Blogger: Rachel Kent
As many of you know, we were faced with some crazy fires during October in Sonoma County, California. My family didn’t face any significant losses, but many of my friends did. We are all doing what we can to support those who faced great loss. I know many of you have supported Northern California through prayer and even donations, too. Thank you so much!
A month after the start of the fires, we still talk about the fires all the time. There’s no forgetting something so traumatic. I evacuated from my home three times–I was able to go back and then a new fire danger would come. By the end of it all, my house was in the middle of three fire areas.
The first night, as I warily watched the fire approach over the mountains, I was gathering items in preparation for our evacuation. It was around 2 a.m. and I hadn’t slept at all because of the wild winds.
My husband is a firefighter and was on duty that night. It was just me and the kids–and our overly-needy, anxious dog. I tried to think of what was important to each member of my family and I gathered up important files, clothes, special blankets, a few items of jewelry, and our computers.
After thinking about it, I grabbed only two books. I love all of my books, but I decided most could be replaced. The one book I grabbed for myself was my Bible.
The other book I grabbed is my son’s current favorite book, I Love You, Little Pumpkin by Sandra Magsamen. We read this book ALL the time. He loves it. I thought that even if our house was gone, having this book to read would distract him from the tension of a new kind of nomadic life. It would be a touch of the normal routine in a life of chaos. I’m so thankful I had so much time to consider what I was packing–I know many people only had minutes or seconds to leave their homes. I’m also thankful that I didn’t lose my home and feel so awful for those who did. I can only begin to imagine the heartache that goes along with that kind of loss.
Michelle Ule, friend and co-worker of mine, grabbed only two books as well. One was a copy of the book she wrote. Mrs. Oswald Chambers‘s scheduled release was October 17, I believe, and these fires started on the 8th. The other book was her current library book, Eric Mataxas’s biography of Martin Luther. She needed a copy of Mrs. Oswald Chambers to take with her on an upcoming business trip and she wanted to finish reading the biography of Martin Luther. She also didn’t want a library book to burn.
Janet Grant grabbed her iPad and she uses that to read books on the Kindle app. She didn’t grab any printed books in her rush to get out.
If you were faced with an evacuation, which books, if any, do you think you would you take? Why would you pick those ones? Or if you wouldn’t grab any, why wouldn’t you?
Writing this post has made me sad all over again. My heart aches for those who lost so much. Please join me in prayer for them!