Sonoma West Publishers invited the newspaper’s Facebook friends to share what they took with them when they evacuated and what they accidentally left behind.
Replies poured in. Here are our favorites, lightly edited for clarity.
Luly Betancourt: Both my daughters are artists, so I packed their artwork. And like you, mementos from parents and grandparents. When I arrived at my destination I realized I packed few clothes. Guess I will go dancing naked in the streets like a mad woman!
Lynda Bascom: I forgot my grandfather's hammer. He taught me to make bird feeders with it back in the ’50s. It is my fondest remembrance of him. Fortunately, at this moment, the house is safe and the hammer will be there when I return.
Nancy L. Fortner: In addition to the pets and necessities, three oil paintings by local artists, a collection of miniature shell flowers made by my mom and my Sunset Western garden book.
Jessica Shafner Herring: I brought three crochet blankets I made for my family, plus my 12-year-old son brought his framed caricature of himself.
Marsha Sue Lustig: After witnessing friends experience the loss of everything, we knew what was important to us: our dog and two aged kitties and our passports. That was about it.
Victoria Ann Giuliani: My husband made fun of me. The first thing I packed was my Dyson blow dryer. I am a hair stylist. Then went and grabbed my four best wines I’d been saving. Good hair and good wine, a must!
Dorothy Stone Inouye: I brought heirloom baskets — some that relatives and friends made, some that I made; a few items from grandparents. Husband’s family pictures. Did not get Grandma’s cookie jar or Great-Grandma’s flour sifter or spinning wheel or sewing machine or old cook books Mom gave to me. Got Dad’s harmonica and our guitars, homemade quilts. The crank handle from Grandpa’s Model T; aprons mom made for three generations, Great-Grandma’s log. Great-Grandpa’s pipe bag … The most important things have ties to memories of people we love who are no longer with us and cannot be replaced.
Linda Smith: I brought my late son, Sean's, first teddy bear. It plays Teddy Bear's Picnic. He died five years ago at age 27. I also brought the quilts my dear friend made from his clothing. I knew I would be heartbroken if those things burned in a fire.
Patrice Waite: I brought my parents’ love letters from 70 years ago, my daughter’s thesis, some old family photos and a jewelry box with jewelry that had belonged to my mom, and my dad’s dog tags. I wished I had thought to bring the box that contained the majority of my childhood photos.
Dennis M. Rosatti Jr.: I saw a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter, realized the bowl was a wedding present, so I grabbed the whole thing so we’d have food and a wedding present.
Teri Stoddard: I regret not bringing my sourdough starter.
Amie Windsor: I made sure to pack myself my new blazer but socks? Nah, who needs socks? … I also forgot my birth control, go figure. And no, our next child will not be named Kincade.