Dirt Roads

In The Event Of Fire

In The Event Of Fire     

By Nikki Peleezo

This photo was taken of the Hwy 294 wildfire aftermath about a week after it started.

My husband, Charlie, and I have been on pins and needles regarding the forest fires surrounding our little part of East Texas.  We have worried for several weeks, that between a flipped cigarette or a grilled steak dinner, a fire might leave our little community a statistic on the nightly news.  We live surrounded by oaks, pines, sweet gums and chinaberry trees, all dry, all vulnerable.  To make matters worse, we live in a log home.     

I gathered up most of our precious items, mainly photographs and a quilt and put them on the spare bed.  This will be put in the trunk of my car, for the quick get-away. I looked through the opened door of the spare bedroom and saw my little  pile of memories.  I thought to myself, that’s a paltry lot to show for 66 years.  I started looking around for something to add to my pile.  Something that would mark my life as important or necessary.  I looked at my book shelves and found I had nine books on “Sewing with Double Knit”.  Is this something that represents me?  No, I never learned how to sew much less sew on double knit.  I saw my extensive collection of cookbooks and remembered that I search for recipes on the internet, not in a cookbook. Oh yeah, there is my trusty book “Windows 98 for Dummies” and since I haven’t looked in it since 1999, I don’t think it will be going with me.      

My collection of cow creamers should go, but why?  No one wants them when I’m gone.  I wouldn’t be rescuing anything that would be passed down, maybe for a yard sale.  My jewelry?  I’m wearing all that is important to me, my wedding ring.  How about my mother’s Deluxe Electrolux vacuum cleaner.  Hell no, that thing will wrap it’s hose around your neck without remorse.  It’s not going.  My wonderful gourmet pots and pan, all made in China, not worth the effort.       

Anderson County fire aftermath / Photo by J'Ann Cooper

I asked Charlie if there was something he needed to add to the pile and he said that at 76 years old, whatever tool he will need, and he hopes he won‘t need many, Harbor Freight will have one in stock.

Here I am two o’clock in the morning and I’m down-loading my family photos on Flicker.  Now all I need to pick up and take with me, in the event of a fire, is my ditty bag, my husband, my dog and grandma’s quilt.  These are irreplaceable.

One Reply to “In The Event Of Fire

  1. Nikki, isn’t it the truth ? When it comes down to what is really important, there is precious little besides our loved ones. Once again, a beautifully written article.

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