Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We didn't start the fire

Summers here in the arid north are just that...dry, dry,dry. And, lucky me, sunny as Santorini Island. The thermometers here aren't used to their red lines reaching 35 degrees, and that's the reading at suppertime. No air conditioners to be found in this town (a silly investment for our mere eight weeks of summer). I couldn't be happier to pack Abby in her sling, throw a beach bag with a towel and a fresh diaper over my shoulder, whistle to Skylar, and walk down to the river for a dip. Or a slow, cool soak. We're usually there more than an hour watching the town kids throw sticks in the water for Skylar,and build mud castles. Abby herself couldn't wait to get dirty and promptly rolled off her beach towel into the dark sand when I wasn't looking. Into the water we went to clean off.
We, fortunately, have the ability to transport our roots and slide into the Pelly waters for relief from the haze, but of course the tall, skinny trees around us cannot. There have been forest fires all summer long, closing down roads, worrying nearby residents, but so far (knock on wood), under control.
And now, a territory-wide fire ban is in effect. No front lawn fire pit cookouts until mother nature sends us some rain.
That got me to thinking, if a fire crept up on our sleepy, slow town, and we had just enough time to chaotically fill our truck bed and head on out, what would I bring?
Skylar and Goober the cat, of course, are family members and not things, so they make the cut. I would take my Nanny's original paintings, because no appraiser or art restorer can bring back that work afterwards. I'd take some of Abby's sleeping necessities (white noise machine, blanket) so that wherever we are, mama can count on at least some decent shut-eye amidst the upheaval.
I'd take a couple of photo albums, ones whose contents are not saved on a hard drive somewhere, the truly irreplaceable ones. I'm thinking of the album I made in junior high, that has bribery material photos of our awkward, braces-smile teen years.
I'd grab my journals, because item #63 on my "100 things to do before I'm 50" list is to share my diary's contents with someone.
I'd grab some clothes and underwear, deodorant, hairbrush, makeup and toothbrush because if I have to live out of a truck, I'd prefer to do that with some dignity and style, thankyouverymuch.
I'd leave the practical, safety-survival stuff to Rich, he's always one step ahead on that course.
I'd grab our wedding album, because while we could, I suppose, order a new one, if we were unable to, those are memories I simply can't go without looking at.
And of course, being the writer that I am, I'd take a camera, a notebook, and our little camcorder to document it all. Life-changing experiences are best shared, and I think more can be learned from them when they are saved and revisited. Like a page dog-eared, when I can go back, read and reread my thoughts, I can better understand what it means to me.

1 comment:

  1. The fires are pretty crazy! We saw flames eating the trees across the lake on our way home yesterday.

    ReplyDelete

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