Not very long ago, the Spousal Unit and I were figuring out how to make sense of California real-estate for us. We have openly speculated about moving to North Carolina and to San Diego. Before I landed this gig headquartered in LA, we were potential short-timers to LA County. Although it hasn't gotten much easier to plot our way through the shoulder crushing expenses we are aiming to bear, we are counting our blessings today for not having moved to San Diego.
All of our friends down that way are doing fine at this moment, one was directly in the path of the conflagration and then the winds shifted. The areas we planned to consider most seriously, Poway and Rancho Bernardo are today under constant threat as are thousands of families.
Like earthquakes, Southern California suffers greatly from wildfires. We call it Red Flag Season, and it also seems to bring out the arsonists as well. We managed to escape fairly well last year, but I've been up close to the scene of tragedy and it's damned scary. Just a few weeks ago, we dealt with a fire on the way to Big Bear. Growing up in Southern Cal is growing up with wildfires in memory.
Last night on the way home from a late evening at work, I stopped at Dockweiller State Beach just north of LAX. I could see the orange flames across the Santa Monica Bay northeast in Malibu stand out in the night sky. Just 200 yards below, folks sat around bonfires at the beach. I have a mustard cardigan that was ruined from bonfire smoke at Dockweiller but the smell is a familiar one. The crisp of manzanita and pine flakes in the air. We don't have limbago in our joints that tell us that storms are coming, in Los Angeles we sniff the air and check the coatings on our cars. Today is our hell time.
There's talk about raising taxes on the Malibu types who suck up fire resources on the regular. Mike Davis is likely waxing elegaic about the cosmic justice we are suffering today. I don't really go for the politics of tragedy, although I must admit that I get a good dose of schadenfruede when Californians lose million dollar homes to the fickle finger of nature's fate. Way back when, I used to wonder, as prompted by Davis, why the homes in Orange County should have such high values. Most of the OC is on sandy ground which is subject to liquifaction during earthquakes whereas much of South Central LA ground is bedrock. Location location location my black ass. But that was then. Now I'm gearing myself to be a proper grandfather and wise man, when every man's death diminishes me. So I don't wish ill for anyone nor retribution against the few. I merely hope we all try not to forget where we live and what we face.