The Springs Fire in Southern California burned much too close for my comfort. Three Hundred Feet. The Professor stated, "This is the
closest I ever want to be to a major wild fire." I concur.
After the fire burned and blew through our neighborhood and moved on
toward the university where The Professor teaches and then to the Pacific Ocean, I
sat and contemplated my reactions and the lessons I learned. Here are four although I'm sure I will think of many more through the next week.
1. A prosaic day can turn climactic in an instant. One word from our neighbor changed our
direction. We decided to continue on to
our jobs but take what few things we felt we absolutely needed to save in the
somewhat unlikely event that the fire would directly affect us. (This was at 8am before anyone in our
neighborhood realized just how fast and furious the fire was moving.)
2. All the planning in the world may not make a difference
in what I choose to take with me. I have
an emergency list. I totally forgot to
refer to it. Truthfully, we felt there
wasn't time to spend on packing the cars, not because we needed to leave
immediately due to fire danger (as did our friends who live in University
Glen), but because we were taking simple precautions for our peace of mind
before leaving for our respective jobs.
We packed our fire proof security box, genealogical information, photos,
our laptops, external hard drive, camera, and various cables. As I was driving away from the fire up the
freeway, I realized that I had left the camera cord, check book, current bills,
some cash and my favorite jeans (in fact, we took no clothing at all). For the future, I need a better plan.
3. The stuff we left really didn't matter. We have each other. That's enough. However, I've been thinking about our
stuff. Among my friends, I am known as
the simplicity girl. They know I
maintain a simple house and don't shop for fun.
Perhaps other people wouldn't notice, but over the past few months
things have crept in to my house, but other objects have not marched out, so the
net number of possessions has increased.
This is not because I am going out on buying binges; it's just
inattention to what's happening. I need
to pay more attention and be more pro-active in this area. If that stuff doesn't matter, it shouldn't be
taking up space in my house.
4. I've been feeling overwhelmed with a few areas around the
house. Mostly, I just don't want to deal
with the huge task of organizing, filing, and scanning the photos which have
collected here. Somehow, I became the
'guardian' of many of the family photos from more than 100 years ago. I want to share them with my family. But there are so many I don't know how to
approach the problem. Also, I have those
file folders full of background information about our families. Truly, I'm interested in putting that genealogical information into a single readable document, but it's going to take a major
block of time to accomplish that task.
Finally, I have planned for a long time to prepare a detailed personal
property list for insurance purposes.
Fortunately, I didn't need to use it last week. It's time to get over feeling overwhelmed and
just do these jobs.
Hopefully, I won't have to face this problem of evacuation
and possibly losing my home to a natural disaster again for a few years unless of course
there's an earthquake. (We are actually
more prepared for an earthquake and staying in our house without services than
we are for evacuation.) This has been a
wake up slap to get my house in order.
It was a hard lesson that ended well.
Did you notice that I didn't even think about my yarn and knitting needles? I know those can be easily replaced. However, how would I have been able to survive those days and nights without something to keep my fingers busy??