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“I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear”. Oprah Winfrey

I live in Montecito California. A humble home in a section with many small homes and wonderful neighbors. The zip code we have is the same as people such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges, Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia De Rossi.

Montecito for the most part has a small town feeling to it. The recent Thomas Fires and now horrific mudslides has put us all in the same position. We have to evacuate our home.

The town of Santa Barbara is strong in its community and the ability to come together and help one another. Our hearts are positive during a very sad time. Rescue, restoration, rebirth, and renewal is the song we are dancing strong to.

When unfortunate things happen in life it can cause a divide or a unity. I understand the divide. Shaken out of the familiar with a tragic occurrence can cause different reactions. It is unnerving being forced to evacuate your home and things that bring comfort to you.

This horrific event does not discriminate. From death to displacement, it has shaken our town to the core. Much of the help  shown up as had the Thomas fires. The appreciation for all of the workers runs deep. Eighteen hour shifts and camping on cots in large tents has become the norm for many good people trying to turn our world right-side-up. I am amazed.

I am grateful that Oprah put on her rain boots on and made her way through her own yard showing the world that trouble like this has arrived to her home and to our town.

As Caltrans is working day and night shoveling unmanageable amounts of mud, debris, while aware that there are three people whose bodies have not been recovered is a considerate job to open highway 101. We have thousands of people who have shown up to help including but not limited to, police, sheriffs, firefighters, FEMA, emergency relief organizers, Amtrak, road workers, engineers, electricians, social workers, doctors. There are all here to heal and restore our town. This event has been unreal to those who live in Montecito and those who have shown up to help us. Our gratitude runs deeper than we could every express.


My Mantra: “I am grateful that Santa Barbara is strong and good people are helping us heal”