Knock Before Entering
Although blackened with debris, littered with melted insulation, crumbled dry wall and imploded rooftops, there is evidence everywhere that the residents are doing all they can to seek out and preserve any remnant of what used to be the beauty of simply living their lives..
There are wire sifters propped near former entrances and little piles of burnt items carefully collected and arranged. It is a stark, defiant reminder for all stepping foot on these hallowed, grieving grounds that this is still a displaced family's treasured, badly mangled, burned-to-the-ground home.
The survivors are returning to salvage what they own, even if all they have left is the quiet dignity of a silent, tearful nod to burnt offerings...
Some are up at the crack of dawn feeding distressed pets, treating the lost pets of their neighbors as if they were their own. Most pets don't know where their families are and where their loving homes have gone. We've been trying to catch them and return them to their loved ones. They don't trust easily so we leave our tiny oferings of food comfort and watch from afar as they come and go.
Yeah... Ironic, huh? My "avoid the wildlife at all costs" self has reluctantly joined the pet feeding brigade maintained by the kind citizens of Middletown California. Um... well... how can I not? It is important to them and these people are important to me. If you have a little time, maybe you can join our ad hoc feeding, search and rescue team. If not, give to the charity of your choice to help the nice people struggling to recover on this mountain. They are a wonderful, caring, tight fit community who deserve our help and respect. I am learning a lot from the residents here. I will probably never be the same either...
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