This past Friday morning we had to evacuate in the face of the encroaching fire and I thought about what I wanted to save in my house. What was really important? It came down to what I considered essential, irreplaceable and practical. I started with the irreplaceable; our family photo albums not saved in the computer or in the Cloud, some First Edition books, and 4 paintings by four people that are one of a kind. My wife grabbed our business files, passports and medical records and the hard drive. After that it was some essential toiletries and some practical items like tools and some clothes. Then there was some time to grab extra stuff like her sewing machines and my mountain bike and sports equipment. When we left 30 minutes later I was at peace with the understanding that I might return to a burned down house and could let go of everything left. It was and is all replaceable.
Now I am going to upgrade my departure program by videotaping everything in the house and making a list of the essentials, so that we can refer to it in case we only have a few minutes next time. Louis Pasteur is quoted with “chance favors the prepared mind” and with a list and a plan, our chances to escape a future fire or catastrophe with the essential items intact with be greatly increased. Please understand that I value life far above possessions, so this is just a part of the exit plan. Being in a position to help others is better than having to be the one who needs the help. I pray that you are safe and cared for, and if you’re not, how may I help?