Monday, October 22, 2007

Deciding what matters

Each year Southern California experiences crazy wildfires, which burn up homes and other buildings and change lives forever. My friend Phoebe's sister, Bonnie, and her family live in Malibu's "Las Flores" canyon and have had to decide whether to pack up and leave or stay and fight.

I will occasionally play that game, "If you had to take just 3 things with you in a fire, what would they be?" In anticipation of my move, I sorted through things determining what is essential to have with me for the next 9-months until I permanently move, what can stay in storage for that time, and what I could get rid of. These decisions were hard enough over a period of several days, let alone having to make them in the heat (figuratively & literally) of the moment like Bonnie & her family had to. As they gathered belongings, deciding what to take and what to leave to chance should the fire come closer, young Esme summed up her philosophy as she held her box of treasures saying she took, "What you can't buy with money." It's nice to see someone so young with such wisdom on what truly matters.

Not to make light of the frightening situation Bonnie and so many others find themselves in at the moment, but now I'm curious: What would you take in the event of such a disaster? What is worth those precious seconds?

Here are my top 3 (most of which can technically be replaced with money, but they contain mementos that cannot be replaced so easily):
1. Art
2. Laptop
3. Camera

(Photo by Los Angeles Times, of Pepperdine University in Malibu)


DeniseMarie said...

1. My grandma's jewelry
2. Family photos
3. Teddy (my childhood stuffy)

Sarah S said...

2.laptop (all my photos are on it)
3.maybe a change of clothes?

jen said...

since i've packed my bags and waiting for the mandatory evacuation (we got the voluntary one already)
1) scrapbooks & journals
2) paperwork (boring but important ... birth certificates, passports, credit card numbers, insurance info, etc)
3) change of clothes and tolietries. you dont want to be without clean panties!

my mom:
1) change of clothes
2) my sister and mine baby stuff
3) photo's

its interesting to think of what you'll actually take and what you'll leave behind. for all the shoes and clothes i 'just had to have' i didn't even think twice about bypassing THAT pair of black shoes for my jr. high scrapbook.

Kellyry said...

Oh, Jen! How scary for you and your mom. I hope it doesn't come to a mandatory evacuation for you. Praying that it doesn't!

TheWinnFamily said...

hmm, my kid (duh) -maybe that shouldn't count, my wedding pictures and maybe my French antique shelf that I'm smitten with (although hard to take off the wall and carry out in an emergency :))