Monday, December 13, 2010

Greetings from Sunny Southern California!

It was extremely difficult to think of anything but sweet calming thoughts as I strolled along the beach yesterday with a glassy ocean and 85 degree weather. As I sat with my family on the bench at the Laguna Beach boardwalk, I could not help but feel my blood pressure drop and the corners of my mouth drift up. What a perfect day!

And what could possibly go wrong on such a beautiful day? Well, fortunately, nothing did. But I have to admit that whenever I leave my house, I can’t just jump in the car and go. Not since I realized "what could happen...,” by which I mean an earthquake. And potentially a big one.

When my children were little, I always had the dreaded "diaper bag" with me. How I came to hate that little bag with cartoon animals on it, stuffed with food, extra diapers, clothes, toys. Honestly with all of the stuff I crammed in there, it seemed like Mary Poppins bottomless carpet bag. It was like preparing for battle!

I rejoiced when my children finally stopped having accidents that required a change of clothes and started growing up. What a freedom I felt! Now, alas, the diaper bag has been replaced by another bag...the emergency bag. So when I go somewhere, anywhere, I feel compelled to make sure I have a case of water in the back, some comfortable walking shoes and a jacket. I also toss in a blanket and first aid kit for good measure.

There are certainly more things that I carry when leaving home for a longer trip, but those are my mainstays. I really don't think of this as being paranoid, but I would likely really kick myself if I got stuck with my family somewhere when I didn’t have the basics. So I take a few extra minutes while everyone in the car sighs and glance at each other while mom gets just a few extra things. It does not bother me, though. Not when I can sit on the beach in December in 80 degree weather and feel very calm and assured.

And at least I didn't have that darn diaper bag.

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