so very grateful

friday night, was really scary. i can’t stop thinking about it. i had to keep my cool the whole time for the kids when secretly i was freaking out. in total it was probably one hour to 90 minutes long but in hindsight feels like it took forever.

i’m great in emergencies, when i have all the information, or at least some of the information. but what i’ve learned most in the past few weeks about breaking news is that often they get the info wrong. everyone wants to break the story, but no one ACTUALLY knows the story and here i was stuck in the middle of the story. i needed facts and i needed to be able to make the best decision possible, quickly, in order to ensure both calen and leah’s safety as well as my own.

thank god for two amazing friends who texted me, and got me off of the 405 fwy just in the knick of time…..and for KNX 1070 radio, for catching me before i went over coldwater canyon that was also on fire.

so beverly glen it was. i held my breathe and crept along up and over beverly glen canyon 10.8 miles praying with each inch, that we would make it down the hill to ventura blvd without any fires spreading and trapping us in that canyon. i had the kids with me. that’s all i could think about.

thank god for ipads and ipods they were definitely oblivious to my fears and panics! calen also found it exciting because he “got to see a real emergency for real without anyone getting hurt”.

let me go back a little and give a tiny bit of pertinent information.

for those not familiar, there is one main freeway, the 405 that connects the valley and the city, or the valley and the westside you’ll sometimes see it referenced. then there are 3 or 4 main canyons east of the 405 that run from the westide to the valley and there is a way through santa monica and malibu which is very round-about but still a way to get across the city and over the hill as we call it.

so here we are, in the middle of rush hour traffic with the 405 of on fire as well as one of the 3 main canyons connecting the city and the valley.  it’s really quite simple if you see it on a map, but, suffice it to say  they are all very congested around the time this all started around 3:45pm PST.

adding to all of the above, this was also on my mind.

i drive from the valley to the city to pick up the kids from school. it is 12 miles. i’ve done the research and friday it took me just about 12 minutes to get there, pretty much as fastest it ever gets which is rare.  AT NO POINT was there a fire to be seen off the 405 which ultimately burned TO the fwy on my way to pick up the kids. i got the to the school by 3:45pm, went inside to grab the kids because i had to to get them to swimming lessons and in the 10-12 minutes i was inside school, as we left we saw thick black smoke in the sky. i mentioned it to a few teachers or parents but none of us had our phones on us, and again i was worried about getting the kids to swimming lessons.

so clearly i miseed the start of this fire on my way to go and get the kids as well, something else i can’t stop thinking about.

this fire turned out (so far) with a positive ending for human life and structures, i’ve heard no reports saying any lives at all were lost, although sadly thousands and thousands of acres burned (pics below), but for as bad as it could’ve been the outcome was a good as it could be.

what it brought up is even more interesting healing for me. i know that there are parts of my childhood that i don’t remember even though i have a very good amazing memory and rarely forget a thing, the are some very distinct periods of time in my life that are just big gaping holes. mostly i find that they surround some form of trauma that occurred around that time, which once i again i find fascinating how our brains protect us.

i digress. friday night while laying in bed, rethinking all i had felt and how scary i found the fire i remembered something from my childhood i hadn’t remembered in a very long time.  i grew up from 3 years old until 12 years old in the hills of tarzana.  we lived in a cul-de-sac that was surrounded by mountains with nothing but brush. we had to have sprinklers on our roof because fire season every year meant nights spent up scared to death that the water dropping helicopters wouldn’t be enough and the fire would spread and we’d have to evacuate. wow, what a scary thing to worry about year after year after year. i guess that’s why living in the hills as an adult has absolutely no appeal to me! LOL!

more than anything what i learned from this experience is immeasurable. i can think fast in an emergency. i can remain calm enough that i’m certain the kids weren’t the least bit traumatized and my sense of direction and knowledge of alternate routes could actually have saved our lives.

i’m feeling so grateful. this wasn’t a REAL emergency although it felt like one while we were going through it. thank god we are all okay. ~ traci xoxo

(1)                                   (2)                                       (3)

      (4)                                    (5)                                (6)

(1) the first of the pics that i took and the first we started to see the smoke.  (2) a picutre taken by a friend from the opposite view n downtown LA.(3) my view as we drove (4) the water dropping super scoppers dropping water all over the fires which eventually helped get them contained rahter quickly, although something like 8000 acres were burned. (5) a picture of the tv of what traffic look liked on the 405, just above the rea in which i would have been on. (6) the last picture i took saturday, about 24-hours after the fire started.  not visible in the picture you can see fire trucks up all across the top of the mountain staying alert and vigilant should anything else spark up. thank god for the LAFD,

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