This is a Weekly Coffee Share update.
Our get-together is hosted by: Eclectic Ally.
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- I’m still healing well.
- I’ve already been in trouble thrice for over-doing things post-op, my family thinks I shouldn’t have.
- they were right – at least once – sigh . . . Backs simply take too long to heal.
- I produced and posted one new story, this time for all my teacher friends. Please check out my extra short essay on: My Rowdy Approach to Giving Exams. If you’ve ever had to administer a graded exam – you should enjoy this quick ride.
- my war with nature continues with one big win for the human when a monster gopher got careless and pushed his way into my trap. He was disposed of in a manner much less gory than would have been provided by the neighborhood feral cat.
- I am still loving being freaked out by not working for so long; very pleasant, but very weird.
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Greetings All! I’m toddling a bit late this weekend. Home chores take too much time (especially when my daughter and my wife have morphed into my personal no-back strain police) so I am going to roll this out quickly.
For our coffee time today, I feel the need to apologize. The California wine country is hot today – too hot, and all weekend we have been put under one of those Red Flag Fire warnings. Each evening, we are subject to some weird wind patterns that get very dangerous in the presence of both high temps (which we clearly have) low humidity (which we also have) and nearby mid-size mountains (which we sorta always have) with normal power poles and lines (which are also plentiful nearby). So, you’ll need to excuse me if I hand you a smoke detector with your drink instead of a coaster.
What happens is that the wind rips down the valleys of those mountains (magnified like a funnel) shaking the daylights out of the wires – often breaking them, causing sparks which easily touch off anything nearby that is flammable which the wind then quickly spreads to anything further down the valley. If you look up the Sonoma County Firestorm of Oct. 2017 – you can read about how many homes and businesses (just over 1000 I think) were wiped out and how many folks had less than 10 minutes warning to evacuate their home at 3am in the morning and so got away with almost nothing.
I have many friends and family members who lost everything except their family, pets and automobile. Whole large neighborhoods and business districts were consumed. Two hospitals were at risk, but both survived. Many wineries were badly damaged and a couple may not be able to return to business anytime soon.
We live further away, so by 5am when I was up and watching the orange sky from our backyard and listening to the radio for the progress of the fire to decide if we too needed to evacuate. I woke my family up and we packed a few things and planned a route away to safety. My town ended up only getting lots of really bad air.
A good friend from work almost lost his home and didn’t only because the ranch next door had only the previous week rototilled his full acreage in preparation for planting grapes for a new vineyard – so there was nothing for the fire to take hold of.
Anyway – we take these fire warnings seriously. The whole community is on alert, so we are not too worried.
In the days that followed, this same community has rallied and is taking great care of those who did not fare as well as we did. Our church took in something like 70 families and provided shelter, food, safety, fellowship and emergency provisions. Another friend from work contacted me on behalf of his Sikh community to offer their help providing meals. It was heart-warming to see how people can step up to help and love on people they don’t even know with no boundaries respected. Christians loved on the non. The atheists were reaching out to us Bible totters. Blacks and whites (who mostly get along fine around here anyway) proved it once again by not noticing. Our Asian friends were indistinguishable from anyone else in need and even liberals and conservatives forgot how much they dislike each other. Our homeless community suddenly looked a lot more like my neighbor and even our (most-likely) illegal Hispanic alien community were embraced and cared for when they themselves were not already helping others.
Folks- I too have seen lots of upsetting garbage in the media. My Facebook feed has got to be the worst. I don’t really care about your politics but I do care when I think we are being played by a media who has both an agenda and makes money by keeping us stirred up over school shootings or this nonsense about how families are treated by our immigration agents. It frustrates me that actual facts are so hard to isolate because we can no longer trust our news sources.
I am here to witness that regardless of the attributes the media loves to use to pry us apart – most of the folks I’ve encountered, like when our county was in need would have made you proud of how mature, loving, colorblind and sacrificial we normally are – when we look past false narratives and fake news.
Don’t let the media play you. Trust in the principals of normal people and most often, you will find grace rather than hatred. There are folks out there deserving of our disdain, but they are a huge minority and much harder to isolate from the majority of wonderful folks.
I’m looking forward to reviewing others comments for this and next week. Thanks for stopping by.