Critical Objects

Phase one: computer, external hard drive, purse, Grandma's ring.
Phase one: computer, external hard drive, purse, Grandma

Yesterday, I saw two different blog posts (one on Unclutterer, the other on The Daily Post) with the same premise: if you had to flee from your home in a hurry, what would you take with you? It’s an interesting question, one I’ve considered before – and I figure most people have at some point. Gotta be prepared, right?

And so, here are the critical objects in my life – the things that I’d grab in case of an emergency. My answer, by the way, is written with the assumption that I will be fleeing at a time of day when I’m wearing street-appropriate clothes. If that’s not the case, add weather-suitable attire to the list.

Assuming first that I have only a moment, my can’t-leave-without items are:

  • My purse, which pretty much always has my wallet, Kindle, and camera in it, along with assorted miscellaneous objects, and occasionally a knitting project.
  • My iPhone, or, as I like to think of it, my portable brain. I think it’s fair to say I no longer know how to live without it.
  • My laptop and backup drive, since most everything from pictures, to tax documents, to gigabyte upon gigabyte of music and video, are on those two items.
  • My grandma’s ring, which I’ve worn every day since she died. I’d be heartbroken if I left it behind.
  • And of course, my cat Smoky. She’s not an object, and wouldn’t deign to be in the picture, but if I’m leaving, so is she.
Phase two: photo shoebox, booze suitcase.
Phase two: photo shoebox, booze suitcase.

If I had enough time to spend a moment digging through my closet – and making a second trip – I’d add a couple additional items.

  • The two boxes that contain all my non-digitized photos. They encompass my entire life, and it would be awful to lose them forever. Probably a sign that I should get it in gear and send them all to be scanned, right? ‘Cause then they’d be on the backup drive.
  • The booze suitcase, which was my grandpa’s, and then my dad’s, and is now mine. It’s as much an heirloom as anything I own, and I’m bizarrely sentimental about it. I did realize, though, when I grabbed it to photograph this morning, that I’ve been storing it empty. I need to correct that, because any emergency severe enough to require gathering my prized possessions clearly will need to be handled with Irish whiskey.

So that’s what I would take. What about you? What would you grab if your house was on fire?

3 thoughts on “Critical Objects

  1. wendalicious May 20, 2011 / 8:30 pm

    I would take my dog, my purse, and my Droid. Probably also my laptop. Everything else is just stuff, right?

  2. Common Loon May 20, 2011 / 9:20 pm

    Having been through a hurricane that destroyed my house and many belongings (I was out of town and it came unexpectedly and hit fast) I learned a bit about my materialistic nature (got one) and just how much can be replaced (albeit rather painfully). I’d hope to grab my husband, kids, and wallet…and the rest would just be gravy. I’m assuming my bands would be on my fingers. What would I miss? Some of Ruth’s artwork, my Mom’s sewing machine, sentimental letters & postcards, my flight gear & “my rack” of military awards ( the bureaucracy to restore those would be pure hell), wedding album & the like, a car or van. I also have a few pieces of furniture that would be crushing but we’d recover.

  3. Mom May 21, 2011 / 9:03 am

    This thoughtful post provoked a “walk through” (although the topic definitely has been contemplated before). Surely, Toby would come first and then my tech stuff too for it’s invaluable “memory” (seeing as mine — at least in theory — is on the wane).. Leaving everything else behind would be so HARD. I know it is stuff, but it is a lifetime of accumulated possessions, treasures & heirlooms. A big part of our heritage (and your inheritance) would be lost.

    This said, my heart goes out even farther to all who have lost their lifetime of stuff to the wrath of water, fire, wind, earthquakes, etc.

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