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Friday, July 6, 2012

Books I Would Have Saved From The Fire

Fire danger to our home is officially over (I live near the location of the recent Colorado Springs fire).

We were lucky enough to remain on pre-evac and never had to leave our home, but in the moments when I was convinced we would be put on mandatory evacuation, we prepared our “essential items” to take with us—photos, financials, files, etc.

I found myself taking only a few personal items.

Among them were books that I apparently wanted to be there if we had to start over in a new place. I certainly would have grabbed more if it were an option, but you can only fit so much in a car (plus, we took video of everything in the house, and I made sure to pan the bookshelves slowly so I knew exactly what would need to be considered for replacement).

I ended up with mostly kidlit, by the way~ go figure:

Barbara Cooney’s Oxcart Man, Emily, and The Story of Holly & Ivy (hardcovers)
Arnold Lobel’s Fables
Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World
Beth Hilgartner’s A Murder for Her Majesty
Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Charles Dickens’s Collected Christmas Stories 
Works of William Shakespeare (A biiiiig book)
The US Army Survival Guide (to practice knots and learn about snakes I’ll never encounter)









And cookbooks:

Morton's Steak Bible
Provence: The Beautiful Cookbook
The French Farmhouse Cookbook
City Tavern (Colonial cookbook)
Soups!
The Cheese Companion










And that's it~ that's what ended up in my pile. My instinct in movies was The Snowman (an artsy, animated short film), Elf (I know, I know—an odd choice, but it’s Will Ferrell in tights and he talks to a claymation narwhal whale! Starting over requires a sense of humor), A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version), Love, Actually, Little Women, and Pride & Prejudice.

What have I discovered about myself?

-I like the Christmas season.
-Hot weather makes me crave cold weather.
-Craving cold weather makes me crave comfort food.
-I have, and will always hold a deep nostalgia for all things childhood-related.

What books and movies would be on your must-come-with-me-to-start-over list?

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Have a great weekend!






48 comments:

  1. I love Arnold Lobel! Have you read "Mouse Tales"? One of my all time favorites. I bought it for my 3 year old nephew recently.

    I think I would have a hard time knowing what to bring with me in the event of an evacuation... especially considering that I have 4 cats and a dog, and they kinda take up a LOT of room in the car.

    I guess apart from them I could replace most of what I have... besides my art. That would be the only other thing I'd HAVE to bring with me.

    Glad you didn't have to evacuate for reals!

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    1. I HAVE read Mouse Tales and I love it. I need to get it, actually~ thanks for the reminder! And yes, art is pretty much irreplaceable. We have one original painting and it was moved to the area by the door the second we got put on pre-evac :)

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  2. Jess, sounds like a tense time! I don't think I'd bring many books with me, since I know I can replace them (other than maybe my Kindle in case I needed something to read, Watership Down). But I'd definitely want to bring my own manuscripts, since I've put so many hours into them. We'd also have the Harry Potter collection, since my kids would never leave them behind.

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    1. Watership Down! I loved that book, though I didn't appreciate the middle school essays I had to write about it :) If I had all the HP books, those would make the cut as well! All my writing is on a back-up drive, and that was in my purse in a heartbeat.

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  3. Wow, I can't imagine being in an actual, "I can only bring three things" scenario, even though I've played the desert island game a million times. I'm so glad you didn't have to evac!

    I think, book-wise, I'd take my 5 jacketed Nancy Drews, the Bible I used in pre-seminary that's covered in notes, and Stuart Little and Miss Boo Is 16 - both books my grandmother gave me.

    So, I guess for me, I'd take the sentimental ones. The rest could be replaced. But, like Andrea, I'd bring my laptop so I'd have my manuscripts and my Nook books.

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    1. What?? No Babysitters Club books?? I'm shocked, Daisy :)

      I love old books. Stuart Little brings back fond memories as well (now you've got me thinking of ones like The Cricket in Times Square). Sounds like you have a very special Bible :)

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    2. Ah, yes, the BSC would definitely make it to the car if there was room! You know, there's a BSC called THE FIRE AT MARYANNE'S HOUSE. I can't remember if she was able to save anything. Hmm...

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  4. So glad your home was okay! I'm from Pocatello, Idaho... I had a big scare last week that my childhood home might have gone up in flames. Luckily, my family and their home was okay. But its always a scary, scary thought to think all your memories might be reduced to ash in a matter of moments. SO glad your home was spared.

    Books I would grab: my very first HP paper back book... (I've read it so many times the spine has been repaired with packaging tape! But its special for more than just the words. It was my first introduction into that magical world and has many, MANY good memories attached!) Jane Eyre. Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson. My binder of sheet music (I think that counts as a book!) And Herbert the Timid Dragon (a lovely kid's book my mom used to read to me as a kid... also bound with packaging tape! Haha!)

