Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Wildfire Prevention Filing Superstition

I am of Italian heritage -- well, mostly.  There's a bit of Irish thrown in, too, for good measure.  And as I was growing up, as a mostly Italian little girl, I spent a lot of time with my 100% Italian grandmother, who came here from that great land when she was about 19 years old.  My Nana was raised in a little village in Italy.  Her family were peasant farmers.  As such, she was raised on a lot of superstitions, mixed in with her Catholic faith.  Therefore, I was raised on a lot of superstitions, mixed in with my Catholic faith.  For example, I was told that if you accidentally put an item of clothing on inside-out in the morning that you are required to leave it that way for the entire day, lest you bring bad luck upon yourself. 

Anyway, as an adult who has a biology degree, I have pretty much freed myself from this superstitious mindset.  Although, I admit, I have not entirely overcome it.  And -- hence -- there is my "Wildfire Prevention Filing Superstition."

I bring this up today because it is EXTREMELY hot, windy, and dry here in SoCal.  In fact, there is a big wildfire raging north of us.  Many people are being evacuated.  Please keep them in your prayers.  And this post is NOT intended to make light of these fires and their victims.  It is just my way of coping as I keep peeking out the windows for smoke.

You see, we have been threatened and have had to evacuate during two previous wildfires.  Big, huge, out-of-control wildfires.  One of the fires actually destroyed our backyard, singed our house, and cracked several of our windows.  And it is out of these two fires that my "Wildfire Prevention Filing Superstition" was born.

In a drawer of my desk that is in my bedroom next to my bed, there is a box.  In the box, I keep papers that need to be filed in my Official File Box.  My Official File Box has within it Official Files with Official Labels -- such as "Utilities" and "Taxes."   As such, the papers that need to be filed include utility bills and pay stubs.  There are also such things as insurance forms, bank statements, and home repair receipts that are stored in my Official File Box.  You may wonder why I don't just file these things in my Official File Box as I get them.  My answer is, "I don't have a clue."  So, every couple of weeks, I get the box out of my desk drawer and file the papers it contains into my Official File Box.  Once in a while, though, I get lazy.  And two of the times that I was most lazy were before the two major wildfires that we ended up fleeing.

"Why does this matter?" you may be wondering.

If you live in a place where there is a high danger of wildfires, you must always be prepared to flee.  And when you flee, you are told to remember the three P's -- pets, pictures, and papers.  PAPERS.  And this is easy if all your papers are where they belong -- in your Official File Box.  But, both times we had to flee a fire, many of my papers were not where they belonged.  So, I spent between one and two hours -- both times -- organizing and filing important papers into my Official File Box in preparation to leave.

And this is where the superstition part comes in.

We have "fire weather" often.  Usually, though, when this type of weather occurs, my filing is all up-to-date.  On the days when it would be quite simple to pick up my Official File Box and put it in the car, without worrying about papers that have not been properly stored, we NEVER have a fire.  Therefore, I have concluded:

*KEEPING MY FILING UP-TO-DATE PREVENTS WILDFIRES*

And so you have it:  my "Wildfire Prevention Filing Superstition."

And if you did not realize before how silly I am, now you do. ;-)


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