23 March 2010

(Hypothetical) Fire

If a catastrophe struck and you had to leave your home in a hurry (and never return), what items would you grab in your last ten minutes, and why?

I saw this prompt on Livejournal today, and it made me think. I did an exercise like this during Nerd Camp in '04, where we had to save four things from a fire, and then we proceeded to "give" them away to others in the group. It was a really emotional exercise, mostly because we had to think about what we were giving away, to whom we were giving it, and why. It was the why that got me. One of my items was my Forrest Bear, an army bear I got on my birthday two days (or so) after my dad was sentenced to prison for x number of years. I opened it while on the phone with him. After I "saved" it, I gave it to a girl whose father had died... Because I kinda knew what it was like, not having a dad around when you needed him. She, in turn, gave me something of her dad's that she'd "saved." ... See? I'm getting all teary eyed just thinking about it now.

Back to this prompt: What would I save (from a fire, just to make it like the one I did before)? I'm adding the condition that all people make it out alive and well. Of course, I would save my computer, because it has almost all of my pictures, many important school files, and my grimoire files. I would also grab my file box which holds tax papers, birth certificates, and music. Finally, I would grab all of the books I could find, starting with the drawer that holds my Wheel of Time, Earth's Children, and other series books, followed by the drawer with my non-series books (Watership Down, About a Boy, Onion Girl, and others. Also, I would make a grab at the quilt my mom made for me a couple of years ago.

And what am I leaving to burn? Clothes, toys, furniture. (I doubt I could get my bed taken apart and out of my apartment before it burned down around me. Oh, well.) My collection of dragons. Any/all of my ritual items, including my beautiful faerie/goddess figurine. My Wii, which I generally think of as a waste of money, anyway, so that's no big loss.

What does it say that half of what I save is for practical reasons? I save my books because A) I love my books and B) the thought of almost any book burning up in a fire makes me cringe and sends waves of panic through me (maybe not V.C. Andrews and a few others, though; they can burn!) I don't even know how set I am on saving the blanket. Yes, I love it and yes, I'd be sad if I lost it, but it wouldn't be such a huge loss. My mum could always make me a new one. Perhaps I would save the quilt I'm working on instead; I have much more invested in that.

What about you, dear reader? What would you save, assuming all pets and people made it out alive and well?


  1. I can speak from experience on this one Sydnii. When my daughters were toddlers we lived in a trailer in Columbia Mo. In the wee mourning hours the water heater ignited and caused a fire. My wife grabbed the youngest who was in the room with us. I grabbed the older daughter who was in the middle bedroom. After getting them outside I went back into the burning trailer, thinking I might be able to do something about the fire. It was going up so fast I had to leave. "Life" is the most important thing to save in that situation,most everything else can be replaced. It would be a tragedy to lose your life over any material object. If it ever happens, grab Camden and get out. Leave the rest to the Gods. X.

  2. On second thought. I may have missed your point. The things I regret loosing the most, were our photos and a notebook full of poems I had written as a young man. X.

  3. I wondered about your first comment. Obviously, yes, I would grab Camden and let the rest burn. But if given the option, I would save what is mentioned in my post. :)

  4. Embracing your assumption that all people and pets were safe and sound . . . the four things I would save are: my computer (actually, I should say my hard drive with all my files on it), a bracelet that belonged to my Grandmother, a wooden figurine of a hare given to me by a group of women very important to me, and my e-reader!

    Wow! That was harder than I thought it would be. I would have probably wasted any time I had trying to figure out what to save and had no time left to actually GET the stuff!


Leave a comment! I love hearing others' ideas! :)

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