Salvaged and lost

Six months ago our neighbor's house burned down.
It was a complete shock, and fortunately no-one was hurt.
It was a Saturday afternoon and everyone (except me) was at home.
The neighbor's had a worker over, working on a small extension to their kitchen.

At noon Cinnamon man called me at the store, telling me there was smoke
coming from their house, but that the fire department was on the scene.
When I arrived home at two-thirty the whole house was ablaze.
Our house was engulfed in thick foul smelling dark gray smoke.

During the last few weeks they have finally cleared out all the rubble.
Except for wallets and laptops (which they grabbed on their way out),
and the clothes on their backs, our neighbor's lost everything in the fire.
This is something I have thought of many times since
but that I still can't really wrap my head around.

My cats are the first things I would save if there was a fire.
Then my handbag and laptop (though it's old and not worth anything).
But then what? Old letters and photos - that I never ever look at?
My dresses or boots - that can surely be replaced?

I look around my house and I see nothing of monetary value.
Most of my stuff and furniture are flee market finds. I also have some
craft supplies, textiles, old books and tons of cheap (purple) trinkets.
Yet every single item my gaze falls on has value to me.

 Cinnamon man sometimes talks of us preparing a 'bug out bag'.
But how would I ever be able to make the distinction?
I have a feeling a bag like that should be something you can grab
in a second and run. So filling it with pots and porcelain,
all my favorite boots - and possibly that cherished side table
I got for nothing one of the last times I visited my best friend
in the hospice before she died - might not be the best idea...

I found a quote on one of my favorite inspirational interior decor blogs
FleaChic. I don't know anything about Norah Lofts, but I love this:

"Happiness cannot be commanded or bought,
but comfort can be. A place of one's own;
small, often valueless possessions which one has chosen
because they give one pleasure to see or to hold or to touch;
just salvage, perhaps, out of the shipwreck of one's
great bright fleet of dreams and plans."

If it came to it, what would you save, do you know?


16 kommentarer:

  1. Hmmm ... good question. I would, of course, save my laptop and pile of dissertation stuff. Moo. A couple of family heirlooms that are all tucked away together. And my first dolly. That's about it. Everything would probably be thrown in my laundry basket that is always hanging around ... maybe I would grab a change of underwear?

    1. Your reply made me wonder about my family heirlooms, I don't even know where I keep them..!

  2. Without a doubt I would grab the original oil paintings and a framed Turner print.

    1. Yes, if one has something obviously precious like that, the question is a simpler one :)

  3. Well, since I probably couldn't get the computer, or the massive bookcase, or the dining room table and chairs out the door before the place burned down, then I guess nothing else would be important enough for me to save. Except ourselves! :o)

    1. This is exactly how I feel. I care more about my furniture than any little trinkets.

  4. What a terrible thing to happen to your neighbors! I hope they can replace all of the replaceable. I tend to think like you in this regard; most of my items are of no value, but certain pieces are rife with precious memories that couldn't possibly be taken in a hurry...

    I think if it came down to it, aside from my husband and cat, I would take my few rare vintage books, and my few pieces of real vintage clothing.

    1. It is very sad. Their house was almost as old as ours, from the 1800's. Even if they can replace stuff, the building style, the history, the dignity can never be replaced.

      Vintage clothing is a good choice, also something that cannot be replicated.

  5. Jag håller helt med dig här, det viktigaste för mig skulle vara att få med mig katterna, när det kommer till kritan är de andra sakerna helt värdelösa i såna situationer.

  6. I prep 4 of the blue Ikea big bags for when Nor'easter weather is upon on. Two for the 3 grandchildren (clothes, blanket, few special toys/books), 2 for myself (1 has paperwork, lightweight embroidery projects i am working on, few photos, & clothes...the other has a few books, jewelry, etc. the first goes, the second if i have time)I also keep enough cat & dog food, & water in jugs on hand for evac. purposes. ALong with cat carriers & dog lead. Paperwork comes first..id, medical, insurance, bank accounts, passports, birth certificates. In case of fire all paperwork is in an easily grabbed long handled bag. Always.

    1. Wow, you are totally prepared! I guess living in storm central will do that to you. I read your reply out loud to Cinnamon man and he was thoroughly impressed :)

  7. I guess, the first things I'd grab would be my cat, my laptop and my camera, and my teddies...but when I look around, I already see many things I wouldn't wanna leave behind, and it's only a sublet; just imagine my room at home, filled with personalties... I'm a hoarder, a big one, I keep everything that has any kind of personal reference to anyone or anything I love, or a place I love(d) to be, and I can get very attached to stuff, not clothes, but gifts, souvenirs, kinder surprises, plush toys...the silliest things, really...:)

    1. Kinder surprise toys? You certainly give the nick 'hoarder' a face ;)

  8. Det är hemsk. Brand är en fasa för oss. Jag är livrädd för att det ska börja brinna i nån av de där jävla kakelugnarna hos min exman (som han eldar idiotmycket) när barnen är där, fasa. Om man en gång har lämnat allt man har så inser man att pryttlar inte är så himla betydelsefullt, det viktigaste är att alla levande klarar sig.

  9. Many years ago we had a fire pass behind our neighborhood when the wind changed direction. They had us evacuate. We had about 5 minutes to grab what we could. The dog, cat and bird were first in the car. Our insurance papers and our photo albums are all we took. Most everything else can be replaced. Luckly our home was spared but we hardly slept that night not knowing what we would be going home to if anything. Never want to go through that again. I feel so bad for your neighbors!
    Hugs Lynn


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