Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crazy times

Hey everyone! So another week has passed by and let me tell you it has been a crazy week around here.

Most exciting, S came home from Indiana for a visit. We had 11 days to just hang out and do alot of nothing together. . . or so we planned. Life of course always has a way of intervening doesn't it?

Friday I came home from work a bit early, around 3:45pm. Now the day before on my drive home I noticed smoke and the whole drive home wondered where the fire was. I got increasingly anxious as I got closer to home and realized that the fire was somewhere close by. No worries though, it was somewhere past our neighborhood (and I never actually did determine exactly where).

So Friday when I drove home and saw another fire, I just thought to myself, well this one probably isn't in the neighborhood either. I started to realize I was really wrong when I turned into the neighborhood and 1/2 a mile away people were out in their yards looking down the street. Yep, the fire was clearly on my block. As I got closer I could see all the fire engines and that the police had our block blocked off. I went to the next street over to park and could see over the houses that the fire was right where our house should be.

You know, adrenaline coursing through your body is not such a nice feeling. I kicked off my sandals and ran barefoot around the corner to our street. Big black billows of smoke everywhere. When I got around the corner I could see the smoke was right over our roof but our house was not on fire (of course the words in my head were "yet").

Apparently, a fire started near the alley of one of my neighbor's house. It burned their garage to the ground and then came into my next door neighbor's yard. The people next door lost two garages and everything in the back yarn (trees now black crispy sticks). Luckily for us, the fire fighters stopped the fire there. One of the garages that burned is within 8 foot of our house.

The good news here is that no one was hurt. Also good, it was only garages and yards that were lost. Scary stuff though to think about my four boys trapped in my house with a fire so close by! They were definitely a bit on the frantic side when we got into the house, but settled down after a few hours. Nothing like smoke, siriens, and lots of people to reassure animals hmm?

Needless to say, the rest of our Friday (and Saturday for that matter) ended up being fire-related. Neither neighbor had electricity so we pitched in to drag some extension cords down so they could at least have a light on at each house. We also helped our next door neighbors (who are in their 80s and were already talking about assisted living even before the fire) with contacting insurance and talking to all the people who show up.

Let me tell you, we have some great fire fighters here. They did a great job and were so very helpful even after the fire. At one point we had 6 trucks here. Which I guess makes sense since in my mind at least three houses were threatened (and damage happened on two properties). Did I mention that there was a large propane tank in one of the garages that exploded before I got home? Apparently that caused quite a noise and threw shrapnel quite some distance.

Nothing like a little excitement hmm?

This photo may give you some sense of what's left of the neighbors' yards (usually there would be a fence along the back there that would block the view of the alley and the yard and white wall of the neighbor across the way.

So after all that craziness, S and I decided we did want to relax a bit on Sunday and what would a trip to California be without a visit to the beach? So early Sunday off we went to our favorite beach destination, Crystal Cove State Park (no roller bladers and starlet-wanna-be-s here!).

This was the view when we first arrived.

Nope, don't adjust your screen ... you're seeing it correctly, overcast, foggy, cold. It was absolutely beautiful! The marine layer was dense and it was quiet and great for sitting in a chair with a sweatshirt on.

A few hours later, in typical southern California fashion, the clouds burnt off and we had beautiful blue skies and sun.

Can't ask for much more that an 80 degree day at the beach in October. =]

So S and I left the beach Sunday and he flew back to South Bend on Monday ... right into SNOW! Laugh ... yep quite the contrast. Sounds like the northeast has a bit of an early winter. I'll try not to rub it in, but I love being here where it will get into the 80s again today.

So has there been any knitting between visits and fires... a little. I started the bulky cabled cardigan by Stephanie Japel (see picture at top). I think I really don't like it. Why do I knit clothing with bulky yarn? It probably will be terrible. Somehow I still haven't decided to frog it yet though. I'm almost finished with the body now (only the body trim to do). I think I'll do one sleeve to see how that looks and then decide. Don't let me do bulky again, OK?

Friends don't let friends knit bulky.


Ellen Bloom said...

So glad that your house is OK! Phew! That was close!

I like the chunky sweater. Of course, we've been calling this month "Hot-tober" because of the temperatures. Chunky knits are faster to work up, that's for sure!

Lola and Ava said...

Thank goodness no one was hurt. I can't even begin to imagine what my kids would have done. Hang in there.

Robin said...

The sweater looks great so far. I also keep asking myself why I knit with chunky yarns, as it is such a hit-or-miss result. Stefanie Japel's designs rarely go horribly wrong like some others though.