Returning Home is like Coming Full Circle

Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE LEFT: Pat Anderson fights a never ending battle with mud as she continues to clean the remnants from last year’s mudslide that almost completely destroyed her home. RIGHT: Ricky Rands, a senior at Crescenta Valley High School and member of LDS church in La Crescenta helps Pat move back into her home.

A year after La Cañada resident Pat Anderson was forced to move from her mud damaged home she is able to return thanks to the generosity of an army of volunteers.


Remnants of the devastation from the flood and mudslides of over a year ago in and around Ocean View Boulevard in La Cañada can still be seen. Mud clings onto K-rails and the sides of some homes. For Pat Anderson the mud meant the loss of family heirlooms and a year of going through every item she owned, determining if it was something that could be saved or was a total loss.

On Saturday however it was time to begin again as she moved back into her home that had been covered inside and out with mud and debris.

“Knowing Mom I knew she would be moving back,” said Pat’s daughter Katherine Markgrath.

The move was not easy. Anderson had worked all year packing everything that survived, categorizing the items and color-coding the boxes. Her insurance covered the move from the damaged home to her rented home a few blocks away but was not as accommodating for the move back.

That is where the community of volunteers filled in. People of all ages and several large trucks showed up at Anderson’s home early in the morning and began moving boxes and furniture.

“All I did was mention to a few people that I had to move,” Anderson said.

Family, friends and neighbors joined volunteers from her church, La Cañada Congregational Church and Church of Jesus Christ Latter day Saints, La Crescenta Ward.

The move from her rented residence on Ocean View Boulevard to her home on Manistee Drive was not far but for her, her daughter and son-in-law the move would have taken a very long time.

The volunteers, who also included her contractor Rob Sweeney and members of the La Cañada Chamber of Commerce, made quick work of the already organized move.

“It’s nice to see most of the houses are now okay,” said Ricky Rands, a senior at Crescenta Valley High School and a member of the LDS church.

He had been there right after the mudslides with volunteers from his church to help residents dig out of the muck.

Allie Boyer, junior at CVHS and LDS member, was not there for the dig out but was glad to help for the homecoming.

“It’s really nice to help people in our community,” Boyer said. She added it was also nice to see Anderson move into her home.

The floors are clean, the walls and driveway clear but there is still mud on the walls of the pool at the Manistee home. Markgrath said the damage was extensive to the home she grew up in.

“It was terrible,” she said. “Mom just brushes herself off and keeps on going.”

The family lost so many family mementos and heirlooms but was making new memories with a community that was there not only for the devastation but for the rebuild.

“I feel so blessed,” Anderson said.

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