Friday, October 3, 2014

If there's no new post by Monday, my house probably burned down.

It's funny how lately, my insecurities have nothing to do with writing. Well, actually, it sort of makes sense. I've been pulling 18 hour days for three days out of four until Thursday. Went to sleep at 9, imagining the bliss of being able to write, or read or SOMETHING NOT RELATED TO SHOES starting at 5 a.m.

Boy. Did I get my wish.

At 3 a.m. this morning, we got a phone call that there's a wildfire coming down the mountain, straight at us because of the wind direction. Which means that I'm going to pull a 20 hour day or worse, waiting to hear if we have to evacuate.

To put that in perspective, it's 4 p.m. and I've been awake for thirteen hours.

Right now, I'm sitting in my room, wondering if I'll still have any of the things in it by tomorrow morning.

That sorta puts things in perspective for you. Right now, the biggest material things of personal value to me is my laptop and my MANY notebooks containing first drafts to all of my stories. However given that space is limited, I know I'll be leaving the laptop behind if the evacuation order comes. Luckily for me, the whole computer is backed up because I'm sort of obsessive about it.

No. First things first, I'm loading up the pets. Then my notebooks, cellphone, tablet, medication and our family's important documents. And that's it.

No clothes. None of the various arty things I've created. None of the antiques passed down to us through about 10 generations. None of the many things that sit next to me right now. The signs of my life. The projects I'm still to get to. My VAST collection of oil paints. My and my mother's HUGE collection of books (over 20 thousand of them reside in our attic). My swords. My perfume collection.


I'm not going to lie. Right now, it feels like I'm sitting at the edge of an abyss. Where the hand pushing me in might bypass us and I'll breathe a sigh of relief. At which point I'll probably laugh at all the melodrama in this post.

Or, the fire will keep coming.

So yeah. Please pray that it doesn't. And if I'm not back by Monday to let you know I'm fine, keep praying, because that means my laptop and internet connection burned down along with the house.

But you know what? It's worth it. We know that we might have to sacrifice the house in order to save our lives, as well as the lives of others. Because the one thing I keep remembering is this:

Yes, there are memories connected to the things I might lose, but it's nothing compared to losing the people I share those memories with. And while eyeing the abyss is terrifying, it's still better than thinking that one of my loved-ones was lost protecting mere things.

I'd rather have the people and animals I loved, than this house, or anything in it.

But the point is that if the fire does reach us, our lives will be changed forever. And that terrifies me. But even as I write that, I realize that the threat alone has changed my life already.

For the better.

Before I post this: I might be insanely busy, so to keep track of what's happening, please follow me on twitter (@MishaMFB), google plus (Misha Gericke) or Facebook (Misha Gericke).  Or else, if you're REALLY worried, mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com. I'll do my best to keep everyone updated via social media. 


  1. Misha, we'll be praying for you!! Will follow what's happening on Twitter.

  2. I'll be praying! I certainly hope your house and property doesn't burn. And I totally agree: people and animals > stuff.

  3. Will be thinking and praying for you and your family, friends and neighbors. People and pets vs. things. Easy choice.

  4. Good luck, Misha! We went through this with a wildfire and a hurricane. Thankfully, not both on the same day. :)

    It'll be all right. As long as I had my hubby and my pets, I had all I needed. Everything else was optional. I'll watch for you on FB.

  5. Be safe, Misha. I live in a high fire area and I know what it's like to have flames headed your way. Keep us posted. And I pray your house is okay.

  6. That is very scary. I wish you the best Misha. Maybe the wind and fire will change direction.

  7. I wish you all the best, Misha, and hope that you and your house make it safely through the weekend.

  8. Hello Misha.
    Praying for you and your mom. Scary indeed.
    While I was still in Melkbos, one summers day, a fire swept over the farm at more than 60 KM per hour. With the helicopters dropping so much water on us we got drenched. The result of prayer and their heroic efforts, a perfect heart around the buildings of unburned feinbos. God will see you through because of his special love for you personally.
    Blessings and prayer from Geoff in Johannesburg.

  9. How stressful, plus the lack of sleep well, be safe!

  10. Thanks so much for your support and prayers, all! Means a lot to me. XXX


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