There are a lot of cars driving by our house this morning, a lot of people walking dogs and taking their kids on a stroll. I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but it doesn’t feel like we normally see so many folks coming by here.

Carlos proposed to me yesterday, and I said yes. He had wanted to take me on a picnic but I insisted that we wait and do it on Sunday so we could do other things on Saturday. Little did I know, he was dead set on proposing on May 1st. As I was walking toward our back door telling him not to let the dog outside because she would eat fertilizer, he dropped to one knee in our dining room (I told him to get up thinking he was joking) and he said, “Will you marry me.” I was shocked, and the first thing I think I said was, “Shut up.” I even thought he had gotten a fake ring in order to psych me out… nope. I said yes, but it was hard to believe. I couldn’t have been more surprised, and the ring is beautiful. I had to sit down and I was very emotional.

After calming down and slowly letting people know the good news, we decided to head out to Half Moon Bay to watch the sunset and celebrate. We drive over the hill and went to Half Moon Bay Brewery to sit outside, but it became apparent that the weather was not cooperating as gray clouds blew in with gusts of wind. We didn’t make it to sunset when we left to head back home.

As we drove into the neighborhood, I was on the phone with my aunt, but we saw fire trucks blocking the way we normally get to our house so we went around the block. More fire trucks. We couldn’t drive down our street. We parked two blocks away, I got off the phone, and we started walking down the street. Our house is on a curve, so we couldn’t see it yet, but we could tell the activity was focused in front of very close to our house. I started jogging, and asked a firefighter what was happening. There was a fire… he wasn’t sure if it was the next door house (ours) or the next one. He told us it was a brown house– our neighbors. But that no one had been hurt.

We continued to walk closer and could only get as close and the sidewalk across the street from our house, our neighbors were all returning home, including the ones whose house was on fire. I spotted them and went over to give them a massive hug, I was so glad that they were okay. Then I remembered our dog, Boo. Where was Boo? We could see our side gates wide open and we usually leave her outside– I turned to Carlos, where is Boo!? He asked a police officer who said they had seen her, but then Carlos remembered that she was inside our house. Thank goodness, we had left her inside. She hadn’t gotten out and was safe.

It seemed like forever, standing on the street, watching swarms of firefighters douse our neighbor’s house. Another neighbor told us that they had been spraying ours as well but we weren’t allowed in yet to see what had happened, if anything. All we could see was that the roof of our neighbor’s house was bad and we found out the fire started in the back of the house. We kept seeing firefighters come out of our yard making it apparent there was no longer a fence separating our yards, it had been burned down. We had to wait a while, I can’t say how long, until we were allowed into our house.

The fire had started in their master bedroom, closest to our kitchen, and the heat from the fire actually blew out one of our kitchen windows. When we saw it, the firefighters had already put plastic over it for us. That was the only damage, in addition to the cheap blind I had over the window which is now gray. That and the fence are not bad at all in comparison to their now charred and blackened home.

The wind and cold were getting worse as the sun started to set so our home become the shelter as we invited Red Cross’s disaster relief team, our neighbors and their friends and family in. It was the least we could do. Red Cross took good care of them and eventually got a hotel to send them to.

Now we are asking ourselves, what do we do now? Not because we’re engaged, but because our neighbors’ house has been destroyed. It would seem odd to simply go out and mow the lawn. What do you do after something like that?

People keep walking by and staring, I’m pretty sure this isn’t their normal walking path, but everyone knew that their was a fire and that the streets were blocked off. I guess I can’t blame them, I would want to know what happened too, but all I have to do is go into my backyard to see the utter destruction.

To see a video of the fire, click here.

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