on priorities (and pie)

Ever wonder what you’d take with you if your house caught on fire? As it so happens, we just got the opportunity to find out.

This photo was taken in color, with flash, and it's how most of the first floor of our home looks right now. Those aren't cobwebs, those are 'smoke webs'- congealed soot. The horror.

Yesterday afternoon we came home to discover that an unused oven in our utility room somehow began a fire. Luckily no one was hurt, but it’s been upsetting. Everything we own is covered in soot and ash. If we needed anything, we needed to take something that looked very clean, probably from the second floor, before the soot settled from the air and onto it. The soot gets into everything- inside closed drawers, cabinets, and closets- so if it appeared clean and we wanted it, we grabbed it and dusted it off as best we could on our way to the hotel.

The pets were all okay. Also- just in case you were wondering- it is exceedingly unpleasant to bathe an adult cat.

So: outside of pets & vital documents, what would I carry out with me in case of an emergency? I couldn’t bring my spinning wheel, because it was on the first floor- it’s covered in soot and filth, hopefully otherwise fine- but obviously, if it were an option, it would have been on the list. Other than that, here’s the list.

Item the first:

Outside, there is a cephalopod. Inside, there is a damn fine scotch. Yes. Yes. YES.

Item the second:

My Loop! yarn. I was really, really happy that this was okay. It smells funny from the fire, but only a little funny, and I think it will wash out. It doesn't matter. It's so pretty, I don't care if it smells funny forever.

Item the third:

Addi Click interchangeable knitting needles. VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS. Luckily, they were buried in a bag at the opposite end of the house from where the fire started. They also smell funny, but they are metal and they will get over it.

Item the fourth:

This is my writing bag. All of the resources and materials for my book are in here. I'm so glad this is okay because if that had burned up, I WOULD CRY FOREVER.

Item the fifth, and final:

Pie. Not just any pie: DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIE. Two of them, actually: an apple and a pumpkin. Nom nom nom nom PIES.

The pies weren’t actually at the house, thank goodness; Sam and Kiddo had just picked them up from Dangerously Delicious, so they weren’t contaminated by the fire. I’m glad, because that was our saving grace the night of the fire. You have no idea how much a good pie can save a really, really shitty day. Actually, neither did I, until last night. PIES ARE MAGIC.

So, to recap my priorities in an emergency: obviously, my laptop, but that came with me to work, so does that even count? Probably. I would have grabbed it if it hadn’t been with me, so I’d say it counts. So—  laptop first. Then we have booze, knitting, writing, and food- mainly pie. And a sense of humor, obviously, too. That’s really all we have in any crap situation- our ability to look at it from the side and smile.

  One thought on “on priorities (and pie)

  1. Lex
    November 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Adding to the thankful list that you and your family are all okay…also the scotch.

    Let us know how we can help! Have a spinning wheel you’re welcome to borrow too!

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Lex, thank you, lady. I might take you up on that wheel once we get settled- I need something to settle me down. More than anything, though, hi! We should meet up some time and have coffee once everyone is settled back down after the holidays.

  2. Riaknits
    November 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Last week we had a little electrical fire in our basement, I was faced with the same question: beyond pets & papers, what do you grab? Our fire was caught immediately & didn’t progress beyond smoldering wires. We weren’t half lucky.

    It’s dreadful that you had a fire & it looks like you grabbed all the right stuff. I hope it’s all put right quickly!

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Ria, I’m so glad you and yours are all right! It’s such a scary thing, isn’t it? An interesting exercise in priorities, too. I think that’s the part I’m most interested in- all the reactions, and how it’s changed how we are looking at things right now.

  3. November 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Pie IS magic! So glad you had some with you…and the writing bag + scotch. You can subsist like a proper writer for quite a while with just those three things.

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      I mean really- what else does a girl need? 🙂

  4. Deb in PA
    November 25, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I’m so glad that everyone is alright.

    It’s good you were able to get some stuff out.

    Also, on the clicks, the needles should be ok, but you might want to make sure the case will lose the smell.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    P.S. I agree that pie makes a lot of things better…

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Deb, great point about the case. It doesn’t seem to smell, but I’ll turn it over to the fire folks just in case. They tell us they can clean almost anything, so I’m hopeful!

  5. November 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Huge hugs, so glad you all are keeping your patience and humour and that everyone is safe and sound.

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Lindsay, thank you!

  6. Karen
    November 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

    So sorry to hear about the fire. Just before the holiday too. Your priorities seem right to me – safety of family and pets, followed by booze, knitting, writing and pie. Looking around our house at all of the books, makes me wonder are your books okay? Let us know on Ravelry if you need to replace your books.

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      Karen, the insurance folks tell us they should be able to clean the books- but if not, they will replace them. There are a few that just can’t be replaced- antiques- but most of them should be okay, thank goodness. Thank you SO MUCH for the offer!

  7. November 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Scary! I hope that you guys will be able to go back home soon.

    • December 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you, Donnell! It’ll be a while until we are home, but it’s okay. Everyone’s being good to us and everyone is safe.

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