The Bustache


I saw someone post a “Never Forget” 9/11 Facebook frame on their profile pic this morning, and I immediately assumed it was the equivalent to a butt dial or pocket post.  It must have been a mistake because there’s no way it’s already 9/11.

Ant yet, here we are.  The last few days have been a blur and things have, unfortunately, gotten worse for most of the PNW.  It feels like the entire state of Oregon is ablaze because it pretty much is.  Over 500,000 people have been forced to evacuate, and thousands of others have voluntarily left.  That is over 10% of the state’s population.  It is isane.

Initial reports had the power at our Misty Mountain abode restored on Wednesday.  But things didn’t go as planned.  The damage from the 80mph winds on Monday and Tuesday along with the ignition of several new fast-moving and devastating fires in the county, left PGE with unsafe conditions and limited resources.  Now they are saying it will probably remain off until sometime NEXT week.  

The good news is, our house is seemingly safe from burning.  The bad news is, that does not mean it is safe.   There is still no electricity, water or, most importantly, cell/phone service.  If there was an emergency, we’d have to rely on someone coming to our door to warn us. And if it was really dangerous, they might not come at all.  We are opting to stay away.

Fire and Evacuation Map for Clackamas County. Our house and current location are noted.

But that has been tricky.  We gave up our hotel room on Wednesday thinking we’d be going back home, and it was immediately booked by one of the increasing number of evacuees in the surrounding area.  Also, because the fires have yet to kill the CoronaVirus, there are no Emergency Shelters.   By the time we started searching for a new place to stay, it was obvious we were late to the game.  There were few options – especially with us carting a 90lbs (oh so lovable) dog around.  

Your brain does some strange things in the middle of a crisis.  I became obsessed with ensuring the place we booked had a desk.  ‘We have jobs!’ I exclaimed to Steve.  ‘We have deadlines to meet!’  If I couldn’t see a desk prominently in the pictures, it was immediately ruled out.  But there were really, VERY FEW options, so Steve finally said, I’m just going to book here.  And he pressed the button before I could object my office priorities any further.

“Here” is a Bed & Breakfast called “Happy Rock Inn” in the town of Clackamas (not to be confused with the County as a whole).  It’s run by a Rock ‘n Roll couple who have merged their vision of a music venue, BnB and community hub into a pretty magical “adults only” place.  Under normal circumstances, this would be an awesome locale for a fun, unique weekend away.

Happy Rock Inn (ft. The Bustache)

Instead they have reserved their 3 rooms for fellow evacuees, and we’re now sheltered with 4 other Oregonians who have also been impacted by the fires.  Our hosts, Jim & Michelle, have gone above and beyond to make us feel safe and cared for while they help other evacuees, they can’t personally accommodate, find respite at their friends and colleagues houses or properties.  

Custom Art Welcome Door!

Neighbors have been bringing over dinners for us.  There are homemade breakfasts each morning.  Westi has a bit of smokey land on which to stretch her legs.  And, although we were put on Level 1 Evacuation Notice AGAIN, we feel safe here for now.  

And there are desks.  And tables.  And bartops. GALORE!  Don’t worry, I’ve mentioned that they might want to consider posting some pictures of them. Inquiring, anxiety-laden minds *really* want to know.

There is a lot of sadness and stress here in Oregon right now.  A lot of uncertainty.  A lot of fear.  An immeasurable amount of respect for the firefighters and first responders on the frontlines.  For those of us around 19 years ago, it’s familiar and foreboding.  They are feelings we don’t have to remember because they are impossible to forget.

For now, we sit and wait and try to keep our heads on straight.  I cried yesterday over a lost purple pen.  Apparently, this pen was the ONLY good thing in my life.   And I HAD the pen.  I JUST used it.  And then it was gone!  Nowhere to be found.  Where could it be?  No really… Where. Is. It?  

I will admit, for the last two days I’ve sweated mainly about fires and office supplies, and not actively with The Phoenix.  But I’m still raising money, because, no matter WHAT happens, I’m not going to drink.  The tools of Recovery are more important now than ever.

Much love, friends.  Stay safe!


#OregonisBurning #Sweatember

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