It hasn't rained since we moved here to Davis.
When we left Colorado, it was dry. Now friends of mine have dealt with flooding in their apartments and homes. Most, thankfully, were very lucky. Others seem to have lost everything. It's credit to my friends who have to say they feel lucky and fortunate, that they're still afloat and functioning, that it's "just stuff." Sure, they admit it hurts to lose, but they're strong...probably stronger than I'd be in the same circumstances.
I get how important "Just Stuff" can be. This move was the first major move I've made in over ten years; the first big move since dropping out of college and moving to Colorado Springs. All the little moves I've made since then didn't cut me off from people I knew like this one has. Visiting my friends in Denver or the Springs isn't a day trip anymore, and the majority of my California friends don't live here anymore. I'm excited for Davis, but it's a foreign land to both myself and my fiancee. We don't know the roads very well, and know very few people here. Davis doesn't feel like home like Denver did. It will, but it will take some time to get there.
Our apartment, though, very much feels like home. I'm currently sitting wrapped in a blanket I've owned for 8 years, in front of a television I've owned for 3. The Darth Vader helmet my mother bought me when I was a child is sitting on top of the TV stand, and the Rock Band drumset that's been beaten to hell by both myself and my friends stands in front of the fireplace. These things are familiar to me; they don't define me, but they reinforce me. They're "my" things, and each one is something I bought or was bought for me because of who I am, and that makes this home. Erin's mountain of DVDs are in the corner, still not quite shelved properly, and a set of old bookends sit next to the Vader helmet. This is her place too, and it is the sharing of our things and the addition of a new TV stand and couch we picked out for ourselves that makes this apartment definitively "ours", even though we've only been here a week. It may be "Just Stuff," but it's comforting to see ourselves within it.
This is why I feel sorry for those who've lost so much. Even the most rudimentary object can be an album of memories. It's the connection to memory we lament, the loss of this stabilizing force of our identities. I wish I could be there physically for my friends, but the best I can do is wish them luck.
Hugs to you all.