My grandmother’s drawing

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:

Imaginary Karin - granny's drawing

Imaginary Karin - granny's drawing

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.

Imaginary Karin - granny's drawing

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.)


  1. 25 June 2015

    Easy, I would save my babies (dogs & cats) everything else can be replaced. When we moved I lost a lot of personal things so nothing can’t be replaced. If it wasn’t the babies then it would be my Grandmother’s Flower Quilt that my Grandmother made for me, but again, I would rescue the babies first, lol.

    • Karin
      3 July 2015

      Yeah, babies comes first of course. Both the human and the animal kind :)

  2. 26 June 2015

    I’d save my dog, Marley, of course. Everything is replaceable, honestly. She’s grown to be the most important thing to me after my husband.

  3. 28 June 2015

    Wow, that is so beautiful! I don’t really think I have an heirloom as important as that. I’d definitely save my cat first and as stupid as it may sound, I’d probably go for my laptop next. I have yeaaars of content saved on this thing and a lot of it very nostalgic too so it’d be the most practical thing to save rather than gathering the nostalgic paper stuff.

  4. 29 June 2015

    I would hate to lose everything in a house fire :( Some things are definitely not replaceable, like original drawings and paintings. That drawing by your grandmother is amazing! I love that it’s signed with the year, and the drawing is beautiful. I think that’s great that you were so close to your grandmother, and that you were able to find drawings by her :) I hope your mom eventually gives you a drawing too!

    If I could only save one thing, I’d probably grab an oil painting off my wall. It was the last one I completed before I stopped painting. (My parents have the rest of my paintings.)

  5. 5 July 2015

    What a wonderful thing to be able to have. It really is a lovely picture as well, and I agree that the marks add something extra to it. I do hope that your mum will give you a gift of a drawing, it can mean so much. I always say to my parents, make me something because it is so precious.

    There are so many things that I would want to save, and it also kind of reminds me that I need to save certain things that can be. Such as scanning old photos, and backing up things online. I actually have a little box that contains the most precious items. Some of them would seem like nothing to other people, like a name tag, a piece of paper with a little note, but the hold a lot of significance to me.

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