Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Burning House

From the website The Burning House

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

Participants then take a picture of what items they would gather together from their homes and explain the contents with a brief description.

My list is very short. Perhaps because I once lost everything I owned and realized that my “stuff” was so unimportant.  Also, I had a real rehearsal for this a few years ago when we did have a (mostly smoke) house fire.

These were the things I grabbed then -
  • Two cats and one dog - not pictured
  • Three Billie Holiday albums, which were the only things I had that were Daphne’s.
  • My great grandmother’s watch
  • A fireproof box containing passports and other important papers, although our really important papers are in a safe deposit box.
  • my copy of “The Little Prince” , my favorite book, given to me by a very dear friend.

I had also grabbed some photo albums and home videos but I have since duplicated most of them and stored them in a safe location.

Today I would also add these items -  
  • Daphne’s journal which still feels like a gift from the universe that I can hold something so intimate to her
  • My dad’s sweater. He passed away a few years ago and I like to wrap myself up in this when I am feeling a little low.
  • A book of Robert Frost poems that my mother gave me when I graduated High School. She wrote a beautiful note on the inside. The book was only recently returned to me and I would be sad to lose it again.  

So, what about you - what would you take?


  1. The boy
    The dogs
    The cats
    My mother's wedding ring
    And then I would start packing up my FiestaWare since each piece has been a gift from someone special.

    Would I have enough time for that?

  2. Pets, all my yarn, photos, Cuisinart, jewelry, legal papers, my father's bomber jacket, my children's baby stuff, computer, iPod, the flag from my father's funeral, and my childhood Bible. Not in that particular order.

    I think I have too much stuff.

  3. Can I assume that the people and pets could get out on their own? Other than them, this is what I would grab:
    Photos, passport, some lovely letters from dear friends, my great grandmother's jewelry and maybe my Raggedy Ann doll from my childhood. Of those, the loss of the photos would hurt me most.
    Maybe I should start scanning and archiving those....

  4. I got very emotional seeing those albums.

    I think I would lean toward the more practical - deeds, will, credit cards, tools, etc. The cats, of course. And your favorite mug.