Remember the blog project I did in 2010 with three other women? Well, Froggie decided to resurrect it with me and we each got to invite another friend to join us. She invited a mutual friend (someone I met through her) and I invited a friend whose blog I really enjoy reading. So now it's Froggie, Mom of Many, Moma Rock and Merrylandgirl. Hope you enjoy the topics that we'll be exploring!
This week, Mom of Many picked the topic: In light of all the fires and other natural disasters, if you had to evacuate your home, what would you take with you and why? If your home was destroyed what would you miss most?
Before reading ahead, first see what everyone else had to say on this topic:
Mom of Many
The topic for this post made me think of a song from Rent, which is what I used for the subject line.
I recently read a novel called "Keepsake" by Kristina Riggle, who visited Chick Lit Central this week (and there's a chance to win a free copy....hint, hint). It's about a woman who becomes a compulsive hoarder and could potentially lose custody of her child after some of her stuff falls on and injures him. The story made me put my own collection of “stuff” into perspective. I even went through a box of toys and papers in my boys’ room and made them help me organize it. I was proud of my older son for making some mature decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. However, when we went to the mall to beat the heat, he wanted everything he saw, even if it didn’t make sense for him to have it.
This past week, we had a major storm, probably the worst I’ve ever seen. It knocked out our power from Friday night until Wednesday morning. It was so stifling hot that we escaped to a hotel for some much needed air conditioning. They had a pool too! I was rushing around packing clothes to last us a few days, given we were expected to be without power till mid-week, or possibly longer. My first priority was all the stuff my older son and daughter need for their cochlear implants. If they couldn’t hear, it would be like our camping trip all over again. I brought their batteries and battery charger, as well as manual batteries, just in case. Then there were the toiletries, like important prescriptions, dental hygiene products and hair care products. (My hair gets so frizzy in the heat!) We also had to make sure we had swim wear and inner tubes for the pool. We ended up buying the inner tubes since the ones we had were dirty or out of air and I didn’t feel like dragging them along. Then there were clothing items, which were a necessity and toys to keep the kids entertained (even though the TV and pool did that job even better). I had to take my laptop so I could communicate with everyone and keep Chick Lit Central stuff updated. Plus, a majority of my photos are stored there or on my Facebook account. Finally, I brought along some books. I can’t go anywhere without a book!
Whenever I go to visit my family, they tell me not to bring a lot since there’s a Wal-Mart nearby and they also have a laundry machine. In this case, we also had a Wal-Mart nearby (and this one was so nice too), but we weren’t going to spend a fortune on hotel laundry services. When we had the power outage, I was reminded of this reality show we watched back in 2003 about two couples who try to live on a prairie with limited resources. (They had to plow for their grain to make wheat for bread and wash up in a pond.) I was thinking how fortunate we are that we have stores around to replace whatever we leave behind. When we were at the mall, I was mainly shopping for kids’ clothes, even though I got myself some much needed shoes (my other shoes were so worn out that they were getting really uncomfortable). I got a few little toys for the kids, but nothing else all that major. I was tempted to get some more Full House DVDs, but the used versions were still so overpriced!
I may seem materialistic, but I really am not. I could use a beat up purse for years without thinking much about it. I try to spend frugally, only looking for sale prices to justify my purchases. (I tell you, I am REALLY spoiled by the prices at my favorite thrift store!) I think it’s important to have comfortable clothes and all the other necessities. I like to spoil my kids with fun little things, as long as they aren’t overpriced. I couldn’t justify getting my older son a pen that cost $5.50 because it had a Disney character on it. What a joke! A PEN! For $5.50! I can get two boxes of cereal for that amount! So when it comes to a potential or real evacuation, I just take the stuff that we’ll need to get by (clothes, toiletries, hearing items). I even pack along some food items since my kids are picky and sometimes breakfast is not included at a hotel or it’s too early to get up and partake in their continental buffet (the one at our first hotel ended at 8:30). Then there's my laptop and at least one good book, if not more. In the end, I was more upset about all the food we lost than the potential of losing our material items. My wedding ring is always on my hand, so that stays with me. I would be upset if I lost it because of the sentimental value and all the thought my husband put into designing it for me. The diamond was handed down to him by his grandfather, so it's something we can carry along to future generations.
Hashem forbid, if something were to happen to our house to render it unlivable, I'd definitely miss the kitchen. My husband did an amazing job designing it and the contractors really brought his design to life. It's the central focus of our house now. I'd hate to see all that hard work and planning go to waste. I think that's really about it. Everything else is replaceable, even though some things were passed along from one generation to the next. I don't feel as strong of an attachment to those things when it comes down to making sure those don't get destroyed. The most important thing is that my family is safe and we're all together.