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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Earthquake Hits Napa, CA 2014

Generally speaking, Californians are not too surprised when there is an earthquake.  A little shake here and there has been said to relieve some of the pressure in the ground near various fault lines.  While mother nature adjusts and moves, sometimes she shifts a little more than expected.

This past Sunday, August 24, 2014, there was a pretty significant earthquake in Napa, California.  The epicenter was in the marshland area near the Napa River off Milton Road, just west of the Napa Airport.  My mom said that's where my grandfather (Richard J. "Dick" Flanagan) used to go duck hunting.  There is a known fault line in this area.   It was a big shake at 3:20am and 6.1 on the Richter Scale.

So, how bad was that?  Well, for the 100+ year old buildings in downtown Napa, it was not so good.  It will take a lot time, money and effort to clean up the mess.  Some of the buildings will be repaired and retrofitted while some have been red tagged beyond repair.  There were lots of surprised people to see damage to buildings that had already been earthquake retrofitted.   However, those buildings might have actually fared a lot better than the broken windows and facades make them look presently.  Still, this will have a lasting impact on Napa.

While the downtown area struggles with damage to old historic buildings, my own relatives were just a little shaken.  My grandma's youngest sister (on my Borches - Vienop side) said her house was a mess.  Everything was on the floor and out of cabinets.  Just after the shaking stopped, she and her neighbors met out in the street to check on each other.  No one was hurt.   She was not looking forward to cleaning up all of the broken things inside her house.  Mind you, her house is spotless and she does not have clutter at all.   I would imagine most of the mess is in her kitchen.  She will be bummed to throw out some treasured kitchen wares for sure.  I am just very happy she is okay.

My grandma's other sister and her husband are in the late 80's and live just a short drive from my other aunt. My uncle was tossed out of bed during the shaking.  Their car in the garage moved about 2 feet and push a support beam off its mark.  They also had lots of broken glass.  Luckily, two of their sons were up for the weekend.  They had a garage sale the day before and the guys stayed the night.   Their guardian angels must have been watching over them.  They were able to clean up 15 buckets of broken glass and put it in the trash.  My aunt lost her stemware as they had crashed to the floor from the cabinet above the refrigerator.  They are just happy to be safe and sound.

The news continues to say that this is not the "big one" that is expected someday in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Who knows when that will happen.  Let me get out my crystal ball.  There is not senses waiting for it as it could take years or happen well have many of us have left this earth.

Anyway,  I wish the best for my Napa relatives and the community as a whole.  They seem to be taking it in stride.  Many people in this part of Northern California are pretty laid back after all when it comes to crisis and working through things.  Maybe the wine helps.  I hope that there is still plenty to go around.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summertime 2014

I have fallen flat on my face with blogging about my genealogy.  I was hoping for lovely mornings this summer where I could wake up early and walk down the hallway into our home office and spent a few hours working on my family tree projects and sharing my discoveries here with anyone who actually reads my blog.

Well, the summer has proven to be a busy time.  I do dislike the word "busy".  People over use the word.  Being busy is all relative.  Let me rephrase things.  I have been preoccupied with my children's activities and having equal fun to my hobby of genealogy.

In addition to the full load of kid activities, I have witnessed a few milestones for various family members.  I had the privilege of attending a high school graduation party for my cousin (Borchers/Vienop side) and my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

On a sad note, we lost my uncle on July 7th.  Attending his memorial service was a wonderful way to honor his memory.   Several people spoke about him.  He had the family passion for genealogy.  In fact, he had picked up the torch to blaze the trail in search of our Borchers and Vienop roots.  His successes live on in many boxes at his home and also online.  The real loss is that we will not see him again.  At the age of 80, Herb Borchers, Jr. has passed on.  Rest In Peace, Uncle Herb.

So, I share photos of the living, those who have passed, and the activities in my life this summer.  I am very grateful for my close friends and family.

My Kids swimming at their championship meet..............

Girl Scout Day Camp....I was the official photographer and both my girls attended......

Vacation in the desert with lots of swimming and some tourist stops.........

A mini-family reunion at my cousin's graduation party.......

Celebrating 50 years of marriage on the Elser side.............

Remembering Herb Borchers, Jr.........

Rest in Peace