My husband, ever the comedian, likes to corral the family—something akin to herding cats—and at the point when we should have left for a trip, quip, "Let's make like a baby and head out."
While it isn't quite as funny now, residents in our area received a message recently, advising much the same thing: park your vehicle in the driveway with the nose facing outward. And pack your go-bag.
Granted, the northern boundary of the wildfire raging nearby is still forty miles removed from us—as the wind blows, I might add—but the prudent heed warnings like that. Yesterday was our moment to make arrangements for what, hopefully, will be an unlikely scenario.
I did a lot of thinking about what might go in a go-bag. After all, my baggage has always included a lot of history. Perhaps that is a luxury of first-world life. Maybe not the kind to make the cut in more dire turns of events. But fire being fire, once it meets history, no matter how old or how irreplaceable, history doesn't win.
One of my husband's Facebook acquaintances happens to be a veterinarian, and, vets being vets, she dearly cares for our fuzzy four-footed companions. She happened to post a recommendation for items to include in this fire season's go-bag. Among her suggestions for preparation were the expected tasks: fill up your gas tank, keep enough of your prescription medications on hand for up to a week's supply, bring bottled water. Food, paper supplies, blankets, clothing. Logical supply choices got rounded out with the ultimate Boy Scout preparedness list of first aid materials, flashlights with extra batteries, and more. And stuff for those beloved pets.
That's when I got to thinking about those other aspects of daily life. Some people care for pets, some engage in what is supposedly America's number one hobby: gardening. But what about those of us who have that other popular hobby? We've amassed a collection of documents, photographs and heirlooms in remembrance of our ancestors. Sure, much of that is now digitized and stored online, but what of the tangible treasures passed down through generations for our safekeeping?
If you had to bolt out your front door at a moment's notice—well, other than that incessant early-warning smoke we've experienced since Wednesday—what else would you bring besides supplies to get you through the next seven days? Would any of it represent your heritage? If you had the time to think things out more clearly before that moment to head out, would something come to mind which absolutely needed to be preserved from past generations?
A hard question to consider, especially realizing the possibility that, upon your return, the legacy bequeathed to you might no longer be available to pass along to the next generation.