Taking Care of Business

The Wandering Dolphin Crew is still doing well out here in SoCal. Our area has been issued a red flag warning due to the very dry heat and high winds. ‘Tis fire season!

As you may recall from last year, fire season terrifies me. It makes me reluctant to go anywhere far from our motorhome. The last thing I want is to be blocked access to our home so that I can’t get all the critters to safety.

2016 Fire


We do have an evacuation plan in place. If we are separated, we know where to meet one another. I signed up for the text alerts through the county (similar to the snow emergency alerts that St. Paul would send out).

But I am still scared.

Though it is unlikely that a fire will go through town with how quickly CalFire responds, I am nervous that something will happen in the park. During the dry months, the back garden/walking paths are just dry grasses and woodchips. A lone cigarette could ignite the whole area and we would be toast — literally.

During this time of year, we keep an eye on things more closely, check the news regularly, and I sleep a little lighter at night. I will find some relief once the rainy season hits.

The dry heat and wind have also made us decide to boycott decorating for Halloween this year — it just doesn’t feel like the season I love so much. I don’t want to carve a pumpkin only for it to rot in the heat the next day. We will still be going out this weekend (partially because we have to) but we have decided not to carve pumpkins or decorate the yard. Hopefully next year we will be in a place that actually feels like fall during fall!

But we are still finding ways to enjoy the outdoors, even if it is on the warm side.

We’ve been working on getting the Jeep and the car fixed up (when I say “we,” I am using the royal “we.” It really means Andy).

He took both vehicles into his shop to get some stuff done.

Next on the list is fixing the exhaust on the motorhome. This will be a bigger project that requires us to bring the RV into his shop to get the work done.

Other than that, we’ve been hanging out with each other and the dogs!

My biggest news recently is that I was given first place in the San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards 2017 in the Non-Daily Newspapers Public Service/Consumer Advocacy category for my article “Wildfires — The Impact on a Community.”

Click here to see article 

 I wasn’t in town for the 2016 award ceremony for my third-place win, but this year Andy and I decided to attend. I was shocked when I saw my blue ribbon and wood plaque. What an honor!

We enjoyed dinner and wine tasting with the other writers from my paper and my publishers during the award ceremony. It was a fun night! 

 To view other articles, visit http://www.akmclaughlin.com.

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