Apparently a house in my part of town burnt to the ground last weekend. I didn’t notice a thing, no smoke or smell or sirens or anything so it was quite the surprise to read about it in the paper afterwards.
On the other hand it’s not at all unusual for me to be absent-minded and miss current events…
Thankfully none of the residents were harmed in the fire, but the house is completely gone. Everything they own has turned into ashes. Of course this has sparked a lot of serious, but also interesting, thoughts.
What happens when you loose everything you own?
Which things are superfluous and which are truly irreplaceable?
If my house caught fire what would I try to save, if anything?
I love my books, but I don’t own any super rare editions, so they can all be replaced. I mean, it would be a pain in the behind, but it wouldn’t be impossible.
I love my computer and my phone, but they don’t have anything on them I haven’t already backed up online or can’t stand to lose.
My clothes are nothing special and can be replaced, same goes for my jewellery. Sure I have some nice pieces that holds some sentimental value, but nothing I’d linger in a burning house for.
It would be sad to lose the toys and photos from my childhood, but in all honesty how often do I actually look at those things?
Actually, I think I’d save this:
This is a drawing made by my grandmother, and without a doubt the most unique and irreplaceable item I own.
At the bottom, barely visible, is my grandmothers signature and a year: “Hennie Olofsson, 1940”. She would’ve been around 20 years old then.
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, especially after my parents divorced. Granny lived in the next village over, in a little yellow house close by a lake. She would come up with “adventures” for us to do whenever I was there, some place we needed to explore and some treasure to find for one reason or another. As I got older I would help her with chores around the house and listen to her tell stories from her youth. And she always always always encouraged me to keep drawing.
I remember her as a very clever and ingenious little woman, and I loved being with her.
After her death, when we went through her things, we found a handful of drawings like this in a box in a closet. My mum and aunt remembered that she used to doodle on random pieces of paper when she was younger, but they didn’t know she had saved any of them.
My mum and aunt kept two other drawings for themselves, and gave me this one.
“This is where you get it from”, my mum said.
I’ve framed the drawing and hung it on my wall (in a spot where the sun can’t reach it) and I love it so much. The stains and tears were all there when we found it, and if you ask me they only adds to its beauty. Somehow it’s like this old piece of paper is her more than any of the photos I have of her.
Thing is though, me and grandma aren’t the only artists in the family. My mum can draw too. I’ve seen her doodle while talking on the phone, or during commercial breaks on telly, and she’s not all that bad.
For years I’ve been asking for a drawing every time she wants to know what I want for Christmas or my birthday, but she just refuse to acknowledge that she’s any good.
“Oh, but I can’t draw. Granny could draw, and you. Why don’t you draw me something instead.”
I really hope she comes around, as I would love to have a drawing from both of them. And I would prefer it if I didn’t have to wait ’til she’s dead to find her drawings hidden in a box somewhere…
If your house caught fire and you could only save one thing, which item would you pick?
(For the sake of discussion, let’s assume all living residents are safely outside, so don’t pick your spouse or dog or something like that.)