People…..and Pictures

It’s true. When scrambling from your home with the threat of rapidly approaching fire, you grab two things: People and pictures. That’s precisely what I snatched – and you would, too.

This summer, several on us on the Family Talk staff stepped out onto the porch with growing concern over what was mounting on the horizon. I live just beyond that hill (photo on right), so quickly headed out.

I was unprepared for what lay ahead. Rounding the bend heading into my intersection, a thick cloud of smoke loomed in front of me. I was turning left and heading directly into its path (photo below).

My 18-yr-old son was inside our home tossing items into duffel bags, shouting over his shoulder, “Mom, we really need to go!” On my last trip out the door, I literally swept a hand across the top of the piano snatching 6-8 of my favorite framed photos, threw my wedding album under my arm, and headed out to join the 45-minute traffic jam waiting to exit the 1.2 miles out of our subdivision.

For the next 12 hours we didn’t know if we’d ever return. Yet amazingly, due to the diligence of nearly 1,500 firefighters, that inferno never crossed the boulevard a mile west of us. Thank you, Lord!

Now that the crisis has passed, I reflect on what I took with me that day: People and pictures. Sure, the “people” part of the equation is easy to figure out – we’d all say that. But why the pictures? The same reason: People -- more people. Our photos contain faces of eternal souls we love: Little Kenny & Trevor donning oversized sunglasses as toddlers; my daughter and her husband on the beach in South Carolina; A precious three-generation-snapshot with my father-in-law; nephews and nieces in their finery on a wedding days. That says it all.

As the four of us reunited in the driveway of a friend’s house across town, we came to terms with it: Nothing else but people ever matters. Oh, to always remember that.

There have been a lot of natural disasters around our nation lately. What have you learned? I'd love to hear about it!

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