Checking In

Checking In

Hello, friends.

By now you have likely heard about the fires here in Northern California that have destroyed thousands of homes and buildings, charred hundreds of thousands of acres and resulted in 35 deaths at last report. It’s an epic disaster.

I wanted to check in to let you know my family and I are okay. My stepdaughters, our 4 dogs and I are staying with my sister-in-law (our angel!) in a safe area. My husband has been working on fires in Santa Rosa since last Sunday night. And our chicken, Sandy, is being well taken care of at a dear friend’s home in Sonoma.

As of this evening, our home is still standing. While of course I am relieved, the relief comes with a tinge of guilt since so many people we know, including my eldest stepdaughter and her boyfriend, have lost their homes and everything in them.

Needless to say, my 50th birthday trip to France has been canceled – not postponed but canceled and I am not upset about it. Thank goodness I bought insurance for our plane tickets. That is something I will always do from now on.

I wish I had something poignant to write but I don’t – not yet. We are still in the thick of it, nearly one week on, and the chance we lose our home remains as fires are still burning nearby in the mountains. I am sort of surprised I can even put sentences together, to be frank.

I’d love to hear from you if you’re so inclined, either here in the comments or on my social media accounts. Reading them is a welcome break from the news reports that I can’t help myself from checking incessantly.

Thank you for reading – many hugs to you!




  1. October 14, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Oh Adrienne, I’m so, so sorry. I know that doesn’t do one bit of good, but please know that I’m thinking of you and praying for everyone affected every day. Napa/Sonoma holds a special place in my heart – my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon there, and renewed our vows on my 40th birthday at the Fairmont in Sonoma. It’s a little slice of heaven, and it breaks my heart to see the pictures of the devastation there. I’m so glad that you, your family, and your pets are safe. Your husband is a special kind of hero, but so are you. Please take care, try to get some rest, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 14, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Hi Lana, Thank you so much. It DOES do good – I am so immersed in this mess, it’s sometimes hard to pull away. Thankfully my SIL is really great about gathering us all up to go out into the world for some fun, even if it’s just lunch or going to the store. I am so proud of my husband and all the personnel out there trying to save lives and property. Our region is forever changed – and hopefully we will come out of this better, kinder and stronger than ever. But it’s going to take a long time. We are in it for the long haul though.
      Thank you again, Lana! xo

  2. June
    October 14, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Hi Adrienne I have been thinking about you and your family and your community through this devastating time with bush fires. I live in rural Australia, and I am all too aware of the tragedy of bush fires, every summer in this country. Firefighters the world over, are amazing individuals. Take care June

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 14, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      Hi June,
      Yes, I do know about your devastating bush fires. I recall one a few years ago that made the headlines here in the states.
      I have heard twice now that we have firefighters from Australia here fighting our fires but have not been able to confirm. Seems like a VERY long way to travel to help with a fire but maybe??
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your kind words. A

  3. Ramona
    October 14, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I actually was thinking about you today. I am so sorry to hear about your family’s loss and need to evacuate. I hope that all will be ok in the end. Your blog is a pleasure to read, and I missed your Saturday 7, so I knew something was wrong. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 14, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Hi Ramona,

      Thank you for the comment. I miss my Seven for Saturday and hope to revive it next Saturday. I tried to write one about the fire but I couldn’t get it together enough to make sense. This is the scariest most stressful thing I have ever experienced and it’s not over yet, unfortunately. Though there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel soon. Rain is expected next Thursday – I sure hope we don’t have to wait until then.
      Thank you again! A

  4. Sally
    October 14, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Hi Adrienne. I’m so sorry for what you, your family and so many others are going through. I live in British Columbia. This summer was the worst fire season on record. But communities pulled together, took strangers and pets into their homes and the fire fighters worked tirelessly. I’m sure that’s happening near you as well. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. I hope it will be over soon.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 10:12 am

      Thank you, Sally. Were you also in a drought in BC? I wonder how much our drought contributed to our fires. I think ours was a combination of many, many factors. I am so relieved the active fires are out and many of us can all start helping one another get back up.
      Many thanks for your kind words.

