Priority: a thing regarded as having more importance than that of another.

As the Atlas fire, the inferno here in Northern California that destroyed over 50,000 acres, crept closer and closer to our neighborhood, Denene and I were forced to decide what to take with us should we need to evacuate. Clearly, a few of our priorities differed … greatly.

Denene remained fixated on family photos, antique silverware, important papers, clothing, and the like. Me, I went straight for the meat … books. Realizing, of course, I couldn’t take all the reading material lining our shelves, I selected three. Two are antiques that mean quite a bit to me. The third was a signed book with a personal inscription. I have several signed books and they’re each extremely valuable, but this one has special significance.

Next, I carefully wrapped and packed three rocks. Two of the stones came from Mt. St. Helens. The third is a rock featuring a hand-painted image of Barney Fife. My daughter painted it for me.

I selected a small airplane made from tongue depressors and a narrow piece of wood. Tyler, my grandson, made it for me when he was super young. An antique carpenter’s level, Jew’s harp, and an old and quite rusty Ballantine beer opener also found their way into my “go bag.” They belonged to my grandfather. A paperweight my father gave me when I first became a detective, drawing supplies, a hat gifted to me by a friend, an item signed by the Oak Ridge Boys, and my name/desk plates (police) from my old office. Each of those things went straight into my case.

Of course, when the time came to leave our home I also grabbed photos, computers, chargers, cash, and checkbooks. And yes, our entire family of Alexas and Echo tagged along, as did Dead Red Fred who, by the way, was in a huge hurry to leave. All his life he’s had a fear of being melted down and made into a little red rubber ball.

But, we’re back home now, all safe and sound. I greatly appreciate all the well-wishes and prayers. I also deeply appreciate the outstanding efforts of the firefighters, police, sheriff’s deputies, air support, CHP, National Guard, and others who worked around the clock to save as much property and as many lives as possible.

Priorities

I also thank you for the thoughts and prayers for our daughter who underwent emergency surgery last week. She’s recovering from that procedure but the situation is ongoing, and serious. We appreciate your continued prayers. The same for Denene’s mother. Her situation is ongoing and serious. My brother is scheduled for surgery in a few weeks.

My priorities remain with my family.

“Things,” signed books and rocks and airplanes and yes, even Dead Red Fred, can all be replaced.

#Priorities #SorryDeadRedFred


Priority: a “thing” regarded as having more importance than that of another.

I suppose the level of importance depends upon where and with whom in your mind the “thing” lives.

 

3 replies
  1. Linda Lovely
    Linda Lovely says:

    A great post, Lee, as always. I’m as sentimental as you and Denene. Whenever we evacuated for hurricanes, I always packed up keepsakes that brought back memories of good times and the people I’ve loved most.

  2. Gina
    Gina says:

    Having gone through a house fire, I can relate. The most important things to take, IMHO, are people and pets.

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