    I can also just see myself trying to drag my whole bookshelf out of the house.... perhaps I wouldn't get too far. But I'd probably try. Haha!

    P.s. I have that EXACT Shakespeare book!

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    1. Wow, the West has been getting hit hard with fires this year! Glad your family is safe.

      Jane Eyre!! You just gave my heart a little sigh of nostalgia :)

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  5. Truly happy and grateful you all made it through unscathed, Jess. We did the exact same thing last summer here; had a fire evac "kit" and everything. My wife wanted to take anything that wasn't glued down! lol Once I impressed on her the idea that we literally might be given 15 minutes to get what we can carry and get out, she relented on not taking our sheets. (Joking ... mostly.) Anyway, it was no fun at all. Scary too.

    The picture books and cookbooks are a good thought. Many of those can't be replaced easily. I packed a first edition copy of Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon I'd gotten for Christmas a couple of years before, just because I didn't know if I'd ever find it again. Also packed a couple of my guitars. Lots of pictures that haven't been converted to digital, and a couple of our large hard drives. (Our lives on those things, I think.)

    I'm so very, very with you on the hot/cold thing. Most people, I think, spend their winters pining for summer and what they're going to do on holiday. I spend my summers thinking about "winter" (we don't REALLY get one here) and the creativity I get from cooler weather and THE holidays. I swear my brain shuts down when the outside temperature hits 89F. :)

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    1. Ooo, a first edition~ nice! I'm originally from the midwest, and I LOVE autumn. It saddened me to learn that Colorado has two seasons: Winter and Summer. Spring and Fall are indistinct (unless you count the two weeks when the aspens change color in the mountains) and disappointing for me. I agree that cool weather and being shut in really stimulates my creativity.

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  6. I think the only books I'd be really compelled to grab would be my signed 1st editions of Hyperion and its sequel. Everything else is replaceable. Of course, there are comics that I'd want, but I'm not really sure which boxes they're in, so they'd probably get left. The only movies I'd feel compelled to grab would be my limited edition original trilogy Star Wars VHS boxed set.

    I didn't realize you were near the fire, too. I'm glad you're okay!

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    1. I still have some VHS tapes that I'm hanging onto...don't know why, since they're definitely not limited editions :)

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    2. It's a special boxed set that came with some extras that aren't available anywhere else. Leather box, cool hologram cover, and they're pre-special edition, which, I'm sure, would make them attractive to some people.

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  7. I love Jonathan Livingston Seagull! I haven't thought about it in forever. That's one I need to get!

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    1. I remember my parents reading it to me as a wee one~ it's sentimental for me.

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  8. I love Jonathan Livingston Seagull! I haven't thought about it in forever. That's one I need to get!

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  9. I'm so glad the scare is over for you.
    Good question, and I'd have to see if there was any room in the car after we packed the photo albums! If space was limited, I'd probably go with Bird by Bird (to make me laugh), I am the Messenger (to give me hope) and one of William Trevor's short story collections (to remind me what perfect writing looks like).

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    1. Great choices! I'm glad it's over, too. I feel horrible for all those people who lost their homes, but we're lucky their weren't more casualties (there were a couple of people who chose to stay in their homes when the fire came through). Things like this always put things in perspective in terms of what's important.

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  10. You know, I hadn't thought of that before. What would I need? I don't have any titles in mind for what I'd grab physically, but I'd need my duo mini-laptop for my e-book and my thumb drive for my writing. Other than my Holy Bible, I'd probably grab Ender's Game and the Narnia Chronicles.

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    1. The Narnia Chronicles! I have such fond memories of reading those as a child...and as an adult, too :)

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  11. I have a Shakespeare tome as well, inherited from my grandmother. And while I am not a Will Ferrel fan I do like the movie elf. It's one of those Christmas movies I can watch over again every season. Plus Bob Newhart's in it :)

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    1. Yes! Bob Newhart is hilarious. I used to watch his show :)

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  12. I've grabbed my flashdrive with WIPs and digital pictures on it before on runs to the basement during tornado scares, but have never experienced anything near like the Colorado fires. I've been following the scary stories, but didn't realize you were right there. Like others, I'm glad to know everything is all right for you, and our hearts go out to those who lost so much. What might I pack if I did have to evacuate? Like you, irreplaceable titles with sentimental value--my grandmother's copies of Catherine Marshall's books, Grandma's copy of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" that she signed, and my childhood's "Best in Children's Books" volumes that she subscribed to for me. She really did foster my love for reading!

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    1. It's amazing to me how childhood books remain on people's list of things they would take~ for some reason, those images and words that first made reading special really hold a place in our hearts.

