Yesterday, we started unpacking the car after we self evacuated because of the fires.
I'm not sure if we're a bit ahead of ourselves because the fires, although 'contained' are still burning. The forecast for today is another hot day with total fire bans.
Before the big fires of October, someone advised me that it's a good idea to take photographs of everything in the house in case of an insurance claim. Of course you then have to make sure you take the camera with you or transfer the photos to 'the cloud'.
Stories are already hitting the press about how some insurance claimants are being told to list every item (e.g. toys) when putting in claims for contents, even though everything was destroyed.
I remember my parents having to do exactly that same thing some thirty odd years ago after a major house fire. Fortunately, or unfortunately, they were under-insured and received a full payout for their contents. The building insurance claim, though was a completely different story and the payout received was a pittance. But that's another story.
Going back to the days before our self evacuation last month, the items I was most anxious about facing the prospect of losing were my African violets.
Yes...I know...but all I could think about was the time I had invested in these little living things...we humans are strange creatures. I wasn't even worried about all the quilting paraphernalia I was leaving behind, even though I did pack a quilt or three. Strangely, even though I've made many, many, quilts, I only own three or four and these were great for packing around fragile items.
I couldn't pack the violets because it just wasn't practical. At one point I was going to give them away to a little coffee shop in town to hand out to customers who had already lost their homes but I just didn't have the time to do this.
Happily, everything survived, including my African violets.
After this experience, I realised time has changed my perspective on material goods and my obsession to list every item in every collection we own has passed.
After all...if we were to lose every vinyl record in our LP collection would we replace every single one? In fact would we even bother to replace any?
I know that once upon a time I would have.
But not anymore.
Above is about a third of my African violet collection.
On the top shelf of our display cabinet stand some little sailing ships. Three of them were hand carved and assembled by my Dad. In my opinion they are irreplaceable.
People in the community are now talking about 'stuff'... "it's just 'stuff'" is now a common phrase overheard in the street...spoken, written...
More stuff...some sentimental...the magnifying glass belonged to Mr Honey Pie's parents.
A newer collection of stuff - and still growing.
Stuff is replaceable, lives are not.
As a community I know we are thankful that during this recent disaster, no lives were lost. It could have been so much worse.