There is not much to say, but I feel obligated to give some sort of an update. I was at my sister's place in Ventura this weekend, where I bought two dresses, a pair of earings, and a faux something-skin clutch. All in the name of the wedding occuring this weekend. On the way home, I drove through fire-country. Though I saw no flames, the sky was eerily filled with smoke almost the entire three and a half hour journey. Two semis had jack-knifed into each other at the onramp from the 15 to the 10. The winds were so fierce, I had to slow to 70 mph in some parts - a concession to nature which I am rarely willing to make.

On my way to my sister's, the fires had not yet begun. Or at least I had not heard of them. Trouble appeared on a smaller scale. At a stop light on my way into the city, I saw a group of men pushing a broken-down truck out of the way of traffic. For a moment, I felt sorry for their predicament, but then I looked in their faces, paused as I was with the red light, and I saw that they were enjoying themselves. There were about five of them, and the situation appeared anything but frustrating to them. There can be joy in calamity, I thought, as long as it occurs in the company of good friends. But that was before I heard about the spread of the fires, the numbers of evacuees, the children unable to play at recess for all the ash in the air. I mentioned all this to my mother, and she reminded me of what this must mean to people whose homes are burning, who are losing all of their belongings - from photo albums to sewing kits. It is massive and irrecoverable loss.

Even so, I will pray that the calamity may somehow be a joy for those with good friends. And for those without, that it may be the means of discovering them. As I write this, I am reminded of my own friends, soon to be married and off mooning in Paris. They have little to fear; there are many who love them. While it would be nice for calamity to keep its distance, nothing worth anything can be destroyed by accident. I have every faith in the strength of friendship and of love. Granted, the flames are not falling anywhere near my own home, but I trust that even in such a case I would remember this. Yes, I am being a bit sentimental. Consider it my toast. Beannachd Dia dhuit. Cheers.

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