Two Octobers ago, in 2017, we left Santa Rosa after making a trip ip there, essentially to say goodbye to my Grandma Woodward and my Uncle Rich. The two of them were in their last days of life.
Grandma was barely responsive, and while it was hard to see her in her condition, I'm glad I got to give her one last kiss on the cheek.
Uncle Rich was in slightly better spirits. We all spent much of the afternoon and evening telling stories and laughing and fixing the shade cover every time the wind blew it out of place. Ace and Mia got to go for a ride in my cousin Darrell's jeep. We gave our hugs and kisses and left for home around 7 pm. For more than the reasons to follow, it was a windy day that I'll never forget.
In the wee hours of the morning, I got a text from my dad telling me that everyone was being evacuated.
Santa Rosa was on fire. In the ensuing days, the Tubbs Fire devastated the city. Darrell and Michele lost their workshop, and that awesome Jeep, but fortunately for them, their house was spared, as was Uncle Rich and Aunt Rita's. Thousands of other families weren't so lucky.
This weekend, all of those people and more are being evacuated again as the Kincaide Fire rips through Northern Sonoma County.
Please keep the region and its people in your prayers. Pray also for the safety and success of the firefighters and rescue teams in the heat of the battle.
Every prayer counts, and they need as many as they can get.