Sunday, October 21, 2007


As I write this, I'm watching CNN and the live pictures of Malibu burning.

All of us hope we'll never have to make this choice, but the day may come that we have to "grab and go."

What will you grab? Five minutes is longer than you think. I figure I can probably grab 10 things, get them to my car and drive away in five minutes. Let's also assume that pets are trained and jump into the car with you, the children are safe at grandma's, and nothing's about to explode so that you aren't pushing the envelope.

What's in your 10?


1. computer tower
2. clean out the quilt armoire
3. my guitars
4. photo albums
5. personal papers file from cabinet
6. pictures off the walls
7. my daddy's plaster hand print
8. my son's box of school memories
9. the guns
10. my jewelry

And in actuality I cheated. I've taken much longer to think of the last two items on the list because I thought I was done at #8. My husband added the gun and I figured, why not take my jewelry if I had time?

I had no idea how little in my house would break my heart if I lost it. I don't care about awards, art (not even the original art for my first published romance), electronics, etc. If I got those 10 items out of the house, I'd think I'd been gifted with a miracle. And I'd be estatic that "Bear" (my son's faithful stuffed bear who saw him through childhood) lives with my son at his place. Originally, I'd been concerned about Bear changing residences but my son insisted, and Bear is his, afterall.

So, there you have it-- my version of YOU'VE GOT FIVE MINUTES...GO.

What will you save?


Dara said...

It has to be heartbreaking for those faced with losing everything.
I'd take:
1. my Grandmother's silver tea service
2. computer & flash drives
3. jewelry
4. insurance papers
5. checkbooks
6. photo albums
7. the cats;-)
8. box of things the kids made me
9. collection of my Dad's bowties
10. Great Grandfather's silver Kiddish cup

Betina Krahn said...

Off the top of my head and not in any particular order:

1. computer tower and laptops
2. photo albums and hanging photos
3. silver services
4. insurance and estate papers
5. a copy of each of my old romances (already stacked on one shelf)
6. my kids' cumulative school photos (arranged in a frame)
7. my jewelry (much of it sentimental)
8. my ipod with my accumulated music (may not have room for the thousand cd's!)
9. the dogs, of course
10. my meds and extra glasses!

Can you tell from that last one that I'm past--um--forty? lol.

Michele Hauf said...

Okay, well if kids and cats are already safe...

1. computer (my life is on there!)
2. insurance papers
3. guitar
4. jewelry box (wedding ring in there)

Let me just say that at this point, I really have to rack my brains! WHich is kinda neat. I don't have a lot of really valued things, but is it a little depressing too?

5. iPod
6. car (the garage is attached to the house)
7. I'll steal Betina's idea and grab copies of my books, all on one shelf. (Some impossible to replace)

Okay, that's it. Can't think of anything else, and I've already wasted my 5 wondering what else. :-)

Playground Monitor said...

1. the computers -- all three

2. the lock box with our wills, insurance stuff etc.

3. center bottom drawer of my dresser -- all my jewelry is in there along with assorted mementoes

4. the Hummel collection

5. my 2-week pill box. I can get the full bottles of my meds replaced

6. my guitar (haven't played it in 20 years but it's old and valuable and it was a gift from my dad)

7. assorted photos of the kids and the grandbaby

8. business files from my filing cabinet

9. the cat if I could force her into the car

10. my purse -- or is that a given?

I've given my older son lots of his childhood things already. Paddington Bear joined them the Christmas they were pregnant with Grandbaby and he sits on the shelf in her room now. Every Christmas I give them something else that was his. When #2 son ever gets married, I'll clear out his things the same way.

I'll probably look back on this list later today and think "Why didn't I put so-and-so on the list?"


Debra Dixon said...

All -- I think it says something that computers hit the radar on 4 out of 5 (including me in that).

Dara-- Hey, you could probably throw a few extra things on that service tray on the way out the door!

Betina-- I can't believe I didn't put my books on there.

Michelle-- Yep. I drew a blank too and stared at empty spots on my list for a while. That was weird. I thought before I started this that I'd have way more than 10 items. And I was very surprised that I didn't get to keepsakes until #4.

Marilyn-- my purse and keys are by the door so I kind of considered that a given that I would pile on top of the first load out so I could unlock the car.

Virginia Lady said...

I've thought about this before and here is what I would take.

1. My backup tapes for our computers (You all should be backing up your files..easier to take a tape or flashdrive than a computer)
2. The two boxes of photos and albums in my LR.
3. The file of birth certificates and ohter vital records (yes, I know it should be in a safe deposit box, on the to-do list)
4. Each of my son's favorite stuffed toy
5. My jewelry box
6. My current bills box
7. My purse, which has my ipod etc
8. Our laptops, easy to grab
9. The bin with an emergency supply of food
10. The box with flashlights, batteries, and emerg radio

I created 9 & 10 after we almost got hit with a Cat-5 hurricane. I lucked out and it hit us at only a Cat-2 status, but I was on my own with 3 boys at the time- hubby was on travel in Seattle.

Helen Brenna said...

Very interesting question, Deb. Those fires in California are terribly sad and made me think the same thing this morning.

