Originally, this post was going to be about “My Favorite Things Of 2018” (that post has been postponed for now) but instead, I decided to revisit my pledge to document the contents of my home.
I have given this some thought lately because of the devastating fires in California, where so many lost lives and thousands of lives have forever been altered.
I was listening to a live discussion on NPR about the California wild fires a 6 or 8 weeks ago. The panel participants were offering advice on how to organize your affairs in the event of a fire, or other devastating event, where one might be in jeopardy of loosing all worldly possessions as well as important household information.
They asked listeners in the event of a disaster, “If you only had two minutes to retrieve anything from your house, what would you take?”
Whoa, that’s a loaded question. What would I take?
Baby Boomers, like us, have accumulated a lot over the years. 50-plus years of stuff.
The panelists suggested to prepare ahead of time for a fire or flood by documenting your possessions in some manner. Take pictures, video tape or even document on paper the items in your house that would need replacing.
We’re over 50 years old, of course we all know this. No new information here.
But, how many of us have actually taken the time to do it?
I’m embarrassed to write that I have not either and ……….
I should know better, because ………..
About 12 years ago, my house was burglarized. It’s not even comparable to the devastation the wild fires have caused to those families in California but, I can say, it traumatized my family and still haunts me to this day.
Our front door had been kicked in, the house was ransacked, mattresses overturned, papers scattered throughout and of course valuables, along with items of sentimental value, taken.
The clean up was bad enough but, the emotional toll it took on my family was lasting.
My former husband slept with a baseball bat on the couch, in the family room, which was positioned in the front of the house by the front door, where he would be awakened if a car drove by.
We went to great lengths to have an alarm system installed as soon as possible. I no longer live in that house but, when I moved, the first thing I did was to arrange for the installment of an alarm system in my new home and, I never leave the house without setting it.
Big Booger and Little Booger would not stay home alone even though they were high school and middle school age. They came with us to our office every day and waited until one of us could leave for the day to go home with them. Or, they would spend the day with their Grandmother rather than stay home.
Then there was the difficult task of filing a claim with our insurance. They required a detailed list, with photos if available, of all items stolen or damaged. If we didn’t have photos of our own personal items, we had to find a picture that closely resembled that item.
The entire process was extremely time-consuming and took weeks. And after being faced with such inconvenience, I promised myself I would record the contents of my home for any future unexpected or unfortunate events.
12 years later ………. Although it’s crossed my mind multiple times, I haven’t done it!
However, I did fully embraced a new philosophy from that experience so many years ago. I decided to start using those very items I was “saving to use, or saving to wear for a special occasion.”
Hey, if we’re still opening our eyes every morning and walking this great earth, I’d say …….. “IT’S A SPECIAL OCCASION!”
"Don't save something for a special occasion. Every day of your life is a special occasion." - Thomas S. Monson
So ……… for 2019, one of my resolutions is to take pictures of each room, including any items of either sentimental, or financial value. I’ve decided to store them on a jump drive or print them. I think the safest place for storage would be our safe deposit box. It’s a start.
But back to that question ………..
“If you had two minutes to retrieve anything from your house in the event of a disaster, what would you take?”
I’m sure everyone would agree that any people, or animals, in the house would be a priority.
There just isn’t anything more important than lives, but, I’d probably grab my purse, phone and computer on the way out the door.
I have given this question much consideration and honestly, I’m not sure it’s something you can answer until you’re faced with that decision.
What would you take?
“The best things in life aren’t things.”