Things are eerie around here. The Angeles Crest fire continues to burn out of control in La Canada, and living in the valley of those mountains has us trapped under a thick blanket of suffocating smoke. My stepchildren and their mom live in La Canada, and are actually on alert for evacuation, and have their bags packed and ready to go. Businesses are closing because of the air conditions, and those who can, are fleeing.
I, of course, can't.
I woke up this morning to the familiar smell of campfire in my bedroom. Wildfires bring back terrible memories for me, having lived through the evacuations and scare of the Rodeo-Chedeski fire back in 2002. At least this time there is only inconvenience for me, and not a mortal fear. With everything sealed up the best it can be, and children still sleeping, I went downstairs to cook a Saturday Breakfast. One of the big kinds. The kind that gets me out of making lunch.
I cooked eggs and toast, bacon and pancakes. Aiden wandered down and set the table with the good dishes, and poured a round of orange juice. We feasted, we laughed. A few disgusting news stories were shared. The phone rang, but we let it ring, because for this one moment, it was family time, and I didn't want to be interrupted. Save two pieces of whole wheat toast and a few stray pancakes, every bit of food was consumed, kids cleared dishes from the table, and everyone was happy.
The phone rang again. Aiden was invited to go with a family from the ward to Newport Beach for a day of bike riding and swimming, to escape the smoke. It made me happy for him. He's such a good boy, and is always in the shadows of his older siblings. When fun opportunities come his way, especially fun adventures that I can't always provide, I'm always filled with gratitude and excitement for him. He deserves every good thing, and he always brings honor to our family with glowing reports of his kindness, his excellent manners, and his appreciation for everything. So, Aiden is off, breathing fresh ocean air.
Lyndsay and I plan to sew her a dress today, and bake a batch of cinnamon rolls. Cozy, hunkered down things to do. The Best of John Denver is playing on the stereo, and though it's been 20 years since I've heard my mom singing to those songs, somehow I still know every lyric. All about mountains and a carefree happiness that seems so elusive at times. Some love and longing too. I can feel it all, and it makes me wish for an acoustic guitar and some harmony. I miss John Denver.
The wildfires burn. I pray for them to be controlled and extinguished.
The homefires burn. I pray that they may burn forever. All things safe, glowing brighter.