I got to go to Europe for 21 days in 2007. We were only allowed to take one large suitcase. Seeing as how I usually pack multiple outfits for each day on a normal trip, (what if it gets chilly? what if we go out? what if we stay in and hang out?) this was difficult for me. But oh my gosh, it was so freeing. I packed my 5 tank tops and 3 shorts and 2 capris and 3 t-shirts and 6 underwear and one "nice" outfit for the Vatican, and just washed clothes as needed in the hotel sinks. (no dryers - everything air dries.) I didn't smell as good as I do in the USA and my clothes didn't feel as soft, but I didn't care.
When I got back, I seriously considered getting rid of everything besides what was in that suitcase.
Then I remembered that I can't wear an Old Navy tank top and jean capris to work, so I didn't.
But the wildfires this week have got me thinking again.
We weren't sure what was going to happen - at one point, the fires got as close as 5 miles - so we went ahead and packed our "get away" bags. Let me just say, we have a bunch of crap. And to be honest, we have a bunch of *nice* crap. But everything we really wanted to take fit in 4 grocery bags. Mostly pictures, passports, some mementos of Larry's dad, some jewelry, the cutting board made out of olive wood that I got in the aforementioned trip to Italy, and a VHS of me in high school practicing my cheerleading dance. I took a picture of everything else just in case we needed it for insurance purposes. Oh, and I was going to grab my nice bottle of wine from the wine fridge on my way out the door. (Along with my dog and computer of course.) It seems that we could live quite comfortably with everything we *really* want in approximately 500 square feet. (The one thing I would miss that we couldn't pack??? - the backyard.)
It was really scary for awhile, and I know it is still scary for far too many people. But I must say that I am so proud of Texas, and I hope that the response to tragedy is the same in every state. They actually said on the news that they basically did not need any more donations for the time being because all of the donation centers were at capacity. Granted, people will need help for many months in order to get back on their feet, but at least for now maybe they can feel that they are wrapped in the arms of their community. Once they are ready for more donations, perhaps it will be time for me to clean out some of this "crap" that I realized I can totally live without.