*** A quick addendum: my brother is on his way home! Excellent news both for us because we know he is safe, and because it's a good sign that the fight against the fires is succeeding. ***
My mom and dad are both "camping out" at home now, as power is still off and may not be restored for a couple more days. They moved some refrigerator items into their motorhome, where they also have cooking capabilities, so they will be fine. I returned to work today, after sleeping a little extra this morning. I'm still really tired from the drama and sleeping somewhere different, so I know my own bed is going to feel really good whenever I get there. I elected to stay at my sister-in-law's one more night due to the lack of power.
It seems that there is no further risk to our home, and we are grateful. Others near us were not that fortunate. Also, I know a large number of people from my church were evacuated from their various home communities, and I don't know yet if any of their homes were lost. Whether or not it turns out that I personally know families who have lost their home is irrelevant: there has been significant loss of property in Southern California. Eventually, I'm sure my path will cross with someone else's who wasn't so fortunate.
On Monday, I was already at work when the threat moved into our neighborhood, and my mom began packing up important papers and photos. I had to quickly think: what should I ask her to pack? At some point, you just have to make peace with the fact that it's all just stuff. It can be replaced. But I am thankful that we were spared, and in a few days, I will return home and resume my “normal” life. The life that sometimes I think is “boring.” However, if this is the alternative, “boring” will be just fine for a while.