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What really matters

The devastating wild fires in the north coast these past two weeks has affected everyone in the area more than any event I have seen. In the early aftermath, we find some things to be grateful for, personally. First off, our family is safe. The long-time family house where my parents and sister live is still standing as it has since 1853. The family vineyards are also fine. The winery is safe and the last grapes we work with were harvested 4 days before the fires started. We are heartsick for the lives lost and the many that lost their homes, businesses and jobs.

So many friends and colleagues have lost so much it is a difficult reality to have soak in. While my parents had to evacuate (it took some ‘persuasion’ to get my Dad to leave), they were lucky and had the luxury of a little time to prepare. After moving equipment and important tools out of barns and deep into the cultivated vines where they were safer and taking a few of the most treasured family keepsakes, we found other treasures more precious than what are considered ‘conventional valuables’ in the process: a couple gold coins given at ancestors’ weddings, great-grandfathers’ saw hanging in the garage, etc. What these treasures had in common were connection to those that came before, tying them to those of us here and now. I think the love of family and friends is the greatest treasure regardless of any physical object. That love is something carried all the time and needs no pockets or boxes to contain it.

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