My dad’s house may or may not have survived the Witch fire in Rancho Bernardo, California, but he and my step-mom are fine. I once wrote here about Japanese people sounding jaunty after the earthquake in Niigata. I mistakenly attributed this behavior to a Japanese Zen cultural vibe. Now I realize this jauntiness in the face of danger is universal and should be called “Disaster High.” Another option: When my husband and I want to appeal to our better natures, to stop the pettiness that can sometimes creep into our attitudes about humanity, to be grateful and humble, in honor of the Dalai Lama, we say to each other, “Let’s ‘Lama-up’!”

I spoke on the phone with my dad who told me how my step-mother and he had evacuated the Rancho Bernardo house in 30 minutes. They had some clothes, some important papers, and their large bird with them. Thay stayed one night in a shelter in Poway and then moved in with family in Escondido. The fires are NOT under control. Dad thinks his house is ok, but he isn’t sure. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sound more jaunty.

He spoke of the shelter in Poway and how organized it was, how there was plenty of food and water and beds and amenities. “There was lots of pizza!” You would have thought he had just ordered room service at the Ritz.

I’m holding my breath because I keep calling the house via Skype hoping to get the answering machine. But the power may be down right now…

But at least for today, Dad is all Lama-ed up. Stay safe everyone.