Today’s Daily Prompt has me thinking. What would I take with me? In truth, I’ve thought about this a few times. Mainly while waiting in the ‘safe place’ for a fireman to come up and tell me the fire is out. Or there isn’t one.
There isn’t much else to think about, sitting behind a fire door, when the ‘safe place’ doesn’t feel very safe.
So, yeah. I’ve thought about this question. What would I take with me if my house was burning down? The answer is not much. And everything.
The prompt says to assume that people and animals are safe. So, I will. And I’ll add something else. My chair is safe. Because it would be under my ass. Or piled with the stuff Sarge and I would take with us. Sarge would be steering it with one hand while the other one had me in a fireman’s lift. Because love lifts us up where we belong. Or something.
Since we are safe and singing, this stuff is stacked in my chair. Because we are safe and singing and resourceful:
My Grandma’s Graduation photo. Because I love her and it down to the ground and around the world. It lived in a white album when I was a kid. And it was on a wall as I went through high-school. I imagine Grandma saw everything. Dad gave me a copy and she’s smiling in my living room. I’d take her with me. Because there’s still so much to see.
The photo of Grandma and Grandpa standing in front of their first house. For all of the above reasons. And because the look so freaking happy. And relaxed. And hopeful. And because they are my inspirations for married life and love and pretty much everything else.
A pencil drawing of my Poppy, dated 1949. Because I talk to him, too.
A photo collage of Grandpa’s newspaper clippings. He was a champion flower-grower. My cousin put his award notices together with a packet of Daisy seeds that I still remember. One of the best gifts I received on our to trip to New York.
My Butterfly Box. It’s where I keep old cards and letters and yet more photos. Like the one of Nana and Poppy at a wedding. And another one of them smiling in the 60s. My green Italian leather notebook is in there, too. And a purple one, which isn’t Italian.
The notebooks are on top of the first pair of sunglasses I ever bought with my own own money, and a card from my mother when I didn’t have any. It reads: When things are bad and getting worse, put a cookie in your purse. It was tacked up in my kitchen at University for a long time. Because my friends used the saying as a mantra. And because some people call me Cookie. Only designated people. So, please don’t. I’d lose my street cred, if I had any.
I wish my favourite pen was in my Butterfly Box. It isn’t. But my wooden name-train is. I call it a wooden name-train because it’s my name. On wheels. Made of wood.
The ‘A’ has de-railed. I guess you could say the name-train has been with me a really, really long time and knows me really, really well. You’d be right.
And since The Box is one thing, I’d stick some more memories in it. I’d cruise by the fridge, still hanging over Sarge’s shoulder, asking him nicely not to turn the wrong way and accidentally smack my head off the wall while I swipe my magnet collection. The oldest being a pair of family cats and the newest is one from my Dad.
Maybe surprisingly, I’d let most of my books burn. But I’d look for my copy of Death and the Penguin, the one Sarge wrote in before giving it to me. Perhaps he would curse the fact that our books aren’t alphabetised, before throwing the book at me. Maybe I’d stick it down my favourite butterfly shirt. So I could hold it between us. We’d be a book sandwich.
And out we’d go. Maybe singing. Upside down. And sideways. Definitely grateful. Taking only my family and my memories. Like always.