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  13. The only books I would grab would be the ones signed by my blogging/author friends. Everything else can be replaced (and you were smart to video tape everything!). I'm a pack rat, resistant to throwing away anything that could conceivably be useful someday, but I rarely form emotional attachment to "things". Probably a failing on my part, but I have my wife to make up for it. If evacuation were the slightest possibility around here, I'm sure she'd have U-haul on speed dial!

    So very glad you and yours are safe and sound! :)

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    1. Ha! U-Haul on speed dial~ I'll have to remember that in case we have another bad season next year :)

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  14. I've had to evacuate for fire. Photos, computers, and cats are our go-to grabs. I do have a shelf full of old hard bound books by Dumas, Toby Tyler, Little Women, and Tanglewood Tales. I'd better add those to the list. It's really gut wrenching to have to leave so much of your life behind. I'm so happy you didn't have to go through with an evac.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you've had to evac~ it definitely would have been difficult for us. Love your hard bound list :)

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  15. I hadn't thought about this either! Now I'll be thinking about this if we had to run out in a hurry for some reason! You have a great list of books to save.

    I love your new picture!

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    1. Thanks for the photo comment~ it's always awkward trying to snap photos of yourself. I was too embarrassed to ask the hubby :) The old picture was from exactly 2 years ago, so I figured I should update.

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  16. How stressful to have to think about evacuating and how awful for all the people who did! But so glad that the danger is over for you. Just had to tell you that I have the same Shakespeare collection. And now the inevitable question. Was it the BBC version Pride and Prejudice? :D

    Martina

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    1. I've been dreading that question! As a faithful fan of Jane Austen, I know I'm expected to say the BBC version with Colin Firth. I KNOW that. Sadly (don't hit me), I've yet to see that version (*ducks to avoid various rotting fruits and vegetables*). It's the Keira Knightly version, and I love it. I adore the musical score as well :)

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  17. I am SO glad you're no longer in evacuation danger! Still, that's a great collection you came up with. You're ready if it ever has to happen!

    As for me, the number one book I'd take would probably be The Animals at Maple Hill Farm -- a book that always makes me cry but also is quite comforting because I identify with the cat named Eggnog who is always eating plants and using the cat pan.

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    1. I just looked up the book on Amazon~ it looks ADORABLE! Now that I've got another kiddo on the way, I might just have to buy it! I love that Eggnog is Siamese~ we had two Siamese cats when I was a girl. One of them was constantly eating the grass outside. Although this business about it always making you cry makes me slightly wary...

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    2. I cry at the drop of the hat, so don't be too worried. And it's always a GOOD cry with that book! :)

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  18. Thanks for the list, and I'm so happy for you that your house survived. I live in the Denver area & watched constantly, felt so much sadness for all impacted by the fires. It is an odd feeling to think what one should/would take. I can replace most, but I guess some of the books I received as gifts from special people through the years would be the priority for me.

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    1. Exactly~ it's not necessarily that all of those are the very best books in the world...but they are the most special to me (and, okay, the cookbooks are just for the food, not for personal memory purposes).

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  19. Thank heavens your house was spared and you didn't have to leave. I'm not sure how I would face the choices you had to make. I think I would run around the house grabbing photo albums, framed pictures, and even some of the artwork off my walls.

    Hopefully my husband would've thought of taking the financial statements. I'm not sure they would cross my mind.

    As for books and movies, I don't know if they would make my cut, since most are replaceable. And if I did start packing them, I'm not sure if I could stop. Video-taping your bookshelves was a good idea. Gosh I hope I never have to think about this -- and I hope you never have to go through it again.

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    1. Thanks for the well-wishes! We actually did take some of the artwork~ one original painting and one print of Valley Forge that my husband drools over (history buff). I highly recommend videotaping stuff if you live in a tornade/fire area, just in case.

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  20. So glad you're out of fire danger now, Jess! I can't imagine how scarey that must be, grabbing your belongings and having to run for your life from the flames. Glad you're safe!

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    1. Thanks, Tina~ luckily we didn't actually have to run from the flames, but I saw enough local footage to make me feel nervous. Hopefully we'll get a bunch of snow this winter--a great snowpack reduces the fire danger in general.

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  21. I'd bring my early editions of my three most beloved books: My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming by Mary O'Hara. All the other books are replaceable. Those are too, actually. But this is still fascinating, (in a slightly morbid way), discovering more about yourself by deciding what you'd take in an evacuation. I would take my daughters' baby books, wedding album, some small precious gifts from beloved family and friends, my old journals...

    Videotaping everything in the house is such a smart idea!

    So glad it wasn't needed though! These Rocky Mtn fires have been crazy, huh???

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