linden_ashby linden_ashby

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Linden Ashby 

melted cars, melted motorcycles, everything burned or melted... and the chimneys. Chimneys standing tall in piles of ruin. Lone towers that say, “Yes, there was a home here.” The madness of one fire followed by the perfect symmetry of another... as though the house gently tilted, fell down, and then quietly burned leaving the perfect outline of an entire wall imprinted on the ground.
Generosity by the boatload. Literally boats filled with supplies. Then armadas of small boats, paddle boards, wave runners... all ferrying donated supplies from the larger boats to the beach. A community call to action. Fuel, generators, water, food.... and thank God, beer! :) Community gathering spots where you could go to get what you needed. From horse hay and pellets, to toilet paper, eye wash, masks, snacks, water, canned food, fresh food, fruit... T-Mobile giving away phones to people who needed them. And to my knowledge, no one took more than they needed and everyone gave thanks for what they got.
Hours when nothing happened.
Talking.
Shooting the shit.
Stories.
Tears, laughter, complaints, celebration, and grieving.
Getting to know people in a way that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
And the first responders. Fire units, paramedics, and police, as well as people from the power company, water company, cable, phone, septic, and gas companies. Women and men from all over the country working around the clock. Sleeping by their trucks, camping out, and working and working. Working, I don’t know how many hours they would put in on a shift but I know that a lot of times it was 24hrs... +..... +.....+.... These men and women are examples of what it means to “be of service” in a way that we should all try to copy.
12 days… The power might come back on today… if it does, cool. If it doesn’t… well, maybe it will tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

This is just stuff I’ve been thinking about for the past few days. Read it or skip it, I’m cool with both choices.
It’s been 12 days since the fires rolled over west Malibu. Since then, we’ve been… busy. And then bored… isolated from the outside world… but fully connected to the people and the world directly around us. When I wasn’t rushing around doing stuff, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. These are a few of the things that really jumped out at me along the way…
Loss. People deal with it in different ways. Probably because the level of loss in a situation like this is such an individual and personal thing magnified or soothed by an almost infinite list of factors that vary on a case by case basis. What was lost, what was saved? Was it fully insured? Can you rebuild? Are you alone or surrounded by family and friends? Are you twenty years old or eighty five? Was it “just a house”, or was it your lifetime home? There were moments when the whole thing just seemed… unreal, but it wasn’t, it was too real, and it was huge.
The absolute quiet and darkness at night that comes with no electricity. The brightness of the stars. The constant smell of smoke. The emptiness in the canyons and on PCH. Friends, strangers, even people that had never gotten along, all coming together to help each other. Community.
The vaguely known, but unconsidered, number of friends that we have, all finding a way to reach out. To see if (A.) We’re ok? and (B.) If there’s anything they can do to help?
The offers of homes, beds, couches, rooms, apartments, whatever they have to share if we need a place to stay.
Whole streets of burned homes bordered by streets of untouched homes. Streets where the fire jumped around and randomly burned one home while leaving the homes on either side of it untouched. Power lines on the ground… thousands of burned telephone poles. The way the fire used arroyos and valleys that were full of thick vegetation to spread. Thousands and thousands of acres burned to the dirt. A blackened moonscape that goes on for miles. The charred bodies of small animals, squirrels, rabbits, mice, that couldn’t escape. Puddles of melted metal... continued

Uhhhhh... U turn.

View from Zuma beach...

Evacuating from the fires in Malibu. Otherworldly...

So siiiiiiick. lol. Ok, maybe not, but really fun all the same. Thanks again @tavaruaislandresort

Old dog, old tricks. Thank you @tavaruaislandresort

Late afternoon, little wave, but so much fun. Tavarua...

Stung by a radioactive bee! And now my hand has become my paw. lol Holy crap!

The 405 at 5:16 PM on a Friday.

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