Rachel S. Heslin
Thoughts, insights, and mindless blather

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It's odd. Of all of SoCal, we are one of the very, very few places that has blue skies dusted with wisps of white clouds. Except for watching the television and the scent of smoke -- not too unusual in a town with as many fireplaces as Big Bear -- you wouldn't even know there are wildfires raging around us.

We're on the far east end of the valley away from Arrowhead and the San Bernardino fire, and the winds are blowing away from us, so we're all hoping this will pass without further devastation to Big Bear itself. Shawn didn't want to leave me this morning, but I told him that things would be fine and he should go to school as usual.

And yet, at work, people kept asking me if I had A Plan to get off the mountain if we had to evacuate. Supposedly, we should know by tomorrow whether or not it's necessary. I've started gathering things, hoping that sufficient preparations will act to forestall any actual need for them -- the same reasoning that explains why it won't rain if you bring an umbrella but will pour if you forget one.

So what does one bring?

The four cats and their carriers will take up most of my little car. We'll have to find boarding for them down the hill, because neither my Grandma's nor parents' houses are capable of withstanding such a feline onslaught. Insurance papers and legal documents, check. I don't know if I have any files on my computer that are really worth uploading to safety; I haven't updated Quicken in so long it's laughable.

The wedding photos, of course. I don't think I can fit both of Grandma's large paintings in the little white car, but I'd like to try. I have some collectables: Disney sericels, some old, small wine bottle from China that my Grandma says is very valuable -- small things that can be sold if needed. It'll kill me to leave my harp, but I can't imagine being able to fit it along with everything else.

Our music, hundreds and hundreds of CDs, too unsorted to pull favorites in a hurry. So many books, too bulky to consider. So many computers, maybe bring a hand-me-down laptop or two....

As I said, hopefully none of this will need to be done. I seriously doubt that our house is in direct danger. But it does give the chance to reassess what's really important.


He who would travel happily must travel light.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945)

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