Just a few weeks ago we experienced one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history with the wrath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They were quickly followed up by earthquakes in Mexico, additional storms in the Atlantic, a massive fire around the Columbia River in Washington, and now the fires that have spread through California, hitting our beloved wine country hard. Wineries and vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa have been destroyed, causing many moments of sadness for lovers of great wine.
Along with the devastation of palacial estates comes the devastation affecting the people of Northern California. The workers who pick the grapes, the vintners who work the vines, the farmers who grow vegetables to sell at the roadside farm stand, the beekeeper who makes honey to sell at the local farmers market, the guy that makes coffee at a local diner, the dairy farmer making dreamy Sonoma cheese, the hostess at one of the many restaurants destroyed, who have now lost everything.
The multi-million dollar homes burned, as did entire trailer parks, middle-income neighborhoods, homes and farms that some worked their entire lives to afford, now gone in a puff of smoke. Thankfully many residents were able to flee, but fled with nothing.
As fires continue to burn the strength and resiliency of these people gives me hope. Seeing the Facebook and Twitter posts offering aid, shelter, supplies. Friends helping friends, strangers helping strangers.
This is how America is great, there was never a need to make it great again…
Genuine love and kindness was never lost.
Gary and I have so many wonderful memories of being in wine country. We have incredible friends affected by the fires. Our hearts are hurting for all, but we also know they will rebuild.
But, help is needed.
If you can, please help. There are many ways to give, including through the Napa Valley Community Foundation, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Vintners, one of the many GoFundMe pages set up, the SPCA, California Food Bank, and the Red Cross. And, follow updates for how to help on Twitter with the hashtag #SomonaStrong & #NapaStrong.
And please, keep Mother Nature in mind and be kind to our earth, and to each other.