This house... a regular, completely unspectacular Ranch style house, sitting in a neighborhood nestled among the slopes of hills. Work was in walking distance and so was the elementary school.
The California poppies loved it here, too.
There was a Liquidambar next to the house that exploded in the most fantastic colors in the fall.
And so did the Crepe Myrtles in front of the house.
The mailbox was guarded by a colorful coyote and the house was decorated for Halloween and Christmas.
The backyard had a colorful garden that became more beautiful each year.
It had a pear tree with a purple clematis growing into it.
At Easter there were egg hunts in the backyard with the help of whichever neighborhood cat was residing there at that moment.
We lived a lot in that backyard. Roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, drinking wine in the evening and chatting with each other, having breakfast on the beautiful redwood deck with pancakes and homemade plum jam made by my friend Jo who had picked the fruit from our plum tree.
The plum tree is not there anymore...
We celebrated many birthdays here...
baked cookies for Christmas...
and the girl learned how to inline skate, do hula hoops with the Geek and cheered for the German soccer team.
We took photos for Christmas cards - and not all of them made it in the final selection.
In 2012 we bought our own house and left the neighborhood, but we still stayed in touch with some of our neighbors here. These were 11 very happy years when we made a lot of memories.
We will need those memories.
Last weekend, we went up to our old neighborhood. There isn't much left.
When she was little, Kaefer loved to climb this gate in front of our house.
The gate survived the fire. As did the street sign - sort of.
And the school? It completely burned down. It hurts to see what is left of it. This was Kaefer's kindergarten class.
I prefer to remember her first school this way...
The Redwood Credit Union, our local paper The Press Democrat and our State Senator Mike McGuire have set up the North Bay Fire Relief Fund where every donated dollar goes directly to aid relief efforts and help the victims of the fires.