The 358 Fire in La Plata County is smoldering tonight. There are no hot spots to speak of. I'm grateful to all of the fire crews and pilots for their quick response and diligent efforts. The pre-evacuation notice was for 2 subdivisions just around the corner from my mom's cabin. Helen's Store was evacuated and it is located near the entrance to Mom's subdivision. The first night I had encouraged her to pack her meds, clothes and whatever else she thought was valuable. She responded without hesitation: it's all valuable. I sighed. Later, I sat down and wrote this list:
1. My Great Grandma Tucker's rocking chair. I've had that chair for all of my adult life. I rocked both of my newborn babies to sleep in that chair. I held toddlers in that chair when they were tired and fussy. Thousands of hours were spent reading bedtime stories from that very chair. Yes, it's heavy. Yes, it's bulky. But it has moved back and forth across the west with me. If I couldn't handle the rocker - well, I'd take my fav photo of her and I. She has on flannel; I - an original Gunne Sax dress. The original framed photo, my great Aunt Geneva gave me a few years back, is on my dresser.
2. Kid art. Tucker's self portrait in scratch off. It sits low on a bookcase shelf. There's also his wolf drawing hanging near the front door. And small wooden pieces of art he made. Abbie's slipper, the clay slipper and the illustration all sit on a shelf near the front door. And her swimmer tea pot. ( I need to store a roll of bubble wrap by the front door. )
3. Computer bag with important documents folder. External hard-drive is in that bag, too.
4. An item that my dad gave to me when I was a just a kid.
5. Photo albums, yearbooks and a scrapbook that Grandma Daisy filled out. I have one of her old Bibles, too. These are kept together on a shelf.
6. A set of books that Grandma Daisy's husband Ralph gave to me the year before he died. He was a quiet old cowhand that had never stayed in one place long, and these well-worn classics were among his most prized possessions. Small, they had fit inside his saddle bag. He made me tiny wooden horse carvings that I'd also grab from that shelf.
7. Camo backpack that holds my everyday hiking, camping and camera gear.
8. A special ring my mom handed down to me that came from her mom. I always wear it.
9. Olive, her leash and vest. Her important papers are in her vest. ** She'd be loaded first & foremost!
10. The Washington DC ring aka this girl's Hope Diamond that I always wear.
11. When I was an adult, I spent a week with my Grandpa Bill in California. In his 18 wheeler, we hauled loads and loads of yellow onions and to this day I don't eat or even like the smell of raw onions. I have small mementos on the top of my roll top desk from him.
12. My overnight bag - which is always packed. I would be wearing my purse.
I have an entire house and garage FULL of STUFF and yet tonight I instantly knew what I'd grab if given an emergency CODE RED evacuation notice. Sure, I"m prepared in the most practical sense. Suddenly I looked around and thought about how I've kept things to remember special people and sentimental events I wouldn't easily forget. I also realized I can take photos of these items and let My Passport Ultra hold them securely-just in case! It's the family memories that live on...my heart is full!