The car was packed. Lark’s kitty carrier, stashed with treats and her favorite Woody Woodpecker toy, was parked by the front door ready for a getaway should someone with a bullhorn go up and down the block ordering us to leave immediately.
The Bobcat fire had us in its sights.
Having checked off most of the items on my evacuation list, I stopped by the kitchen to get one of the brownies I’d baked earlier and packed in a to-go container. Who doesn’t need brownies in stressful times?
I doubted that I could sleep, but I was definitely ready to sink into my favorite pillow for a little comfort. Only I didn’t sink; it was more like a bounce. Then I remembered I had packed my pillow at the advice of someone’s “important things to take when you evacuate” list that I had read online.
The feather-like pillow for the allergy impaired was on the back seat of my car covering the wooden frame that held the flag from my late husband’s coffin. I had wrapped it in the lavender-hued quilt his mother made for us as a wedding present. I loved the thought of these three nestled together.
Larkie, smelling of smoke, jumped up on the bed and stared at me with sad green eyes. When I didn’t move, she jumped off and tried leading me to the closed hallway door. I tried to explain that we had to keep the front of the house sealed off to protect us from the unhealthy air created by the smoke from the fires.
And then something prompted me to dig out an old jewelry box to see if there was anything I might want to take. A pin I had made for my mother in my brownie troop twinkled at me. It was a small white seashell with lavender and pink stones glued on the top and a safety pin affixed to the back. Mom had saved it for years and returned it to me before she died. I pinned it to my bathrobe.
Next was a dime store wooden ring, a memento given to George by one of his directors. I slipped it on my thumb, the only finger it wouldn’t fall off. And finally, wrapped in a plastic baggie tied with a red ribbon, was my daughter’s first tooth. I tucked it under my pillow. Maybe the tooth fairy would come again. We are living in strange times.
At the time of this writing, Lark and I still at home, but the evacuation warning remains in place.
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