Andrea Bond lost her Deerfoot Lane home to the Cranston Fire sometime Wednesday night, July 25.
“It all happened pretty fast, but I remember having a normal morning. I went outside close to noon and saw ash falling, smelled the smoke and noticed my neighbors appeared to be in a panic. I quickly started packing because I knew the possibility of evacuation would be high.
“I rushed off to town to pick up my son Tobin and during that exercise, I received a text to evacuate to Banning. We loaded up the Volvo with the dog, drove to town and a friend drove me back to the house to get my second car and a few more things, and then we couldn’t get back in. Then we headed down to Banning, having left the other car in town. We got two guitars and a cello — missing its bow,” Bond said.
“I was staying at a hotel in Palm Springs and, ultimately, joined some dear friends in a nearby condo. They held me together,” Bond shares. “I didn’t really know for sure until Thursday morning that my house had burned. To be honest, not knowing the night before was harder. Not knowing was really, really hard.
“Once I found out, I felt a huge sense of relief. Yet grief and shock rolled over me soon after and it was almost unbearable. Probably for the whole day Thursday and Friday, the images of art and irreplaceable heirlooms kept emerging in my mind’s eye. Crying letting it go, crying letting it go. I think I’m past the first phase now because the shock is diminishing.
“The community has encircled me with a great deal of love. I feel like I’m being carried.
“I’ve never experienced this before — we survive together, and this experience has brought this truth into focus for me at a deep, core level. We learn through our special nature and in safe community.
“I think healing and learning are one and the same.
“I used to be very stoic during crisis. But there’s a certain amount of stoicism that isn’t healthy. I’m really happy that I’m able to reach out and let people help us. There’s no shame in receiving help, and one day I’ll be in a position to help others again, but right now I need to be willing to receive.
“Idyllwild is a powerful community; coming together is magical and healing. I’ve known this, but now I know it in my whole body, in the depth of my soul,” Bond disclosed.
After the dust settles, Bond said she will find temporary housing and remain in Idyllwild supporting her cherished community.
A fundraiser for Bond is at www.gofundme.com/for-the-love-of-andrea-bond.
Other fundraisers for victims:
• Scott and Susan Dunn: www.gofundme.com/nt326-fire-disaster-relief
• Mary McDonnell: www.gofundme.com/mary-mcdonnellcranston-fire
• Christine Hunt: www.gofundme.com/5vgcdpc
• Elaine Alghani and Micah Sheiner: www.gofundme.com/elaine-amp-micah-need-our-help
• Tim Gilbert: www.gofundme.com/cranston-fire-tim-gilbert039s-home
If anyone has information on fundraisers for other victims, email firstname.lastname@example.org.