Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where Did I Put the Pet Taxis?

I do worry about everyone near the fires in California.I see the hollow-eyed people on the news stunned as they view where their home used to be. I can't imagine. When I was 9, my grandparents home was destroyed by a tornado that also tossed them in the air, breaking bones and leaving wounds.

A week after their house was virtually eliminated, we went to see the site. Half the kitchen and the bathroom that was next to it were left, roofless, but with the towels still hanging on the rod. I found a small, ceramic owl in the middle of a field. I was told that doors from the house were found a county away. Those images have never left me. All our family spent days combing the nearby farmfields for my grandparents possessions. We managed to recover an antique clock, some photographs, other bits. But, they moved into a very modern (for 1970) house in town, away from their farm, that had a large basement to protect them from future storms. None of significance ever came. But they were ready.

I've sat in basements many nights over the years listening to the tornado sirens, knowing the weather was turning bad. No place I've lived has been damaged. Grassfires have been known to be some miles away, but I live in town and nothing has ever come here. But, because of the tornado that took my grandparents home and because I see the devastation of the fires in California, my mind occasionally reviews what we would need to evacuate. It will probably never happen, but I know to look for the pet carriers for our two cats, I've thought how we should put the computers each in their own plastic bin to put in the back of the van. I know we should take medicine and clothing and toys my son finds important.

I doubt we will ever use my knowledge of how to evacuate. We don't live where there are hurricanes, tornadoes happen too quickly to leave and I don't think the fires from Oklahoma will ever get to us. But, I seem to need to keep that list in my head so I can go about my life, ready to leave.

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