What Would You Save?

Abandoned house - St Mary Mo c 1966Running across these photos of an abandoned house in St. Mary from around 1966 got me to thinking about something.

For a long time, I carried around¬† a list of stories I’d like to do. Eventually, I came to realize that stories found me, I didn’t go looking for them, so I set the list aside.

Still, the idea that stayed with me the longest was something about the early settlers who headed out west in their wagon trains. When they started out, they carried everything including the kitchen sink. As the trail got steeper and food and water supplies got low, they had to lighten the load by throwing out possessions they thought were least important. What was the last “nonessential” to go out the back, I wondered?

What would you save?

Abandoned house - St Mary Mo c 1966Before I got around to asking strangers to let me to photograph them with the three things they would save from their home if it caught fire, I decided to pose the question to friends and coworkers. Turned out most folks were very predictable: family; pets, then photographs, were what would be carried out.

When it became obvious that most of the photos would look alike, I abandoned the project.

What did they take?

Abandoned house - St Mary Mo c 1966Still, when I look through this open window, I have to wonder what did the owners take from those opened drawers, and why did the random beads, buttons and juice squeezer not make the cut? (As always, you can click on the photos to make them larger.)

So, what would YOU carry out of your burning house? Are you going to be like most folks and say “Family, pets and scrapbooks?”


5 Replies to “What Would You Save?”

  1. With my luck, I’d probably be alone, so –
    2)Purse with money & credit cards
    3)Computer and/or phone
    And all those things are in various parts of my house all the time, so I might be in big trouble!!

  2. Besides the obvious, purse, photos and electronics. Maybe just purse and photos, everything else can be replaced.

  3. In December 2006, this was not a theoretical question for me. Our home burned in the middle of the night during an ice storm and as I was rushing the kids and my in-laws down the front stairs I kept thinking to myself, “What do I HAVE to save?” Once I got them outside and despite their pleas, I went back in to retrieve the four portraits that we’d had painted of each of the kids at age four. That was all that mattered. The rest was just ‘stuff’.

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