What a shock it was Wednesday morning to wake at dawn to the sounds of fire engines racing by, only to find that there was a major fire raging a little over a mile from our house, just up the canyon on the 405, here in Los Angeles. My husband, Evan, jumped in the car to go see for himself and came across a man in scrubs loading his fine artwork into the back of his SUV. Evacuations were called for all of Bel Air and everyone North of Sunset. We live on the West side of the 405 just opposite Bel Air and Westwood, so very very close to this.
We, like so many other Angelenos have been sitting here watching, waiting, feeling completely helpless as to which way the winds will blow and how it will affect our lives.
By Wednesday night, the news was reporting that the fire was only 5% contained, the neighbors were advising to water down your homes, shut off your gas and pack a bag in case urgent evacuation was necessary.
Evan and I chatted with the kids about preparations. Evan asked them, “Ok, if you needed to take only your most essential items, what would they be?
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”Kylie quickly jumped in, “Well, obviously Lexi (our Golden Lab) and my blanket and my stuffed animals.”
Parker thought for a second and said, “Uhh… Mac and cheese?” (the kid has a ridiculous obsession with that food-like substance)
This not only made me laugh, but also quickly brought things into perspective and forced me to ask the question of myself. “What would I take?"
The answer arrived immediately.
Take your family (pup included!) and leave.
Everything else is replaceable. It’s just stuff.
A wonderful book I read a few years ago and pull off the shelf every once in a while whenever I’m in need to an “attitude adjustment” about what really matters is, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.
In it, one of the stories he tells is how he once had gotten a brand new BMW. He was so proud of it, he drove it over to his sister’s house and told his niece and nephew,
“Now, jump in the back seat and pour this can of Coke all over the seats.”
His sister and niece and nephew just stood there and looked at him completely perplexed.
He matter of fact responded, “Well, it’s going to happen anyway, so we might as well get it over with!”
The message was clear. Value people. Not things.
Praying for all of those directly impacted by these horrible fires; the animals, the people and the communities.
Much Love - Kirsten
P.S. Randy Pausch was a a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon when he was asked to give a speech to his college students titled, The Last Lecture. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” - Randy Pausch
P.P.S. If you're a mom...
...looking to take a break from the hustle of preparing for the holidays and you're feeling the need to reconnect with your daughter and remember what this season is all about--family and connection.
Did you miss my 10 minute interview with Asia Mape from I Love To Watch You Play? Asia, in the past twenty years has worked for all the major Sports Networks; Fox Sports, ESPN, TNT, NFL Network and NBC Sports covering some of the most coveted events including five Olympics, NBA playoffs, and Super Bowls. I was honored to be interviewed by her!
You can check it out here.