Six days, seven hours. That’s how long we were forced to flee our home of 26 years in the wake of the Bay Area wildfires.

First we were locked down. Then we were locked out. Which is worse? You know, I don’t even want to go there.

All I know is, we’re back. Home never felt so good. Not because we missed it. I mean, I’ve spent countless weeks away from here over the decades.

Home never felt so good because, when we left, we had no idea if it would be there when we got back. Keep in mind, this house was a dream we designed and built just 12 years ago. We put our whole selves into it. It means a lot to us. In many ways, it’s an extension of us.

Never mind everything in it.

The same is true of the entire property we’ve worked for decades. The thought of it scorched and burned like the aftermath of other wildfires I’ve seen in recent years was unthinkable.

I’m thankful it never came to that. And I’m thankful to the many friends who thought of us and wished us well. It helps. Really.

When we came home, it was exactly as we left it. I mean, how cool is that?

On a lighter note, I tried desperately to scam Kim into seeing this as an adventure — a road trip — but she wasn’t buying it. Probably ’cause our old boxer Fletch has only known one home for 11 years and doesn’t travel well. Poor guy was pretty freaked out by the whole thing.

I don’t blame him one bit. I’m getting a little too old for this shit too.

That said, I do possess a rare ability to compartmentalize looming tragedy like it doesn’t exist, have fun and drink myself silly for no apparent reason for days on end until the threat has passed. It’s a gift, I know.

When we got off our freeway exit a few hours ago there was a digital sign at the end of the ramp that said, “Welcome home, Scotts Valley.” I got goosebumps. I think they heard my “woo-hoo” back in Monterey.

It’s great to be home.

Enjoy these pics from the road …

First stop: co-founders (left) and our sainted other halves (right)
Second stop: Our little Monterey cottage, Kim and Fletch.
If you’re into dunes but can’t make it to Egypt anytime soon, you really should check out Sand City, just north of Monterey. It’s a revelation. So. Much. Sand.