Thursday, February 28, 2013

If your house were burning...?

A few months ago I accidentally discovered Stumble Upon, which has to be the easiest way to lose time in the universe. It was like the internet was randomized and customized to me all at the same time. I lost an entire day the first time I visited it. Now I am much more strict with myself when I go to pressing my Stumble button.

On that first trip down the rabbit hole I discovered a couple of really cool sites including one called Chicquero. It was a site full of interesting photography that had me completely captivated from the first moment. I have been following it ever since, and about once a week am greeted by some truly fantastic images.

This week the images I found in my feed were really cool, documenting the contents of suitcase belonging to patients at a turn of the century lunatic asylum. As intriguing as those were it was a link at the bottom of the page that caught my eye. In the list of articles I might also enjoy were the words: "What if your house was burning?".

How could I resist clicking on a link like that? I mean really? What I found was a project that had been based around the question of what you would save from your home if it were burning. The project took on the view that hearing the answers was cool, but seeing the answers was even cooler. I tend to agree.

It was fascinating to see what people found to be irreplaceable. I assume this project was done by photographers since almost every image had a camera of some sort in it. Almost everyone rescued their laptop and phone and iPod. You can tell which ones were women since most of them grabbed their purses. It appears there were a lot of musicians as well considering the number of instruments that were in the rescue pile.

I was a little surprised there were not more sets of keys than there were. I was also surprised by the lack of pets and old stuffed animals. A few people included a stuffed animal but I only saw one cat and two dogs in the entire series. I just hope these are people with no pets and not people who would save their laptops over their dogs and cats.

It did get me thinking though, what would I save? If my house suddenly caught fire and I only had a minute or so to rescue that which I held closest, what would I grab? I mean I have a lot of stuff that I am fairly closely attached to, but dude the house is burning, gotta make some hard choices.

I would of course save my pets. If I got out nothing but the cats and the dog (and of course the husbeast) then I would be fine. I couldn't really live with myself if I just abandoned them to a fiery doom.I mean it may just involve throwing open a door and scaring them out and hoping I can find them later, but I would get them out.

After that though what would I grab? I guess the practical part of me would grab my purse, wallet, phone, and keys. Those are all right there, so you know, easy enough to grab in one sweeping motion. If I could grab my laptop I would save that too. What can I say, I am a slave to my technology. Though I think as far as practicality goes that would be the limit of it.

Sentimental grabs are much harder. There is a small wooden box in my kitchen that has my grandfathers dog tags in it and my grandmothers charm bracelet in it. I would grab that. I would also grab my grandfathers (and the husbeasts grandfathers) pocket watches out of the jewelery box. While I was in there I would grab my grandmothers pearls and my original wedding band and engagement ring (which are entirely too big on my and are awaiting a resizing once I am confident I am done losing weight) along with the first ring the husbeast ever gave me.

I have a little stuffed bunny, Buttercup, that I would grab. I have had him forever and couldn't leave him behind. The bunny and my blankie from when I was little would have to come with me. I also couldn't leave behind Zachary bear. There is also a snowglobe with a goose in it from my grandfather I would have to save and the tiny Pieta statue my grandmother gave me.

There are a couple of photographs that I don't think we have copies of that I would grab, mostly very old family photos. I would also grab the the copy of the husbeast's grandfathers record. I would also take my Bear Man mug and mirror.

Lastly there is a small table that contains a bunch of random things like rocks collected for me from all over the world, small figurines, a bottle of water that was collected under a blue moon on Halloween in a cemetery from a holy spring, weird stuff like that which has some importance to me and could not be replaced but could all easily be swept into my bag as I ran out the door.

Also this all assumes the husbeast is there with me so he can save his own list. I mean if he weren't there I would feel obligated to grab his laptop and tablet as well as grab his minis bag so as to try and save some of them. Maybe a sword or two as well; the chopper and the wolves for sure. Ohh and Horse, which is a stuffed horse he has had since he was a wee beasty.

Not pictured: The husbeasts laptop as he was on it, his mini's bag because I forgot it, and the animals because seriously there is no way I could get all four of them and all this in a picture, let alone the 4 of them together where blood was not being shed.

I took my own picture but it isn't all that great. I sort of forgot I wanted to take it until just before we went to bed so I was in a rush and a little sleepy. Also the batteries in my actual camera were dead so I had to use the Husbeasts phone to take the shot. Also the white of the bedspread doesn't help things. The little cellophane looking baggies are actually cellophane baggies. They have my rocks from the Galapagos, Machu Pichu, and sand from Scarborough in them. Anyways it gives an idea of what I am talking about.

I know it sounds like a lot of stuff (and looks like it too), but  I could easily do it. My biggest issue would be getting the animals out and not breaking the five or six breakable items on my list. If I started at one end of the house and rushed through I could manage it all. I hope I never have to find out.

What about you? What would you save if your house was burning?


  1. I like this article! I have frequently thought on the subject because disaster planning is important. I always assume every person is able to take care of themselves so the following reflects that. Naturally, people take priority, no matter what.

    On the practical side, the laptop could be abandoned but I want the backup drive for all our computers. No cables needed, I can replace those, but I don't even want to think about the hassle of re-working all the papers for our business. Purse, because it has all the day-to-day necessities. If there's time, the two boxes of product and paperwork for the business. All of our important papers (passport, birth certificates, tax forms, cash, etc) are in a fireproof safe.

    On the sentimental side, and in this order: the tea pot my dad picked out for me and the book that belonged to him as a child; the tin-type of my grandfather as a baby and the book I have from him; the tablecloth that belonged to my grandmother (that my Uncle bought her when he was stationed in Turkey); and the teddy bear my parents gave me when I turned 13. I wouldn't worry about photos because my sister will have copies of almost all of them, but they are all in a single box if time permitted.

    As a kid, my parents taught us to roll up in a blanket and break out a window (protects you from the glass) if the door was hot. That always stuck with me! We did have a fire in our garage a couple of years ago and responding to that really helped me understand, well, responding to a fire. The plan is: Get it all in the truck and get that gas tank away from the fire!

  2. You totally reminded me that we have a backup drive for our laptops. It is brand new so I don't think about it yet. So much easier than grabbing all the machines.

    Separating out what is irreplaceable is the hardest part. I keep wondering if I had to choose would practical or sentimental win out? Thankfully I don't have much in the way of business in the house to worry about.

  3. The girl who started this was at Blogher the year I went. Fucking hilarious. She was so so so so hilarious. what is a stumbleupon? Googling now