We, Lise, Michele (of Sonoma County) and Sean, children of Mark and Janet Gaffney, request funding help for our parents in the total loss of their home and most of their vineyard. The Gaffney “house on the hill”, built 51 years ago, burnt to the ground last month in the Aetna wildfire. What this house means to our family will live forever in our hearts.
As a young couple, Mom and Dad chose to build at the top of the property; on the spot with the best view of the valley. At that time, the view overlooked small lakes and cattle ranch land; but soon that evolved into vineyards and small reservoirs. Our family has memories of watching hawks and eagles fly past the big front windows of the house, and we remember witnessing double rainbows arc across James creek, or (the memories are endless) of lying out on warm nights on the porch and looking up at the Milky Way wondering what’s out there.
The house was alive—We knew its sounds and smells and it was a good protector for so long. We heard that it stood up to the fire pretty good (for a house of wood) for a dignified amount of time. Like it said goodbye to all who knew it.
To The people...the neighbors, family and friends... YOU are the Heart of it all. There is so much love pouring toward our parents right now—so much loyalty. YOU have given so much to help them even when you are going through hard times yourselves. There are more than just a few heroes involved here.
We know that anyone who ever set foot in the house 'up the hill' and stood out on that porch under the wide-open space and looked over the Pastures (and vineyards) of Heaven (Pope Valley) will know how challenging this is for our parents right now.
Not only did Mom and Dad lose their loved home with its surroundings of oak woodlands, but they also lost 85% of their vineyard to the fire. This vineyard was to be their retirement. One immediate need is for fencing to protect the remaining vineyard and to allow animals and livestock to return to the ranch. Erosion control on the steep hillsides will be necessary to corral ashes before winter rains begin. $10,000 would accomplish these first steps in rebuilding the life they love.
There are many of us who want to reach out and support them, during this difficult time. Any donation is appreciated; be it monetary, or good wishes and love.
Blessings, Mom and Dad. We know you will find the silver lining.
- Debbie and Steve Lindley
- Linda E.Struve
- Michael Gaffney
Organizer and beneficiary
Pope Valley, CA