  5. jackie m Dodge
    October 14, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    I don’t know you but I do follow your blog and appreciate and enhoy reading all your posts. You and your family as well as all those affected by these fires are in our thoughts and prayers. love and hugs Jackie Dodge

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 14, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, Jackie, and for your kind words. I hope to get back to blogging soon because I love and miss it. Holding out hope things settle down soon. A

  6. Shari
    October 14, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Adrienne… I am a follower from the South Bay (San Jose). I have many friends in your area & nearby surround. Many have been evacuated.. and well… then evacuated again. I am sooo very happy to say that none have lost their homes, nor lives. It makes me sad for your family losses. I am beyond discomfort, beyond words, beyond any recent memory to know what I might say to any of you living in the midst of this tragedy. It truly is beyond comprehension. Trying to get in touch with my loved ones (friends of 40 years) is a difficult task. And then, really when I’ve had the brief moment to actually speak with them – what does one say? As you’ve mentioned, I do not think they can put their thoughts into a complete sentence. It seems small, silly & trite but I can only send out LOVE to all of you in NorCal, and strength to muddle through, and HOPE above everything else that this will end and your community will share a bond that is unshakable and true in the very best sense. Thank goodness for the fire-fighters! My thoughts with you!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:05 am

      Hi Shari,

      I am sorry to hear about your friends – I do hope that none of them suffered losses. Have you had a chance to talk with them yet?
      Yesterday, I went to a couple tasting rooms here in Kenwood with friends who have been affected by the fires (evacuated but did not lose homes, thankfully). It was wonderful to spend time with them and share stories and hugs.
      Everyday is a new challenge here but we are joining together as a community and will heal. I do feel sad that things will never be the same and of course there is anxiety around what the future will be like. I am trying, like others I am sure, to take things one day at a time. Thank you for your kind words – I hope your loved ones are all safe and sound.

  7. Patricia
    October 14, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Hi Adrienne, I’m a long-time reader of your blog and I, too, have been thinking of you and your family as I see the reports of the fires. I’m so sorry to hear that your stepdaughter has lost her home. I hope that you and the family stay safe and that your home is spared.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:07 am

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for your words of concern. I appreciate it!
      Kayla and her boyfriend did find a new place to live and will be moving in the first of next month, thank goodness.
      We are all safe….just taking things one day at a time as we navigate this new life.
      Hope you are well, Adrienne

  8. Renae
    October 14, 2017 / 10:06 pm

    I feel so incredibly helpless here in Nebraska but please know that my heart aches for the lives lost, the homes consumed, the fear of people for those they love, for themselves, for the way of life that they used to know. My greatest prayer right now is that the fires will be contained and that people will find the strength and the will the rebuild. God bless the firefighters and the survivors who have lost so much, and those like you that may feel even a twinge of guilt. I hope the country rallies around the wonderful people of California!! Hugs to you!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:10 am

      Hi Renae,

      Thank you for your kind comment. The fires are almost entirely out – any fires that are currently burning are way up in the hills and the weather has been moist and cool.
      I think most of us are still in a strange phase between shock and grief and wanting to rally and help. Some days I am the latter, some I am former. I hope to be in an energized place soon in order to really help other people but I can’t force it. And to be frank, I don’t even know where to begin to help. There are so many options and so many needs, it’s a maze. I am confident things will become more clear in the coming days and weeks.
      Thank you again, Renae.

  9. Adele Wain
    October 14, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    You and your family have been in my thoughts, Adrienne, especially your brave husband. So glad you checked in. Take care

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:10 am

      Thank you, Adele. I appreciate your kind comment.

  10. Jenn Ivy
    October 14, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    I am a regular follower of your blog. I am also a 49 year-old. I am constantly seeking examples of how other ladies embrace their age and lead rich/fulfilling lives. Your content and fashion is right up my alley! Prayers to you and your family during this stressful time.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:13 am

      Thank you for such lovely words, Jenn! My big 5-0 day is this Wednesday. Eek! I am so ready for it – feels like I have been anticipating this for a solid year – because I have!
      When do you turn 50? This year or next?

  11. Bungalow Hostess
    October 14, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    Adrienne you have been in my thoughts these days since I heard about the fires…hope that you and Bill stay safe.
    Paris can wait….

