In the past month we have had brief periods of environmental extremes. In early October, a tropical rainstorm closed roads, took out power lines and delivered over 13 inches of rain in the space of a day and a half. You might think that would end fire season, but less than a fortnight later, a fire erupted nearly in the same area as last year’s Summit fire, but this time the wind did not take it away from us. While we tracked every piece of data available and considered the possible outcomes and our options, while we felt relatively safe less than 4 miles from the fire, we also knew that owing to road closures and changing conditions we needed to be home.

For the duration we made do, rearranged schedules and watched and listened to the winds, helicopters and updates as over 1,700 firefighters wrested control over the steep fire zones. We kept in touch with friends who were inside and outside the affected areas, and quietly dealt with the situation. While we still had electricity, we also looked at what would go “off” if power was out for an extended time (such as during the storm just two weeks ago), and made a vat of what I now call house-arrest stew. Once again, we reclaim our daily lives.

The house feline-in-charge is not fond of any of these noisy or threatening forces and was NOT amused