I'm still not sure if it was the broken blue canopy or the big "I'll Be Back" sign (that is soooo Arnold, eh?) which captured my heart and made me realize I really like this place and have every intention of visiting Middletown, CA again. This time, not by myself, but with my immediate family in tow. I made some nice acquaintances here that my kids are really curious about. I am looking forward to catching up with them and making some fun introductions. The plotting and planning has already begun, from New York to Miami, with my kissing cousins getting their shades, sun screen and hiking gear together. A couple of fun blogging buddies will also be meeting us there (next year, either spring or summer), so we are all trying to tweak our schedules and save up for this future event.
Tourism would be kinda helpful, don't ya think? I mean, just look at that... If it were you, wouldn't you want someone to help out if you asked for it? Since I was there in the midst of the aftermath, I figure you don't have to ask me. I know what it feels, smells and tastes like so I didn't wash my Nikes. I still have your grit, soot and ashes on my running shoes. I usually don't abuse them, but I want to remember the smell. We are still in contact, I am enjoying your emails and apologize for not answering all of them. I'm in de-stress mode with my kids while trying to explain to them hundreds of homes were burned to the ground and the Red Cross is still trying to help people. To fix this mess is going to take a lot of money. People need jobs. Kids gotta eat. I'll need a place to stay when I get back (hint, hint insurance companies - get your build on). FYI: So will my family and friends. To that end, and a few useful others, the kids and I have been sorting through hundreds of photographs and are in the middle of putting together a slide show to share on YouTube. I have been getting a lot of feedback from our family, friends and neighbors who heard about what happened there and want to help... By the way, do feel free to help them any positive way you can.
Don't forget to pitch in, lend a hand, and/or give to the charities of your choice. I'm thinking of all sorts of creative things to do to keep a different kind of fire burning: one of FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY. There may even be new music added to our little clips if I can find my electronic drum set boxed away in my parent's barn. Yeah... My astute Facebook peeps guessed it. I am soooo gonna invade one of my fave states: the fabulous South Carolina.
No... You are not confused... this really is New York City (evil grin). This Brooklyn gal has people everywhere and will eventually turn up in SoHo also. Why? Well... Um... 'cause I have Artist work to do? I am known for my road trippin' and portrait making, two fave things I LOVE to do. Besides, I miss my stomping grounds and brilliant, snarky girlfriends. Fact is, I also miss the food... I've driven 4.5 hours just to have lunch in Maryland simply because The Chocolate Car said, "whatcha doin' - come on over - lets eat."
Yeah... I have been remiss in my blogging duties regarding plotting another Active Rain Road Trip. For the new readers to my blog, this is the part of the show where we turn up to disrupt the day of other beloved bloggers (and have mad fun doing it). The goal of the game is to get and give the skinny regarding what is going on in the local hood. It involves lots of eye candy and impromptu sleep-over mischief while getting our blog business done. Haven't done that bit of fun for a while, but since this is one of my fave states (where I own property with the wee people), we figure we'd go visit the fam, take lots of flood pics, check on our fave peeps, crank out the sketchbooks, have some foodie fun, get our business done and run home to sort it all out and eventually do it again...
Since I haven't team blogged in a while, my kids are trying to whip me into road crew shape and created a disaster action adventure blog bootcamp for me to do my research homework. I put up the canopy to paint. Stephen took one look at it and promptly kicked my art supplies to the curb. We started projecting Middletown, CA wildfire photographs onto the exterior wall of our house. Little Dude highjacked my Disaster Relief vest, pretending to be a Red Crossser with James Bond pencils, an Ant Man platoon with the projector a portal to Middletown mountain. Being the boss of the Avengers sent to stop the looting, he delights in supervising the wee people basecamp debriefing... Psst... We have squawkie walkie talkies even though we are all sitting right next to each other...
Yeah, it's true... I'm the only girl in my house so I have to either G.I.Jane or lump it (melodramatic eye roll - happy sigh - silly grin). I love my little minions. My kids have a lot of sympathy and empathy for the children and parents of Middletown, and constantly ask questions I do not have the answers to... I promised them I would try and find out, so this is how we are handling our grief for now. As we play under our canopy, we hope those kids are outside playing in the sunshine too.
Letting kids pretend to be proactive actually teaches them to be proactive... My kids want to be Red Crossers because they think helping people in trouble is what Superfriends do... while wearing bright, reflective vests, distributing girl scout cookies with FEMA referrals, magically activating survival CAC cards and living in a giant tent full of snackage. They think the Red Cross partnering with FEMA / Homeland Security gig is mad cool. I don't blame them. I kinda do too...
We heart those shiny vehicles and FEMA has toys. Did I mention the toys? I think I did (happy grin).
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