  12. Leigh
    October 14, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    I too am a long time follower who resides just outside the square in Sonoma.
    To be sure, this whole ordeal has been frightening and heart wrenching….we left earlier this week and are waiting until next week to return.
    The heroics of everyone who has worked to save homes, lives. And businesses has been amazing and life altering to so many people.
    The people in Our communities are caring and remarkable and strong, despite all they have been through…the road ahead will be long but we all know how resilient the human spirit is.

    I wish you only good things during this stressful time.
    Keep your family safe and know that we will overcome and certainly we will do it all together!

  13. Abi
    October 15, 2017 / 1:14 am

    So glad you are ok, I do hope your husband stays safe. I was worried about you so went to find you on Facebook! It must all be so stressful and worrying, and your poor stepdaughter… I don’t know you but from the UK your blogs have shown me a beautiful part of the US. I live in a beautiful place too (the Cotswolds) and it’s so important to me – my heart goes out to you all.

  14. Paula Lusk
    October 15, 2017 / 1:25 am

    Adrienne-I am a reader (I don’t think I have commented before) and I live in Southern California. My SIL and Family, and my in-laws had to evacuate in the Anaheim Hills fire. My SIL had neighbors one street above that lost their homes, and quite a few up higher on the hill. So sad. I am praying not only for you and your husband, but for all the people that have lost everything in this massive fire. Take care in knowing people you don’t even know are praying for you all. Take care.

  15. Susan Devere
    October 15, 2017 / 2:59 am

    I too am a long time reader and not one for commenting, but you and your family have been in my thoughts constantly. Here in the UK our large scale disasters are usually from flooding. My heart goes out to you all, especially your stepdaughter, who I imagine will be busy working to stop the fires. It is sad that you have had to cancel your trip to Paris, but that is the least important thing right now and can easily be re-arranged. The main thing is that you are all safe and hopefully your home remains untouched. Thinking of you all and when this is all over you will still have your delayed birthday celebrations to come.

    P.S. My birthday is on your anniversary and my anniversary on your birthday!

  16. Kathy
    October 15, 2017 / 5:08 am

    I can’t believe you did a blog post – you’re truly amazing. Sending all my love and hugs to you, Bill and the rest of your family….and to the whole incredible community.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 22, 2017 / 6:14 am

      Thank you, Kathy. I don’t know how I did a blog post either! Feeling more like blogging of late so that is a good sign – just don’t really know what I will blog about moving forward. Time will tell!
      XO, A

  17. Tamara R
    October 15, 2017 / 5:21 am

    Hi Adrienne, I follow you both here and on Instagram (I’m there as WestCoastTamara), and I am as heartsick as someone who does not actually live there could be. We love your little corner of the world, and have so many happy memories of time spent there during our frequent RV travels up and down our beautiful state. Take strength in knowing you WILL recover from this, and while you will likely be forever changed as a result, you will not be broken. The love and caring already coming through from the people there, you here most definitely included, will rise up and shine bright in the weeks and months ahead. Sending you every hug and virtual thought I possibly can. Sincerely, Tamara

  18. Eleni
    October 15, 2017 / 6:43 am

    Adrienne, hello from Toronto. So glad you and your family are all safe and staying with your dear SIL. Thank God for your brave husband and all the firefighters who are doing an incredible job. Here in Canada we also had some of the worst fires, in B.C. and in Fort McMurray Alberta. Your column is one I look forward to, so very informative and down to earth. Thank you for taking the time to check in. God Bless.

  19. Monica
    October 15, 2017 / 6:46 am

    I have great sympathy for you, Adrienne. I live in San Diego and have twice experienced the ravages of these enormous fires. In 2003 we lost almost 3,000 homes in our area and 4 years later to the day we experienced it again. The air was acrid and it seemed like it was twilight all day as the sun was hidden by the smoke and ash. It seemed like it would never end. Mercifully our home was spared but every October since then brings anxiety. I am so sorry for your stepdaughter and her husband, as well as everyone else who has lost their homes and memorabilia. You are in my prayers daily as are all those brave men and women risking their lives to fight the fires.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 15, 2017 / 7:53 am

      Hi Monica,

      The fire in your area sounds similar to ours. It scares me to think we could go through something like this again and yet it surprises me that it’s taken this long to happen. I often thought about what would happen if a wild land fire started in the mountains near our home but I never dreamed it would affect the city of Santa Rosa too.
      I just got a call from my husband and it sounds like our house is out of danger for good now (knock on wood) and we will be able to get back home sometime this week – the earliest would be Tuesday. Thank you for your kind words, Monica.

