I noticed the smoke about this time yesterday.
It was hanging around the farm, so I went to investigate. The smoke was high, so I got back in the kitchen, busily cooking dinner before I went to the Primary Info night at school.
Driving out I noticed the big smoke plume north of the farm. Our normally pretty peaceful road was busy. The fire had cut the highway, so drivers were finding alternative routes. A few text messages started arriving from friends and family, I quickly dismissed their fears.
The traffic was worse again on the way home from school. You could still make out the large plume of smoke in the dusk light. I headed home and asked Bearhands at which point we should start to worry. Information was scant.
Then the power went out.
It'd been a hot day but without fans and water, it was a ridiculously hot night. I had just 20 percent left on my phone, so I turned it off to save battery.
The girls lay in their undies on the cool tiles of our dining room and tried to catch a breeze. Their father joined them and started snoring gently. That's when I knew, I was the last worrier standing*.
So I lay on our bed, like a starfish, trying not to let my sweaty body touch any other parts of my sweaty body, and I worried.
Then I planned.
I still had a big black plastic tub on the deck from camping. I could put all the things I couldn't bear to lost in that box before we left.
I blindly swatted a mozzie that was buzzing around my head, while I went through the list of things potentially worth saving.
Passports? It would be a painful process, but essentially they're replaceable. Not an immediate priority.
Phones? Essential. Beyond getting info about the fire, there are 25 thousand photos on my camera roll and I'm pretty sure that at least 25 of them are worth keeping.
Desktop? Likely to be damaged in the box with everything else, but scratched is better than scorched, right? In.
A photo of David and I dancing at my 21? On the shelf and easily reached. In, we can't get our hands on any more photos of that beautiful man.
After that I drew a blank. The rest of our stuff is just stuff.
I lay there for another twenty minutes deciding exit routes and wondering if we should take two cars.
Then the power came back on. The lights woke Bearhands and the children (who, let's face it, were really only pretending to sleep. Blackouts are exciting!). I packed the girls off to bed. With the lights on and the #blessed fan whirling, I figured that if they'd managed to contain the blaze around the electricity poles and restore power, then they local fire brigade must have things under control**. So I stood down from my self-appointed worrier post and went to sleep.
So as the wind blows up again this afternoon, I'm wondering
what's in your box?
*If I'm honest, I'm often the only worrier standing when Bearhands is still upright.
** I say rightly or wrongly because I still have no idea if the fire caused the power outage.