As I wrote last week, Boulder and the surrounding area has been battling with some truly nasty wild-fires. I’ve heard that well over a hundred houses have burned down. I don’t believe anyone’s been hurt and the fire is reportedly contained now, but I wanted to share a moment from last week.
Last Thursday the winds were blowing really hard leading into the night and a huge portion of Boulder was put under evacuation watch. My apartment was in the area, as was my girlfriend’s. I wasn’t sure if or where I was going to evacuate, so I didn’t plan during the day for it. As I left Harpos after having some wings and beer with my friend, my girlfriend said she was going to sleep at the house of a family friend in Niwot about 12 miles away, out of the range of where the fire was.
At first I was somewhat annoyed at the idea of going out there, late at night, but as I pulled up to my parking spot, I could really smell the smoke in the air. It made me question my stubbornness and the idea of being away from my girlfriend in a somewhat dangerous situation didn’t sit well with me.
So, I went into my bedroom, which was *relatively* well organized from a distracted cleaning fit I had gotten into earlier in the week and I grabbed enough clothes for a couple days. I walked out of my bedroom with a backpack of clothes and my messenger back which has my laptop, notebook and novel du jour.
I thought about packing a few more things into my car. Things of value, sentimental objects, etc, but I looked at my mini-safe under my bed and realized that would be fine if something happened with the fire. Otherwise, everything in my room was extra, non-essential, whatever you want to call it. Here’s a picture I took as I was shutting the light off and leaving for Niwot. I was leaving this stuff behind:
I knew that my girlfriend and I would be safe, the people I care about would be safe and the concept of fretting over a lot of stuff didn’t even occur to me.
Considering the winds picked up and blew hard throughout the night, it didn’t spread too much into Friday and firefighters did an awesome job from the ground and air containing the fire.
With so much damage done and being so close to it all, I just feel really grateful for what I have in my life right now and that I am able to distinguish what is important from what is just stuff. People are important. I say, more good people, less stuff helps lead to a better life.
Granted, some people lost everything. I do not, in any way, mean to make light of that fact. It’s so sad to think of people not having homes to go back to. I’ve never had that happen to me and I hope it never does. But, with no injuries related to these fires, I can’t help but feel grateful for that.