Happy Anniversary 09 Oct 2018
santarosa sonoma

One year ago today, I watched the Sonoma county fires pour over Shiloh ridge towards the Fountaingrove neighborhood. I wrote about the experience, and subsequent evacuation in “Watching fire come down the mountain”. The response across Sonoma county to the fires was as monumental as the fires themselves, and for my part, I spent the next two weeks working with old and new friends to build and support Sonoma Fire Info to strive to get as much accurate information to our fellow residents as possible.

When we decided to close down our flash-mob style activism, I wrote a bit more about the scope of the fires and some of my experience in “This is your reality now.”

We were fortunate not to be directly impacted, but impact of the fire is within arms length for everybody up here. The woman who led some classes my wife and I attended earlier this year, lost her house in Glen Ellen. My former next door neighbor, who helped me with my truck every now and again, moved because he was finally able to buy a house in Coffey Park, which then burned down. My friend’s uncle lost his house up off Mark West Springs Rd, being under-insured to rebuild in Sonoma county, he moved his family and business to Oregon. Just last week, one of the guys helping to clean up our water damage in the office, mentioned that he had also lost his house in Coffey Park. For the weeks I worked on Sonoma Fire Info, I lived and breathed disaster response and fire information dissemination. Much of that time is imprinted in my memory unlike many other experiences before it.

For many of us, there are two Sonoma counties: that which was before, and that which was after the fires.

Suffice it to say, October 9th changed me.

Seven and one years ago today, I stood on a grassy hill overlooking vineyards somewhere in Sonoma county, surrounded on one side by a raucous group of friends and on the other by a raucous group of family. Heart pounding beneath the only properly fitting suit I own, my wife and I married.

When I think about the man I was then, I can only smile at how much our relationship has changed us both for the better. I share with every friend who will listen some of my thoughts on the value and importance of marriage. I can safely say that neither of us would have grown to be the people we are today without one another. And we continue to learn and challenge each other with each passing day. The commitment isn’t simply to each other, but to the more abstract concept of “us”, which helped me understand and prioritize so much differently than I did before.

Our things, our house, our future, our family. Our life together.

Suffice it to say, October 9th changed me.