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We woke up yesterday* to a wrong-colored world and a dark cloud that looked like the coming apocalypse. It happened so fast. Before I even left for work I’d gotten word that friends’ houses were burning and everyone we knew in the town of Paradise was evacuating. I drove to work under a strange sky and ominous cloud. All day we relayed messages, waited, and prayed for people who were trapped at home or trapped in evacuation traffic. We fielded harrowing phone calls, emails, text and Facebook messages. By evening all those we knew were safe and accounted for. But by evening the fire was reaching for Chico, and Paul and I began our own evacuation preparations, just in case. We valued and de-valued our possessions and were surprised at what did and didn’t make the cut. We decided to sleep in shifts. Paul slept on the couch for a couple of hours. Then I climbed, fully clothed, into bed for my shift. I’ve battled insomnia off and on for the last four years. Times like this are not good tim…

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