Friday, November 07, 2008

The Evacuation

The other night, we arrived home from dinner at a friend's home, to find a large fire burning in the pasture behind our home, not on our property, but maybe a few acres away. The winds were blowing hard and the grass was dry. If it was a contolled burn, it appeared to have burned out of control, so we immediately called 911. Then, we panicked a bit. What to do?! Should we evacuate? What should we take? The first thing I said to my husband was "get the dogs." Ouch, that hurt. Then I said, "you take the SUV and I'll take my Bug." To which he responded, "To Hell with your Bug, I'm taking my van with all my tools in it...that's my livlihood!" Oh, yeah, true that. We already had Julian in the SUV, so I'd have to leave my Bug behind. Ouch, that hurt too. Then, we started gathering things from the house, leaving Julian buckled in and ready to roll.

Here is the comprehensive list of what we loaded into the SUV by the time fire crews had arrived and figured out how to get to the fire (which was landlocked, with no roads leading to it) with tanker trucks:

Smokey and Cocoa's ashes,

Smokey and Cocoa's photo collages that we had spent hours making,

The framed newspaper photo of my husband and Smokey at work,

The watercolor painting by my uncle, of the newspaper photo of my husband and Smokey at work:

Another watercolor painting by my mom, of the place my husband and I were married,

My computer, with all of our recent family photos on it (and my livlihood),

A small fireproof box that contains our important documents (these should really be in a safe deposit box and this reminds me to put that on my To Do list),

Our jewelry boxes, and

A rock that I bought for my husband at the Jade Festival

Almost forgot...all of the client files I had at home, loaded into my briefcase, and of course,

My purse was already in the car (this contains everything needed to reconstruct our lives)

Ultimately, the fire was put out without incident. Our daughter, Julian's mother, was at work and missed all the excitement.

So, what would you take?

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At 12:01 PM, November 07, 2008, Blogger Lynellen said...

I'm glad you and your property are ok!

I'd take: the dogs, the safe with our documents, the computers with my phd work on them, the photo albums.

At 8:33 PM, November 07, 2008, Blogger Janie said...

Okay, girl, that was wayyyyy too organized.

You make me think.

At 9:41 PM, November 07, 2008, Blogger beth said...

Glad you're all ok!

I've actually started a list of this stuff - along with where I have the item in question. It's never a bad idea to be prepared.

At 8:08 AM, November 08, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

Gwynne, oh Gwynne: You have an entire category called "Near-Death Experiences."

I have a really depressing answer to this question involving our whole situation this year and every photo taken before digital cameras came out -- going back to Italy in the 1800s. Without going into complicated detail, they're all gone.

All our important papers are in a safe deposit box. So us, kids, dogs, cats, my purse and my mother's charm bracelet and I'm good to go. Maybe a change of clothes.

I'll probably spend the rest of the time coaxing the cats into a Outback with six dogs.

At 4:05 PM, November 09, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Lynellen, after we brought everything back in, I realized we left all the old family photos in the storage room.

Beth, a list is a good idea. My mom has always had a list, organized by floor. But part of the dilemma comes in the moments that you're wondering if it's really necessary. Part of you wants to load up all that you can before it's too late. The other part (the lazy one) doesn't want to have to make two trips with every load, one out to the car, the other back in 30 minutes later. ;-)

Janie, we were anything but organized. Mostly, my husband stood on the deck with binoculars in the dark and I ran around like a chicken without a head. 8-}

Sisiggy, you'll notice (if you read them) that most of my "near-death" experiences should be under the category "Stupid Things I've Done In My Life," but there is no such a category.

The loss of all your old family photos makes me cry. I'm so sorry.

At 6:22 PM, November 09, 2008, Blogger Bob-kat said...

I would take my pets, my photos, and my important document folder without a shadow of a doubt. If I had time I would also take my jewellery, especially a gold cross that belonged to my grandmother.

Glad everything was okay in the end!

At 10:06 AM, November 12, 2008, Blogger DarkoV said...

There's got to be some humungous iced 10 layer cake of an award awaiting you at the end of this year.

Come on, how much more can be piled on before you start wondering, "O.K., I'm ready for the good stuff to hit now...."

Keep the faith; you've got quite a set of shoulders on you.

At 7:12 PM, November 13, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

I keep telling myself, "this is a test, it's only a test." But an iced 10-layer cake sounds good. Wonder if I could make that myself? ;-)


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