My wife and I were watching the California Inferno on TV last night and speculated as to what we would do if our own home caught fire and we had but a few seconds or minutes to get out. Of all the junk we have accumulated over the years, what would we try to preserve?
My wife would rescue photographs and videos of the family, especially of our son growing up over the years. I would add to that whatever few photographs I have of my parents and relatives, taken in Europe or in our early days in Canada in the 1950's.
Anything else? Everything else can be replaced. Even my precious guitars, our many hundreds of books and various pieces of art suddenly wouldn't be so important. There is nothing for which I would risk life and limb.
Interestingly, neither one of us mentioned our two cats, but I suspect that every reasonable attempt would be made to get them out alive. Stupido and Retardo (that's what I call them, they're actually named Simpson and Mabel) are part of the family, sort of. I don't think we have the obsessive attachment to our pets that I see (and deride in others) sometimes, but I would still miss the critters. I know my son would be devastated if anything happened to either cat.
Otherwise, who cares? We spend lifetimes accumulating junk, much of it of no real value or purpose, then discover that it is not what we have that matters, but who. Is the family safe? The cats? OK, screw the rest.
I don't ever want my theories here put to the test; after all, who wants to suffer through the upset that results from having everything you own go up in smoke. I feel for the folks in California who are losing so much in the fires, especially when one of the fires appears to have been set by an arsonist. Who would do such a thing?
Are your families still intact, my Californian friends? Is everyone safe? Nothing else really matters.