This is a picture of my friend Connie's house. It was destroyed in the fire on Monday.
This past summer she happily shared with friends her new pool, backyard dining area with fireplace, and drought tolerant landscaping. They bought so much artificial turf that it was cheaper for them to become dealers. She also won an award for her creative and extensive use of drought tolerant plants. When I visited her she showed me her garden. Her husband brought in mushroom mulch - very rich in nutrients and the result was amazing. Corn, tomatoes, squash, onions, leeks, cucumbers and every plant heavy with vegetables. I took home bags of tomatoes, leeks, and cucumbers. The fresh taste from the salad I made with those vegetables still lingers. They had never had a garden before.
Connie was smart. She packed the pictures, clothes, papers... the usual stuff and when she ran out of room in her car she put her china on the bottom of the pool. As I pondered this clever option I began to wonder what else could be hidden from the fire. Could I use Space Bags and stow clothes (anchored of course), or maybe computers (they have lots of important files). That's when I grew very sad, because what I really wish is that I could hide my house, on the bottom of the pool, nothing else matters.
This is a view of Connie's backyard. It's an old picture. When I was there the land was completely cleared. Connie told me that the landowner had bulldozed all the brush. He wanted to keep it clear in case of a fire. For as far as I could see in almost every direction there were no trees or dry bushes. Her backyard had been as well prepared as possible and yet her house burned down.
Today I morn the loss of my friend Connie's house and home, but I honor her courage, strength and creativity and I pray for her future.