I've asked my students that before. If your house caught on fire and you only had a couple of minutes to get out with your most valuable possessions what would you take? What would be the most important items? If you could only save a couple of things what would you take? Of course other than people.
So late this afternoon, when the sun was setting I had to make those choices. No, it wasn't a fire. Actually we were having really severe weather. First it was in Daytona, then Orange City and it was weird. (Here is a link to some of that weather last night) Some was moving east, some was moving west and some south. And for those of us without a Doppler radar, even though we had access to a "radar map" they have a Wesh TV online, it was hard to interpret. Add to that the fact that it was thundering all around and the storm was moving a slow ten miles per hour.
You may not know this but our properties here in Florida, lack what most homeowners in the north take for granted: a basement. So what are we supposed to do in case of a tornado? Find the nearest bathtub, get in it and cover yourself with a mattress. Not really the most exciting thing to do, but that is more or less what I did. My guest bathroom is nicely decorated and it has semi transparent curtains in two panels that start at the ceiling and reach the floor. Then I filled the tub with all sorts of pillows and then got one of the cushions from my love seat and rested it against the wall, so I could quickly grab it if needed. There was a moment that I did get in the tub and momentarily used the cushion to cover me to check for effectiveness, but I quickly put it up against the wall. With the curtains enclosing the tub, it seemed like I was on an exotic sofa rather than in a tub fully dressed.
Anyway, it was an awkward adventure, but an adventure none the same. But as I was in there I decided to run outside to take pictures of the weather. Not something I would recommend others do. When I did, I realized while I was out there, that I needed to get back in the bathroom because the wind was starting to pick up and the lighting was becoming more frequent.
Now back to the bathroom. For some reason I just couldn't get in without getting some of my valuables with me. I had only a couple of minutes to make my choices. Though the storm was moving slowly, I didn't know that then. I already had my laptop and a radio placed near the sink. So I thought, what else should I bring here? I instinctively went to my studio. I brought some of my paintings that I had in a recyclable shopping bag. No, I didn't take the time to check which ones were in there. Then I went to my bedroom and I got two Bibles, one with a concordance and a small one for my purse. Then I got my jammies for some reason. I also got some pictures of my children and grandchildren and my aunts with my mom at her 80th birthday. A picture of my sister and my niece. Then in the kitchen, I also got a small stack of books, a granola snack, a small flashlight, and my camera which I threw inside my purse. But that is it.
That is what I put in my ark. Why no photo albums? Well my bathroom is pretty small for starts and there is no room. I thought of bringing a pretty quilt I have on my bed, but I didn't. I guess I didn't want to start folding and cramming. No make up and no clothes. I figured I could work that out later. No important papers. Didn't even think of them. But I did think of my kids, and it was comforting to have their pictures. It was also comforting to have the Word of God with me, too. And pictures of my family immediate and extended. The radio, the flashlight, and laptop were to keep me connected and lit. Would I make a different choice next time? I don't think so. Well maybe the quilt. That's it.
Not exactly, Mesha my cat was in and out of the bathroom. At one moment she came in the tub and tried almost to sit on my head, but thought twice about it. Then she smelled my arm and walked the bathtub edge until I shooed her down. She mostly laid on the rug next to the bathroom door wondering was was her mistress up too? I would have grabbed her if needed. So that was it. Really.