Archive for the ‘Corralitos’ Category:

Early Riser

Early Riser, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I gotta remember to get up earlier in the mornings. But I am not a morning person.

If I got up earlier though, I might have a little time to stop and pull out my camera when I see something cool during my commute (which happens all the time because I live in an amazing place).

Instead, I roll down my window, aim my crackberry, swerve, piss off the people behind me and snap a pic. And I tell myself, tomorrow I will for sure get up early.

And yes Steve, I gave in and used the Flickr to blog. There goes the neighborhood.

December 3rd, 2008 / 3 Comments » / by sabine

God Damn DoGooders

Midnight Walk, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

The nice thing about emergency situations, is that you get to see a lot of acts of kindness.

There sure are some amazingingly kind people.

The people who run the Corralitos Community Church came down as soon as the evacuation orders went out and opened their doors so that people had a place to go, and bathrooms and they made sandwiches and passed out water to everyone.

The folks from Gayles Bakery came by and dropped off a bunch of food.

Neighbors helped each other with rescuing pets and arranging lodging and finding missing family members.

And, this was all hours before Red Cross showed up.

After that, I witnessed people coming into Corralitos and dropping off fresh baked goods and offering their homes.

I was so touched by all of the acts of kindness that I was seeing, that I got all verklempt and I wanted to be a dogooder too. I was all weepy eyed and touched and I was probably PMSing, but I didn’t care. At that moment, I wanted to be good too.

So, as I snuck back into my house by cutting into the fire caravan, I was thinking of ways to be good. I looked back at the fireman I had just cut off and decided I wanted to thank them. I decided to make a big sign and put it up by the mailbox.

So, I got home and found an old road barrier sign thingie that I stole for cyclocross, and got some pens that I borrowed and never returned to Laura and thought about the sign.

Then I checked email, and grabbed some clean socks and sportsbras (I was NOT wearing my mom’s socks and underwear thankyouverymuch) and drank a beer, and cursed the trees that were close to my house, and watered the stupid apple tree that won’t grow and hopped in the car and left.

I forgot all about the sign. So much for my pledge to be a dogooder. I didn’t even last 30 minutes as a dogooder.

I was feeling like a dogooder failure, until Monday night. I got the fun chance to help teach beginners (which seems silly since I am still a beginner myself) on how to ride at the track. People kept thanking us for being there, but really it was me who should have been doing the thanking. Nothing like feeling helpful to help you when you are feeling helpless.

Turns out, all my neighbors made signs thanking the firefighters. There are signs all over our street and on our little mailbox corner, there are four signs alone. Not as cute as I would have made with my stolen sign and pens, but cute enough.

May 30th, 2008 / 5 Comments » / by sabine


Evening in the Apple Orchard, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I get to go home today!


On Thursday, after evacuating out the kitties, I spent some time just hanging around the Corralitos “center”. Most of the residents were there. I had someplace to go, as did most others there, but we all just hung around near town instead.

And each time I came back to my neighborhood during the evacuation I did the same thing. Just sort of stood around town. I wasn’t alone in this on those days either.

And, while I was worried about the fire, mostly I was distressed that I could not go home. My home.

There is nothing material in my home that I am so fond of that I would be devastated to lose. I’d be bummed to lose any bikes, but even that, with the right insurance, is just an inconvenience. Yes, if my home had burned down it would have been a HUGE inconvenience, but thats all it would have been.

What would have bothered me more, would be not being able to go home.

I was talking to this woman who was also loitering around Corralitos. She said, “I don’t mean to be cavalier, but I don’t worry about my house burning down. I would gladly hand over my house and all my possessions to have my two children who are in Iraq returned home safely. I would give up my house, to have them home”.


Thanks everyone for all the concern. I really am lucky. And not because the fire missed my house, but because I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

It meant everything to me to have my friends calling and offering room in their homes, or space in their trucks, or just a shoulder to lean against. That reminder of how fortunate I am was a shot in the arm as much as a kick in the pants. I love you guys.

May 27th, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine

2 Cats and a Dawg

Thats all I had time to grab.

Left for work this morning and thought it was just super foggy. Started driving up Hecker Pass and saw the full fire and just about flipped.

Uh…thats over my house.

I foolishly went to work, then turned right back around and came home. By the time I got back to Eureka Canyon, they were not letting any more cars up the road.

“Downtown” Corralitos was mayhem. Traffic jam, camera crews, police barricades and a stream of cars coming down the mountain.

All I could think about was my little Kuku and the husky Pupu. So I took the bike out of my car and rode it up to my house. I just hopped on, no shoes, no helmet. I pedaled up a very smoky and windy Eureka Canyon in my work clothes and Danskos. Cars going in the other direction yelled “Where are you going?”

I’m going to get my cats.

Luckily two of my neighbors were still home. One was leaving in 5 minutes and one was staying until he saw burning embers. I don’t need to see burning embers, so I had five minutes to pack. I grabbed my cats and stuffed an overnight bag with bike clothes (figured I could get regular clothes anywhere) and then had about 1 minute to decide on which bike to bring (My neightbor had one spot on his rack open).

1 Minute to choose between a bikelifetime of bikes?

Luckily, the Bonny is out on loan, so she is safe.

And Michael’s has one or two in his car.

That left all of my Steelmen, my track bike, my xc bike, my Kona road bike, some other bikes I couldn’t quite identify and my Dawg.

My Dawg was the bike in the car and the one I rode up to get the kitties. We sorta bonded in the smoke. He got me here safely and I just couldn’t leave him behind. So, I chose the Dawg.

So, that pic there is all I was able to take with me (except the neighbor, he’s not mine). And except for the fact that I smell like a bbq, I’m feeling okay.

But don’t laugh if you see Michael and I in my mom and Theo’s clothes.

May 22nd, 2008 / 42 Comments » / by sabine