Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Reflections - What If...

I was trying to decide on a topic for this post and realized that I have a lot of "what if" scenarios that I'd like to blog about, so I said to myself, "Self... why not post some of these as a challenge to see what others might do. After all, it's not just all about you..." Can't argue that! So, that's what I'll occasionally be doing in my Sunday Afternoon Reflections - posing "what if" situations, giving you my thoughts on what I would do, and then asking you to chime in with some thoughts of your own :)

Over the past two weeks, there's been a major wildfire in eastern Arizona which is currently not far from becoming the largest wildfire in Arizona's history. At nearly 450,000 acres (over twice the size of the city of Chicago), the Wallow fire has created the need for local officials in many small towns in that area to enforce evacuations. The first town to evacuate only had a few hours notice, but other towns in the area quickly realized that they might be next, and many residents had the opportunity to plan for possible evacuations. Keeping that in mind, my "what if" for today is - "What if you were faced with a wildfire in your area, and an evacuation order that only gave you 2-3 hours to get things together before you had to leave. What would you take with you?"

Al and I actually had this discussion earlier this week as we listened to the ongoing coverage of the fire and I guess not surprisingly, the first things we both agreed on, besides our dog, Sadie, were our computers. Not from a "Oh my god, I need my Internet" perspective, but because so much of our life is stored on them. Yes, we back up offsite and could retrieve the information if we needed to, but it would be simpler to just load up the equipment in the car. Beyond that, our roads divulged.

I would grab the photos and slides from the closet, along with a box of keepsakes and mementos I've collected over the years...dried flowers from my wedding, the first photo I ever took and developed in my best friend's dark room, greeting cards I'd received over the years that were special to me, ticket stubs from special events, special honors I received in school, the kids' first haircut souvenirs, and many other small and seemingly insignificant but sentimental things I've stashed away so they don't get lost. I'd also grab as many of the photos we have up on the wall in the hallway as I could - so many memories and some so old that they're irreplaceable.

Important papers, while stored in a fireproof box, would also find their way into our have-to-take items, along with a tool kit, and a first aid kit (I wasn't a girl scout to only forget the whole being prepared thing!) I'd grab some clothes and other necessities (meds, toothbrush, etc.) and if there was still time, as many of my CDs as I could manage, but if I had to narrow it down, I'd have to have Chicago's Greatest Hits, Jimmy Buffett's Volcano, Neil Diamond's The Greatest Hits, Garth Brooks' No Fences, and Billy Joel's Complete Hits Compilation. Memories to last a lifetime, and if anything can bring them back for me, it's music. Beyond that, while I would hope I could come back to it all, I could close the door and say know that I had what I needed and held dear in my heart.

So... what about you?  What if...?



customteddys said...

The first thing I thought of when I read your post was, like you, the photos and mementos I have stored in bins in the closet. They would be first. I would also have to gather my collection of teddy bears. My thoughts are with the people who are living through the misfortune of having to leave their homes. Thanks for the thoughts.

HeadpinWear said...

I try not to think about disasters, but I cannot lie when I say its not in the back of my mind. While living in Ca. those who know say the big ones coming (earthquake), and there is not really too much you can grab when that happens, because it just happens. Its a very scary thought, infact. And although I like to say I will grab this, and that, it wouldnt be possible with that disaster. In fact I would be quite blessed, if I knew my chidren and their families were safe, and I was with my husband and my son. Then its on to survival, and that would be even harder then the disaster itself.

mysticwynd said...

Thanks for the comments and sharing your thoughts!

It's tough to think about disasters, and it would be wonderful if they never happened, but for some reason this really made me think about what I would do in a situation like this!

I agree that knowing my family would also be safe (especially since my kids all live in the general area) would definitely be a concern too...makes me think we should all agree on a place to meet and ways to stay in touch just in case! Thank goodness for cell phones!

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