Our Office Will be Closed Today

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It’s deja vu all over again. We are well out of the fire’s path (for now), yet our spa has the layer of ash we last saw during the 2003 Cedar fire. None of us slept last night; it’s that anxiety that comes with the familiar sights and smells. I lay awake listening to the howling wind and wondering.

Lisa Yates, one of our buyer’s agents, lost her home in the Cedar fire. She called me as she was leaving her open house yesterday, and I could sense the tension in her voice. Years ago, in my crazy younger days, I had an unfortunate mishap involving a Tom Collins. Today, merely the glimpse of a gin bottle sends me reeling, and I feel sick to my bones. This is how she and so many others must be feeling this morning.

San Diego Unified School District, in their infinite wisdom, announced that all schools would be open today. Forget that it is raining white, forget that breathing is difficult at best, or that the entire I-15 corridor to our immediate north and Ramona to the east has been evacuated. My daughters dutifully headed off to school (“We have tests!”), only to find what I already knew. Most of the faculty and staff were absentee. Presumably, if their homes weren’t in danger, then their freeway commute routes were closed. Teachers told the few in attendance, “You didn’t hear it from me, but if you can get a ride home, go now.” It’s one hour later, and we just got the word that Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch Schools have been closed. The punch line is that they are now bringing the Red Cross in because all of the students who were bused have no way home. Geez.

Moments ago, I received an email from the Scripps Ranch Civic Association saying that the southern end of the Witch Fire is now following the path of the previous Cedar Fire and that, depending on winds, could reach Scripps this morning. I think this is alarmist, but then we thought the first signs of flames last time wouldn’t concern us.

Steve is threatening to mobilize for an evacuation, but that’s premature. My oldest daughter has asked to get together with her friends to lend support, some of whom were directly affected last time around and are reliving a nightmare. One of my favorite, dearest past clients spent the night with friends and still wonders about the fate of his home. He was among the first evacuees in Ramona last night, and I’m afraid it doesn’t look good. My younger daughter received an email from one of her friends in neighboring Rancho Bernardo this morning saying that a home on her street was burning, and her family had to go.

Our office will be closed today. We will be glued to the television and praying for our friends and neighbors.

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