Truckee, as did Isaac and his parents, to escape the blackouts and smoky air last month, and it’s amazing what a mood elevator a baby is when you’re under threat of natural disaster. We left Alec behind to man the generator, feed the animals, and keep tabs on Northern Sonoma Valley. Thanks, Alec!
A big shoutout to Pat Kerrigan and the staff at KSRO for keeping us informed during that long week. I listened to them on my phone when I was awake in the middle of the night, and on the morning of Oct. 31, we heard PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras promising that all power would be restored by 4 p.m. that day. We took her at her word and came home that afternoon, and, sure enough, the lights came on! I’m sure we all have a renewed appreciation for warm water, electric lights and refrigeration.
We can’t thank the firefighters, paramedics, police and other first responders enough. They put in a Herculean effort to keep the Kincade Fire from burning up Windsor, jumping 101 and heading west all the way to the ocean. There’s certainly enough fuel for that to happen.
Although the fire is another major disaster for Sonoma County, we’re so grateful that there were no large conflagrations in Glen Ellen, Kenwood or Santa Rosa this time around. We know what lies ahead for people who lost their homes – hazardous waste removal, sifting through the ashes to try to retrieve something, anything, that might have survived the inferno, debris removal, negotiations with insurance companies, finding a place to live, deciding whether or not to rebuild, finding a contractor… We have two years under our belts already and can see where progress has been made, slowly but steadily, and we know that things will get better for the folks in and around Geyserville.
You can be the kind of person who holds onto hurt and anger, laying blame at anyone’s feet but your own (and we have a great example of this personality type in the White House), or you can be the kind of person who practices gratitude, counting your blessings. The key word is “practice,” because if you work at it, there’s always something to find. The national political scene is demoralizing, but I take a lot of comfort in my town, my county and my state. A few nights ago, I watched an almost-full moon rising in a crisp, clear, cobalt sky. Last Sunday my rosemary hedge was full of bees buzzing around gathering nectar. Down the road, a neighbor still doesn’t have a permanent home, but he decorates for Halloween and flies a pirate flag. There’s no rain in the foreseeable future, but we can’t do anything about that, so we might as well enjoy the warm, sunny days.
Thanksgiving is Nov. 28, one day set aside nationwide for us to give thanks. Start practicing now.