A woman wrote me recently with an interesting story, one that I’ve been pondering. She was at the beach (a few summers ago) when she got a late night phone call from a neighbor. Her house had been struck by lightning, and part of the roof had caught fire. The firefighters were there, and had gotten the dog out. The fire was relatively contained, but there would probably be a lot of smoke and water damage. Was there anything she wanted them to try to get out of the house while they could?
It is quite a question to get late at night! I have been pondering what my answer to that would be. I will admit my first thought was practical: birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports. Those take a lot of time and effort to replace.
Photos are less of a priority than they once were. I could quickly reprint all my photo books from Shutterfly. Older photos though (or something like a wedding album), would be harder to replace.
I would want to save some of my kids’ artwork. Unfortunately, it’s not well-organized now for anyone to know where to find it. The stuff that isn’t very save-able is stuffed in with the good stuff. As I think about it, it’s all in the basement, which could flood in a bad storm. Perhaps a project for the future. As for “real” art, I wouldn’t mind saving my strawberry paintings.
I might like to keep my old journals. I haven’t looked through them in years, but I like to think that they exist (even if I may wind up destroying some parts of them myself at some point).
Given the scenario the woman posed — she was away on a trip — I kind of assume my laptop and phone would be with me at the beach. Otherwise, I might want to fish them out too. They have a lot of the photos I’d want to save (and documents!). My engagement/wedding ring would be with me too; if it weren’t, I’d want to keep that.
Then we start drifting into sentimental objects (I’m not sure how much time the firefighters and neighbor have here). Fluffy the bear and Beary the bear have both been with us for a long time as treasured stuffed animals. The boys are no longer as into them as they were, but they might make the list as reminders of childhood.
If all pets and people were out, what would you want to save?
In other news: The running streak survives, but only due to my ridiculousness about it. I have an intense travel day today without much space for running, so I got up at 4:30 a.m. to run on the hotel treadmill in Palm Beach, Florida, where I was, before getting on my 7:05 a.m. flight. Sometimes that really is the only time it fits in! The good news is that I crashed last night at 8:30 p.m. for some reason, and thus woke up on my own at 4:30 (I had set my alarm for a few minutes later).
Photo: The old journals are in here somewhere…