THERE is a smoky haze drifting across the Wimmera and fires burning throughout the region.
Like most people, when I hear that people have to evacuate because of fires or floods or other numerous natural disasters, I always wonder: what if it was me?
When the first call came in yesterday about smoke in the area, I quickly called my housemate, who had the day off.
Jokingly, I asked her that if a fire threatened, could she rescue my laptops please.
Oh, and my piano.
And possibly the shoe box off my bookshelf. And maybe the books as well - definitely the books.
My housemate just agreed with me, as she often does, and we hung up.
But the thought lingered.
What would I take?
If there was time to choose, obviously one would try to take everything.
But what if it was only a few minutes' warning?
My laptops store photographs of my family, friends and me.
They also include stories, poems and opinion pieces I wrote back in high school.
These pieces of writing have developed and changed and become more sophisticated over the years, just like I hopefully have.
They serve as a flashback into my life, my feelings and my lack of vocabulary back in high school.
I have to save them.
My beautiful electric piano was a 21st birthday present from my parents.
It is a relatively new addition to my life and doesn't yet hold the same memories as the out-of-tune, clunky piano at mum and dad's.
But I treasure it dearly.
The shoe box on my bookshelf might seem innocuous.
But inside are all my 21st birthday cards, little reminders of holidays, the cards off flowers.
It's decorated with a picture of my dad and me at my 21st.
As far as the 'emotional' keepsakes go, this is one I need to rescue.
There is so much more in my bedroom, and in my house, than these few items.
At this stage, there is no fire threatening my home, and for that I'm incredibly lucky.
But maybe if nothing else, this thought - 'what would I take' - could instead be inversed.
What would I not take? What do I not need?
Perhaps it's time for some spring cleaning.