Lindalou and Michael Ryge

November 9, 2017

We never posted anything here after the trauma of the fires that countless people, including many of our dear friends, are still so devastated by. The whole dreadful experience seemed so surreal at the time. That Sunday night Oct 8th, we received a phone call from a neighbor at 11:45pm warning us about the approaching fire. We looked out our living room window to the west and saw the whole horizon in our beautiful view was aflame. It was terrifying and looked in the dark as if there were big flames through the forest right outside our window, but the fire was actually still over a mile away. We quickly put our dogs in one car and turned on our roof sprinkler. We loaded up our instruments and stuffed both cars with photo albums and laundry baskets full of a few essential belongings, and we fled quickly thinking it would be the last time we saw our beloved home. We were calling neighbors and honking on our way down the mountain, stopping to bang on doors to wake people up. We were sure it was coming our way and could be there in minutes.

We still can’t believe the wind took the fire the other way and our house survived! We were so fortunate and so grateful to have a place we take care of in town to stay until we were evacuated at 3:45 on Wednesday morning when Calistoga was being evacuated. We’re so grateful to our dear friends Sabrina and Christopher Smith and their son Nate who offered us a very comfortable place to stay at their house in San Anselmo with a fenced yard for our dogs. Eleven days after the fires started, there was still no power but it was finally safe for us to come home again unlike so many we know who were right in the path of the fire and lost their homes and everything they had filled them with. Such a heart breaking experience and we’re plagued with survivors guilt but trying to do what we can to help out.

We got another call from Karen Verzosa to play the Calistoga Farmer’s Market again this Saturday. We played there last month on the 21st, just a few days after we returned home and then on the 28th we were invited to join New Skye with Ted and Ed! Michael Bryant and Robin Pliskin are usually New Skye but Robin couldn’t be there that day so Ted Dutcher and Ed Randol were playing with Michael B. Ted called and invited us to come play a few. We had a blast being part of their great band for a while that day and got a great response. Hope to be able to play with them again soon! Hopefully Robin will be around next time!

This Saturday 9am to 1pm we’ll be playing as a duo at the Calistoga Farmer’s Market, unless some of our friends can join us at the last minute. We’ve also been playing regularly at retirement home gigs. We’ve been happy to be able to donate our music money to some of our friends who lost their homes in the fire. Seems like something we could keep doing for a long time…so many people lost so much. Our hearts are with our many friends who are starting over. Sending much love and compassion out to you all.

Peace,
Lindalou and Michael