I'm sure all of you saw the news reports of fires all over Southern California this past October. The worst natural disaster in California's history caused more than $1 billion worth of damages to what many consider to be the most beautiful state in our country. The reason why it is relevant to this column can clearly be scene in this photo. I took these photos literally one mile from the scene, on my back patio, while the flames burned right down the hill towards hundreds of homes in Foothill Ranch. I evacuated and prayed for the best. By the grace of God, and the heroic efforts of firefighters and pilots, my home and the community I live in are safe.

This life-altering fire taught me many things, including material objects really aren't that important, also that anything at any point in time can be taken away from us. Don't ever forget what is really impor-tant. Was I really worried about my tools, collectibles, or even my truck? Not at all. To all firefighters and emergency workers reading this column, you have my humbled thanks.