Mine's not much different that everyone elses.
plaster casts of the kids' hands
cats and dogs
as many boxes of the kids mementos as I could race upstairs and into the car

And that's it except for some bottles of wine - we have some very old bottles from my deceased FIL's wine cellar. Very sentimental, not to mention expensive.

No one has mentioned tax or business files, but can you imagine what a nightmare tax time would be without them?

JoAnna said...

5.grandmothers locket
6.bridesmaids dresses for 3 upcoming weddings:) of great-great generations
8.great grandmothers quilt
9.crystal cracker bowl
10.fathers teddy bear

Wow I did better than I thought I would!

Debra Dixon said...

Virginia Lady-- I have an external hard drive that is a mirror of my tower for backup purposes. I'd grab that at the same time I grabbed my tower. Nothing else, just pull wires out of the tower and go. :) But I really should get around to getting a lock box for the papers.

Helen-- My computer would have most of the tax info I needed, but there would be no way I could come close to dragging everything I needed for every client out of my office. Most is replicated elsewhere or can be reconstructed.

Joanna- Wow! Bridesmaid dresses. Your bride friends would be kissing your feet that you thought enough of them to make sure you could continue your plans to be in their weddings.

Cindy Gerard said...

I found only one thing I'd add to the lists everyone else has shared - and maybe I just didn't see it.
My CELL PHONE. I can't imagine existing, especially in an emergency situation, without it.
Oh, and I might grab my RITA - come on Betina, you know you'd snag yours too :o)

Michele Hauf said...

I love Virginia Lady's #9 and #10. Something to put on my 'to-do' list.

If I grab my car, I've got my cellphone and iPod in there, so that's covered. I'm adding my address book, cause I don't have that stuff on the computer, and I would be lost without all those phone numbers and addresses of family members and friends.

lois greiman said...

I won't bore you all with my list, but isn't it amazing how few things we'd really want?

I mean, besides the my works in progress and the photos of my family there aren't many nonliving things I'd make sure to get out. In fact, there's probably nothing.

Keri Ford said...

Helen, I was already on top of my tax file! If I'm gonna take the time to file and keep with it, I'm gonna grab it!

Other than that, I'd go after the types of things everyone else has listed. But in reality, if I had ten minutes, I'd spend a minute of it backing the truck up to a window so I could just start shucking whatever I could get my hands on.

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- That was the shock for me--realizing that I could pick a few things and think I was lucky.

Keri-- Yep, if we had 10 minutes the "shuck out the window" is an excellent solution!! LOL!

Kathleen Eagle said...

We had a major flood in the basement back when the kids were all pretty young. I'm talking major. Swimming pool deep. Lost the baby clothes I'd put aside to keep including a quilt with embroidered squares that it took one of my best friends about three years to make. Lost my wedding dress. I don't think I cared as much then as I do now.

Shortly after we were married I bought an old leather-bound steamer trunk at a sidewalk sale for $25. The date on one of the metal fittings is 1864. It was a major player in one of my books. Now it sits at the foot of our bed, and it holds pictures, kid treasures, my high school scrapbook, diplomas and degrees--our family story in stuff. It would take a couple of us to haul it out, so that might be all I could take. If I could go back in for the computer tower, I would. Otherwise, I do have the flash drive thingie on a string around my neck.

Samantha Hunter said...

Hi Deb!

My ten:

1) computer
2) my quilts
3) Kitchen Aid mixer
4) wedding photos
5) a copy of each of my published books
6) my jeans
7) my Halflinger clogs
8) my two or three favorite shirts

Since a couple of these are mutliples, I guess I cheated... ;)


Betina Krahn said...

Yikes, Cindy-- how did I forget the RITA? I'd make that number 11!

flchen1 said...

Yikes... hmm... assuming kids and spouse are safe, I think my list is very similar to everyone else's:
1. computer
2. photo albums
3. drawer full of journals
4. lockbox w/passports, etc.
5. jewelry
I'd also love to be able to grab my kids' favorite loveys, and some of my favorite books...
May we never have to do this for real!

Kaitlin said...

Hmm...boy this is a great topic! As everyone else has said, isn't it funny how little we'd really need to take with us?

Here's 10 in no particular order:

1. My laptop/flash drive (I find it so funny that this is basically everyone's #1, but since we're all writers it makes sense).
2. My pillows
3. My favorite sweatshirt
4. My Nora Roberts collection
5. My jewelry box
6. My great-aunt's china. It's in my hope chest, so it'd probably take 2 of us to take it up from the basement, but that's okay! It's totally irreplaceable.
7. Any other books I could grab
8. My current bill statements
9. My purse

Susan Kay Law said...

I don't need ten.

My kids.

My dog. (My husband's on a business trip, so he's not there to take up a slot.)

I suppose I should count my flashdrive with all my work on it, but it's always around my neck, so if I get out, it does. So I don't think that should be one.

Then a couple of pieces of art we have, because they're not replaceable. I could live without them, but it'd be nice to have them, particularly the ones that the artist is a friend.

I think that's it, really. If I've time, maybe my wallet, because while everything's replaceable, that would require Forms, and I HATE Forms.

That's really all I need, though.