. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Evacuation, Part 2

The Los Conchas wildfire, day 1, June 26th

It’s really interesting to find out what your family considers to be their most prized possessions. When the Los Conchas wildfire threatened our town last week and the town was evacuated for the second time in 11 years, all of us packed what we thought were irreplaceable items. For the boys, I told them to pack things that couldn’t be replaced at Target.

We thought we’d only be evacuated for a few days, just until the smoke left town. But it ended up being almost a full week, the same amount of time that we had to evacuate back in 2000 during the Cerro Grande fire that started when a control burn got out of control. With relief, this time no homes were threatened in our town site (unlike the 400 homes that burned in 2000). Unfortunately, all of the nature areas and trails were wiped out this time, as well as part of our ski hill.

For me, I packed all of the quilts and quilted wall hangings that I or my sister or mom made for us, all of the kids’ photo albums, every photograph off the wall, my iPod, Kindle, and enough clothes and toiletries to last us a week.

For my husband, he too packed clothes, but also the big computer, his iPhone, the Apple TV, his laptop, the wedding photos, and tools.

My oldest son, the teenager, was a minimalist. He packed his laptop, his iPod, the Nintendo Wii, his Nintendo 3DS, and a bunch of video games.

My pre-teen seemed to pack the most. He packed his Nintendo DS and video games, iPod, baseball and soccer trophies, Lego Bionicles, lots of stuffies, his guinea pig, his favorite DVDs, and his light sabers. It was this kid that insisted on bringing the turtles even though I thought they’d be fine during the evacuation.

My youngest, also a minimalist, included all his stuffies and baby blankets, iPod, Lego Bionicles, Nintendo 3DS, and video games. He wanted to bring his favorite board games but I assured him that we could buy those again in the store if we lost them.

Of course our dog and cat came with us, as well as the guinea pig and two turtles. They survived camping for 3 nights quite well and my sister survived them moving in with her for the next 3 days.

As I write today, the mountains are still smoldering. You can tell that all of the running trails that we used to run on are now gone. Back burns have been set on the ridges, firefighters hoping the fire won’t jump them and hit the town (notice they are calling them “backburns” rather than a “controlled burn” this time around). At night, the mountain glows and you can see spot fires all over. It is eerie and depressing to see such a sight.

Los Conchas Fire, day 10, July 5

Twice in a little over a decade is too often to have to leave town and worry that you’ll lose everything. But really, if you get all of your prized possessions out, the other stuff can just be replaced.


Dallasmom said...

I was wondering about you guys as you were packing and thinking about what we would take if we had to leave our homes. I think our list would be very similar to yours. It's scary to think about what I would take with me if I had only one night to pack all my most prized possessions in my car. I'm really happy the fire was diverted and you guys got to go back home.

Neat Rox said...

Thanks. We're happy to be home and back to normal summer activities again.