Tonight, as we sit here watching the High Park fire fiercely burn within 18 miles of our Jerry’s Acres paradise near Fort Collins, two of the biggest lessons we’ve learned while searching for the best place to live are converging before us.
Lesson One: There is no perfect place.
Whether it’s tornadoes in the Midwest, earthquakes on the West Coast, or brutal heat in the South, all of us live at the mercy of Mother Nature’s rage.
When Jim and I bought a place in the mountains west of Fort Collins, we knew the risk of wildfire was present, but like everyone else who dreams of living in an alpine setting, that fear gets pushed aside for the stunning rewards of living among moose, deer, bear, marmot and all of nature’s gifts, right in your own backyard.
You always hope that the day will never come when wildfire forces you out. While our immediate area in Red Feather Lakes still hasn’t been issued an evacuation order, the threat to our place is very real right now.
Lesson Two: It’s Just Stuff
But we won’t be evacuating. That’s because we aren’t there. Since we’re working full-time this summer at Vickers dude ranch in Lake City, about 7 hours from Jerry’s Acres, we can only watch from afar.
However even if we were at our place, what would we grab? After experiencing one serious evacuation, one of the lessons we learned is that the things that matter most to us can fit in the back of our pickup truck.
Everything else is just a physical manifestation of those memories that helped us grow into the people who we are today. And not even Mother Nature can take that away.
Forget the photographs, the memorabilia, the wedding dress, the cookbooks, the love letters and the dining room set. Because as we learned when we put all of this stuff in storage for two years, life can be just as sweet without them. Eventually. . . after the shock of losing it all wears off.
As someone who’s learned to live with very few possessions during the last few years, I know that if you manage to get out of a bad situation with your loved ones and your health intact, that’s really the only thing that matters in this world.
What Stuff Matters to You?
After living through a Texas flood that almost forced us to abandon our rig, we made an emergency evacuation list. It contains just a few items like our laptops, hard drive, and of course, Jerry’s ashes.
Have you made an evacuation list? If so, what would you grab if you only had minutes to flee?