The Things We Carry : Hurricane Irma Edition

Our things are in the spare room, cluttering the floor, spreading out like water burbling from the center of the floor. I gather my thoughts and meditate - really meditate - on why I brought what I brought. Evacuating from ones home isn't easy. It's not something you want to do. You struggle, you fret; your heart is a constant tug-of-war with your head: should I stay or should I go?

Things take on a new weight. Items that were once so necessary are left on the shelf; things tossed in in bins, shoved to the back of cabinets become priority. Bits of fabric from grandmothers get gently folded and tucked onto a basket. The tea you just blended, the coffee mugs you toast Sunday mornings with, a stack of old herbals originally from your mothers shelves all get carefully packed and lovingly loaded.

The drive is long but beautiful - this time we took back roads - and our destination eases into view a bit before seven in the evening.

Those canvas bags, those reusable grocery sacks get lined up, an army of memories, dreams and goals.

I stayed up past midnight wondering of their significance and what each paper, each book, each scrap of fabric wants from me. Why did I bring them? Why do they call to me and what jobs do do I need to do to encapsulate those erratic dreams into solid, achievable reality?

We're back home and all is well. Nothing was lost or damaged; we never even lost power. The wondering, however, is still here. With every folder unpacked, every book reshelved, I've asked myself again and again, "What do you want from me? Why did you have to go too?"

It's exciting, really, the digging. In reality, I do know the reasons. The verdict has always been with me, as long as these slips of paper and half tried recipes. But it's in the gathering that thoughts are solidified and I'm enjoying taking it slow, revisiting every idea and letting them whisper again their stories and remind me just why these things are so important that I'd carry them for thirty-plus years and 300 miles.

                                      ***

Forgive the lateness of this post; we just got back into town after our second hurricane evacuation on three years. We have power but our Internet is down and I typed this up on my phone. Thankfully, our city was spared. My heart and prayers go out to everyone in the Caribbean and Florida who took the brunt of Hurricane Irma.
~ xxoo

Comments

  1. Glad you and your home are safe.
    Funny the things we treasure.
    At least you took small stuff. I can just see me cramming a bunch of guitars in the car...

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    1. We did take our dulcimers and momentarily considered taking the cello but it was too big!

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  2. So glad your home was fine. It was crazy trying to figure out what to take and what to leave behind when we evacuated Florida. We ended up going with a combination of important papers, electronics and things we would need for "survival" if we lost our boat/home.

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    1. I hope you made it out OK and I also hope your boat is safe and sound.

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  3. I'm so glad you and yours are fine. I can't imagine what I would take with me. Glad you have the power back. Some people will be waiting a long time for that.

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    1. It's really odd in Savannah. The next street over doesn't have power but we so. We have power but no Internet. I'm so very thankful we were spared the worst of it.

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  4. T'm so glad you made it out safely and back. I'd never know what to take, except our two dogs, a USB drive, and key documents. After 64 years I have too much clutter even after moving countries.

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    1. I understand. This year we were more prepared for the evacuation than we were last year and we took so much stuff! This year, we were able to really consider what we could and could not live without. First priority were the cats, of course. After that, we took documents, current art projects and books.

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