Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Case of Fire, Break All Attachment to Material Possessions

I've been thinking a lot lately about the things that I own. Much of it has been a part of my journey to live more simplistically, but more recently it has been packing to move halfway across the country (Colorado, here I come!). My hope is that I can fit everything (including books, and sans furniture) into my car!

My thoughts have gone even further recently because of the fires that are happening in my future home state. California is no stranger to fire, but this time I know someone whose home was lost in the fires near Colorado Springs (they are dear friends of my future housemates Matt and Amber). The family was evacuated last week, and then on Monday or Tuesday they were allowed by police escort to go in and get what they would need for the next two weeks. I can only imagine what they were thinking as they riffled through their home.

If I were caught in a similar situation and could only bring 10-ish items with me, I would grab the following things:

1. My Oma's teacups. My Oma immigrated to the States in 1958 a few moths after marrying my Opa. Clearly, she didn't have much packing room, and brought very little with her. But a few years ago for Christmas, she bestowed upon me the two teacups that she brought over from Germany with her. I opened the box and saw them, not knowing their stories. But as I pulled them out, she explained. Every time I pack up to move, I always think of her and how brave she was to do such a crazy thing as fall in love, get married, and move across the world.

2. The toy box my dad built me. When we were kids, our dad built each of us a toy box. They didn't always serve as toy boxes--mine held junk for years, Sarah's and Kate's both were the phone and address book holders for a long time, and Megan's was chock-full of stuffed animals. I would happily sacrifice every bit of craft and fabric stuff that was in there currently to the fire, as long as I could keep the box.

3. My computer. This really has little sentimental value. It would just be a pain in the butt to replace. It really only gets on the list because I think past my car, it is the most expensive thing I own.

4. Snoopy. I remember getting Snoopy at three and a half. It was Christmas, and we were at Oma and Opa's house. I also had received a suitcase that year that said "Goin' to Grandma's!" on it, and I tried stuffing Snoopy in the suitcase (clearly, they should go to Grandma's together). But, try as I may, he would not fit, no matter how I shoved or squashed or sat. My uncle was sitting nearby laughing at me, and I got mad and quit. True confessions--I still sleep with a stuffed animal. I'm quite uncomfortable without him under my right arm.

5. My sewing machine. This also may be top of the list of expensive things that I own, and would be a pain in the butt to replace. And it's less than two years old!

6. My Tante Trita's necklaces. My great-aunt was an enthusiast of many things, and her adoring husband indulged her often. A few years after she passed away, her husband was cleaning house and was sending boxes and boxes of things to my Oma. She invited the granddaughters over to have at it. She had some of the most beautiful and unique jewelry that I have ever seen, and I would be very sad to lose it.

7. The box full of my old journals. Not very often do I go back and read them, but when I do it is always a bit embarrassing because I realize how self-centered I am. It's also funny to see the melodrama from high school and thank the Lord that I am (hopefully) over similar issues. Well, at least now I don't have to worry about my date to prom.

8. My Bible. My dear sister Kate got this for me on my 17th birthday. It's an ugly poop-brown color, and currently the spine is peeling itself away from the front cover. But the amount of time I have spend reading it, how my fingers know the roads to my favorite passages, the weight of it in my hand and on my lap, the coffee stains from when I spilled an entire cup on it in Costa Rica, nothing could ever replace the amount of comfort that precise Bible brings me. At one point in time, it had cheesy pictures of Jesus with children and lambs scattered throughout it, but one day I took a razor to it and cut them out. They were a little on the creepy side, and I got tired of looking at a white, blue-eyed Jesus. Apparently the artist forgot that Jesus was Middle-Eastern.

9. My box of old letters and cards. Much like my journals, I don't go back and read them often, but the times that I do mean a lot to me. They include the last birthday card my Grandma Barbara gave me before she passed away, one from one of my Freshman year roommates, various silly cards from my parents, birthday cards, etc.

10. Finally, down to the practical things. I would pack one large gym bag full of clothes and shoes. Which ones, you ask? Not sure. But then I could finally participate in the true Twenty Pieces Project. Now I'm in the 30-50 club. If there was a fire, I could totally do the 20.