Three o'clock yesterday morning I woke with the feeling that my first priority of the day was to pack up all the essentials and sentimentally important things. In the real morning, you know after 7:00, I packed up some irreplaceable things along with important document type things. By 11:00 my car was loaded and ready to go.
Even though it smelled like there was a campfire in my living room, at that point I thought I was bordering on paranoid. I even kept my garage door closed while I packed, so the neighbors wouldn't think I was crazy. After all, the news reports weren't saying anything about our area, and it seemed like we were pretty safe.
As the day progressed, we could feel that ash raining on us. The sky rolled red; it looked like a fresh and ugly bruise. I was feeling like maybe I wasn't crazy. Then there was a strong wind-shift and we were told to leave our home.
It's a little surreal. I did a walk through before we left, thinking I might not see any of this again. The little rocking horse that someone in my mom's family made a long time ago. The Breakers at Sunset picture hanging above my bed, a gift from my grandma. Just little things. I did pack a few journals. I packed some letters. I packed a rose patterned jewelry box my dad gave me along with necklaces and bracelet's, rings and earrings that once belonged to both of my grandmother's and my mom. I packed photo books and the computer and ipods and camera.
The things I forgot: A picture collage on the wall in the hallway full of pictures from the pre-digital days. The camcorder. (Seriously kicking myself for this. The apple-cider-vinegar video...!)
Funny how in that moment, when we were told we had five minutes, I was thinking of things like bath toys and books and things to keep Pirate entertained because it looks like we won't be getting back to our home anytime soon -if at all.
Anyway. Pray for all these people (30,000 of us) who have been relocated.