I live in Ventura County. And the past week here has been challenging.

Between a mass shooting and a pair of intensely damaging wildfires, my county has been hit hard.

I am lucky, so very lucky. I was personally untouched by both. Friends and friends of friends not so much.

I’m not a religious person, so I won’t say my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected (and that phrase, quite frankly, has lost so much of its sincerity and power in recent years that I would be wary of using it anyway), but those folks are most definitely in my thoughts.

As–because of yesterday’s (and today’s observed) Veterans Day–is my late father.

I miss him and my mother. What is it like to have strength? Real strength? I wish I knew.

Instead, I can only take solace in knowing that I’m lucky. Blessed.

Outside the wind is howling, and the flames I’m sure are rising up again.

Be strong. Stay strong.

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