Today started out like a normal day-( except for the slight hangover from partying at the Jewel concert in San Francisco last night).
And I'm working away in the garden about 5 miles from home. There is a helicopter circling and circling overhead...
I see the other hired hand Jess and say, " Must be something going on."
" Yeah," he says, " A fire.On MacAlvey and Alhambra."
"Yikes" I yell ( or something to that effect involving a bad word.) I know my daughter is home alone.
I call home. No answer.
I run to my truck and hook up my trailer, race for home. The hills next to my house belong to my neighbor. On those acres she has about 30 goats, two horses, a shetland, three dogs, two cats and who knows what all else.
The road is blocked. I yell to the cops that I need to get home, that my house is likely to burn and I need to help evacuated my neighbors animals.
That asshole ( that's right -you heard me -ASSHOLE) turns and says. "You can't go up there. The animal control is there." Turns and walks away.
I lean on my horn! "Hey! I need to get up there!" He ignores me. Finally another cop comes over, says " Look lady. You can't go. Turn around and leave."
I make a U turn, go to the next street, still the same answer. Go to the next street and still get " NO! " Now they are on the radio talking to each other! I imagine they are saying " Crazy lady with a horse trailer- don't let her by!"
Hubby is calling " Where are you? Where is Amy?"
Finally I have to go to the MacDonalds and park. And wait to get up my street.
When I finally get home an hour later, my daughter tells me her story.
Her friend who lives on the first block from us called her and woke her up, telling her the hills were on fire. She runs outside and can't see the fire, but she can smell it and she can HEAR it crackling. The goats are crying. She pulls on her shoes and runs next door.
The goats are alone- the owners are away at work.
Our other neighbors are outside too, and together, Amy and about five others begin rounding up the thirty pygmy show goats and babies, taking them up to the top of the court and corralling them in a neighbors garage! The big bucks too!
Some one caught the shetland and tied him to the stop sign.
The two other horses were freaked and didn't want to be caught. A Cowboy neighbor ( and let me just say there are VERY few COWBOYS in this neck of California) heard the news, knew there were horses on the hill and came down to help. He was the only one with horse sense and he was able to catch the two frightened horses and tie them to telelphone poles across the street from the fire zone.
My neighbors Vik and Mike FLEW home through traffic once they heard the news, to find all was safe at home. Then she said she felt weak and shaky- like she wanted to throw up.
The firemen did a fantastic job of containing and controlling the fire. There has been some talk from them that it may be arson.
Kudos to my non-livestock owning neighbors that set to work with out being asked to to save Vik's animals. To my daughter for being a grown-up ( miracle!) and charging in to help too.
Thumbs down to the Martinez PD- those animals could have roasted for all the care or comfort they gave.
People talk about the rudeness of Surburbanites. How they ignore one another, cut each other off in traffic, talk on their cell phones and drive at the same time. And for the most part I guess it is true. But here on this little edge of Surburbia neighborliness prevailed and my neighbors showed what they were truely made of.