  20. Lori
    October 15, 2017 / 6:52 am

    When my daughter, son-in-law and little granddaughter first moved to CA they lived in Sonoma and I have many happy memories there. I follow your blog because of that connection and hoped that you and your loved ones were safe.
    I’m so sorry to hear your step-daughter lost her home, it must be devestating for all of you. It must also be difficult to be separated from your husband at this time.
    Thank you for taking the time to post, I’m sure it wasn’t easy. I hope in some small way it helps to know that there are people far from the fire who are keeping you Snd the others affected by the fires in their thoughts and prayers. Be kind to yourself 😉

  21. Nancy
    October 15, 2017 / 7:59 am

    Be safe, Adrienne. I cannot think of anything more elaborate to say. Hug your husband and family tighter. Know that we are all wishing for you that little thing.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 15, 2017 / 8:31 am

      Thank you, Nancy. If there is a silver lining in all of this it’s that it has put things in perspective and has made me focus on what is really important.

  22. October 15, 2017 / 10:12 am

    I have been thinking of you and wondering how you were faring, given the awful news of the fires. I’m glad you are safe and hope that the fires can be put out soon and rebuilding (lives and homes) can begin. Thank you for posting an update and letting us know you are all right. Best to you and your family as you go through the days ahead.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 10:09 am

      Thank you, Joanne.
      Things are improving everyday. Many roads are now open, businesses either open or soon to welcome customers and the weather has been just right – cool and moist!
      Thank you for your kindness and concern. It means so much!

  23. Mary
    October 15, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Dear Adrienne–Thank you for checking in at such a difficult time. I am not on social media but since hearing news of the fires out your way early Monday morning I have been checking your Instagram and blog (incessantly) for any news–hoping that you all were at least physically okay, even though I realize you all are in the midst of a horrific nightmare. Can only imagine that the mental toll is almost unbearable–assuredly for the safety of Bill and other firefighters/first responders (my son used to be a DC firefighter)–but also out of concern for all those in the community whom you love and care about.

    Although I live near the Chesapeake Bay, I have been reading the SF Chronicle and Mercury News online for updates on your situation. The stories of loss are heartbreaking — especially the loss of life — but also the loss of people’s homes (like your stepdaughter–isn’t Kayla a firefighter apprentice?–and her boyfriend), their belongings, mementos, local businesses–hopes and dreams. I won’t offer platitudes. I will offer prayers, but right now those seem pretty darn inadequate. Hoping that each day brings you strength to do what must be done-step by step. You all already possess courage. xoxo Mary

  24. Kelli Smith
    October 15, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Thank you for posting an update. You and your family have been in my prayers. I so appreciate your directing me to posts about places to visit in wine country, which we enjoyed visiting last June with our son. What a beautiful area of the country and so devastating to see and hear about all the destruction from these fires. You will remain in our prayers. Keep us posted when there is more to tell. If/when you know of good donation sites, please share!
    Much love to you,

  25. Susan Partlan
    October 15, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Adrienne, you and your family have been in my thoughts. I’m really glad to see this post, have been checking IG and worried when I didn’t see updates there. I’m really sorry for the losses and the stress and will be thinking of you in the days to come.

  26. Jill
    October 15, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I am so glad you are safe but I feel so sad that your stepdaughter and her boyfriend have lost their home. And Bill must be so tired! Our news here makes it sound like the firefighters are working nonstop. They are so brave and fierce! I am also relieved that Sandy is being cared for and the dogs are with you. I am very sorry you had to cancel the Paris trip for now. I am glad you did this post to let us all know how you and your family are. I am keeping my fingers crossed that your home will stay standing and that the fires can be 100% contained as soon as possible. Stay strong! xx

  27. October 15, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I have been looking at your Facebook page for daily updates while praying for your safety and especially that of her husband. I also took the liberty of sharing one of your posts on my FB page, asking for the prayers of my friends for you and so many others there. Thank you for this update.

