What would you bring?


With the healthcare debate in full force after Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, one city in particular has been on the minds of Americans: Washington, D.C. Yet there is another city that has been in headlines everywhere, a city that reminds us of our mortality and transience: Colorado Springs.

Wildfires have been sweeping the area, covering 16,750 acres, destroying 347 homes, and evacuating more than 32,000 people. For this reason, the Christian Post has asked its readers an important question: “If you had only a few minutes to gather up a few select treasures of your life before fleeing a raging inferno, what would you take -- and what would you leave behind?”

Perhaps cliched and maybe trite, this dreaded question is something no one wants to ever be asked. Unfortunately, however, it is a question many Colorado residents had to answer when they had only minutes to evacuate their house and gather their most precious and sincere belongings.

With that in mind, I ask you, BreakPoint readers: What three items would you take, knowing that your house would soon be in a “raging inferno”? Let us know in the comment section below.

Comments:

Dolley Madison was in a different situation seeing as Bladensburg was not the same as Borodino.
Megan and LeeQuod, thanks for the kind words and thoughts. The cigar box is a great idea!

I have been thinking about whether there was anything I wish I had brought along, and the only things I regret not bringing were my favorite Bible, our family Bible, some baby heirlooms from the cedar chest, and a decent pair of shoes.

The things that were ruined were not what mattered so much as the memory triggers that they provided. And thanks to a quick-thinking friend, we were able to dry and save almost all of our photographs. Fortunately the more recent images were digital, and our hard disk survived being submerged.

Our goal now is to have a fire- and water-proof safe for important papers, but life has been so busy (restoring the house and 2 new grandsons since the flood!) that we haven't done it yet.

Having a disaster plan is a great idea, but I think we did pretty well on short notice. Perhaps someday we'll make the plan a priority :^)
I've been kinda holding off, Jason, expecting that you (especially since it's the bicentennial of the start of the war) or someone else would bring it up sooner, but when Dolley Madison was faced with Megan's question, while living in the White House, she chose a portrait of George Washington.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dolley-madison-saves-portrait-from-british

And on my reading stack is Walter Borneman's account of the war. Come to think of it, one thing I'd be tempted to save would be all my checked-out library books. My own books would be only a personal loss, not a community loss.

And fraydna, I'm very sorry for *your* loss and that you were away for so long (a third of a year!). But I'm glad you were able to at least save some things. My wife and I lost some papers when our basement flooded during a torrential rain here almost two decades ago, so I can relate to a tiny extent. Since then I've been trying to divest myself of most material goods. My goal is to be able to put all my treasures - the things that really mean something to me personally, separate from those of my wife, or of us as a couple - to fit all those things into a cigar box. (And no, I don't smoke.) I have a ways to go, but year by year I'm getting closer.
Jason,

That's a cool story, and definitely something that would take a lot of courage, selflessness, and humility to do!
LeeQuod,

Haha! Nope Oreo is chocolate brown and white... just like an Oreo cookie (well, the old Oreo cookies... the nonrainbow ones) :)
In one film version of War and Peace the Rostovs left all their splendiferous aristocratic fol-de-rol in their house when they evacuated Moscow and loaded their sleigh with wounded soldiers.
Is Oreo rainbow-colored, Megan?
My answer
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I loved hearing your input - especially from fraydna who has been faced with this situation. My answer? (assuming that my sister and parents were fine)
1) My dog Oreo
2) My dog Puppy
3) My stuffed animal, Baby Bop, which I've had since I was born and still sleep with (I know... I'm weird)

All of these things are irreplacable to me :)
Here's exactly what we did take when leaving our home during the Nashville flood of 2010 (we had about 30 minutes to leave)

My husband and myself
Our vehicles
Our 2 dogs, their beds, leashes, food, and treats
Our wedding photo album
Our 2 adult kids' baby books
Our netbook
2 duffle bags packed with casual clothes and toiletries for 2 nights
Old shoes
My husband's clothes, shoes, and laptop for work

We thought we'd be gone for a couple of days. We were not back home for 4 months.

The difference between fire and flood is that a fire destroys everything, whereas a flood ruins everything.
1.) One of my ever-present boxes of hot pockets
2.) My copy of "The Summons" by John Grisham
3.) My cell phone and its charger
More timely for PFM
What would you grab right before the power goes ou-
A Bag containing my laptop, cord, and my favorite dead tree books.

A bag containing my kindle and some of my other favorite dead trees.

A third bag containing toothbrush, vaseline or chapstick, and some clothes.
(I'm mentally substituting "flood" for "fire" since it's more likely here in the Pacific Northwest. ;-) )

Well, Megan, lessee: On a Christian website, it would probably lose points to answer "the big-screen TV".

Likewise, "my e-reader" (Kindle, Nook, etc.) would lose points unless quickly followed by "'cuz it's full of all the Dickens I'm reading, and I spent good money on them."

In some circles, that is.

Conversely, "1. My spouse; 2. Our kids; 3. Our pets." would win major points. Of course, that would set off a long discussion of how living things are not possessions, and how choosing those three violates the spirit of the question of the value of material goods.

Big points for "the family Bible", "our marriage certificate" and so on. Except that our "family Bible" is really apps on each of our phones, most records can be retrieved from the state by filling out a form, and so on.

Playing by the rules, though, I'd say:
1. My laptop, since it has our finances and other important records.
2. As many of my wife's keepsakes as I could grab. (Her hope chest is pretty heavy, though, since it's made of cedar.)
3. The combination to the fireproof safe. :-) (Waterproof too, Jason . . .)

Gotta go; I'm scanning all my boxes of important paperwork, so I have electronic copies - just in case.
What would I take?
1. My grab and go bag with clothes and toilet articles.
2. My laptop.
3. My steno machine.




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