Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Natural Disaster and Change of Perspective

I haven't posted to this blog in such a long time that I have had difficulty in knowing when and where to start. There has been so much going on in my life lately that the thought of documenting it all has been daunting and overwhelming. I'm feeling called to start now and will hopefully post more in the near future. My thought is to start with the most recent events and work my way back...

On Sunday, July 26th a massive forest fire broke out in the mountains near our home. The Las Conchas fire grew to 46,000 acres overnight and quickly became the largest forest fire in New Mexico state history. The fire has now burned 127,000 acres and is 37% contained. Although no structures in Los Alamos county were burned and all residents and fire crew have been kept safe, the past week has been one of uncertainty.

I live in White Rock, a small suburb of Los Alamos, and while Los Alamos was under a mandatory evacuation for nearly a week, we were fortunate to only be under voluntary. The boys and I did stay with Grandma and Grandpa in Santa Fe for two nights in the beginning when the fire was still very unpredictable and the smoke was intense. My husband stayed in our town with his elderly father and our four animals.

Packing for the evacuation, especially not knowing how long it would last or what the outcome would be, really helped put some things into perspective.

:: What is irreplaceable? My family, photo albums, small trinkets and momentos given to me by loved ones no longer with me

:: What is important for my health and my childrens' health? Prescription medication, medical records

:: What would be very inconvenient if lost? Birth certificates, social security cards, important phone numbers, cell phone, contact lenses, my computer and camera, a couple changes of clothes

:: What will bring my children comfort during this time? They each had one special stuffy they brought

:: What will bring me comfort during this time? a book I'm currently reading and a knitting project

When we left our home my Subaru Forester was about half full of belongings. If I really thought about "necessities" vs. "conveniences" my car would have carried far less. In the coming weeks, I hope to post more about my thoughts regarding necessities, conveniences, and what really helps a person/family thrive and grow. I also hope to share what has been inspirational to me lately.

We were fortunate to have a house to come home to several days later. In the end, these two little guys are all that really matter to me:


  1. Well put, Katie. I'm so glad everyone is ok!

    p.s. Your boys are so grown-up!:) What big kids they have become!

  2. Wow. I can't believe how big your boys are getting. I'm glad you all are safe and appreciate your thought process about what is really important.

  3. It's really interesting having to go through the evacuation process. In the last two days we have gotten rid of more stuff than in the last couple of weeks because it has become so much more clear to us that most of our stuff is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Just like you, it's our kids who matter most, not the books or toys or dishes or furniture. Cute pic of the boys!