    The pictures and stories of lives lost and those forever changed are truly heartbreaking. Our son was an amazing survivor of Katrina and we have friends who have gone through more recent floods here in the south, so we know the devastation and sheer pain of such loss. Know we will continue to pray for strength and safety for you and your family.

  28. Karen
    October 16, 2017 / 8:28 am

    Thank you for taking the time to post. I am sure it wasn’t easy. I have been very concerned about you and you family. I will continue to pray for you all. As I am incredibly sad for those who have lost loved ones and homes, I am glad for the ones that are ok. It may seem a little crass to be glad for the ones that are ok. But that being said I am glad you are ok.
    xoxox Karen

  29. Reese
    October 17, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Wonderful that your home is still standing; I have been hoping and praying you and your family are safe. I’m so sorry for your step-daughter and her boyfriend. I’m a (very) long time reader and a 7th generation native Californian (native San Franciscan) with family in Marin and Sonoma Counties. This is the first time I’ve ever had family in the direct line of fire danger; my nephew and his roommates had to evacuate their house in Santa Rosa. Miraculously it is untouched, but 100 yards from their front door is total devastation. Like you, he is feeling some survivor guilt; over 30 of his co-workers lost their homes.

    I wish you and your family the best; you still have each other, so you have everything.

  30. Melissa
    October 17, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    Love to all of you. Prayers that you will find peace amidst the chaos, comfort amidst the pain, and strength whenever you most need it.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Thank you, Melissa! Things are getting a little better everyday. Our wine country community is really coming together and is strong. Thank you for your kind words. Adrienne

  31. Christine Ampellio
    October 18, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I’m a follower of your blog since maybe two years and I am swiss, living in the capital of Switzerland.
    Love your style and your beautiful posts and really enjoyed all the great pictures of the place you live. So it made me very sad to hear about the fires and all you have to go through right now! We are planing to visit a relativ in San Diego next fall and then drive up to North California and the Wine Country – you showed me so many great places I would like to visit!!
    Wish you all the best and sending lots of love from Switzerland, Christine

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Hello Christine,

      First, let me say that your country is one of my very favorites and if I had to choose a European country to move to, Switzerland would be my pick, no doubt.
      I hope you will keep your plans of coming to wine country next fall. Many, many businesses are open and thriving! It’s going to be a long road ahead but we wine country residents have so much love and pride for our region, we will rebuild what needs rebuilding and rise up again, better than ever!
      Please let me know, when you get closer to your California trip, how I can help you.
      Thank you for your kind words. Adrienne

  32. October 18, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    Hi Adrienne,
    I’ve been thinking about you and your husband (and family) all effected by this after seeing your posts on social media since last week. So glad your place is okay and that you’re finally getting to go back home. My parents home was a mile away from burned homes up in Redwood Valley and while they feel lucky, they also feel that same guilt and so much sadness for the people who lost homes or the families that barely made it out alive. I can’t believe how bad these fires were and hoping for the best for everyone rebuilding etc in Sonoma County.

    Sending well wishes from Dallas and I’m sorry about your trip to EU, but you were so smart to get insurance!!


    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Hi Dale,

      I am so sorry to hear that your parents were so close to the fires in Redwood Valley! That must have been very traumatic for them – glad they are safe.
      I will never, ever buy a plane ticket (over say, $300) that I won’t insure. I hope to still go to Europe – maybe in the springtime. In the meantime, I turn 50 next week and will be spending all my birthday dollars locally!
      Hope you are well and your darling babies are doing great. XO, Adrienne

  33. Renee
    October 19, 2017 / 11:43 am

    Prayers from Austin, TX. I can’t imagine what you are going through.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 21, 2017 / 9:32 am

      Thank you, Renee. Things have stabilized with the fires, finally. There are still people evacuated from their homes near me but hopefully they will be able to return soon. Thank you for your prayers and for your kind comment. Adrienne

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