What Valuables Would You Gather?

I took this picture from my back porch last night at 5:30.  After a smoke-filled day, God treated us to a north wind that blew the inversion away.  By mid-afternoon, the smoke disappeared and the sky cleared.  For the first time in a week, we could see the mountains in the distance, including Mt Shasta (60 miles away).

At dinner time, we noticed the thick plume of smoke in the picture.  I measured on Google Earth:  it was 6 miles away, and the wind blew its smoke our way.  Every fire has a name.  This one is called, The Motion Fire.  It is about 5,000 acres, 10 percent containment, southwest of Shasta Dam.  Here’s an article… If you look closely, you’ll see Mt Shasta very faintly to the right of the smoke.  On the map below, we’re in the middle top of California… in the middle of all the fires.  Each little fire on the map represents 100 or so smaller fires, tens of thousands of acres ablaze!

What valuables would you gather if you had to evacuate?  We didn’t have to leave or anything, but we did box up our irreplaceable treasures in case we had to make a midnight run.  Here’s our list.  What would be on yours?

  1. Pictures, picture albums, wedding albums.
  2. A special framed picture I gave Margi as a gift:   of a lifeguard tower from a beach by Northwestern Univ. where we were sitting when I told Margi “I love you” for the first time.  I took the picture, had it enlarged, sepia-toned, matted, and made a frame from 100 year old barnwood.
  3. The file drawer with all our papers, certificates, policies, and documents (the whole drawer).
  4. Framed pictures of our family and kids.
  5. Memory boxes–one big bin for each child, loaded with mementos.
  6. Memory card boxes–Margi writes down memorable events from our kids, first steps, first tooth loss, funny actions, special school projects, infant outfits, etc… on 4×6 cards and puts them in a box.  When they’re older, the kids will get their box.
  7. Margi’s wedding gown.  The most beautiful ever.  Our daughter looks like one day, it will fit her perfectly!  (But no pressure)
  8. Video tapes and cameras.  The documentary of our lives.
  9. Each kid got to put together  backpack… Josie wants to bring her precious collection of little glass animals and houses.  She’s into miniatures right now.  Don’t forget the American Girl investments!
  10. Oh…  Don’t forget the Hamster!

Other stuff on the way out the door:

  • Turn of the gas, and close the valve on the propane tank.
  • Get your flammable outdoor furniture away from the house or in the garage–it acts like an incendiary under the eaves.
  • Wet the roof and the perimeter of your yard.
  • Leave on lights throughout the house so fire-fighters can see your house and what’s inside if needed.
  • Pray for the fire-fighters.

We’re expecting more DRY THUNDERSTORMS this evening.  Yikes!  In the Midwest, we called it heat-lightning.  Here we call it ignition.

I know there were a few more items we packed, but that’s all I remember for now.  So, if you had an hour to evacuate, what would you throw into the back of the van?

For one shining moment, we felt the reality of Hebrews 11:13… “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”   We’re pilgrims.  We’re ready to go.  We’re leaving this this stuff packed till the end of fire season.

Yeah… I’m glad I’m insured, too.  And the fire seems contained right now, or at least it isn’t heading our direction.  Pray for this weekend and the coming storm.  Pray for the weary firefighters.  Pray for our neighbors throughout northern CA, and those who’ve been evacuated or lost their homes.


7 thoughts on “What Valuables Would You Gather?

  1. You are in our prayers. California seems to be ablaze all over. I’ve had three beloved friends/family ask “Do you suppose God is trying to tell us something?” Because of His sovereignty, I have to say “Yeah, I do!” I wonder just how many are truly listening….

    Sure glad I’m not a political candidate after writing that….

    PS: Your list looks a lot like mine would be except I’d need a dump truck to hold all my pictures! Also, I would want to take my baby grand…..

  2. looks like we picked the right time to come back for a visit, we’ll be there on the 7th…

    I’ll see if we can bring some lake effect precipitation with us…

  3. Bill…

    Your question is serious, and there is some “existential” aspect to your thought…

    One professor of mine, Dr. John Hannah (http://www.dts.edu/about/faculty/jhannah/), once said: If you were stranded, alone, on a deserted island, there are at least three things you would hope to possess (after food and water, etc.):

    (1) Your Bible
    (2) Hymnal
    (3) Creeds of the Church

    Between these three texts, you would have sufficient information to begin to (continue to) know your God, which is your “most valuable” asset.


  4. Hey, Dr. G, you’d better enter something else SOON on this blog or we’ll all think you had to evacuate!! Sure hope that isn’t the case…

  5. Please do not hesitate to call if we can help in any way with anything, large or small.

    The same goes for Brad & Sue.


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