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Four Suitcases, Two Boxes

September 14, 2020


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Hi Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and safe.

Late Tuesday evening, our beautiful farm was placed on a Level 3 evacuation notice. We packed everything that was of value to us into four suitcases, two totes and a small safe. One suitcase for each person in our family – packed with personal essentials, favorite stuffed animals and old sweatshirts that conjured up college. Two boxes full of irreplaceable pictures of our babies growing up, cards with family members’ scripts that are no longer with us or in the handwriting of a 5 year old’s love, and keepsakes that contain heartfelt memories. An entire home pared down into 7 containers. The most valuable pieces were the four beings and 3 pets we tucked safely into two vehicles. It was sad and surreal.

What creates resilience in these devastating moments? Connection. As our farm moved from a level 2 to level 3, floods of people began to reach out.

              Are you ok?

              Are your animals ok?

              What can we do to help?

              We can get a trailer to your place in 15 minutes.

              What can we bring?

              We have a room.

              Come to our home.

              Let us help.

              I can research for you and make calls for you.

              We’ve got you….

              We love you.

              Please be safe.

Our people – our family and our friends (and friends of friends) reached out to us in such a way that it was hard to keep everyone updated. We were overwhelmed with love and support. And on Wednesday night, when we were fatigued from watching fires, monitoring winds and being on high alert, we agreed, as a family, to seek shelter in town for a night of respite. When we reached out to our close family friends and asked if we could come – all 7 of us – there was no hesitation from them. Come. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Beds were ready, towels laid out, and our kids snuggled into an evening with no worries and endless snacks.

 On the Friday afternoon that I write this, we have returned home and our home is at a Level 2 state of evacuation. Just yesterday, we found out that the Chehalem Fires that have surrounded our home are now 50% contained. Our family is grateful for the first responders that have tirelessly taken care of our property and those of our neighbors. Some of our friends in surrounding counties have not been so lucky.

This blog will be part of a mini-series called, Find Your Village. Connection is so important right now. In our upcoming blogs, we’re going to tackle how to find a village, barriers to doing so, and ways to invite people into your circle. We need connection now more than ever.

With compassion,

Dr. Amy

P.S. Join our FB group here – see you soon!

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